Section 1

The purpose of this Act is to govern the procedure to be followed by state authorities in proceedings to determine the status of refugees and to define the rights and duties of aliens[1] who have applied for or who have been granted the status of a refugee on the territory of the Czech Republic.

Sec. 2

(1)  The status of a refugee shall be granted to an alien who has justified fear of being persecuted in the country whose citizenship he or she possesses for reasons of race, religion, ethnic origin, membership in a particular social group, or political belief.

(2)  If an alien has more than one citizenship, the term "country whose citizenship he or she possesses" shall be understood as meaning every country whose citizenship he or she acquired.

(3)  If an alien has no citizenship the term "country whose citizenship he or she possesses" shall be understood as meaning the country of his or her last permanent residence.

Sec. 3

Refugee status may be granted to the spouse or the minor children of an alien who has been granted refugee status under section 2 Para. 1, even if they do not fulfill the conditions stated therein.
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993)

Sec. 4

(1)  The status of refugee shall not be granted to an alien who:

a)         freely decides to accept again the protection of the country whose citizenship he or she holds,

b)         freely re-acquires his or her lost citizenship,

c)         acquires new citizenship and accepts protection of the country whose citizenship he) or she has obtained,

d)         freely resumes residence in the country he or she left in justified fear of persecution,

e)         may enjoy protection from the country whose citizenship he or she holds because the reasons specified in Section 2, par. 1, have passed,

f)          holds more than one citizenship and without any reason based on justified fear has not made use of protection by a country whose citizenship he or she holds,

g)         has no citizenship and may return to the country of his or her last permanent residence because the reasons specified in section 2, para. 1, have passed.

(2)  The status of refugee shall not be granted either to an alien who:

a)         has committed a crime against peace or against humanity, or a war crime,

b)         has committed wilfully a different, especially serious crime,

c)         has committed acts which grossly contravene the objectives and principles of the United Nations Organization as well as the purposes and principles of international covenants binding for the Czech Republic.

Sec. 5

(1)  An alien who intends to apply for the status of refugee shall so report when crossing the frontier into the Czech Republic in a written statement (Annex 1) submitted to the passport control authorities.

(2)  After he makes the statement in accordance with paragraph 1, the passport control officials shall issue the alien an identity card (annex no. 2) entitling him to transit free of charge to a specified refugee camp. The identity card shall be valid for 24 hours from the time of its issuance.
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993)

(3)  The alien who declared to the passport control authorities pursuant to paragraph 1 that he or she would apply for the status of refugee must present himself or herself without delay to the specified refugee camp.

(4)  If public interest requires that an alien should be taken to the refugee camp under police supervision, such transport shall be realized not later than within 24 hours of the statement made pursuant to paragraph 1. During that time the alien must stay in a specified place.
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. Of 8 December 1993)

(5)  Not later than within 24 hours of his or her arrival in the refugee camp the alien must file on a prescribed form an application for the status of a refugee (hereinafter referred to only as "the application") - (Annex 3). Concurrently his travel document or other document by which the alien proves his identity shall be withheld.
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. Of 8 December 1993)

(6)  If he fails to observe the designated conditions, his continued stay within the territory of the Czech Republic shall be judged in accordance with special regulations.[2]
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. Of 8 December 1993)

Sec. 6

The applications of an alien younger than fifteen years shall be filed by such aliens statutory representative or by a curator appointed in administrative proceedings. If the consent of a second statutory representative is required, such consent may be replaced by a judicial decision.

Sec. 7

(1)  The alien who has applied for refugee status (hereinafter referred to only as "the applicant") shall be relieved of payment of any costs or fees relating to the proceedings on the granting of refugee status and shall be entitled to a free interpreter for the purpose of such proceedings.

(2)  The applicant shall have the duty to

a)         submit to medical examinations, quarantine measures or other measures necessary from the perspective of health,
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. Of 8 December 1993)

b)         stay in the specified refugee camp until his or her applications is settled; exceptions may be granted by the management of the refugee camp with the approval of the authority deciding on the merit of the case,

c)         cooperate actively in the course of the proceedings on the application, in particular to provide complete and true information and explanations relating to the application,

d)         respect the rules governing life in the refugee camp.

