On June 21, 2021, the non-profit organization Integration Centre Prague (ICP) will launch Adaptation-Integration Courses for Foreigners. From the beginning of this year, the course is compulsory for selected groups of migrants from countries outside the EU who acquire long-term or permanent residence in the Czech Republic. ICP is one of eighteen Centres for the Support of the Integration of Foreigners in the Czech Republic which organizes these integration seminars throughout the Czech Republic. Adaptation-integration courses are based on the successful Welcome to the Czech Republic project implemented by the NGO Slovo 21 in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior.
What are the first steps after arriving in the Czech Republic? Where to find the right information about residence and employment? How do Czech education and healthcare work? Participants in the Adaptation-Integration Courses will learn this and other information concerning the functioning of Czech society and the obligations and rights of migrants. The courses aim to help foreigners familiarize themselves with the new environment and administrative matters so that they can deal with the Czech authorities more easily.
“In my opinion, these courses represent a significant systemic change in Czech integration policy because they will help foreigners get an idea of their stay in the Czech Republic and the associated duties. In this way, they will be able to avoid possible mistakes and difficulties, which will make life easier not only for them but ultimately for the authorities and society as a whole,”explains the course coordinator Branislav Makúch.
The course participants will also receive information about important institutions, especially about the Centers for the Support of the Integration of Foreigners and other non-profit organizations that can help them free of charge. For this reason, ICP has prepared a small brochure for course participants with the most important links and regional contacts. In addition to the main information portal vitejtevcr.cz, the website aik.icpraha.com is available for participants with basic information about courses and instructions on how to register for them.
The courses are intended for the majority of third-country nationals whose long-term or permanent residence permit came into force after January 1, 2021. This new obligation does not apply to EU citizens and their family members holding a temporary residence permit or to foreigners residing in the Czech Republic on the basis of a visa. Moreover, foreigners who reside in the Czech Republic on the basis of long-term residence for the purpose of study or investment or internally transferred employees are exempt too. The course does not have to be completed by foreigners who have not reached the age of 15 or are older than 61 years. Further exceptions to the obligation are listed on the website of the Ministry of the Interior.
The courses last 4 hours, are led by certified lecturers in Czech and can be translated into English, Arabic, French, Mongolian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. For participation in the course, the foreigners will be issued a certificate confirming the fulfillment of his obligation. The course fee, which is paid by individual participants, is CZK 1,500. The deadline for completing the course is 1 year from the day of collecting the residence permit card. If you do not attend the course within this period, you can face a fine of up to CZK 10,000.