I hope you would be able to provide some advice as things are getting very frustrated. I am an EU national married to a Sri Lankan. At the moment I am in my home country and he is in Sri Lanka. We are planning to move to Czech Republic. Upon reading all the official websites of their ministries and such we came to the conclusion that we would get him a short-term tourist visa and once he is in Czech he would apply for a family permit. However, the Czech embassy has told me that they might not grant him a short-term visa if there is a suspicion he would stay in Europe? Is this Ok? Is our plan illegal? If so, what are you suggesting we do?

  • Your question suggests you are not a Czech citizen but could you confirm that explicitly? – Relaxed Jun 19 '15 at 6:37
  • Yes, I am not a Czech citizen. I'm from Slovakia, the neighbouring country – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 6:50
  • Also, what do you mean with “has told me”? Informal contacts might not be worth much, the person you talked to might simply be misinformed. If you formally lodge an application, they will have to check and if the do actually refuse it, you have a basis for an appeal. – Relaxed Jun 19 '15 at 6:55
  • Well, the whole story is rather complicated. The Czech Republic does not have an embassy in Sri Lanka, it is ,therefore, represented by the french embassy. So at first we were communicating with them. I think we made a mistake of being honest and telling them the whole truth of planning to settle in Czech. The lady directed us towards a short-term visa for settlement. We aqcuired all the neccessary documents and lodged the application. After few days that same lady contacted us saying they can't process this type of application at their embasssy that we have to send it to the czech embassy – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 7:12
  • in New Delhi. I contacted that embassy where the person told me that if the french embassy refused it they must have some reason but he doesn't know french laws. Moreover, czechs don't have anything called short-term visa for settlement. He then gave us the option to lodge the application in there with the aforementioned warning.My husband would also have to fly all the way to New Delhi to personally lodge it and attend an interview. – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 7:13

For the first 90 days of your stay in the Czech Republic, your husband should apply under the Visa procedures for the short stay of Family Members of EU Citizens (up to 90 days).

The visa application for family members of EU nationals is free of charge. The general processing time is fourteen days, but it might be extended, especially if the supporting documentation is not sufficient. In case of missing proof of the EU citizen identity and the family relationship, the applicant cannot be considered to be a family member of an EU citizen and standard rules of procedures will be applied.

He should be able to apply for his long-term residence permit after arriving on the short-term visa. As long as he is with you, he is covered by the EU right of freedom of movement, so he cannot be deported. If he stays in the country longer than 90 days without a permit, he could be liable for a fine, but no more.

Because you are able to stay together in the Czech Republic for up to 90 days with almost no conditions on your stay, this whole concern of whether the visa is a "settlement" visa is pointless. The relevant French version of these rules can be found at Européen en France : entrée et séjour de moins de 3 mois / Famille non européenne accompagnante. Perhaps if you point this out to the French Embassy they will have a better understanding of the kind of application you are making.

  • Well, the problem now is- at least we have been told by the visa officer at the French Embassy who would probably process our application again, should we try- that she can't issue a short-term visa now she knows we are planning to settle. I don't have the legal background to be able to argue with this. – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 15:07
  • @user30856 well then it seems that you have two options: Ask what free and scrutiny-free option is preferable in your case or go straight to SOLVIT. The intention in the first option is to get them to realize there is none: There are certain conditions you must meet for stays longer than 90 days, but because of the right of freedom of movement, they cannot prevent your initial 90-day period of residence if you fail to meet the conditions. That is why you are supposed to get the short term visa first -- they're not even supposed to ask. Please do let us know what happens, and good luck! – phoog Jun 19 '15 at 15:26
  • @user30856 did you explicitly ask the French consulate about "visa for a family member of a citizen of the union" or show them the relevant information from the Czech interior ministry's website? The officer may just have failed to connect certain facts and realize that this is the visa you need, or she may be unfamiliar with that visa type since the Sri Lanka consulate may not get many eu citizen spouses applying for visas. – phoog Jun 19 '15 at 15:29
  • In the end, we would have to do anything to get this done. But, of course, we would prefer it if we somehow managed to get that tourist visa. I'll keep you posted and thank you so much! It is nice to hear some encouraging words, even from strangers :-) – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 15:32
  • we will be in contact with the embassy during the upcoming days so I'll make sure I stress that out. But they seem to follow the French rules instead of Czech, which is quite confusing. Can they actually refuse to issue a tourist visa after you attempted to go for a settlement visa? I think i'll ask her to direct me to the specific regulations that stipulate that. – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 15:35

As you tell it, it seems completely off-base. You do in any case have a right to move to the Czech Republic (with a few caveats: you need to either work or have sufficient financial resources) and to have your spouse join you so it seems odd to refuse him a visa on that basis (and, indeed, the usual grounds for refusal like “your intention to leave the territory of the member states before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained” do not apply to EU citizens' family). Are they offering another type of visa instead?

In practice, one thing you could do is contact the SOLVIT centre in your country of origin. They might be able to clarify your situation or even assist you by contacting the Czech authorities.

  • Thank you for your answers. I was completely baffled when they told me that at the embassy. I knew it didnt apply to family members but i was starting to doubt myself. They do offer long-term visa for family reunification, however you do have to provide lot more documents and since I am now only in the process of seeking a job in the Czech Republic it might prove somewhat diffcicult. But I guess we might not have another choice. I will try to contact the Solvit. Thank you for the suggestion. – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 6:54
  • @user30856 It would certainly seem much easier once you have a job. Other requirements (e.g. language tests as some states require from the spouse of their own nationals) are definitely not allowed but having a job (or, alternatively, sufficient financial means and health insurance) is required to establish your right to reside in the Czech Republic beyond the first few months. – Relaxed Jun 19 '15 at 7:03
  • I know, believe me I am trying really hard to secure a job. In fact, I have a job interview set for next week. I am moving there by myself beginning of July. I am hoiping to get one within a month or two. – user30856 Jun 19 '15 at 7:16
  • @user30856 I know it can be tough :-( Good luck! – Relaxed Jun 19 '15 at 7:20

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