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16.01.2008

In the last couple of weeks, the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic has registered an increased number of foreign nationals returned back to the Czech Republic after being checked by German Police on the territory of Germany. The reason behind their return was the unauthorized stay on the territory of the Schengen area as these persons were in possession of Czech visas issued prior to the Czech Republic ´s integration in the Schengen area which entitle solely to the entry and stay on the Czech territory.

Detection of presence of holders of Czech visas on the territories of other Schengen States may, in the last resort, lead up to the decision on expulsion which may mean entering an alert on person concerned into the Schengen Information System (SIS). An alert in the SIS on inadmissible persons means a possibility of denying entry and stay on the territories of all Schengen States.

In addition to a number of information documents (information leaflet with information for foreign nationals and overviews of visa/residence permits as to the possibilities of their holders to travel in the Schengen area - to be downloaded in the section "To download"), the Ministry of the Interior would like to repeatedly stress the need to comply with conditions for movement within the enlarged Schengen area. Although no border checks are carried out at internal borders, checks remain to be carried out inland in the framework of standard police activities. Therefore, it shall not be possible to rely on the fact that an unauthorized stay on the territory of other states will not be detected.

Changes relating to the Czech Republic ´s entry into the Schengen area concerned mainly third-country nationals who are subject to the visa obligation and who are holders of Czech visas or residence permits - with regards to possibilities to travel within Schengen, the main changes are as follows:

Holder of a Czech short-stay visa:

  • it is not possible to travel in the Schengen area, the territories of other 6 new Schengen States may only be transited - Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Malta and Latvia (this possibility will expire on 30 June 2008)
  • it is possible to travel in the Schengen area e.g. with a Schengen visa

Holder of a Czech long-stay visa:

  • it is not possible to travel in the Schengen area; the territories of other Schengen States may only be transited on the way to the Czech Republic (Schengen area does not regulate the possibility to transit territories of these stay on the way back and thus cannot be guaranteed)
  • it is possible to travel in the Schengen area e.g. with a Schengen visa or a Czech residence permit

Holder of a Czech long-term residence permit:

  • it is possible to travel in the Schengen area for up to 3 months

Holder of a Czech permanent residence permit

  • it is possible to travel in the Schengen area for up to 3 months