Sailing through the immigration process in Slovakia is an easy ride for some who manage to book their appointment online and handle their residence application within a few minutes. Many still face a long wait in front of the Foreigners’ Police department and attempts to make them enter their names on unofficial waiting lists.
The headquarters of the Office of Border and Foreigners’ Police, which also acts as an immigration authority in Slovakia, at the end of a tram line, is a long way from the centre where the interior minister sits. First deputy director Róbert Gucký, who currently heads the office and aspires to become its full-fledged director, says he sees eye to eye with the new ministry management and believes he can bring about long-awaited change.
One of the first things he did after he took over was to take the word “Alien” out of the Foreigners’ Police name, but he has other, more practical ideas for changes.
Gucký spoke with The Slovak Spectator about the online booking system, about the prospects that some of the Foreigners’ Police agenda would go digital, but also offers foreigners his advice on how to avoid waiting in long lines and what to do about the unofficial waiting lists.
The Slovak Spectator (TSS): Are you aware of a case from last week, when a client of the Foreigners’ Police complained on Facebook that she spent the night waiting for the office to open, and all the while faced psychological pressure from people who wanted her to enter her name on an unofficial waiting list?