Sec. 8

The Ministry of the Interior shall issue the applicant for the period of his or her stay in the refugee camp an identity card (Annex 4) entitling the applicant to

a)   stay on the territory of the Czech Republic under the conditions specified in Section 7, par. 2, subpar. b),

b)   free accommodation, meals and other services connected with the stay in the refugee camp,

c)   free provision of essential medical care,

d)   spending money (in the case of persons older than fifteen years).

Sec. 9

The proceedings carried out pursuant to the provisions of this Act are within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior.

Sec. 10

The proceedings on the granting of refugee status shall be initiated on the day the written application is filed pursuant to Section 5, par. 5.

Sec. 11

(1)  The decision regarding the application shall be issued by the Ministry of the Interior within ninety days of the day the application was filed. If the decision cannot be issued within this term due to the nature of the case, the Minister of the Interior of the Czech Republic may extend the term appropriately. The applicant must be notified in writing of such extension of the term.

(2)  If during the submission of an application, the Ministry of Interior finds the application to be manifestly unfounded, it shall reject it within seven days of the day of its submission. Prior to the issuance of this decision, the Ministry of Interior must invite the applicant for an interview, in order for the applicant to provide an explanation intended to verify the reasons for which the application may be viewed as manifestly unfounded. If the applicant provided an explanation and thereafter his application cannot be considered as manifestly unfounded, the procedure continues pursuant to paragraph 1.

(3)  The application is manifestly unfounded in the event that:

a)         the applicant does not cooperate in reliably ascertaining his identity, especially his citizenship, or if he has no citizenship, the place of his last permanent residence,

b)         the applicant is a citizen of a state, or if he is a stateless person, his most recent place of permanent residence was a state, where, on the basis of generally known facts he is not threatened with persecution in the sense of Section 2 para. 1,

c)         the reasons stated in Section 4 are known to the Ministry of Interior,

d)         the applicant justifies his application solely on the basis of economic need.

(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993)

Sec. 12

(1)  The Ministry of the Interior shall terminate the proceedings on granting refugee status if the applicant:

a)         has withdrawn his or her application,

b)         does not provide the cooperation necessary for considering the application,

c)         wilfully and repeatedly violates the duties set by this Act,

d)         died in the course of the proceedings.

(2)  If the proceedings on granting refugee status have been terminated with full legal validity, a new application may be filed only if substantive changes have occurred in the circumstances decisive for the filing of such application.

Sec. 13

The Ministry of the Interior shall decide on:

a)   granting the refugee status or

b)   rejection of the application, when, if necessary, it shall consider further measures with other state authorities involved.

Sec. 14

(1)  The Ministry of the Interior shall cancel a granted refugee status when:

a)         the refugee states in writing that he or she waives this status,

b)         the refugee has been granted permanent residence on the territory of the Czech Republic,

c)         the refugee has been granted citizenship of the Czech Republic
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993),

d)         the circumstances listed in paragraph 4 have taken place.

(2)  The Ministry [of the Interior] may cancel refugee status if

a)         the refugee committed a premeditated crime or has been repeatedly and wilfully threatening public order,

b)         the decision granting refugee status was made on the basis of untrue or incomplete data.

Sec. 15

(1)  Decisions suspending proceedings, rejecting an application, or cancelling refugee status shall be delivered to the applicant or to the alien granted refugee status (hereinafter referred to only as "the refugee"), to the Secretariat of the Plenipotentiary of the Government of the Czech Republic for Refugee Matters, and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees if he so requests.

(2)  After the decision suspending proceedings, rejecting the application or cancelling refugee status has become final, the alien shall be returned his or her retained document and his or her further stay an the territory of the Czech Republic shall be considered in accordance with special regulations[3].

Sec. 16

(1)  The applicant or refugee has the right to submit an objection against a decision issued pursuant to Section 11 para. 1, Section 12 or Section 14 within 15 days of its delivery. Objections submitted in a timely manner shall have suspensive effect.

(2)  The applicant has the right to submit an objection against a decision issued pursuant to Section 11 para. 2 within three days of its delivery. Objections submitted in a timely manner shall have suspensive effect.

(3)  Decisions on objections pursuant to paragraph 1 and 2 are made by the Minister of Interior.

