Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Passport pirouette: The Czech/Slovak visa saga

This page of my passport reminds me of a year-long saga that was a tad frustrating at the time. When I ended up living in Bratislava, I had actually been offered a job in Prague, and it was only at the last minute that the school told me they had over-hired in Prague, and would I mind going to live in the Slovak capital instead. I didn't mind, but I'd only taken care of getting a Czech visa on a short trip back home, and Slovakia had strict rules at the time - pre-EU - stating that I could only apply for a working visa from either my home country (very far away by this time) or from the Czech Republic, if I was legally living and working there.

As a result - and I'm certain that in European Union times this has all disappeared - my school decided they would send me, and a bunch of similarly-troubled teachers, off to Prague with documentation suggesting we worked at the Prague branch, and lived there too, so that we could apply for our Slovak working visa. This required a Czech working visa to start with, but all I had was this tourist visa. Oh, what a saga. Unbelievably, at the end of the year I still had nothing to show for my troubles (apart from several long stints waiting at the Czech embassy in Bratislava) and I spent much of the year nervous every time I re-entered Slovakia from a trip. Thankfully passport control never seemed to care that I was obviously not a tourist there, and I moved on without ever being accused of breaching any rules. Phew.


  1. Sounds like dealing with Telstra....

  2. Ha ha yes very similar to Telstra. Just with a communist slant and a major language barrier.


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