The visa waiver order for Russians and Belarusians will apply until the end of March 2023

The regulation on the non-issuance of visas and residence permits for Russians and Belarusians will apply until the end of March 2023. The government approved a proposal from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to information in its press department. Shortly after the Russian attack on Ukraine, STAN and the Pirates’ Cabinet decided to stop issuing visas to Russian and later Belarusian citizens, except in humanitarian cases.

The submitted government regulation then fulfills the statutory authority contained in the amendment to the law called Lex Ukraine, which the Chamber of Deputies adopted at the end of May.

Applications for residence permits in the Czech Republic submitted by Russian or Belarusian embassies will be considered inadmissible according to the legislation. This means no proceedings will be conducted about them, the ministry said in the submission report.

“This step is intended to protect the Czech Republic’s foreign policy interests in connection with the armed conflict in Ukraine, which was caused by the invasion of the Russian Federation, which the Republic of Belarus supports,” the office said. The regulation aims to put pressure on Russia and Belarus to end the aggression and ensure the security of the Czech Republic.

Foreigners who already have a residence permit are not the target group of the regulation. Therefore, Russians and Belarusians can continue to apply for an extension of their residence permit.

“Their possible applications for the extension of the residence permit will be subject to the standard regime provided for by the Act on the Residence of Foreigners in the Czech Republic,” the ministry added.

Furthermore, the provision does not apply to applications for short-stay visas if the applicant is a family member of a Czech citizen or a citizen of the European Union whom they accompany or follow. It also does not apply to visa applications, long-term or permanent residence permits, if the applicant’s stay is in the interest of the Czech Republic, and this interest has been certified by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Furthermore, the Regulation does not address applications for a long-term residence permit if the applicant is a family member of a foreigner with a residence permit in the Czech Republic, nor for applications for a permanent residence permit for children of foreigners residing in the Czech Republic, if the reason for the application is their cohabitation.

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