Credit: Freepik

Czech Foreign Ministry Seeks To Suspend Residence Permits For Russians and Belarusians

The Czech Foreign Ministry has proposed that the country should no longer issue visas and residence permits to Russian and Belarusian citizens, in light of the invasion of Ukraine. The ministry stated that the current government regulation, valid until 31 March, should be replaced with a new one without a specific deadline.

Shortly after the Russian attack on Ukraine in 2022, the Czech five-party coalition government decided to stop issuing visas to Russian and later also Belarusian citizens, except in humanitarian cases.

Applications for Czech residence permits submitted by Russians or Belarusians are considered inadmissible under the current legislation, meaning they are not subject to any proceedings. Since last year, the ban has also applied to citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus who are also citizens of another country.

Those who already have a residence permit are not targeted by the regulation. The provision also does not apply to applications for short-stay visas, if the applicant is an accompanying family member of a Czech or EU citizen. Nor does it apply to applications for a visa or a long-term or permanent residence permit if the applicant’s stay is in the interest of the Czech Republic and this interest has been certified by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Furthermore, the regulation does not apply to applications for long-term residence permits if the applicant is a family member of a foreigner with a residence permit in the Czech Republic.

Also exempted from the ban are Belarusians who apply for a residence permit to study at a university on the basis of scholarships provided by the Czech Republic, the European Union or international organisations.

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