“Hello, sorry, pardon me, may I pass.” These words can be constantly heard in the hall serving as the waiting room at the Foreigners’ Police Department in the town of Dunajská Streda. In a short, narrow hall, about fifteen people stand on two lines creating a passage between them for other people who need to go to the end of hall where the queue machine is located.
Others wanting to avoid the submarine atmosphere prefer staying outside the building where they smoke or have a chat.
“Imagine it were raining now.” says the Slovak cousin of a Ukrainian woman applying for permanent residence in Slovakia. “Where would all those people go considering there is no space in the corridor?”
He does not want to say his name, like other visitors of the department who want to avoid conflict with police officers handling their requests.
The Croatian national Ivan, who works in an international company, tried to make it to one of the two counters several times but failed due the very long wait. He eventually made it because he arrived before the department’s opening hours.
"I came with an interpreter, waited a few hours, and then realized it was pointless, so I went away,” said Ivan.
The police confirmed that the number of foreigners Dunajská Streda’s department has to deal with has increased. After the Bratislava office it is the second place with such problems.
Due to the increasing number of foreigners living in Slovakia, the foreigners’ police is preparing measures related to general bureaucracy.
Currently there are around 100,000 foreigners in Slovakia, which has total population of 5.4 million people.
Do not get scared
The foreigners’ police building in Dunajská Streda is a typical example of the fact that those offices originated at a time when the state expected a much smaller number of foreigners living on its territory.
It appears old from the outside and even the state emblem is falling from the wall. A foreigner visiting the office on a wheelchair called for help because the entrance stairs were not barrier-free. Then one of the police officers and bystanders had to lift him up and later help him leave the building.
10. Jan 2018 at 15:39 | Roman Cuprik