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Biometric card

What is a biometric card? Since 2011, the Czech Republic has been obliged to issue biometric cards - residence permit cards - in accordance with the European legislative. It includes both a photograph and a fingerprint of the bearer on it.

Who needs a biometric card? The biometric cards are meant for all third-country citizens long-term residing in the Czech Republic. In other words, it is intended for foreigners with permission for permanent or temporary residency. The EU citizens and their family members, along with the third-country citizens that are residing in the Czech Republic on the basis of a Visa do not need to get the biometric residence card.

Why do I need a biometric card? The providing of the biometric information is obligatory and serves the purpose of identity identification and verification of the card itself. The only exception is in the case of an anatomical or a physiological anomaly of the bearer. In such a case, only a photograph is taken.

Where can I get the biometric card? The biometric residence cards are only issued at the selected offices of the Ministry of Interior and cannot be issued without the presence of the person the card is for. You can determine whether or not certain offices issues these cards by whether or not they have “BIO” in their whole name. The biometric information is usually taken at the same office you can pick-up your biometric card from once it is issued.

How to apply for a Czech biometric card? For the foreigners who want to apply for a biometric card but still live outside of the Czech Republic, a Visa will be issued at an embassy so they can be allowed entry. The embassy should also offer additional information on which Ministry of Interior office should the foreigner contact. After arriving, it is obligatory to provide the biometric information at this office within three working days.
If the foreign citizen is already in the Czech Republic, they need to provide their contact details (phone number or e-mail) with their application for the permanent or the temporary residency and will be contacted by the Ministry of Interior staff directly to schedule a date and a place for an appointment to provide their biometric information.
Whether or not the foreigner applies directly or through the embassy, they need to pick up the residency permit within 60 days from the day they provided their biometric information. Once again, they will be informed about the date and the place of the pick-up by the Ministry of Interior staff.

What if I cannot make it to the appointments? If you cannot make it to the appointments (regardless of whether to provide biometric information or for the pick-up), it is necessary to contact the Ministry of Interior and provide a serious reason why you cannot be present, otherwise, you may face a fine of 10.000 CZK.

What if any of the information on my biometric card changes? If it is important information, such as your name or your surname, you must announce these changes to the Ministry of Interior within 3 days from the change. For the address, it has to be within 30 days (but only if this change will be long-term, aka over 30 days and only if it is the case of a permanent residency).