Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I've Applied

This morning I applied for Czech permanent residency.  Permanent residency; not citizenship.  There's a difference.

As a non-EU citizen, living in the European Union, I'm required to renew my work permit and my residency permit every couple of years.  Every time I apply I have to provide a form and lots of notarized documents.  IBM picks up the application fee for the renewals.

Now that I've lived in Czechland for the required five years, and passed my language exam, I am eligible to apply for permanent residency.  Permanent residency allows me to live and work in Czech Republic without having to obtain future permits.  For the past five years I've paid in to the social system but without permanent residency, I'm not allowed to claim unemployment benefits.  If I quit or lost my job then I would have 30 days to find a new firm to sponsor my visa or I would have to leave the Schengen area.

With permanent residency, I will now get treated the same as Czechs except that I don't get to vote.  For that you need citizenship and I can't apply until I've been a permanent resident for at least five years.  Bureaucracy is so much fun to figure out.

I was eligible to apply back in July when I hit my five year anniversary but I couldn't apply because I hadn't completed my Czech language test at the time.  I basically lost five months but no problem.  My application has been received and, due to the upcoming Christmas holidays, I should receive the results back in about 10 weeks. 

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