Monday, December 19, 2011

The interview with the Foreign Police

As mentioned a couple posts ago, we were given an appointment for our interview with the Foreign Police, scheduled at the incredibly odd hour of 7:30 pm Sunday evening. All we needed to bring was someone who could translate for me. Tony couldn't do it because the translator must not be from Terezia's family, so he got a friend of his from work named Jaro to come along. We had no idea what to expect. When Terezia had a similar interview in the US for her green card, it took about five minutes and was basically a mere formality. We were also told by one of the people helping us at the Foreign Police that the interview here was similarly just a formality. The guy who told us that was clearly lying.

When we got there, we were greeted by our interviewer, a friendly woman who looked to be in her late 40s. She interviewed Terezia first while we waited outside in the hall. The interview took an hour and a half. A mere formality, right? I'm now totally convinced that the primary objective of Slovakia's Foreign Police is to test one's patience. At any rate, while the interviewer did remain friendly and personable, she really grilled Terezia, asking her about where we live, describing the layout and square footage; about when and how we met; about our wedding and who all attended; about hobbies, interests, and education; about each others' parents, etc. The whole interview dragged on and on. Luckily, Tony was sitting on a bench close to the office, and could hear through the door much of what was being said, so Jaro and I got a feel for what she'd be asking us.

When it was my turn, Jaro and I went in and sat down in two broken office chairs. The office was brightly lit and a dingy. Jaro did a good job translating, and the woman typed my responses into a Word template containing all the questions. I noticed right away that she was a horrible typist - she hunted and pecked with her index fingers. Getting this lady to a typing class would probably cut down the interview by half an hour, at least. I was asked the same questions as Terezia, but she apparently didn't need me to go into quite as much detail as Terezia provided. Despite dragging on for an eternity, it went well, and she said "dobre" ("good") after each of my responses, which was reassuring.

At the end, Jaro, quite thoughtfully, asked the woman about what would happen next, and whether there was any possibility that my residency permit would be approved before January 1. She told him that she will give the interview report to some other guy, and she can recommend that he approve it right away, but from there, it's kind of out of her hands. She said that she didn't foresee any problems with our case, and that it is possible that I can get the permit before January 1, but there are no guarantees. We basically need to keep calling and pestering these people until they give me the visa.

And we really can't thank Jaro enough for coming along and being my translator. That was incredibly nice of him to spend his Sunday evening in such a tedious way at such a dreadful place. He is an awesome guy, and we owe him big time!

(Click here to see photos I've taken this month)

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