For the purposes of the Foreigners Act, foreign nationals over 15 years of age capable of expressing their will and acting independently are recognised to have a legal capacity. It means that:
- foreigners under 15 years of age must be represented by their legal representative,
- a legal representative can act for a foreigner who is over 15 years of age only based on a PoA.
The Ministry of the Interior will assign a custodian to the foreigners under 15 years of age who do not have a legal representative, or who have a legal representative who is unable to represent them, or who do not have a custodian.
In residence permit application proceedings, as applicant, you may be represented by an attorney (a person authorised by a PoA to represent you) or a lawyer. They can represent you based on a written PoA or a PoA granted orally on the record.
In the proceedings, you can have only one attorney at a time. However, your attorney can grant a PoA to another person to act for you on his/her behalf. This is called a substitute power of attorney and the possibility of granting it must be explicitly mentioned in the original PoA that you have granted to your attorney.
A PoA must include:
- The granter’s signature – i.e. your signature as of a party to the proceedings.
- Your first name, last name, date of birth and place of permanent residence, alternatively another address for service if you are a natural person.
- In the case of a legal person, a name or a business company, VAT identification number or similar information and the main office’s address, alternatively another service address.
A PoA needs not to include the attorney’s signature confirming that he/she takes up the role.
For PoA granted for a single specific action (e.g. for becoming familiar with the documents of the proceedings) or PoA written in a general way for the whole residence permit application proceedings, the granter’s signature on the PoA needs not to be certified. A PoA written in a general way is also acceptable in residence permit application proceedings, i.e. a PoA for proceedings concerning only one application that end when the decision on the application becomes final. The PoA must include, however, authorisation for representation in administrative proceedings. A certified signature is not required in this case.
When is a certified signature required?
The granter’s signature must be certified only in the case of a general PoA. A general PoA is granted for an unlimited number of proceedings initiated in the future, such as a PoA for all matters related to the foreigner’s residence permit. Such a PoA must be filed with the Ministry of the Interior or granted on the record before the initiation of the proceedings. For that purpose, the foreigner or their representative must express their will that the PoA be used for all the proceedings related to the foreigner’s residence permit.
All documents will be served to the attorney, who is also authorised to participate in all the procedures in which the granter participates, e.g. an interview.
How to end a PoA?
The attorney can renounce their role in the course of the proceedings or the granter can revoke the PoA. Both actions – renouncement of the role of attorney and revocation of a PoA – must be executed in writing or on the record so that they can be put on file. From that moment on, documents will be served only to the party of the proceedings, who used to be represented but no longer is.
A PoA for one attorney can be replaced with a PoA for another attorney. From that moment on, all documents will be served to the new attorney.
Who are documents related to the proceedings served to?
Documents are served only to the attorney unless the represented party needs to take an action in the proceedings personally. In such case, documents will be served to the party of the proceedings as well as to their attorney. Such cases typically include, for example, an invitation to an interview or a notification to collect a residence permit.
What if service of documents is unsuccessful?
If service of documents to the attorney during the application proceedings is unsuccessful, the documents are not considered served. The document will be, therefore, served to the attorney through a public notice and the represented party will be informed about the content of the unsuccessfully served document.