Ukrainians in the Czech Republic: The main changes for refugees this year
Some rules of stay in the Czech Republic will change for Ukrainian refugees. In particular, it concerns the status of temporary protection and cars with Ukrainian license plates. Find out more about what changes Ukrainian citizens can expect
Thousands of Ukrainians left for the Czech Republic after the war started, and therefore various programmes for refugee assistance started working in the country. From time to time, the Czech government adjusts the conditions and assistance to Ukrainian migrants. We tell you what major changes await people who fled the war in the Czech Republic in 2024.
Temporary protection status
At the end of 2023, the Czech Republic adopted changes to the Lex Ukraine law, which extends temporary protection for Ukrainian citizens until 2025.
To extend the status, Ukrainians need to register on the website of the Czech Ministry of the Interior, where they will need to indicate their place of residence in the Czech Republic and the name and address of the school where the child is studying, in case of compulsory attendance. After completing the registration, your protection will be extended until 30 September this year.
To obtain an extension until 2025, you must visit the country's Ministry of Interior office in person, where you will be issued with a new visa sticker. The personal visit must be made no later than 30 September 2024.
As for the new rules, from 2024, to extend the status you need to provide a certificate of residence with an officially certified signature of the owner or landlord. This does not apply only to those living in public humanitarian housing.
Temporary protection status will still give Ukrainian refugees access to the labour market, public health insurance and schooling.
In addition, temporary protection will not apply to Ukrainian citizens who have been awarded deportation.
Free accommodation in the Czech Republic only for up to 3 months
According to the new amendments, Ukrainians will be able to live in free public humanitarian housing for only 3 months. According to the amendments to the law, the period of stay in free accommodation will be reduced to 90 days for all without exception. The norm will come into force on 1 September 2024.
Refugees who exhaust the 90-day period on 1 September 2024 will have to leave emergency housing or switch to a standard tenancy relationship and pay for housing.
Assistance to return home
European countries have recently adopted programmes to motivate Ukrainians to return to their homeland. The Czech Republic is no exception in this matter.
The law provides for new norms, according to which the Czech government will be able to set the rules of monetary assistance to Ukrainians, if they decide to return to their country voluntarily.
Thus, the assistance will include payment of certain expenses for returning to Ukraine and necessary counselling and will not include the provision of cash. For example, buying tickets or paying for accommodation before departure in some cases.
It will be possible to receive such assistance once, and the application for assistance should be submitted no later than 3 months from the date of termination of temporary or international protection. If a person subsequently wants to obtain a long-term visa, half of the assistance received will have to be refunded.
Car customs clearance
From 1 January this year, registration of cars with Ukrainian numbers becomes mandatory.
If you do not register the vehicle in a special register before the end of the year, it will be considered an offence and punishable by a fine.
Please note! To ensure a safe stay abroad, you should take care of reliable health insurance in advance, which will not only help you maintain your health, but also protect you from unforeseen expenses. You can take out an insurance policy that covers emergency medical care in case of illnesses and accidents, as well as inpatient and outpatient care around the world on the Visit Ukraine website. In addition, on our portal, you can immediately apply for car insurance - the Green Card, which is mandatory in 50 countries, including the EU.
As a reminder, the Czech Republic is expected to significantly restructure the activities of Ukrainian refugee assistance centers, which will involve important changes in their functioning. In particular, the work of centres such as Nusle, MRIYA, and Svet will become more transparent to the public. For updates and opening hours, click here.
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Visit Ukraine Insurance - insurance for a safe stay abroad without unnecessary expenses;
Green Card - compulsory car insurance for traveling abroad;
Visit Ukraine Tickets - book tickets for buses, trains, and airplanes to/from Ukraine and between cities around the world;
Private Lawyer service - professional legal support on visa and migration issues;
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The simultaneous stay of visitors in the hotel lobby not more than one person per 10 square meters of serviceable area is allowed.
Persons can visit hotels and stay there (outside hotel room) only if they wear respirator or face mask (including homemade mask), so that the nose and mouth are covered.
Hotel guests are obliged to keep the 1.5 meters distance.
Online check-in making in advance is recommended to avoid queues at check-in to hotel.
Meals in hotels are provided through meals delivery service to rooms upon prior order or at hotel restaurants situated inside or in open areas, provided the distance of at least 1.5 meters between seats at adjacent tables.
Not more than 4 clients are allowed to stay at the table (excluding children under 14 years old). Unless these tables are separated by a special partition;
Self-serve is not allowed.