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The Government Council for Human Rights dealt with immigrants´ rights issues

The Council of the Government of the Czech Republic for Human Rights dedicated the latest meeting at 7th of October 2013 to the issues of immigrants´ rights. Topics such as migrant’s access to the health insurance, restrictions connected with employment of international workers and functioning of VISAPOINT system for visa applications in foreign countries have been discussed.

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Europe´s final decision on Schengen´s enlargement

The final pronouncement of the European Justice and Home Affairs Council finally arrived: the “Smart Borders Package” will be adopted, together with the SIS II system. No chance for Bulgaria and Romania to enter in the Schengen zone, instead.

Last Thursday, the European Justice and Home Affairs Council was called to decide about the adoption of two innovative systems aimed to improve third country nationals´ mobility towards Europe: SIS II and the “Smart Borders Package”.While the adoption of those two items was more or less taken for granted, there was a bigger suspense regarding the Schengen enlargement to Bulgaria and Romania.

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How does (not) Visapoint work

Visapoint is an electronic system which register applicants for a long-term visas and residence for an appointment in the embassies of many countries. It has been available since 2009 with the aim to prevent long queues and untransparent procedures. However, the problem is that it is the only way to apply for a Czech visa – a method that is not always functional.

The problems of Visapoint have been present from the beginning. Mr. Pavel Pořízek from the Secretary of Public Defender of Rights wrote in an article on the web portal MigraceOnline about the functionality of Visapoint , saying: “It turns out that the problem with the functionality of Visapoint applies in particular to Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan (for certain types of visas and stays, as well as in other states, e.g. Vietnam). As one of the most striking cases, we can mention the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Lvov, with regards to application for visa/long-term stays for the purpose of family reunification (similar to the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Vietnam). In the interim, ten attempts to register to apply for this type of visa/stay showed that it has not been possible to submit the application form since 1.4.2011, when the system was first Visapoint checked at the end of 2011.”

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