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Foreigner residence rules revised, but not tightened

Though some minor changes are being made in the law which regulates how long foreigners may stay in Slovakia, representatives of the Interior Ministry denied last week that the Slovak Cabinet had approved draft legislation which could make the residence permit process more difficult.
According to Marián Čambálik, the Head of the Border and Foreign Police of the Slovak police Presidium, the revised draft on long and short term residence permits only changes the law minimally.
On September 22, the SITA news agency reported that the new legislation would require foreigners wishing to apply for long- or short-term residence in Slovakia to submit their application at a Slovak Embassy in their home country, thereby allowing for the proper verification of the applicant's identification documents. That would seem to make the current process more difficult.

Though some minor changes are being made in the law which regulates how long foreigners may stay in Slovakia, representatives of the Interior Ministry denied last week that the Slovak Cabinet had approved draft legislation which could make the residence permit process more difficult.

According to Marián Čambálik, the Head of the Border and Foreign Police of the Slovak police Presidium, the revised draft on long and short term residence permits only changes the law minimally.

On September 22, the SITA news agency reported that the new legislation would require foreigners wishing to apply for long- or short-term residence in Slovakia to submit their application at a Slovak Embassy in their home country, thereby allowing for the proper verification of the applicant's identification documents. That would seem to make the current process more difficult.

But Čambálik told The Slovak Spectator on September 27 that this procedure was already mandatory, even before the revision.

In one way, he added, the new law will actually make attaining such permits easier.

Exceptions to the permit process - which are often given to teachers or employees who must start working in the country on short notice - are now to be handled within foreign embassies, instead of directly through the Interior Minister, currently Ladislav Pittner, Čambálik pointed out.

In the future, though, things might get more difficult for foreigners. Čambálik added that a major overhaul of the foreigner law was in the works at the Ministry and would be implemented by the year 2001, although he would not specify exactly how it would be changed.

"We are preparing a completely new law concerning short- and long-term residence permits," he said. "It will be discussed in Parliament and will be in-line with EU standards.

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