The European Union’s border restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic has left binational unmarried couples in limbo, but more European countries are making exceptions so those couples no longer have to remain separated.
Since March, European countries have shut their borders to noncitizens, essentially separating citizens of the EU from their foreign partners.
Last week, the European Commission asked all 27 member countries to open their borders to such couples, and so far 10 have done so.
A social media campaign with the hashtags #LoveIsNotTourism and #LoveIsEssential has been pushing other EU countries to act.
Requirements vary among 10 countries that have made the exception for binational unmarried couples; some require documents that prove the existence of the relationship, and others basically take the couple’s word without supporting documentation. Some countries require quarantine or a COVID-19 test.
The Czech government has announced on their website that they are allowing partners to enter under certain circumstances. Here is an excerpt from the announcement.
“These are, for example, Czech-American couples. From next week, Czechs will be able to invite their partners from abroad, from countries outside the EU, to the Czech Republic to see each other after a few months. This will require a solemn declaration confirming the long-term relationship and that they assume certain obligations similar to married couples. The partners will be able to prove the relationship, for example, with a joint lease agreement, a joint bank account or a birth certificate of common children.” explained Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček one of the key passages of the new Protective Measure of the Ministry of Health.”
The Czech government states that the couple will need to apply for the exception with the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Applicants can email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the process.
Once approved electronically, any travelers coming from visa-free countries will be able to enter immediately. Partners who may be coming from a country that requires a visa to enter the Czech Republic will have to apply for it through the normal channels.
Some documents couples can expect to submit to prove the relationship include:
- A written declaration signed by both parties honoring the partnership
- Proof of common household (lease/rental agreement)
- Proof of financial history (joint bank accounts, shared loan)
- Proof of personal meetings (plane tickets, emails, photos, etc)
- A birth certificate of common children if any exist
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