Monthly Archives: May, 2015

The quick and easy visa process, part three – it all comes together.

approved

Back to Vienna: This is the third and final instalment in my “second time around” Czech long term residence visa process.  If you’ve just stumbled upon my site and you are doing your first visa I recommend you start here with the more detailed posts from 2013.  If you just want the summery start back at part one. I had my first visa appointment in Vienna on April 7th, 2015 and got the email saying I was approved on May 6th. That’s one month less a day for approval and well ahead of the expiry of my 90 day entry on May 20th.  Whew!  As I was busy with other things I didn’t go to pick the visa up until May 15th and did the normal midnight Student Agency bus to Vienna.  Cost 979kc plus €4.40 for the Bahn.  **Actually, I didn’t take the Bahn both ways – instead I walked the 11+ kms from Stadion to the Embassy since I arrived at 4:30 am and didn’t need to be there until 8:30. You see interesting things on the streets at 6:00 am, including cool old cars.

11258280_10152891226097423_6720273872942507181_n

Once at the Embassy I handed in my passport, health insurance documents (including proof of payment) and waited about 20 minutes for it to be processed.  When it was done they gave it back to me along with instructions to check in with the Foreign Police within three days of entering the Czech Republic. So, back to Stadion, back on Student Agency and back to Prague by 17:00.

Back in Prague: Visa in hand there were still four things that needed to be wrapped up:

Živnostenský List finalization: I visited the office where they copied my passport and visa and told me to come back next week.  The zivno is active as of now, even if I don’t have a copy yet. Cost: nothing, as it was paid for last time.

Social Service Tax registration: I also dropped by the social service tax office, they gave me forms to fill out and told me to come back when I had my actual Živnostenský document.  **A Czech person is helpful here.** Cost: nothing (but it will be 1943Kc per month)

Income Tax registration: The income tax office is in the same building as the zivnostensky office.  All that was needed was a change of address as my account is still active. Cost: nothing.

Foreign Police registration:  Ah.  The foreign Police. Take a Czech friend with you.  And a snack.  And some patience.  There were about 200 people in the building and it took about three hours to get in.  When you arrive take a number for “tourist registration” and fill out the two forms the reception will give you. Cost: nothing

Elapsed time: If you are keeping score, the total time from start to finish – from the time I arrived and started applying for things to the time I had a visa in my passport and was legal to work – March 9th to May 18th or 71 days.  Keep in mind I could have taken a slightly earlier appointment in Berlin and/or gone to pick up my visa one week earlier if I wanted to shave some time off this.

Costs:

My total cost from start to finish for the Živnostenský, criminal record checks, visa and travel was 8,350kc (which is about $415 Canadian or €305).

The High Tatras (Vysoké Tatry)…

I’m a big fan of getting out of Prague to go hiking whenever possible, so when my small hiking group decided to go to the High Tatras in Slovakia I was the first to sign up.  I’m glad I did!

We travelled from Prague to Poprad on the Student Agency Leo Express train.  It was comfortable and quick – about seven hours each way.  The service on the train was excellent with great food and snacks at even better prices.  To top it off the cost was only about 700Kc return for comfort class.

After arriving in Poprad we took the Tatra Electric Railway through the foothills to our accommodations in Štrbské Pleso.  Even from the train platform we could tell it was going to be a nice trip!

IMG_4817

After 45 minutes on the train we arrived in the mountains, Štrbské Pleso is a nice little mountain village which was quite quiet in May.  It is hard not to notice the mountains everywhere.

IMG_4819 IMG_4826

After finding our accommodations (a very cozy tourist hotel for only 20 euros per person per night) we wandered around and then had a fantastic dinner at Furkotka (where we ended up eating every night!).  Even from our rooms the view was still nice.

IMG_4822

The next morning dawned cold (4 degrees) but clear and sunny.  After a breakfast in our rooms we headed back to the train to head towards the start of our hike at  Starý Smokovec.  From here we headed up into the hills and valleys on our way to our destination at nearly 2000m – Zbojnícka chata.  The trip started out in the trees and along the rivers….

IMG_4835

…but quickly became snow covered…

IMG_4837

…which made for interesting hiking…

IMG_4864

…but left me happy!

IMG_4863

It was worth the climb to the hut, the views were amazing and the food was very good.

IMG_4861

The 22+ kms and elevation gain left us all a little worn out, so after a long day we returned by train to our village, had another nice meal and retired for the night.

Day two dawned wet and cloudy, but we headed out for a long traverse hike which started in Štrbské Pleso. The wet weather made for poor photos, and some of us were feeling the pain from the day before.  In the end part of the group carried on to Chata pod Soliskom at over 1800 metres, while others, myself included, opted for a more leisurely stroll and time chilling at a nice cafe.

The following morning we took the train directly from Štrbské Pleso to Štrba, a much shorter and straight downhill ride, and were able to catch our Student Agency train from there.

I’ll be back, that I know for certain!  It was great to be back in the mountains again!

IMG_4857