The Czech Republic has received, according to UN records, about 520 thousand immigrants, which is equivalent to 5% of its population. This is quite low compared to other European Union (EU) states, although it has been growing steadily. Foreigners living in the territory come mainly from Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia, China, India and Turkey.
Most of these people have entered under refugee status. So, if you have been threatened, persecuted, discriminated against or are at risk of torture or death penalty in your home country, find out why the Czech Republic (CR) is an excellent option for you and your family. Read on and find out what steps you need to take to obtain international protection in this beautiful country.
First considerations to apply for asylum
In principle, to apply for asylum on Czech territory, you must have the imminent need of international protection, either by live in your home country:
- Situations of persecution.
- Violent and humiliating events of discrimination.
- Threats of unjustified punishment for specific religious or political beliefs.
The body responsible for processing requests for international protection is the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Interior (DAMP). This agency is governed by the Asylum Law No. 325, in force since 1999, which clearly defines who are candidates for asylum. Therefore, it is essential that you have sufficient reasons to initiate the case.
However, even if the Czech Republic refuses to grant you refugee status, it may provide you with international support under the concept of subsidiary protection. This applies as long as it considers that you are indeed at serious risk if you return to your home country, including inhumane treatment, damage to health or if the state in question is facing internal or external armed conflict. Because, although these are significant problems, they are not stipulated in the law.
Procedure for applying for asylum in the Czech Republic
To begin with, it is mandatory that you are located within the Czech territory or at one of its authorized borders. From there the procedure is as follows:
Step 1. Record
As a first step, you must formalize your asylum application, verbal or written. The main thing is that you express, as soon as possibleyour need for protection for having been a victim of persecution or serious harm against you and/or your family. The places you can go for this purpose are:
- foreign Police
- Reception centers
- Border crossings
- Detention centers for foreigners, if you are not at liberty.
The stipulated time limit for such activity is 24 hours, counted from the first minute after entering the country. The only exceptions to this time are for medical reasons or for having been detained at the entrance to the territory. In this case, a DAMP officer will visit you to verify the circumstances you are facing and indicate that, when the situation is solved, you must go to the places mentioned above to make the announcement.
Regardless, on the day you present yourself, the officer will take your fingerprints and a photograph to verify your identity. He will also ask for your personal documents, such as passport and travel tickets. On the other hand, the officer will carry out an inspection of your belongings, and will send you to a doctor, who will be in charge of determining if you suffer from any life-threatening disease.
Once the registration is completed, you will be transferred to a residence center, where you will have to stay until a response to your application is obtained. However, if you have the necessary resources, you may be allowed to live elsewhere.
Step 2. Admissibility
The DAMP will define if your request is admissible or not. Negative cases occur when:
- They determine that your application falls under the competence of another EU country.
- You are found to be a beneficiary of international protection in another country.
- You come from a third country, considered safe.
- It is a repetition of the application, which does not provide additional relevant evidence.
- If your case does not correspond to any of these conditions, then your application will certainly be admissible and you will be able to continue with the next steps.
Step 3. Interviews
The DAMP will invite you to the number of meetings it deems necessary, in order for you to point out your reasons for seeking asylum in the Czech Republic, show in more detail the reasons that led you to emigrate from your country and apply for international protection in the Czech Republic. This is one of the most important steps in the procedure, as it is the moment when you will have to show all the evidence supporting your statements.
During these interviews, you will have the right to request an interpreter who speaks a language you understand. This is a free immigration service and is very useful for assertive communication. You may also request the assistance of an attorney, although those who have gone through this process do not recommend it, because they tend to increase the response time while the attorney reviews the case.
Step 4. Decision
From the moment the last interview is concluded, the DAMP will have a six month period to make a decision on your application. However, this is a period that can be extended If officers determine they require a deeper investigation. Which is also authorized when the department has many cases to solve.
The options are:
It means that you have been granted international protection, and you will receive a residence permit which will give you right to stay in the Czech Republic. On the other hand, you can also request a refugee travel document.
This means that you do not meet the basic requirements established by law to grant you refugee status. However, the Czech government considered that, if you require protection and that, you will not be able to return to your country of origin, for reasons that place your life in danger.
Also, you will receive a residence permit, whose validity will be defined by the DAMP; but, with the option to renew it if the dangerous conditions they continue. The foreign passport is another benefit of subsidiary protection.
The DAMP will reject your application for international protection when it is manifestly unfounded. What often happens when the request is executed by economic reasonsor the information provided is incorrect.
Now, if officials find out there was a alteration of any documentwill start a parallel investigation with the security agencieswhich can affect legal sanctions or eviction from czech soil. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid such inconveniences.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, if your application was rejected, you may appeal to the Regional Court competent. you will have a period of 15 days to file the appeal and while you wait for the final decision you can not be expelled of RCh.
Rights and duties as an asylum seeker
To achieve greater integration of asylum seekers, the DAMP together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), have established the rights and duties of foreigners who have procedures in process. Some of them are:
|Receive a residence permit and be able to move freely within the nation.||Respect the laws of the country.|
|Concession of housing and basic services, in case you do not have the resources to support yourself during the process.||Do not leave the territory until you have an answer to the case.|
|Legal assistance and interpreters of your mother tongue during the interviews.||Collaborate and attend all scheduled interviews that help study the evidence.|
|Permission to work, after six months have elapsed since the asylum request was formalized.||Renew the temporary residence permit.|
|Public health services.|
|Public education for minors.|
Undoubtedly, the Czech Republic is an ideal option for refugees and asylum seekers who have been victims of violence, persecution and threats in their country. If this is your case, consider this nation to start a life in which you will enjoy peace and excellent opportunities of progress for you and your family.