Czech ministry wants to change definition of “family member”

As part of a new issuance of documents for citizens of the European Union, the Czech Ministry of the Interior proposes to change the definition of the term “family member” for people arriving in the Czech Republic from certain countries. EU Member States.

If this new amendment is adopted, the term “family member” will be defined more precisely, meaning that it will only apply to the next of kin.

Family member versus parent

According to the Minister of the Interior, this amendment responds to a European Union regulation that would offer enhanced security to identity cards and residence permits issued to EU citizens. However, this also means that some documents will have to be completely replaced; it is estimated that the change would affect tens of thousands of people living in the Czech Republic.

At the same time, however, in accordance with the agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, this law allows British citizens who have legally resided in the Czech Republic until the end of 2020 to continue their stay in the Republic Czech.

The new law would change the way the term “family member” is defined in the case of EU expatriates living in the Czech Republic. Until now, there was no legal difference between family members such as spouses, children or parents of an EU citizen and the so-called beneficiaries, such as unmarried partners. or people dependent on the care of an EU citizen. Due to the fact that so far there has been no legal difference between the two aforementioned groups so far, both had the same legal status and therefore the same rights and obligations.

Definition plays a big role in family reunion, which helped many expats return to the Czech Republic during the first wave of coronavirus in spring 2020. However, according to the Interior Ministry, such a procedure is not common practice in other countries, nor , as they claim, justified.

What does this mean for expats?

Until now, expats from EU member states were allowed to bring, for example, their partners, even if they had not yet married them, or dependents. If the bill is approved, this will no longer be possible, however. In other words, this means that in the future only immediate family members, such as spouses, children and parents, will be entitled to a temporary or permanent residence permit.

Entry into the Czech Republic would be even easier for people belonging to the other group of family members than for people from non-EU countries, however, they would not automatically have the right to enter the Czech Republic. At the same time, their residence permits would be valid for a longer period and would not have to prove the reason for their stay.

This should supposedly prevent abuse of the law and the social system and mitigate potential security risks. According to Interior Minister Jan Hamáček, there have even been numerous cases of targeted partnership agreements with people outside the EU.

The bill would not be retroactive, which means that it would only affect those who arrive in the country after the bill is approved. People who already live in the Czech Republic and use these programs will be allowed to stay.

The bill had already been approved by the Security Committee on January 7 and sent to the House of Commons. This means that it is likely that the bill will soon be approved and put into effect.

Written by Foreigners – a relocation agency offering complex services for expatriates in the Czech Republic

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