Until the end of October, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ran a so-called Visapoint; a tool which could be used by foreigners to set up a meeting for submission of the application for stay permit with a local embassy of the Czech Republic in an electronic form.
The system was severely criticized as it was overload in certain countries to the extent that it was impossible to log in to it. And since it was impossible to apply for the permit without such registration, many had to resort to paying considerable amounts of money to traffickers, who could bypass the system security to get a free slot in some countries (e.g. Ukraine).
They were not only the foreigners, however, who criticized the system: prospective employers who could not take on new foreign staff easily were also among the critics. The Visapoint discontinuation, then, was applauded – the question is whether this view is justifiable. The meeting reservation will still be in order although different means will have to be employed: telephone, email etc. Nevertheless, the issues with the capacity of the respective embassies or profiteering with the terms on their employees’ part will remain as was the practice before the Visapoint introduction.
One of the solutions has recently been suggested by a ruling of the Supreme Administrative Court of the Czech Republic which introduces an “impersonal” submission of the application (i.e. at a registry, via post or a data mailbox) if the applicant is not allowed to file their application personally in a “dignified way in appropriate time”.
The Court, then, shows the foreigners a way to cut through the proverbial red tape and have their applications considered.