Radu Coanta comes from Romania, but currently lives in Slovakia with his wife and daughter. Since they recently relocated to another address, they headed to the Foreigners’ Police to make the change in their records. To do so, he used the online booking system introduced in April 2019.
He made three appointments on May 17, and five days later received three confirmation e-mails with the date and time of the appointments, complete with the number of the counters that will deal with the agenda.
They arrived to the police department on Regrútska Street in Bratislava about 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment, and when the time came, they were called in. The police officers were nice and very polite. One of them spoke very good English and the others were trying their best, Coanta described. The whole process took about 36 minutes.
“Compared to my past experiences with the Bratislava Foreigners’ Police, which involved a lot of waiting, this was a great example of an organised system, much improved and customer oriented,” Coanta told The Slovak Spectator.
Other foreigners The Slovak Spectator spoke to reported similarly positive experiences.
The online booking system was introduced primarily to eliminate the long queues that have long been one of the sore points of the process of dealing with immigration authorities in Slovakia. Online booking enables foreigners make an appointment for a specific time when submitting an application on granting or prolonging a residence permit in Slovakia in departments in 12 towns.
How does the system work?
- Make an online appointment via a form on the Interior Ministry's website.
- After clicking on the respective police department in the white box, foreigners will be asked to fill in some personal details and the type of application.
- After sending the filled form, they will receive confirmation email and subsequently a date and time scheduled for an appointment.
“The queues have been partly eliminated, and despite the continued pressure we are trying to satisfy every applicant,” Andrea Dobiášová from the Police Corps Presidium told The Slovak Spectator.
However, those willing to use the system in the coming weeks will need to wait since it will be unavailable from July 12 to August 5.
“The system will migrate into the government cloud,” the police explained. The government cloud is a platform that enables the government to create a more efficient way of sharing its technical sources, including databases and servers.
Some people still hesitant
The booking system has been used by 7,929 people since April 2019 when it was launched, and early July 2019. During the first month of its operation, 2,610 people made an online appointment, with the most in Bratislava, Dunajská Streda and Trnava, police statistics show.