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News > Press Releases 2009 > Non-granting of a visa for a stay up to 90 days to an Egyptian friend

Non-granting of a visa for a stay up to 90 days to an Egyptian friend

23. 10. 2009

Non-granting of a visa for a stay up to 90 days to an Egyptian friend

Mrs M. S. addressed the Defender in the matter of her Egyptian friend whose application for the granting of a visa for a stay up to 90 days had been twice rejected by the embassy of the Czech Republic in Egypt. The complainant had made acquaintance with her friend in July 2006 and subsequently met him several times during her stays in Egypt. They then together planned that Mr M. M. would visit and acquaint himself with the Czech Republic. However, the Czech embassy repeatedly rejected the application for a visa.

The Defender found several shortcomings on the part of the embassy.

Firstly he stated that it was impossible to establish from the form of the application and the file when precisely the application was rejected. The Defender also stated that although there seemed to exist variance between the actual purpose of the stay (visit to a friend) and the declared purpose (tourism), it was impossible to state given the circumstances of the case that there would be any facts suggesting that Mr M. M. would not leave the territory of the Czech Republic after the end of the stay or that he intended to misuse the visa for some other purpose. The actual reason for the stay followed from the accompanying e-mail communication, which the complainant had maintained with the embassy in Cairo. The Defender opined in this respect that within its duty to instruct and from the perspective of the principles of good administration, the embassy should have instructed Mr M. M. to alter the declared purpose of the journey so as to comply with the actual purpose. The Defender also rejected a practice where the purpose of an application for a visa directed at closer acquaintance with the life and environment in the Czech Republic and closer acquaintance of persons considering marriage is rated as a priori risky.

As for the formal requisites of the application for a visa, the Defender reprehended the authority for the fact that neither of the forms included an accurate citation of Section 56 (including the specific subparagraph) of the Foreigners Residence Act (Act No. 326/1999 Coll. as amended), on the basis of which the application was rejected. It is desirable with regard to the legal certainty of applicants for a visa that the specific legal grounds for rejecting the application should be always indicated in the application. In addition, there was no record of an interview for a visa in the sent files concerning the two applications in spite of the fact that the interviews had taken place in both cases and the interview had lasted a whole hour for the second application for a visa.

In relation to the issue of proving a relationship to an EU citizen, the embassy informed the complainant that if she wanted to live together with her friend in the Czech Republic, the only option was to contract marriage in Egypt and subsequently request the issue of a Czech marriage certificate. The Defender rejected the aforementioned conclusion and stated that with regard to Section 52 of the International Private and Procedural Law Act (Act No. 97/1963 Coll. as amended), superlegalization of the Egyptian marriage certificate by the embassy of the Czech Republic in Egypt is sufficient for proving relationship to a citizen of the Czech Republic. In cases where there is agreement on legal assistance between the Czech Republic and the relevant state, the foreign public instrument (except for the translation to the Czech language) can be automatically used as a public instrument in the territory of the Czech Republic, without having to obtain a marriage certificate from the special registry office in Brno. Given that the original negotiations with the embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were not successful, the Defender proposed systemic changes in his final statement.

In response to his final statement, the Defender received a reply from the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs PhDr. Jan Kohout who informed the Defender that he had instructed all embassies using a methodological instruction which leads them to a consistent completion of the relevant sections of the form of the application for a visa (date of submission, processed by, supplementing documents, type of visa, date of denial/granting of the visa with the signature of the relevant officer, etc.). As for the obligation to submit a proof of possession of travel medical insurance, embassies are advised that the aforementioned document cannot be understood as a mandatory requisite of an application for a visa (it cannot be requested until the visa is marked in the passport). However, it is at the same time left to the applicant himself whether he will submit the aforementioned proof already when submitting the application. The websites of the individual embassies are undergoing the relevant modifications in this respect. The Deputy Minister also informed the Defender of the introduction of a new practice of informing the applicant of the reasons for denial of a visa in writing on a prescribed uniform form, which always indicates the relevant provision of the Foreigners Residence Act and a copy of the aforementioned information is also placed in the file. As for the proving of the status of family member of an EU/Czech Republic citizen, the practice at all embassies was unified as it was expressly stated that a foreign registry document provided with the proper authentication and official translation was a sufficient proof of relationship to a citizen of the EU. However, the Defender continues to disagree with the Ministry as to the opinion on the obtaining of records of interviews conducted by the consular staff.

The Defender decided to close his inquiry given the remedial measures adopted.

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