Wednesday, May 04, 2005

On getting a bloody visa in the Czech Republic

I used to have permanent residency but then I got divorced. I managed to fool people into thinking I still had permanent residency for a couple of years after that. In 2001 I started the process to legitimately obtain long-term residency, which was very complicated because the Foreigner Police (Czech equivalent of the INS) had been wondering where I was for a while. Then when I was almost finished and just waiting for my visa to be ready, the woman whom I had paid to handle the process for me disappeared. I found out a few years later that she had gone underground to avoid being killed by the Ukrainian mafia, or something like that. She had all my paperwork and the receipts I would have needed so I just gave up. At that point, employers/clients started paying me in cash or by invoice from England.

I was away for two years, and when I came back I went to work for the Ministry of Defence; they obtained a special visa for me. But now I am in a new non-governmental job, and I have to get a regular long-term residency visa. The firm arranged my work permit for me, which was the first step. Now the jokers want me to do the rest of the work myself.

The first step is getting an extract from the Criminal Register to prove that I do not have a criminal record in the Czech Republic. What the police want from me in order to process that:
1. a filled in form;
2. 50 Kč (about $2 US);
3. my passport; and
4. an officially translated super-legalised apostilled copy of my birth certificate.

…and they can just fuck off. For one thing, my birth certificate lives in a safety deposit box in LA and it has not seen the light of day since I got my first passport 25 years ago. I am not even going to consider the steps necessary to produce an officially translated super-legalised apostilled copy. Anyway, I happen to know, because I have done it before, that if you pay an agent to get the extract for you, they can do it without a birth certificate. I am going to go to the police tomorrow to try on my own, and when I don’t succeed I will call another agent who will probably end up having to go underground, taking all of my paperwork with her.


Anonymous said...

I never knew that story...your agent going underground. Then again, I thought you had all that shite taken care of...

You poor thing. What a pain in the ass.

Maybe you should just marry me?

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if I added "stephy" to the bottem of that post, huh? Handy indeed...