From tomorrow foreigners can visit any Foreigners' Police office in Slovakia when applying for a stay or a visa online.
Until today they could submit their online application only to the office in the same area as their registered place of residence. A report by Slovakia's ombudswoman in 2020 identified wide disparities in performance and visitor experience between offices, but until now foreigners have had no choice about which one they can attend.
However, from December 1, foreigners can select any of the 10 branches around the country if they want to submit their online application for temporary stay, permanent stay, long-term stay, or other life situations, for the first time.
"We want to make services available to as many foreigners as possible," Interior Minister Roman Mikulec announced.
The online booking system currently offers 21 different options under 'purpose of stay', ranging from the conventional ('employment') to the slightly oxymoronic ('permament residence for five years') or more specialised ('volunteering activities'; 'Slovak living abroad').
However, the new change does not apply to foreigners who plan to renew their existing stay, or to firms, Slovaks and foreigners applying for invitation verification – a supporting document that provides for the representative office of the Slovak Republic to make decisions in the process of granting a Schengen visa to a third-country national.
The Interior Ministry also noted that 'purposes of stay' that are not mentioned in the booking system, including submission of additional documents or collection of approved permits, can be dealt with from 15:00 to 15:30 at any office selected by the foreigner.