The Slovenia Times

Rage with Slovenian Bureaucracy



This usually means a few minutes of your time, a few pieces of paperwork, and you are on your way, as free to live and work as everybody else. However, in Slovenia, this is not the case. This is the most bureaucratic system imaginable. The impression is given that either the whole process is a hidden-camera show joke, or that the powers that be really don't want you to come to work in their country, hoping that you will become so frustrated by the process that eventually you just give up and go home. No such luck for them in my case, my determination to become a 'legal' too strong. To cut a long story short; At the beginning of this year I was told that in order to continue being paid, I had to obtain a piece of paper called a Pavsalist, a permit basically meaning that I am a registered freelance worker. I was told that it was all being sorted out for me by my employers, and all I had to do was wait a week or two. After two months we were still waiting, being told every day on the phone that it was being processed. After another month, my employees informed me that maybe it would be quicker if I went to get it myself. "No problem." I said. "I'll just go to the finance office tomorrow and get it." Oh, how funny that sentence seems a few months later. Off I wandered to the office, to pick up my permit. I wasn't given the piece of paper, though, instead I was told that I must go to a completely different office first, the Office for Foreign Citizens, on the other side of Ljubljana, to apply for a new residency permit. Without the first permit I couldn't get the second. So, off I went to apply for the residency permit. I took with me the necessary identification and my job contract, and paid the 1785 tolars. I answered all of the questions asked by the Gestapo-like worker there. Why are you here in Slovenia? How long do you plan to stay? By what means do you support yourself? Do you have any Jewish blood in you? OK, I just made that last one up, but you get the picture. I was told to wait a few weeks for their answer as to whether or not they would grant me the residency. After another month I was called back to the office to finally collect my piece of paper. Happy, I rushed the next day to the Finance Office to collect my long-overdue Pavsalist. "I'm sorry Mr. Mole, we can't give it to you." "What do you mean, you can't give it to me? I have the residency Permit." I fumed. "Well, if you look closely, Mr. Mole, you will see that this isn't exactly a residency permit. It states that your address is v tujini (abroad). You need one that states your address here in Slovenia." "Well, can't you just call their office and sort this out? I really need this." "No, I'm afraid not. We don't have any association with that department." Two Government offices that don't have any association. How is that possible?? Right, back to square one... In the Office for Foreign Citizens. "Why did you give me this? It's not a residency permit." "Oh, that's because you didn't give us the contract that you have with the landlord of the apartment you rent. You need to show us that, otherwise we can't give you the residency permit." "So, why the f$%king hell didn't you tell me that before?" "You didn't ask us." So, a few days later I'm back at the office, this time with the requested contract. I am again told to wait a few weeks for something to arrive in the post. Eventually I am informed that I must go back to the office to get my permit. I am given it, but this time I make a point of checking everything on it before leaving the building. The month is now late July, but my permit is only valid until September 1st. Just over a month away. "Why is it for such a short period?" By now I can't help but laugh. "Because your work contract is only valid until then." "Well, why didn't you tell me? Then I could have got a new contract made to give to you." "Because, Mr. Mole, you never asked. It's OK, just come back when this one has expired, bring a new contract, and we'll make you a new permit." So, next day, off to the Finance Office, Pavsalist collected. Good. It only took me 8 months to get a simple piece of paper. God bless the Slovenian system. Well, that was then, and this is now. Time to get my new Residency Permit. Armed with all necessary documents, including my new 2-year work contract, I went today to pick up my new permit. "Oh no, Mr. Mole. You don't just pick one up. You have to apply for a new one. You must pay 1785 tolars, fill out this form, and wait two to three weeks for our answer in the post." I wonder how long it will take this time. I am taking bets now.


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