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So the other day I schlepped on back down to the Aliens’ Police office to pick up my replacement sticker for my Slovak temporary residence permit (povolenie na prechodný pobyt). Fortunately, I went at a time when there was only one person in the queue I needed ahead of me, so I didn’t even have a chance to crack the novel I brought along for company before my number came up.
Issuance went without problems; see image at right. I’m now once again fully in compliance with all laws of the Slovak Republic regarding legal stays of foreigners. Hooray!
Especially fun is the comparison of this Most Holy Document to the one it was issued to replace. Where my old visa (the image I posted of which, unfortunately, has the relevant bit blacked out) had “USA”, my new one displays “BEZ”, with bez being the Slovak word for “without”, presumably with reference to an implied field label of “citizenship”.
An interesting bit. My visa is a “temporary residence”. I asked the cops there when I could apply for permanent residence. “After 5 years of legal residency,” they told me. Huh, I thought it had been 3 years… now I have to do some reading of obsolete versions of the Act on Foreigners’ Stays in the Slovak Republic, or whatever it’s called, along with inquiring as to which version of the law will apply to me. Whatever. The only real difference between temporary and permanent residence here is that the permanent resident only has to turn up at the Aliens’ police once every 5 or 10 years, as opposed to every 12-18 months, for a new grant of permission to draw breath, metabolize, excrete and procreate on the territory of the Slovak Republic. I asked, then, when can I apply for Slovak citizenship — not, necessarily, that I plan to, but that I should at least have information of that sort at my fingertips. After a bit of back-room talking with higher-ups, the young officer who I’ve been interacting with there since I first presented myself for issuance of a stateless person’s travel document returned to tell me that I really ought to inquire at a different office, the obvodný úrad (the “District Office”, or something to that effect), since it’s the good folks there, rather than the Aliens’ Police, who deal with citizenship issues.
While he was away from the front desk, I chatted with the other cop-lady there who had attended me originally, stickered my traveling papers, canceled my stamps, solicited my signatures, and so on. I mentioned to her the fact that, which the Slovak legislation on foreigners’ stays refers two two different types of ordinary stay with varied timing characteristics — prechodný pobyt, temporary residence, and trvalý pobyt, permanent residence — the legislation on citizenship, as it pertains to stateless persons living legally in the territory, provides that a stateless person legally resident in the Slovak Republic can apply for citizenship after 3 years of nepretržitý pobyt (continuous residence).
“Huh, that’s interesting,” she said. “Well, go on and ask them folks at the obvodný úrad, and they’ll get you sorted out.”