Slovakia | Public Defender publishes main findings on the handling of applications by the Foreigners’ Police Service

The report is based on an inquiry carried out in October and November 2019 by members of an inquiry team set up by the Office of the Public Defender of Rights. The team visited all Border and Foreigners’ Police Departments (“BFPDs”) existing at the time, namely in Bratislava, Trnava, Dunajská Streda, Nové Zámky, Nitra, Trenčín, Žilina, Banská Bystrica, Rimavská Sobota, Prešov, Košice and Michalovce.

In order to assess the situation at individual BFPDs, we conducted unannounced interviews with the management, as well as with foreigners present at the departments at the time of our visit. In order to get a picture of the situation and reach a broader public, we also developed a questionnaire and received over 500 responses. The findings of the report are based primarily on the personal visits of individual BFPDs, but also on the comments received from the central level (Bureau of Border and Foreigners’ Police), particularly on the statistics, training of police officers and on the system used to process and redistribute applications. The results of our inquiry do not include BFPD Michalovce because the department refused to cooperate from the outset and referred the team to the spokesperson of the superior police directorate.

The inquiry focused on the procedures applied by the police in the processing of applications submitted by foreigners during the periods of increased numbers of applicants. The inquiry also focused on the conditions existing at individual BFPDs, on the problems encountered by the police in the performance of their duties, on how foreigners are treated, on the existence of ‘informal waitlists’, on how foreigners’ applications are processed, on the efficiency of the scheduling system, on whether the principles of good public governance are applied, on the provision of information to foreigners (with specific emphasis on the quality, accessibility, comprehensibility and scope of the information available in foreign languages), on the material and technical resources available at individual BFPDs, and on the overall quality of their premises. The purpose of the inquiry was neither to evaluate the correctness of procedures nor to assess the form of stay (residence permits) granted by the Slovak Republic.

Source: Public Defender of Rights of the Slovak Republic

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