Legal status and visa requirements for those who were forced to leave Ukraine
General information and legal support within the Czech Republic
- The temporary protection is granted in the Czech Republic according to Act No. 65/2022 Coll. (the so-called Lex Ukraine) – Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic www.zakonyprolidi.cz
- In most cases, a biometric passport for the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine to be able to enter the country is not needed. If Ukrainians can prove their identity with a Ukrainian identity card, they can apply for a status of temporary protection. If they do not have any identity documents, they have to contact the Embassy of Ukraine in the Czech Republic to confirm their nationality. You must present a Ukrainian biometric passport to enter, but if you do not have a biometric passport, you must have all your identity documents with you.
- Biometric passport might be required if Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine want to cross the external border of the EU. It is necessary to take all available documents proving their identity. According to the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic www.dreport.cz
- From March 22nd, 2022, a visa for a stay over 90 days from leave to remain in the territory (so-called special long-term visa for citizens of Ukraine) will no longer be issued in the simplified regime since Act No. 65/2022 Coll. (the so-called Lex Ukraine) has come into force and established the status of temporary protection for citizens of Ukraine fleeing armed conflict from Ukraine as well as for certain other categories of persons. It will still be possible to apply for a visa to stay over 90 days for leave to remain in the territory but the standard procedure.
- In the case of visa-free travel, Ukrainians can stay in the Czech Republic for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If they have entered the Schengen area with a short-term visa or without a visa and their short-term visa or visa-free travel is about to expire or already expired, they must visit one of the Regional Centres for Help and Assistance to Ukraine (KACPU) to apply for temporary protection. Temporary protection allows them free access to the labour market and access to the public health insurance system.
- If they are accommodated privately, they must register with the Police of the Czech Republic at the Foreigners` Residence Unit of the Department of Foreign Police. In other cases, registration will be arranged by the accommodation provider.
- List of Regional Centres for Help and Assistance to Ukraine www.mvcr.cz
- Police of the Czech Republic at the Foreigners` Residence Unit of the Department of Foreign Police www.mvcr.cz/contacts
Refugee status/ asylum seeker status/ temporary protection status
- The Ministry shall issue a decision on the matter of a refugee/asylum seeker / temporary protection status no later than six months from the date of providing the data on the submitted application.
- If, due to the nature of the matter, it is not possible to decide within this period, the Ministry may extend it for reasons provided by the law.
- The decision on international protection takes legal effect on the day of delivery to the applicant.
- In the case of a negative decision of the Ministry, the foreigner is obliged to leave the territory of the Czech Republic if he/she does not file a lawsuit against the negative decision, even with a proposal to grant a suspensive effect.
- It will take a maximum of 6 months to get refugee/asylum status www.mvcr.cz/migrace
- Temporary protection status www.mvcr.cz/info
- Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic www.mvcr.cz
Provision of temporary protection can be refused only in two cases:
◦ You have already received temporary protection in other EU countries;
◦ documents were not submitted in person or were provided by an unauthorized person.
Learn more about migration counselling websites are useful for the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine:
>> Find migration counselling institutions: Regional Centres for Help and Assistance to Ukraine (KACPU)
>> Interpretation services (local NGOs, volunteers, reception centres)
- Association for integration and migration
- Central place to offer help to Ukraine
- “I need help” website
- Regional Centres for Help and Assistance to Ukraine (KACPU)
Workplaces of the Department of Asylum and Migration Policy of the Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic
Access to healthcare services
- Based on the insurance card, the Ukrainians become insured persons of the health insurance company, for which the state pays insurance premiums. These insured persons have the right to receive health care in the Czech Republic in the full scope of public health insurance, under the same conditions as any Czech citizen.
- Paid services provided to Ukrainians at providers of outpatient services in medical and non-medical specialities are reported, accounted for and reimbursed according to the standard reimbursement mechanisms valid for 2022, similarly to permanent residents.
- Surcharges may be required for medication in pharmacies, and emergency services are also charged.
Legal prerequisites for the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine to get health care including treatment in the Czech Republic (these prerequisites apply for Ukrainians who have a refugee or asylum seeker or temporary protection status)
- Every health care provider must provide urgent care at any time and to anyone, regardless of insurance or residence status. However, he/she will probably demand payment for this.
