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Czech Republic Suspends Issuing of Visas To Russians With Other Citizenships

The Czech Republic will suspend the issuing of visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens who also have another citizenship. Photo credit: Freepik.

Prague, March 22 (CTK) – The Czech Republic will suspend the issuing of visas to Russian and Belarusian citizens who also have another citizenship, following cabinet approval of the measure yesterday.

Shortly after the start of the Russian attack on Ukraine last year, the Czech five-party government decided to suspend the issuance of visas to Russian and later also Belarusian citizens, except for humanitarian cases. According to yesterday’s amendment, this decision has been extended until the end of March 2024, with the suspension also applying to those who have another state citizenship in addition to Russian or Belarusian.

Applications for a Czech visa permit from Russians or Belarusians at a Czech embassy ​​are viewed as invalid, and no approval procedure will be launched in such cases.

Simultaneously, the Czech Foreign Ministry has proposed to expand the exemptions permitting applications for a Czech residence permit filed by Ukrainians at Czech diplomatic missions in Ukraine.

Until now, the exemptions have applied only to Ukrainians applying for a permit for the purpose of study and those who have been granted or applied for temporary protection in another EU country. Other applications for permission to stay in the Czech Republic, filed at diplomatic missions, have been legally invalid.

The exemption will now be extended also to include the applications for the purposes of family reunification, scientific research, study, Czech expatriates’ applications for permanent leave to remain, and applications filed by those seeking a blue card for individuals with high-skilled professions. 

The latter can be filed only by those who have been granted or who have applied for temporary protection in other EU states.

“The institution of temporary protection is and undoubtedly will remain the basic and most suitable instrument to enable the stay of foreigners fleeing from the war in Ukraine,” wrote the Foreign Ministry. “On the other hand, with the increasing length of the conflict, it seems appropriate to enable the acquisition of another type of residence permit for those foreigners who can be expected to remain in the Czech Republic even after the conflict ends.”

On the other hand, the Ministry has decided that the acceptance of applications for Czech residence permits for the purpose of economic activities will not resume, except for those filed by blue card seekers who are not currently in Ukraine.

The acceptance of visa applications for the purpose of study will be restricted to include only applicants to study in accredited programs at universities and those seeking scholarships based on international agreements or the decision of the Czech cabinet.

“The Foreign Ministry plans further extension of the range of acceptable applications in future, but with regard to the development of the security situation in Ukraine, the timing of this step cannot be specified,” it wrote.

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