Virginia, US

Sep 12 2018

Delays at Bratislava Foreign Police Office

Slovak Republic

The situation

Due to a high volume of applications, foreign applicants at the Foreign Police office in Bratislava are facing lengthy appointment waiting times and 16-22 hour queues before the Foreign Police office opens to obtain a ticket for an appointment for the same business day.

Background

  • In-person visits. The standard immigration process includes some or all of the following in-person visits to the Foreign Police, which now require lengthy waiting times and queueing:
    • Filing an in-country application, for locally-hired visa-exempt nationals;
    • Registering residence, for EU nationals; and
    • Submitting biometric data (fingerprints and passport picture).

Residence permit renewal applications similarly require at least one in-person visit for submission of application and biometric data. Third-party representatives cannot wait in line on behalf of the applicant.

  • Ticketing system. The Foreign Police office in Bratislava issues tickets each morning to confirm the order in which applicants seeking to complete the above immigration process steps will be served that day. Once the daily capacity is filled, no further tickets are issued.
  • No service guarantee. Since individual applications may exceed standard time slots, not all ticket holders may be served on the same business day. At the close of business, pending tickets become void. Affected applicants must collect a new ticket the next business day, which could mean waiting in long lines again.


Impact for foreign nationals

Foreign nationals must be prepared to wait in long lines to complete the above immigration processes, which may mean delaying start dates or missing work days.

Impact for employers

Employers are advised to plan for their foreign workers’ absence since they must wait in line to complete the above in-person immigration steps during the first weeks of stay and for residence permit renewal applications.

Possible solutions

Initial applicants can file their application at a consular post abroad instead of following the in-country process. No alternative is available for the other in-person process steps or for renewals.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.