Hello guys! My name is Hana Lahodová and I am an intern at Foreigners Prague from the beginning of January 2019. I am handling PR and marketing tasks for the local office. In this article, I would like to share with you my experience that I gained recently and give you a piece of advice that will save you time.
Assistance is one of the services Foreigners are offering. How does it work? Basically, you will get a Czech speaking assistant that can help you to deal with anything you need. It’s mainly because of the language barrier at the Immigration Office, where they must use the official language, Czech. However, the assistant can help you in different situations, for example at the Labour Office, in a bank, post office etc.
How did I got to do this?
I really love the concept of Foreigners and that brings me joy to work hard during the internship. I am an open minded person and like to gain as much experience as possible. When I get a task that I have never done before I am glad that I can earn some new knowledge and help people.
My colleague Zuzana who works as an Expat & Immigration Consultant asked me for help one day. She told me to go as an assistant with a Pakistanian client to obtain his visa. Obviously, this was something that I have never done before. I asked my colleague to give me all the information and documents I had to have and then I had the whole weekend to prepare myself by googling more information. I wanted to help and give a great service. I decided that I can handle it, because I just had to translate everything at the officer’s desk. Come on, that can’t be so hard, no? 🙂
The client was leaving within a few days to Pakistan. His long-term visa was expiring and it was the last day he could’ve asked for an extension before his departure. It was urgent because if the visa have had expired, he would have gotten an “exit order”. That means he wouldn’t be able to come back to the Czech Republic until he goes through the whole process of obtaining the visa again.
It was on a Monday morning, he was already waiting at the Ministry of Interior one hour before I came due to the queues. It was almost his turn when I arrived. But we had a complication because nothing can’t go smooth, right? 😊
When you come inside the Ministry of Interior building, you need to take a ticket with a serial number, so you know when your turn is. The problem was created when our client had to fill in last 3 numbers from his ID or passport to get the ticket. He put there one number incorrectly so when it was our turn to go to the officer’s desk, she had to send us back again to make it right. I knew from Zuzana’s experience that people can wait there over 1-3 hours, so that made me scared. At the end, it wasn’t bad at all because they had a lot of desks opened and that made the whole process quicker. We were waiting around 20 extra minutes before it was our turn again.
We had a great talk, the officer was a young woman who knew what she was doing. We dealt with everything within an hour. However, please keep in mind that those numbers from your identity document has to be filled in correct form so you avoid the unnecessary delay!
I enjoyed helping our client out. Thanks to that, I had a chance to chat with a citizen from Pakistan (which I never had before!) and get to know him better. And this is why we do what we do at Foreigners. We are breaking the stereotypes and getting closer to other nationalities. For me, it was a great experience and I would gladly do it again.