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Context

I have a work offer from a company in the Czech Republic. Being a non-EU country national myself, the company is happy to help with the relocation. I'm excited to be an expat there and discover its beauty, peace and the beer. ::)

I also happen to be transgender - nonbinary. As my country has a three-gender system, my passport may have "O" (Other) gender marker when I update and renew it, which I intend to do. (Currently, it has one of the M/F binary gender markers)

Question

From what I have read and researched, Czech Republic is a mostly binary society, at least legally. And I haven't seen any mention of three gender system there. [1]

Would the Czech officials reject my application for a long-term (work) residence permit, if my passport says "O" (Other) as the gender marker? And do I have to register as a binary for legal purposes in Czechia, like in the applications?

Additional: Does anybody have experience or knowledge of how this works in any other countries?

Extra

P.S: Not worried about physical safety as the Czech Republic is very safe I hear. But I have read Czech Republic is strict regarding gender transition, names and binary genders (although there seems to be progress in changing this). Hence, the question.

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  • 2
    @Hilmar - In my opinion, this question remains legitimate in the context of short term travel.
    – mouviciel
    Nov 20, 2023 at 15:22
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    I think there would be no issue for a non-visa national just visiting, but even for a simple visit visa, the harmonised Schengen visa application form only has M/F options. Note that when checking Timatic, for some countries there are explicit mentions of non-M/F genders not being allowed (e.g. for the UAE: "Passengers must have a travel document with gender F or M to enter and transit.").
    – jcaron
    Nov 20, 2023 at 15:40
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    Not an answer, since I am not 100% sure: You will not have any problem getting a residence permit because of the 'O' entry in your passport, but you will have to specify male or female as your sex to register as a resident in Czechia. Maybe already when applying for the residence permit.
    – jarnbjo
    Nov 20, 2023 at 15:46
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Thank you. This is useful information: about needing to specify male or female as sex when registering as resident (and perhaps even prior).
    – nine tales
    Nov 20, 2023 at 16:57
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    I see now, that the registration form used when registering as a short-term visitor in Czechia (usually done by the hotel you are staying at) solves the sex issue quite pragmatically by simply not asking for the visitor's sex. When you register as a resident, you will however be issued a personal identity number, which encodes your sex and does only support male or female, which is why I am close to certain, that you will have to opt for either of the two.
    – jarnbjo
    Nov 20, 2023 at 17:21

1 Answer 1

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You will certainly end up officially binary at some point, and you might not get to choose.

As of 2023, the Czech legal system is strictly binary and does not even leave any room for self-identification of gender. The official sex/gender is assigned at birth, and the only way to have it legally changed is to undergo reassignment surgery. Loads of official forms of all sorts ask for gender and present just two options, so there's little room to accommodate officially non-binary foreigners like you. Working in Czechia absolutely requires submitting at least some of those forms (health insurance application, tax return, etc.).

The Czech Public Defender of Rights has quite extensively analysed a case of a non-binary person in 2015 as case 206/2012/DIS (official English version as PDF), which I'll use as my main reference here. AFAIK, nothing of any substance has changed in the law since then.)

Quoting from the English version:

In terms of the law, sex/gender change of an individual takes place by means of a sex reassignment surgery with simultaneous sterilisation and transformation of the genitalia. The New Civil Code thus associates gender with the physical sex, irrespective of the psychological dimensions of gender and the internally experienced identity of a person.

and (emphasis mine)

The previous subchapters dealt with the issue of sex/gender change in the current bipolar gender system used in population records, which distinguishes only two genders: the male and the female. A solution consisting in a change of the administrative sex/gender to female is, however, less preferable to the Complainant than being recognised as a being of “neutral gender”. Such a variant is not permissible under the current legislation; introducing a third gender category, i.e. neutral, is exclusively a matter of the legislator’s choice.

Now, I am fairly certain that having Other gender in your documents is not a legally valid reason to refuse a work permit, so it should not be entirely impossible to get one in your situation.

However, at some point, you will simply be recorded as Male or Female and then have to live with the choice ever since. And given that Czech law does not allow self-identification of preferred gender, it might be that you will not get to choose but will have to produce a document (such as a birth certificate) saying you're either Male or Female. (Here I'm purely speculating since I have no idea how people with a passport saying "O" are handled. But you can certainly expect a lot of confusion.)

You can also certainly expect a whole lot of uncomfortable situations when somebody notices your passport says "Other".

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  • Most countries will accept without question passports etc. from other countries, even if you couldn't get the same status as a citizen or resident. For example, Germany accepted valid same sex marriages from other countries long before it was possible for a same sex couple to get married in Germany itself. So without evidence I would assume that "other" in a foreign passport would be accepted. Even if it is a status that a Czech citizen cannot achieve.
    – gnasher729
    Nov 21, 2023 at 13:13
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    @gnasher729 As a visitor, yes. But as a resident, you will inevitably have to end up in lots of government databases that likely don't support this (at least the public-facing frontends only give M and F as the options, and I have my doubts as to the existence of other options on the backend, given that the legal framework does not recognize them). Similarly, there's no way to register three wives(/husbands/partners) in the Czech systems even if you legally married all of them in a different country.
    – TooTea
    Nov 21, 2023 at 13:27
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    @gnasher729 As I already commented on the question: As a resident in Czechia, you will be issued a personal identification number, which encodes wether you are a male or a female. There is no third alternative.
    – jarnbjo
    Nov 21, 2023 at 13:48
  • The case you linked is, as far as I understand, a case of a Czech national trying to change their gender entry while in Czechia. (Which Czechia does not allow.) This does not preclude that Czechia does or have to (e.g., by EU law) accept the gender of a person from outsize Czechia instead of reassigning a new gender to that person. I asked a related question on Law (though there is no answer yet). Jan 18 at 10:59
  • @DominiqueUnruh As I mention in the answer, even if such a requirement existed, the various systems are technically not ready to accept it. In order to work in Czechia, one needs to register for health insurance, social security, submit a tax return and the like, and all of those forms just give you a M/F choice. If that makes the authorities technically not compliant with international law, that's of course a shame, but it will likely get you little sympathy from the average tax office clerk.
    – TooTea
    Jan 18 at 11:24

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