Our last post probably seemed frantic and scary… that’s how we felt at the time. But we feel MUCH better now, and wanted to give you a little more information about what’s been happening today.
It’s late/early here – 2:30 in the morning. We’ve been at the police department since 7am, giving us an official time there around 19 hours. It has been a roller-coaster day. We began the morning fairly confident that we would submit our papers today. By mid-morning, we learned that we had overstayed our temporary visa by 90 days, and are currently “illegal aliens.” There was a scramble at first because we thought we would have to leave the country immediately, and at one point were told we might be banned from the Slovak Republic for 10 years! But as the day went on the news got gradually better.
The short version is that we have been “administratively deported” – essentially, deported on paper – and fined about $125 a person. That’s bad news. Now here’s the good news:
- We do NOT have to leave Tuesday morning at 6am. We have 30 days to leave. This is wonderful news in many ways – it means the girls can stay in school longer, and that we have time to get our things in order.
- During that 30 days, if we can get our papers together, we can go ahead and submit them to apply for the residence permit. We thought we would have to go to the Slovak Embassy in Washington D.C. to do this.
- They did NOT ban us from the country at all, and we don’t have to stay out for 90 days as we had been told. We DO have to leave at some point, but can come back as soon as our residence permit is approved.
There will be more to share later, but before we go to bed, we wanted to tell you all THANK YOU for your prayers!! It might not seem like your prayer changed the circumstances, but they made a HUGE difference in our spirits. We feel very much at peace about all this, and know that God’s hand is still leading us. Your prayers and encouragement have made all the difference. Thank you… and good night!
Jon & Tanya