Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Today at the Foreigner Police

On Monday morning I went to the post office to pick up a registered letter. The letter informed me that my visa application had been refused. While I had no strong reaction to the news (I could hear the south of France calling), Katka, our personnel lady, did.

On Tuesday afternoon we had a long and rather pointless meeting with Hana, the woman from the visa agency. The only productive thing that came out of it was a further appointment to meet her today at the Foreigner Police.

Katka and I took the tram to the Foreigner Police to meet Hana. We waited for her outside for about 30 minutes, and then we waited another 20 minutes inside for the bureaucratic cow to come and answer our questions.

I think there is a rule that people who work at the Foreigner Police are not allowed to smile or exhibit any understanding of humour. They are definitely not allowed to be reasonable or think beyond their rules and regulations. The cow looked at my old visa and declared that it was not a work visa, and therefore my application for extending a work visa had been pointless. I had originally filled out an application for an entirely new work visa, but Hana’s colleague had insisted that was wrong.

The problem with the old visa was that it was an extraordinary visa given by agreement between the Foreigner Police and the Czech Ministry of Defence, but it was not a work visa because I was contracted to and paid by the US military rather than the Czechs.

So the answer to any question we asked was “no”, and we finally had to concede that I would have to start all over again and go abroad to a Czech embassy or consulate to submit my new application with all of the supporting documentation. Luckily I had originally submitted only notarised copies of my documentation so I still have all the originals. They will be taken back to the notary this afternoon for more copies.

Documentation:
· my work permit from the work office,
· an affidavit from my landlord stating that I have a place to live for the duration of my visa period (1 year),
· an extract from the Czech criminal register stating that I have no criminal record, and
· a notarised affidavit stating that I have no criminal record in the US or in any other country.

Oh no, Katka just came into my office to tell me that we don’t have the original of my landlord’s affidavit so I will have to get another one of those.

All this really means for me in terms of further inconvenience is having to wake up early one morning to be driven to Vienna or Dresden. There are substantial advantages, however; these are that 1) I still cannot sign my employment contract and so can quit whenever I want (a psychological advantage) and 2) I will continue to be paid into a bank account abroad and will pay no taxes for another couple of months.

7 comments:

Tits Malone said...

Poor sweet MM,

I understand what you have been through...having been smacked by Czech bureaucratic dumplings on several occasions...

When I sit around and wonder if I should have stayed in Prague...I think about that foreign police office and standing in line all day (day after day)...and then I don't miss Prague quite that much anymore.

I say go to Vienna, drink a coffee and have a ride on the Wienner Wheel hahahahaha

chatsy malone said...

Hey I am a czech citizen and those old bitches still made me cry when I applied for my Obcanka. Thank god it doesn`t expire for another 10 years man.

Lighten up Max, as Tits said go and have a nice day in Vienna. Have a mozart kugeln for me.

Max said...

Don't worry about me, girls, I've got no problem with this. I am focusing on the advantages. It's not like I have to give up a Saturday to apply for my visa; I'll only be missing work.

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AG said...

Just think, make a mistake on the next visa aplication and you can continue like this for at least another year!

Max said...

AG, you are devious. Or is that deviant?

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