- Participation in public health insurance from the date of submission of the application (refugee/asylum seeker/temporary protection status), the person is provided with full health care from that moment on. See more on the Ministry of the Health of the Czech Republic website
- To stay in the Czech Republic, Ukrainians must have health insurance. In the case of a visa-free stay, it is necessary to arrange travel health insurance. If they have been granted temporary protection, they are automatically included in the public health insurance system. If a person who has been granted a visa does not have proof of health insurance yet, they can apply for it via online registration with the General Health Insurance Company of the Czech Republic (VZP) or in person at any branch of VZP CZ or other health insurance companies.
- If they have been granted a visa for a stay over 90 days for leave to remain in the territory according to § 33 par. a) of Act No. 326/1999 Coll., on the Residence of Foreigners, they are not included in the public health insurance system, and they must arrange for their own insurance.
- More information regarding health insurance and the provision of health services can be found on the website of the Ministry of Health and here Ukrainians can start looking for information on access to healthcare
- More info at Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic
- Health Insurance in the Czech Republic
- Healthcare services are available in Czech, English, Ukrainian, and Russian languages. Ministry of the Health of the Czech Republic
If you have any questions about health care for citizens of Ukraine, please contact the Infoline +420 2 26201221 – option No. 2, which is open daily from 8 am to 7 pm. The line is used for communication in Czech, Ukrainian and Russian, even for cases of interpretation into Czech for health care providers.
Where can the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go for healthcare services?
If Ukrainians are insured under a public health insurance system, have commercial insurance, or can pay for the care yourself, they can visit any health care provider. If they do not have any health insurance and cannot pay for the care yourself, they can find the nearest hospital, preferably a state hospital, to provide urgent (and other) care.
List of university hospitals:
- Bulovka Clinical Hospital, Prague
- Kralowski Vinohrady Clinical Hospital, Prague
- Motol Clinical Hospital, Prague
- Clinical Hospital. Tomayer, Prague
- Central Military Hospital – Clinical Hospital of Prague
- General Clinical Hospital of Prague
- Brno Clinical Hospital
- St. Anne’s Clinical Hospital, Brno
- Hradec Kralove Clinical Hospital
- Olomouc Clinical Hospital
- Ostrava Clinical Hospital
- Pilsen Clinical Hospital
What legal documents need to be presented to access healthcare services?
Those registered with health care/traveller health insurance will receive an ID card confirming the insurance. Those not insured are eligible for acute care with a confirmation of refugee status
If you have any questions about health care for citizens of Ukraine, please contact the Infoline +420226201221 – option No. 2, which is open daily from 8 am to 7 pm. The line is used for communication in Czech, Ukrainian and Russian, even for cases of interpretation into Czech for health care providers.
Registration with the health care provider and visiting family doctors
If a Ukrainian person is insured under a public health insurance system or has commercial insurance or can pay for the care, they can visit any health care provider without previous registration.
Regional Centres for Help and Assistance to Ukraine (KACPU)
Once Ukrainians obtain health insurance, they select a general practitioner (either for adults or children) and register. All information on how to register with a general practitioner is provided on the infoline +420226201221 which is open daily from 8 am to 7 pm. The line is used for communication in Czech, Ukrainian and Russian, even for cases of interpretation into Czech for health care providers. Each Ukrainian gains information on his/her individual characteristics (age, place of staying, language capacities and possibilities to commute to a general practitioner’s office). On this Infoline, they will be told which general practitioner will provide them with health services.
Services for People Living with HIV
- HIV testing is free of charge for those with public health insurance or commercial insurance. Information is available online: zakony.judikaty.info.
- HIV testing is not free of charge when a person demands anonymous testing www.mzcr.cz.
- Ukrainians who have been forced to leave Ukraine can get HIV testing free of charge at the standard network of primary care physicians or the following facilities.
- Sexuologický ústav Praha, email@example.com
- Most k naději z.s./ K-centrum Liberec a Jablonec nad Nisou, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kontaktní centrum Žatec, email@example.com
- K-centrum Česká Lípa/Most k naději, z.s., firstname.lastname@example.org
Information available online:
Minors also can get HIV testing as HIV services are provided to everyone in the Czech Republic. Information is available online.
If tested positive, the person continues the treatment or is started on antiretroviral treatment (ART) treatment. Information is available online.
Antiretroviral treatment (ART)
Can people on ART bring their medication into the country together with their doctor’s prescription?
People on ART should not interrupt their therapy. It is also recommended that they know the names of the medication, and how many days are left on their current dose (i.e. how many antiretrovirals they have left).
