Interior Ministry still approaches foreigners in Slovak

IN ORDER to avoid endless waiting lines in Bratislava’s Office of the Border and Alien Police, the police called on foreign students to prolong their stay. However, foreigners not speaking Slovak may have difficulty understanding the message because it is in Slovak and the police’s English website has been under construction for years.

A long wait is in store for foreigners seeking residence permits.A long wait is in store for foreigners seeking residence permits. (Source: Ľuba Lesná)

The Slovak Spectator pointed to the non-working English version of the Interior Ministry’s website three years ago. In April 2015 also Dutch photographer living in Bratislava Illah Van Oijen again pointed out the situation.

“I requested the permanent stay nine years ago and I have to do it periodically every couple of years,” Oijen wrote on her blog. “There are just opening hours of the office but no information about which papers need to be filled or what information they need.”

http://spectator.sme.sk/c/20058419/police-call-on-foreign-students-to-prolong-study-permits.html

The Interior Ministry website is not completely empty for foreigners. The Office of the Border and Alien Police claims that it published all needed information for foreigners in Slovak and English on its website. Some documents are published even in more languages. However, foreigners need to use the Slovak version of the website to get there.

“Information is partly in English and partly in Slovak,” the ministry’s press department told The Slovak Spectator. “We are still working on an English version of the website.”

On the other hand, the Foreign Ministry provides much more information and documents in English. Nevertheless, foreigners instead often use websites of NGOs working with immigrants such asthe  International Organization for Migration in Slovakia which is in both Slovak and English, according to Mohammad Azim Farhádi an Afghan with Slovak citizenship who now voluntarily helps foreigners in Slovakia dealing with local authorities.

“It is like the Interior Ministry got used to its work being done by the third sector,” Farhádi told The Slovak Spectator.

Creation of such a website would take one or two weeks for an experienced team of programmers, while translation of the website’s content would take the same amount of time, according to Rastislav Chynoranský from the IT firm Fatchilli.

“If I should estimate the time from order, specification of the project to the final handover it would take a week or two for a team of programmers,” Chynoranský told The Slovak Spectator. “Their golden rule however: real time is always two times longer than the estimate of a programmer.”

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