PARTNERSHIP VISA – is it nowadays more trouble than before?

Written by Hana Křenková

I am thoroughly helping foreigners every day. My team and I provide comprehensive legal services both in Czech and English language.

March 12, 2021

Do you know that there is a change underway in providing a so-called Partnership Visa for family members of EU citizens, where the family members come from so-called ‘third countries’? What it means for you and how to proceed is described in more detail in this article.

You need to prove, your relationship is permanent

Even today, it is not all that easy to get a temporary residence permit for any foreigner who is not officially married to an EU citizen but is only a spouse maintaining a common household with such an EU citizen. The stumbling block is that it is necessary to prove that the relationship is a permanent relationship, which in many cases is, to put it mildly, complicated. Unfortunately, to date, there is no schedule or unified procedure we could proceed from. As an applicant, you have to provide as many documents as possible, such as bank account statements proving that you have the financial means to maintain the common household, written testimonies by close persons and neighbors, Facebook posts or photographs from holidays spent together, whereas the relevant authorities may even visit you at your home to examine whether you actually live there with the EU citizen and are not only trying to elude the law. We admit that all this is considerable, but from the point of view of the control authorities, a legitimate invasion of your privacy and the privacy of your family. partnership visa

You need to pay health insurence and have accomodation

To make the listing of requirements complete, you also have to present proof that your accommodation is provided for and that you pay for your health insurance. Such proof of accommodation, for example, could be a purchase contract for real estate or a lease agreement. Make sure that your name is actually stated in the lease agreement. If the only person appearing in the deed is your spouse, it is almost sure that such a document will be insufficient for the authorities.

Are you at your wits’ end as to what a lease agreement should look like? Write us and we will provide all information needed, or we can review an existing draft lease contract for you.

So far, these were the only documents which had to be provided, except, of course, your travel documents, the completed application form and your photograph. If you fulfill all the above conditions, the relevant authorities will issue a decision within 60 days and issue a so-called residency card valid for 5 years. Afterwards, you have a residency that can be extended. 

Let’s go back to the beginning of our article. Unfortunately, the newly proposed changes would regrettably and substantially complicate the entire process and make the conditions for acquiring permanent residence for you as a third-country citizen stricter. 

First, there is a requirement to prove the family’s monthly total income. This means that you and your spouse must have a sufficient monthly income greater than the subsidence level of your family members and normative housing costs. 

Furthermore, the words “duly documented” lasting partnerships were newly included. There are reasons to believe that the current procedures for documenting compliance with this requirement, as explained above, will become even stricter. Or, at least, they will be subjected to more thorough administration and scrutiny.partnership visa

The shorter validity of the card and its form

The most principal change, however, is the shorter validity of the card and its form. While today, each member of an EU citizen’s family receives the so-called residence card regardless of the country they come from, the amended law will differentiate between individual countries. Residence cards (pobytová karta) will be issued for persons that come, for instance, from Great Britain or other European countries outside the EU. Third-country foreigners will be issued a so-called residence permit (povolení k pobytu). Unfortunately, that would change the regime of temporary stay in the Czech Republic, or more precisely its possible length, too. Currently, the residence card is usually valid for as long as long it is assumed that the foreigner’s partner will reside in the Czech Republic, but for a maximum of 5 years, with the possibility of extension. Based on the amended regulations, the validity period will shrink to 3 years. The implications are that you would have to apply to extend your residency permit every three years upon which you will have to present all the above required documents again. In the worst scenario, you will have to undergo a visit by officials at your home again. 

It should be added that the proposed changes have not yet passed through the entire legislative process so they can still change. Naturally, we will keep you informed about current developments. If you are still within a period of three months from your arrival in the Czech Republic or you have just arrived in the country and are fulfilling conditions of a family member of an EU citizen, do not hesitate and apply for a partnership visa as soon as possible, while the processing and approval process still goes by the original wording of the regulations. 

If you are not sure what particular steps you should take or what documents need to be provided, do not give up. Contact our staff with confidence and we would be happy to help you with everything. 

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