Where should the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine go to get ART?
ART treatment is fully covered by public health insurance or commercial insurance. For those without insurance, HIV centres help to provide ART free of charge.
HIV-positive persons who inject drugs can receive ART. HIV centres provide ART and connections to substitution therapy (outpatient psychiatric clinic) in case the person requests for it. Information is available online.
What are the preconditions for receiving ART for the Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine?
- Prescription for patients with and without the insured persons number – source SÚKL.
- It is better to issue a prescription in paper form for the uninsured.
- According to information from VZP, medicines can also be prescribed to patients without insurance. According to the SÚKL instruction, the insured person’s number can be created and the passport number can be added to the note for subsequent identification www.epreskripce.cz
How can minors get treatment?
HIV services are provided to everyone in the Czech Republic. No exclusion criteria is mentioned. Information is available online: www.hiv-komunita.cz and www.mzcr.cz
Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
- Both post and pre-exposure prophylaxis is available. However, they are not commonly stored at pharmacy stores and need to be ordered in advance.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis is partly covered by insurance; the person would also have to contribute and the fee for 30 tablets is in the range of CZK 600 to 1106.
- Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) can only be used by HIV-negative people with normal kidney function. PrEP is intended mainly for those who are at increased risk of HIV infection; in the Czech Republic, it is mostly available for men who have sex with men. Information available online: www.chciprep.cz
HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis can be found at HIV-checks points and HIV centers
Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
- The PEP is not covered by public health insurance, and the person must pay for it themselves . The cheapest combination of drugs for PEP in the Czech Republic is around CZK 5,000. However, there are some exceptions. Information is available online: www.hiv-prevence.cz.
HIV post-exposure prophylaxis can be found at HIV-checks points and HIV centers.
Services for People Living with Hepatitis B or C
Hepatitis B or C testing, hepatitis B vaccination, and hepatitis B or C treatment availability
Hepatitis B or C testing, vaccination and treatment are available and fully covered by public health insurance and commercial health insurance – conditions are the same as for Czech citizens. The same applies to hepatitis related liver disease treatment.
It is also available for those with no insurance who are willing to pay.
Information available online:
Information on hepatitis B is available online: www.prolekare.cz
Info on hepatitis C is available online: www.infekce.cz and www.mzcr.cz
What indications are considered for hepatitis B or C testing?
- clinical symptoms
- family member with HBV
- risky sexual behaviour
- intravenous drug use
- chronic renal insufficiency
- diabetes mellitus
- chronic liver disease.
Indications for hepatitis C testing:
- intravenous drug use
- risky sexual behaviour
- transfusions in the past
What are screening methods for hepatitis B or C?
Screening for infectious diseases is done at the first primary care physicians visit. Screening of hepatitis B or C is carried out in case of clinical symptoms or based on epidemiological risk considerations.
- screening method- HBsAg
- confirmation method- anti-HBc total, Anti-HBs, HBeAg, anti-HBs, PCR HBV DNA
- screening method – anti-HCV
- confirmation method – PCR HCV RNA
Information is available online:
Support systems (harm reduction/safer use, social support or psychosocial support) available for the Ukrainians undergoing therapy for hepatitis C or related liver diseases
Details will be provided upon a request at one primary physician’s office.
TB screening is requested before an adult or a child is integrated into a community (for instance into a school). Information is available online: www.mzcr.cz.
If the person has TB symptoms
If Ukrainians (adults and children) who were forced to leave Ukraine have symptoms of TB (e.g. cough, fever, weight loss), or do not have symptoms but have been in contact with someone with TB, they can go to the standard network of general practitioners (for adults, children and adolescents) and outpatient services.
They also can go to UA points at 11 university hospitals. Information available online: www.mzcr.cz/zpzppoukmp and www.mzcr.cz/dpmzpzsuu
All the above-mentioned services are relevant as well for those who:
– were already diagnosed in Ukraine and need to continue treatment or need preventive treatment;
– need directly observed treatment (DOT)/ Video directly observed treatment (VDOT);
– started the TB treatment for multidrug-resistant TB in Ukraine and need to continue.
