Jul 30 2021

New Identification Documents for Third-Country Nationals

Czech Republic

At a Glance

  • Beginning August 2, all third-country nationals, including family members of EU nationals, will need to obtain new identification documents containing biometric data, which will be issued free of charge.
  • Non-EU family members of EU nationals must obtain the new identification documents by August 3, 2023.
  • UK nationals must exchange their documents by August 31, 2022.
  • The government recommends that extended family members of EU nationals exchange their documents by August 31, 2022.

The situation

Beginning August 2, 2021, the Czech government is introducing new identification documents containing biometric data for all third-country nationals.

A closer look

  • Required nationals. All third-country nationals, including family members of EU nationals and UK nationals, will be required to exchange their old identification documents for the new identification documents containing biometric data by a specified date.
  • Process. Third-country nationals obtaining identification cards for the first time will automatically be issued the new identification documents containing biometrics. Foreign nationals who already have Czech identification cards will need to visit the Ministry of Interior (MOI) to complete a form and submit their old card. The MOI will advise each foreign national when the new card will be available.
  • Cost. There is no charge to obtain the new documents.
  • Deadlines for obtaining documents. The following deadlines apply to those required to obtain the new identification documents:
    • August 31, 2022. UK nationals must exchange their documents by this date. The government also recommends that extended family members exchange their documents by this date. Extended family members are relatives of an EU or Czech national with permanent residency in the Czech Republic who are dependents of the EU/Czech national (defined as those with health problems, certain de facto partners, or those in the same household – note that this definition was recently amended in the law).
    • August 3, 2023. Non-EU family members of EU nationals must obtain the new identification documents by this date.

Impact

Third-country nationals who do not obtain their new identification documents by their designated deadline will face penalties, including fines up to CZK 100,000 (approximately USD 4,500), deportation and a possible entry ban for up to five years.

Affected third-country nationals should contact their immigration professional for assistance on exchanging identification documents.

Background

The biometric identity cards are more secure against identity theft and will allow the government to better identify forged documents.

Looking ahead

The Czech Republic is clarifying several immigration law features recently, and more clarifications are expected to streamline entry in the months ahead.

Fragomen will report on relevant developments.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].