Tuesday, 4 November 2008

stamps and visas

D's company continues the long trek to official recognition in BiH. Having been recognised by a Federal Ministry and also been to the Tuzla Cantonal offices (each step involving lawyers, court translators and reams of paper) he now has an official company stamp. Innocuous looking, this stamp is the key to all things useful. For example, the company cannot have a Bosnian bank account without the stamp (and therefore cannot employ anyone and so on and so forth). It is such an important part of being a Bosnian company that if it is lost or stolen he must immediately report it to the Bosnian police.

So one step closer to having a fully functioning Bosnian company brings us one step closer to sorting out our visa situation. We need to apply for temporary residency visas, but cannot do so until D can show that he is employed by a Bosnian company. Until that time we exist on 90 day tourist visas. These are pretty easy to renew, and to be honest we suspect that many people remain on their tourist visas, just popping across the border for a long weekend on the Croatian coast or a partying weekend in Belgrade when it needs to be renewed.

This isn't an option for us for two reasons. Firstly, D is a director of a company and we are not comfortable not complying with the strict letter of the law. Second, those on tourist visas need to register where they are staying with the police. For us this means hauling our landlord down to the police station during the working day which is inconvenient for everybody. The only people who enjoy a trip to the police station are the boys. They rapidly discovered that they could race down the long corridors of the police station at full speed and if they screeched really loudly there was an echo. Yes, I do believe that everyone, including the police, would be happier if we didn't have to go back every 90 days.

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