jane m clayton wrote:We asked if we would be sent a message or called to say the cards were ready, and he said'...we did that to start with, but there are around 7,000 of you, so not now'.
Everybody I know has been called to tell them that their card is ready for collection, Jane, otherwise how will you know when to go for it? I don't know anybody who has been sent an SMS. The number of people applying for a card has not changed but certainly the rate of processing seems to be increasing.
The basic process hasn't changed at all, Jeff, but the detail seems to. At the Chania police station you need to make an appointment for the fingerprinting visit and I would guess that is the same in Αγιος Νικολαος. Originally in Chania you went down to the passport office and made the appointment immediately after the application visit but after a few weeks they changed it so you had to phone to get one. It takes about 1 week give or take between the fingerprinting visit and collecting the card. I went back to the same office to collect my card but now they are making people wait outside. Someone comes out periodically, collects a batch of the application verification papers, i.e. what you describe as a "cover note", then brings out the cards and distributes them.
I think having an appointment for each visit is important with the current COVID infection levels and movement restrictions. They might not give you written confirmation of an appointment but at least you have a chance of getting off a fine if you have an appointment. For example when you go for the first visit you will have the e-Paravolo with you and that states on it what it is for. When you go for the fingerprinting visit and to collect the card you will have the application verification document with you. All these prove the purpose of your journey and also effectively where you are going, since there is a limited number of police stations doing the process, even if they don't prove the time of your appointment. I think you have a good chance of talking your way out of getting a fien issued or, if you do get a ticket, a good chance of getting it annulled.
A married couple I know, who have lived here for many years and both have a blue permanent residence certificate, were contacted yesterday and told to also bring proof of income and proof of health insurance. They were told "the rules have changed". That is a complete nonsense. The rules are based on on the Withdrawal Agreement and the terms of that are based on Directive 2004/38/EC. Neither of those have changed nor has the official police web site that sets out the requirements.