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Czech Republic: Whether a person who has lost permanent residency status because of an absence from the European Union for more than 12 months can have their permanent residency reinstated; application process; whether this also applies to individuals who have lost their status under Section 77 of Act. No. 326/1999

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 13 June 2013
Citation / Document Symbol CZE104463.E
Related Document République tchèque : information indiquant si une personne qui a perdu son statut de résident permanent au motif qu'elle s'est absentée de l'Union européenne pendant plus de 12 mois peut le recouvrer; information sur le processus de demande; information indiquant si cela s'applique également aux personnes qui ont perdu leur statut au titre de l'article 77 de la loi no 326/1999q
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Czech Republic: Whether a person who has lost permanent residency status because of an absence from the European Union for more than 12 months can have their permanent residency reinstated; application process; whether this also applies to individuals who have lost their status under Section 77 of Act. No. 326/1999, 13 June 2013, CZE104463.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/532014514.html [accessed 26 July 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to Section 77 (1c) of Act No. 326/1999 Coll., on the Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Territory of the Czech Republic, the Ministry may cancel the validity of a permanent residence (PR) permit of a foreign national who

had resided outside the territory of Member States of the European Union [EU] continuously for a period exceeding 12 months, unless such residence was justified by serious reasons, in particular pregnancy and giving a birth, serious disease, studies or professional training, or secondment abroad. (Czech Republic 1999, Sec. 77 (1c))

However, Section 66 (2) of the Act indicates that

[a] permanent residence permit shall be further issued to a foreign national whose previous permanent residence permit was cancelled on the grounds stipulated in Section 77 (1) (c) or (d) unless three years have lapsed from the date on which the relevant decision became effective (ibid., Sec. 66 (2))

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an official of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ottawa indicated that the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) "shall cancel (which translates as 'must cancel', i.e. there is no administrative discretion here) the validity of a permanent residence permit if the foreign national had resided outside the territory of Member States of the European Union continuously for a period exceeding 12 months," unless such residence was justified by conditions specified by Section 77 (1c) of the legislation (ibid. 6 June 2013). The official noted that Section 77 lists other conditions leading to the cancellation of the PR permit and further stated that

the competent [government] office will always attempt to investigate the foreigner's motives (of course, if it is not possible because, for instance, the foreigner is nowhere to be found, the officials may and should cancel the residence permit without having to await the foreigner's feedback). Typically, the decision on the cancellation of PR must be delivered to the foreigner, but in cases where this is not possible (for instance, if he cannot be found at the registered address), it will be published and is deemed delivered after a certain period (typically 30 days). (ibid.)

The official stated that if a foreigner, who is not sure about the validity of his or her PR status, contacts the Embassy of the Czech Republic asking them to verify the validity of his or her PR, the embassy will send a request to the competent authorities in the Czech Republic (ibid.). If upon such an inquiry, the Czech authorities learn that a PR holder had not lived in the EU for over 12 months, "they will initiate the proceedings leading to the cancellation of the PR" (ibid.). Thereafter, the Embassy will inform the PR holder that his or her PR is "still valid, but pending cancellation" (ibid.).

According to the official, the "Czech border authorities are in no way obligated to grant entry to a foreign national whose PR had been cancelled" and he or she will be issued an "exit order" (ibid.). According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic,

[an e]xit order is a document issued by the Police of the Czech Republic ex officio in case of cancellation of a visa, refusal of an application for long-term residence, expiry of a visa after cancellation or expiry of a long-term or permanent residence permit.

Exit order grants a right to a temporary stay in the territory of the Czech Republic/Schengen area for the period necessary for taking urgent measures and for leaving the territory. The period of a temporary stay granted under the exit order shall not exceed 60 days. Its length is determined and marked in the exit order by the Police of the Czech Republic. (ibid. 29 Mar. 2010)

The official explained that a "foreign national whose PR had been cancelled may acquire his [or her] PR status again under the same conditions that had to be met the first time" (ibid. 6 June 2013). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Centre for Integration of Foreigners (Centrum Pro Integraci Cizincu, CIC), a Prague-based NGO that provides assistance to asylum seekers and foreign nationals with a long-term or permanent residence in the Czech Republic (Czech Republic 2006, 89), also indicated that in their experience, individuals who want to regain their residence permit will have to start the application process "from the beginning as any other foreigners (entrance visa, work permit, long-term residence, etc.)" (CIC 10 June 2013). According to the official, this individual will not have any "special advantages over a foreigner who had never been granted a PR before" (Czech Republic 6 June 2013). The official indicated that

[t]ypically, a foreign national has to reside in the Czech Republic for 5 uninterrupted years (usually on a long stay visa and/or long-stay residency permit) to be able to apply for a PR. [However], [t]here are some exceptions based on various categories of foreigners .... (ibid. 7 June 2013)

For example, the website of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York indicates that PR may be granted for "former Czech citizens or for humanitarian reasons (for example spouse and children of persons who were granted asylum in the Czech Republic)" (ibid. n.d.b). A document explaining application procedures for PR permits for different categories of foreigners is available on the website of the MOI of the Czech Republic (ibid. n.d.a). The document is attached to this Response.

The official noted that an application for a PR permit can be submitted to the Embassy, which will then forward the application to the Czech Republic PR authority of the MOI for further processing (ibid. 7 June 2013). Similarly, the website of the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York indicates that an application for a PR may be accepted by the Czech Embassy or a Consulate General where the applicant is residing (ibid. n.d.b). The website of the MOI indicates that a person who is residing in the Czech Republic can file his or her application at one of the MOI offices (ibid. n.d.a). The document on the application procedures for PR permits provides a link to the MOI offices (ibid.) and is attached to this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Centre for Integration of Foreigners (CIC). 10 June 2013. Correspondence from a representative to the Research Directorate.

Czech Republic. 7 June 2013. Embassy of the Czech Republic, Ottawa. Correspondence from an official to the Research Directorate.

_____. 6 June 2013. Embassy of the Czech Republic, Ottawa. Correspondence from an official to the Research Directorate.

_____. 29 March 2010. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Exit Order." [Accessed 30 May 2013]

_____. 2006. Ministry of Interior. "Information Booklet for Foreign Nationals Czech Republic." [Accessed 5 June 2013]

_____. 1999. Act No. 326/1999 Coll., on the Residence of Foreign Nationals in the Territory of the Czech Republic. Sent to the Research Directorate by an official, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ottawa, 6 June 2013.

_____. N.d.a. Ministry of Interior. "Permanent Residence." [Accessed 6 June 2013]

_____. N.d.b. Consulate General of the Czech Republic in New York. "Permanent Residency." [Accessed 5 June 2013]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Attempts to contact representatives of the following organizations were unsuccessful: Center for Integration of Foreigners and Counselling Center for Integration in Prague, Ministry of Interior of the Czech Republic.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Center for Integration of Foreigners, Prague; Counselling Center for Integration, Prague; Czech Republic - Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Toronto, Embassy of the Czech Republic in Ottawa, Institute of International Relations, Policie Ceské Republiky; Czech.cz; CeskéNoviny.cz; ecoi.net; European Union - EUR-Lex, European Commission; EUobserver.com; Euroskop.cz; Factiva; Freedom House; Human Rights Watch; Masaryk University, Czech Republic; Portal of Prague; Prague Daily Monitor; The Prague Post; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Radio Prague; Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute; United Nations - Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Refworld; United States - Department of State.

Attachment

Czech Republic. N.d. Ministry of Interior. "Permanent Residence." [Accessed 6 June 2013]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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