(4)  Petitions for judicial review[3] may be made within 30 days from delivery of the decision of the Minister of Interior on the objection.

(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993)

Sec. 17

(1)  The applicant or the refugee may not be extradited or returned to a country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened for reasons of race, religion, ethnic origin, membership in a particular social group, or political belief.

(2)  The provision of paragraph 1 shall not apply to cases where the refugee is threatening the security of the State or when he was sentenced for an especially serious, premeditated crime. In such cases the alien may be given the possibility to seek acceptance in another country.

Sec. 18

(1)  The Ministry of the Interior shall issue to the refugee an identity document[4].

(2)  The Ministry of the Interior shall issue to the refugee on his request a travel document for the purpose of travel abroad.

Sec. 19

(1)The refugee has the same status as a citizen of the Czech Republic with the following exceptions:

a)         he or she has no right to vote or be elected,

b)         he or she is not subject to military duty,

c)         he or she may engage in gainful activity only under conditions set by special rules applying to aliens,

d)         he or she may acquire real property only under conditions set by special rules applying to aliens.

(2)  A refugee shall be considered an alien with permitted permanent residence for the purposes of:

a)         health insurance and social security

b)         acquisition and loss of Czech citizenship under a special law.[4a]

(amended by Law of 26 April 1996)

(3)  The refugee may attend free courses of Czech languages and is entitled to education provided within the framework of compulsory school attendance[5].

(4)  The personal status of the refugee is governed by the law of the country whose citizen he or she is; if he or she has no citizenship, it shall be governed by the law of the country of his or her last permanent residence[6].

(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb.of 8 December 1993)

Sec. 20

An alien who for objective reasons was unable to express his or her intention to ask for refugee status when crossing the frontier into the Czech Republic or in whose case, the reasons for filing the application occurred only in the course of his or her legitimate stay on the territory of the Czech Republic may file the application for the status of refugee with the passport control authorities, the police, or in a refugee camp.

Sec. 21

(1)  The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees may attend the proceedings on granting refugee status at any of their stage.

(2)  The applicant or the refugee may turn at any time to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with a request for assistance.

Sec. 22

Unless this Act specifies differently, the proceedings on granting refugee status shall be governed by the general regulations concerning administrative procedure[7].

Sec. 23

A residence permit for the territory of the Czech Republic, issued to an alien under special regulations on the grounds listed in Section 2, par. 1, prior to the day on which this Act enters into effect shall be considered as the granting of refugee status as of such day.

Sec. 23a Temporary provision concerning the modifications effective from 31 May 1996.

(1)  The five year period granted under previous legislation concerning the refugee status shall expire on the date of effectiveness of the law.

(2)  An alien who has the refugee status as of the date of effectiveness of this law his/her status does not lapse by expiration of the period under the previous paragraph.

(inserted by Law of 26 April 1996)

Sec. 24

[deleted by Law of 26 April 1996]

Sec. 25

This Act shall enter into effect on January 1, 1991.

 



[1] Section 1 para. 3 of law no. 123/1992 Sb., concerning residence of foreigners on the territory of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic.
(amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993)

[2] Law no. 123/1992 Sb.

[3] Act No. 68/1965. Ordinance of the Ministry of the Interior No. 69/1965, issuing detailed rules governing the stay of aliens on the territory of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.

[3] Section 247 to 250k of the Civil Procedure Code.

[4] Section 33 para. 3 law no. 123/1992 Sb. (amended by Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993)

[4a] The Czech National Council's Law No. 40/1993 on Acquisition and Loss of Czech Citizenship, in the version of later legislation.

[5] Act No. 29/1984 concerning the system of elementary and secondary schools (The School Act), as subsequently amended.

[6] Section 33 of the Act No. 97/1963, concerning private international law.

[7] Act No. 71/1967, concerning administrative procedure (the Code of Adminstrative Procedure).

Comments:
This is an unofficial consolidated translation. Repealed with effect from 01/01/2000. The amendments included here are: - Act 317/1993 Sb. of 8 December 1993 amending and supplements Act 498/1990 Sb. concerning refugees which entered into force on 1 January 1994; and - Article III of Law of 26 April 1996 which entered into force on 31 May 1996. Please note that the annexes referred to in this Act are not reproduced here.
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