Practical Tips on How to Navigate Processes at the Foreign Police Slovakia During „Covid times“
2021, 17 March / Author: Xenia K.
Proofread by: Sherry R. / www.iproofing.net
Many of you are frustrated by the immigration process in Slovakia, many have had a negative experience due to the approach of the Foreign Police staff and many would rightly want to complain. You are not alone, believe me. Many of us, Slovaks, who are trying to help you manage the process, are sometimes sick and tired of this as well. The issue is that the immigration process is currently on the fringe of the political interests of our state and it is unlikely to change much in the near future. So, let´s approach it proactively from our side.
We are writing this article to share our recent experience with you, it applies to the Foreign Police in Bratislava. If this information helps just one of you, we can say the article has served its purpose.
1. In recent months, the Foreign Police have operated under a limited regime and it is impossible to arrange anything without having an appointment booked via the online reservation system (more detail on this „technical miracle“ and how to handle the online booking, in our next article).
2. So, let´s presume you have successfully booked your slot via the online booking system and have your date and time.
3. Prepare all the documents related to your case, in advance. The best source of information about what documents you need for your specific case is www.iom.sk/en.
They provide information about the immigration process for foreigners free of charge.
4. The documents must be submitted in the form of originals or notarized copies and must not be older than 90 days.
Although the Foreign Police declare that during the „Covid lockdown“, they accept documents that are already expired, if they were valid during the lockdown, we have experienced first-hand that it did not happen, and we had to have the documents reissued with the current dates.
If you insist that your documents were expired but valid during the lockdown, the Foreign Police will ask you for proof that you did not leave the country during the lockdown. Well, we haven´t figured out how to prove this yet...
5. Documents issued in a foreign language, and the official translation must be bound together. Commonly, official documents issued in a foreign language require an apostille.
6. Documents provided from the Slovak public registers, such as Commercial Register, Cadastre or similar do not have to be submitted in hard copy, internet copy is accepted most of the time.
7. Make copies of all originals before submitting them to the Foreign Police, because if your immigration process were to be suspended and some of your documents were to be claimed as faulty, you would not be able to access them to see what was wrong.
8. On the day of your appointment, arrive at the Foreign Police Station 15 minutes ahead of your time slot.
9. At the entrance, present the following documents to the officer on duty: a valid passport, Slovak ID card or proof of residence in an EU member state, as well as a valid certificate confirming your Covid test has a negative result. He will check your name on his list taken from the online booking system and let you enter the lobby. Covid measures need to be monitored, as they change over time, so the best source of this information is www.spectator.sme.sk.
10. There is a ticket machine on the right hand side inside the lobby. Press the single coloured button on the display named „online reservation“ and enter the PIN you received per message to your mobile phone. The machine prints out the ticket with your number. The machine issues the ticket no earlier than 15 minutes ahead of the time slot. If you miss it and arrive later, the machine will no longer issue the ticket and you will lose your slot.
11. Buy the electronic stamps in the stamp dispensing machine. Again, check ahead for the administrative fee that applies to your case. Sometimes the machine does not accept credit cards, so have cash available in case.
12. When your ticket number appears on the main board in the lobby, proceed to the counter that is marked next to your ticket number. Submit your request, application and documents to the police officer on duty.
13. If you are applying for a residence permit or new ID card, you will be asked how the new card should be delivered. We strongly recommend you pay for an extra 3€ administrative fee and request the document be delivered per courier. It is worth it. This is the only guarantee that the document will not just sit with the police until you pick it up in person.
14. Make sure that the „Confirmation about receiving the application“ on the last page of your application is printed on a separate sheet of paper, as this part will be stamped and given back to you by the police officer after your application is accepted.
15. If you have reached the point, where your application has been accepted, you are halfway there. However, during the process, you may receive a registered letter from the Foreign Police about suspension of your immigration process. If so, you will need to act accordingly. But firstly, you need to be informed about having received any post. We´ll talk next time about how to get to your post while still being outside Slovakia.
We wish you best of luck with your immigration process. Should you need any help, get in touch.