Image Source: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/
The Czech Republic is changing the rules of entry for unmarried partners of Czech citizens who have been separated by the existing EU-wide travel ban, introduced amid the Coronavirus outbreak back in mid-March.
The decision has been announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who succeeded to abolish the restrictive measures that have separated binational lives for months now, following the example of other EU countries that have taken the same step.
“From Monday, July 20, 2020, it will be possible for third-country nationals, especially visa-free ones, to come to the Czech Republic to visit their partners, provided that several conditions are met. Czech diplomacy was inspired by the system applied by Denmark and Austria for unmarried couples,” reads a press release of the Ministry.
In order for these couples to be able to reunite, they must submit a solemn declaration of their long-term relationship at firstname.lastname@example.org. They should also send proof of their relationship with, i.e. a joint lease agreement, a joint bank account or a birth certificate of common children, etc.
The entry requests will be processed electronically by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which may confirm the possibility of the partner entering the territory of the Czech Republic within three days. The Czech citizen will forward this confirmation to his / her partner, who will prove it upon entering the Czech Republic.
Those coming from visa-free countries can travel to the Czech Republic immediately upon receiving the confirmation. At the same time, those who need a short-term visa will need to apply for it in the standard way.
In late June, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported on the challenges that the ban has brought up for binational couples, forcing many of them to postpone their weddings, and keeping them apart for months now. It also shed light on a campaign these lovers were organizing on social media, mainly in twitter, calling on the governments across Europe to abolish the ban and let couples reunite.
As a result of the campaign, later in July, a group of Members of the European Parliament wrote an open letter to the German Minister of Interior Horst Seehofer, raising the issue. The letter was also directed to the Swedish EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson who recently tweeted in support of a vocal campaign carried by separated lovers in social media under the hashtags “#LoveIsNotTourism & #LoveIsEssential”.