10 May 2023
After the previous period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the activity of the consular service of the Slovak Republic has fully returned to personal contact with the public. In practice, this was manifested by an increased interest in those activities that required the personal presence of the applicant and which were limited in previous years.
During the evaluated period, most consular services were provided to Slovak citizens in the registry and travel document agenda. Demand for emergency assistance and information services has fallen. As a result of the lifting of travel restrictions, the mobility of citizens and foreigners has increased.
The significant increase in the number of visa applications was due to relaxed travel arrangements, the outbreak of the war conflict in Ukraine and a sharp increase in the interest of important investors in the Slovak Republic in labor force from third countries in Southeast and Central Asia.
Citizens of the Slovak Republic were provided full consular protection in accordance with national legislation and the EU acquis. When performing consular activities and communicating with clients, great emphasis was placed on timeliness, empathy and professionalism of the services provided and raising their client standard.
As part of the continuation of "client-friendly" solutions, after the introduction of cashless payments via a POS terminal and a software cash register at the legalization section of the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as "KONZ"), a pilot project was launched for the use of the payment terminal at selected ZÚ.
The experience of the selected ZÚ so far confirms that clients perceive the introduction of the terminal positively.
Consular service in 2022, among others:
– certified 42,547 documents, copies, signatures and translations (down by 4,579);
– processed 23,169 applications for the issuance of a passport (an increase of 520), 7,488 applications for the issuance of an identity card (an increase of 126), 666 applications for the issuance of a driver's license (an increase of 101) and 3,672 applications for the issuance of a replacement travel document (an increase of 384);
– implemented 12,536 acts of the register agenda (an increase of 3,693); )
– registered 4,997 personal documents and items lost abroad by citizens in the Slovak Republic (a decrease of 52);
– dealt with 2,308 cases of the state civil agenda (a decrease of 233);
– processed 1,297 requests for an extract from the criminal record of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Slovak Republic (increase by 1);
– registered 1,356 reports of criminal activity of Slovak citizens abroad (an increase of 73);
– dealt with 1,099 deaths of Slovak citizens (a decrease of 7);
– helped 271 wounded and hospitalized Slovak citizens (an increase of 7);
– married 21 couples abroad (an increase of 11);
– processed 20,797 visa applications (an increase of 11,503) and granted 17,012 visas (an increase of 8,647);
– provided emergency assistance in 7,589 cases (a decrease of 9,783);
– responded to 198,625 e-mail inquiries (a decrease of 1,340);
– processed 8,004 telephone requests through the Consular Information Center (a decrease of 10,026);
– processed 2,169 applications for temporary and permanent residence (a decrease of 84).
From the comparison of the above-mentioned selected consular actions with the previous year, an increase in the number of consular submissions was recorded (passport applications, 2 citizenship and driver's licenses, replacement travel documents, submissions within the registry agenda, criminal record statement, notification of criminal activity, injuries and hospitalization of citizens, marriages abroad). An enormous increase was recorded in the visa agenda (visa applications received and visas granted). The report summarizes the results achieved by the network of 76 consular workplaces of representative offices of the Slovak Republic and the consular department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Slovak Republic in providing consular protection, assistance, help and services. Considering the fact that the ZÚ is not informed about all events that concern Slovak citizens abroad (e.g. the exact number of hospitalized persons, the number of deaths, children taken away, persons prosecuted, etc.), the report contains an assessment of only those data about of which ZÚ and KONZ have knowledge.
Source: Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (https://www.mzv.sk/)