Asylum in the Czech Republic

The national legal instrument that defines the criteria for granting international protection in the territory of the Czech Republic is the Asylum Act. The DAMP assesses and decides whether the criteria are met and whether you will be granted international protection in the Czech Republic. The DAMP also decides on the status of stateless persons.

As a member of the European Union (EU), the Czech Republic is also bound to apply the rules of the Common European Asylum System.

UNHCR in the Czech Republic does not assess and decide on asylum applications but monitors the quality of the asylum procedure.

How to apply for asylum in the Czech Republic

Before you apply, please consider this: Are you a person in need of international protection? Do you think you have been persecuted in your country of origin, or are you afraid of being persecuted in your country of origin for belonging to a particular race, religion, ethnic or social group, or for holding certain political beliefs, so that you cannot go back?

In these circumstances, you may be granted asylum.

Or do you think you are unable or unwilling to return to your country of origin due to a serious risk of harm in the form of, e.g. a death sentence, torture, inhumane or humiliating treatment, or threat to your life or health resulting from an international or domestic armed conflict?

In these circumstances, you may be granted subsidiary protection.

Asylum and subsidiary protection are together called international protection.

Please note that a poor economic situation and unemployment in your country of origin are not reasons for being granted international protection.

➡️ What is the first thing to do?

Ideally, you should express your intention to apply for international protection (make an application) immediately at the border upon your entry in the Czech Republic.

Contact the authorities and tell them in simple words that you are a refugee (“uprchlík” in Czech) and that you want to apply for international protection or asylum (“mezinárodní ochrana“ or “azyl“ in Czech) in the Czech Republic because you are afraid to return to your country of origin, your life is in danger, or you have been persecuted in your country.

Border checks at international airports: If you are entering the Czech Republic by air, make an application directly at border check at the airport in Prague. The police officers that will be checking your identity documents are trained to process asylum applications and will direct you to the reception centre located directly at the Prague airport.

Reception centre Zastávka: If you are already in the Czech territory, you can make an application at the Foreign Police office at the reception centre in Zastávka u Brna or at one of the regional Foreign Police offices. The address of the reception centre in Zastávka u Brna is: Havířská 514, Zastávka. You can find it on the map here.

Detention: You can also apply from a detention facility, but only within 7 days after you were apprehended and detained by the Foreign Police.

Other places: You can apply for asylum from custody, a hospital, the Facility for Children of Foreign Nationals, or other similar places directly to the Ministry of the Interior. The contact details are: Ministry of the Interior, Department for Asylum and Migration Policy, International Protection Unit, Nad Štolou 3, P.O.Box 21/OAM, Prague 7, Post Code 170 34. e-mail: [email protected]. You can find it on the map here.

➡️ What will happen next?

You will be taken to a reception centre for asylum-seekers to complete the first steps of the asylum procedure, such as identification and medical examination. Reception centres are closed facilities and the time spent there is therefore limited by law. The average length of stay is about 14 days; the maximum period set by law is 120 days.

➡️ What will happen after you leave the reception centre? Who will decide on your application?

Asylum-seekers have two options. Either they decide to live in private arrangements or they are transferred to open accommodation centres. These facilities are intended for asylum-seekers who have no means to provide for themselves until they receive a decision on international protection.

All applications for international protection in the Czech Republic are assessed and decided by the Ministry of the Interior. The period set by law for rendering a decision is 6 months. It can be extended for certain reasons, such as the complexity of the case or a failure to cooperate with the decision-maker. At the end of the process, you may be granted asylum or subsidiary protection, or your application may be rejected.

For more details on the procedure and your rights, you can download our information leaflet.

➡️ What are your rights and duties during the asylum procedure?

As an asylum-seeker, you have the right and duty to stay in the Czech Republic until your asylum case is decided. You will be given a residence permit for asylum-seekers, which is extended every one or two months.

As an asylum-seeker, you can benefit from the public healthcare system and start working 6 months after you have applied for international protection.

You can stay at accommodation centres, benefit from the social services provided there, and receive social payments for asylum-seekers.

In the Czech Republic, elementary school is mandatory for children age six to fifteen. If you have children of this age, they will have to attend school.

During the asylum procedure, you have the right to free legal aid. The official of the Ministry of the Interior has the duty to inform you of your right to ask for free legal assistance from a legal counsel or another person engaged in the provision of legal aid or protection of refugees.

During the asylum procedure, you are also entitled to an interpreter in your native language or another language you are able to communicate in.

You can contact UNHCR at any time during the asylum procedure. UNHCR can be present during your asylum interview and look into your case file.

If you receive a negative decision from the Ministry of the Interior, you have the right to appeal. Instructions concerning the time within which you may challenge the negative decision before the Administrative Court are stated in the text of the decision.  You can ask a lawyer to assist you.

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