The various types of support, like food, shelter, and psychological support is available via
- Ministerstvo vnitra: +420 974 801 802 (provoz nonstop)
- Charita ČR: +420 731 432 431
- Organizace pro pomoc uprchlíkům: +420 228 229 942
- Linka pomoci Člověka v tísni: +420 770 600 800
- Infolinka InBáze: +420 703 375 195 nebo +420 739 037 353
- Právní a sociální poradna Sdružení pro integraci a migraci: +420 776 263 033 / 605 263 035 / 603 547 450 / 605 253 994
- Poradna Integračního centra Praha: +420 775 751 748
- Linka VZP pro zdravotní pojištění: +420226201221
If a person has a Ukrainian prescription for TB treatment medication…
A foreign prescription is not valid in the Czech Republic. However, it is probably a good indication one needs the medicine so present the prescription to the standard network of general practitioners in order to obtain a valid prescription from the Czech Republic. Information available online:
www.mzcr.cz/zpzppoukmp and www.mzcr.cz/dpmzpzsuu
Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination for children
If Ukrainians who were forced to leave Ukraine want their children to be vaccinated with BCG they should go to the standard network of general practitioners for children and adolescents and outpatient specialists.
They also can go to UA points at 11 university hospitals.
Czech Ministry of Health has published information and informed consent for parents.
Information available online:
Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) Services
- In general, opioid antagonist treatment (OAT) in the Czech Republic is funded by the health insurance. For some drugs, a surcharge from the patient’s side is needed in the range of CZK 12,80 to 82,90. See the details
- OAT is free of charge if a person has health insurance. A passport or ID should be provided to receive OAT. Both buprenorphine and methadone are available for opioid users and Methylphenidate is available for crystal meth users.
- To get their dosage, Ukrainians should first go to see a doctor at outpatient psychiatric facilities or specialised substitution treatment centres. Information available online
- The AID MAP contains contacts for facilities providing treatment, counselling, and prevention in the field of addiction in the Czech Republic. It is divided into categories according to the type of service, and also according to individual regions which are subdivided according to districts and cities. Types of services include smoking cessation services and gambling services. The aid map is managed by the National Monitoring Center for Drugs and Addictions.
What OAT drugs are available in the country?
Two opioids antagonist are used in the Czech Republic: methadone and buprenorphine and they are used in 6 drugs: Metadon, Subutex, Suboxone, Buprenorphine Alkaloid, Ravata and Addnok www.cspsychiatr.cz
Minimum age for people who use drugs to receive OAT
Information available online: www.cspsychiatr.cz
Právo v psychiatrii. Substituce opioidových závislostí. Jiří Švarc. Právo v psychiatrii: Praha. Psychiat. pro Praxi, 2008; 9(4): 187–190.
General requirements and access to healthcare
01. Act No. 65/2022 Coll ("Lex Ukraine"). Law of March 17, 2022 on Certain Measures in Relation to the Armed Conflict on the Territory of Ukraine Caused by the Invasion of the Troops of the Russian Federation
Ministry of the Interior of the Czech Republic: Act No. 65/2022 Coll ("Lex Ukraine"). Law of March 17, 2022 on Certain Measures in Relation to the Armed Conflict on the Territory of Ukraine Caused by the Invasion of the Troops of the Russian Federation. Available at www.zakonyprolidi.cz.
01. Act 48/1997 on Public Health Insurance and on Amendments to Certain Related Acts effective from 01.04.1997
Parliament of the Czech Republic: Act 48/1997 on Public Health Insurance and on Amendments to Certain Related Acts effective from 01.04.1997. Available at zakony.judikaty.info
07. SUKL: Prescribing eRecipes for Ukrainian citizens. SUKL, 1.3.2022
SUKL: Prescribing eRecipes for Ukrainian citizens. SUKL, 1.3.2022. Available at epreskripce.cz
03. Standard Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedure for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection
Urbanek P. et all: Standard Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedure for Chronic Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infection. Urbanek P. et all, working group for viral hepatitis of the Czech Hepatological Society of the Czech Medical Society JE Purkyně, Working group for viral hepatitis of the Society of Infectious Medicine of the Czech Medical Society JE Purkyně, 2017. Available at www.infekce.cz
01. Opioid substitution treatment in the Czech Republic
Mravcik V., Orlikova B. Opioid substitution treatment in the Czech Republic: a critical view. National Institute of Mental Health, Klecany, 2019. Available at www.cspsychiatr.cz.
05. Substituce opioidových závislostí. Právo v psychiatrii
Švarc J. Substituce opioidových závislostí. Právo v psychiatrii: Praha. Psychiat. pro Praxi, 2008; 9(4): 187–190.