Dealing with the Foreigners' Police can be a stressful business, and we know from the many comments that we receive from our readers that there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding how such interactions – especially applications for residency permits – are supposed to work. For this reason we approached the police to try and nail down some key facts. Here are the answers to 20 questions – including if and when foreigners will be able to track their applications online, why the Foreigners’ Police is sometimes called the ‘Alien Police’, and if a Foreigners’ Police officer has the right to refuse to deal with a foreigner’s application form.
1) Do foreigners need to bring a printed copy of their application form if they fill in their information via the electronic booking system? Do officers have access to the electronic form filled in by the foreigner when they attend an appointment?
Yes, the Foreigners’ Police recommend bringing your printed application form with you. They do not have access to the on-screen form which applicants fill in digitally: this is merely intended for applicants to complete and print out at home.
If you forget to bring the printed application form with you and you realise this in the office, you may ask the police for assistance. They may agree to print it out for you if you email them your completed application form as a PDF file. But this can somewhat prolong the whole processing of your application if say, a printer is not available.
The Foreigners’ Police has asked the firm that runs the electronic booking system to make a PDF of each foreigners’ application form available to police officers, but it is not known if or when the firm will meet this request.
If you do not have your printed application form with you, and are not able to access the electronic version, you can ask a police officer to give you a new, blank form. However, you are asked to request the form and fill it in before your appointment so as not to delay the whole process. Police officers have 40 minutes to process each foreigner’s application for a residency permit, and to carry out other necessary steps in this regard. This time can vary depending on the permission that the foreigner applies for.
You can also download an application form for temporary residence here. On the link, you can find other useful forms as well.
2) If a foreigner’s application is rejected, do they have to submit a second application with all the necessary documents attached again, even if some have already been submitted?
The police accept application forms and documents only if a foreigner has a complete application form and all their documents are ready for submission. If the foreigner lacks a required document or the application contains mistakes, the police will not accept the documentation.
In this way the police have eliminated the problem of incomplete applications. The police used to accept these, but decided to abolish the practice as it often took foreigners weeks to submit missing documents, during which incomplete applications piled up.
Currently, each time a foreigner’s application is rejected, they have to make a new appointment via the electronic booking system. By doing so, they get a new date, for which foreigners applying for residence are required to fill in another electronic application form. They must then also bring all the relevant documents, together with their printed application form to the police.