Monday, August 8, 2011

Biometric Residency Permit

Five visits! It took five trips to the foreign ministry but now everything is finally sorted. But damn! Five visits!?!?
The first visit was to submit my paperwork for a two-year extension on my green card.
The second visit was to request an extension on my previous visa because of the processing delay at the ministry.
The third visit was to pick up my visa but they only gave me a visa sticker until December.
The fourth visit was to have my picture and fingerprints taken.
The fifth visit was by far my favorite because now everything is finally sorted. But it was all worth it because now I can carry my new ID card and no longer have to carry my passport with me everywhere. Yeah!!
The ID cards are new so there's still a little confusion as to when it should be used. I was told to use the ID card, instead of my passport, when traveling within the Schengen zone. This means that at the airport I should stand in the EU citizen line. But use my passport when outside of Schengen. This sounds odd to me. I guess I'll find out what happens in September when I fly to Rome.
It seems that I'm not the only American to get a new residency card. According to Mladá fronta Dnes, so far this year, Americans have been issued more Czech residency permits than any other nationality. My fellow Americans must all be in Prague because they sure aren't here in Brno.
Again, I'm just glad that now I have my ID card. And it's a good thing that I really like my flat because if I ever move then I will have to go back to the ministry, at least twice, to have my address updated and a new card issued. Ugh!!


  1. how'd you get the 2 yr one? was there a form for that? by the time i got mine it'll only be good till april 2012. i'm not looking forward to going through this hell again, took them 8 mths just to get me the damned thing!
    and yes, all the other americans are in prague ;)

  2. After you've been here on a visa for a year, then the next time you can apply for a two-year visa. It's the same form. I'm so glad that I can skip this maddness for an extra year. =)

  3. Other countries in the Schengen district are constantly advertising the speed with which they process the paperwork. This doesn't seem to motivate Czech authorities, indeed, there was a recent article in the Prague papers saying foreigners would need three in-person visits to get everything processed. Your took five. And that's how long it too for an IBMer! Wow.

  4. Have you seen the episode about Prague from "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles"? If not, I highly recommend it. It exaggerates the bureaucratic reality in here and makes great fun of it. The main protagonist even meets Franz Kafka who supposedly (later) writes "The Trial" based on Indy's experience:-)

  5. Thanks for the suggestion Klára. I'll be sure to find the torrent. Cheers!

  6. I googled "czech biometric residence permit" and ended up on your blog--it's a relief to know I'm not the only one who's had trouble with this. I'm one of six Americans way out west in Cheb. Since they introduced the biometric stuff, we've had to travel more than an hour to Karlovy Vary (where of course they don't speak any English or German) for extensions and fingerprints. After eight trips to the work office and five to the foreign police/ministry of the interior, I still don't have my residence permit. I turned in my application nearly four months ago. Can it really be this complicated for someone who's already been here two years? (yes) At this point, deportation seems like it would be an act of mercy!

  7. Dont worry Hungary is the same