Slovakia: Immigration Bulletin – Change in Work Permit Requirements for Local Hires and Foreigners on Assignment
Stricter work permit rules are now in effect
The government of Slovakia has introduced new requirements for non-EEA foreigners in an attempt to boost the employment of Slovak nationals and reduce the country’s growing unemployment rate. The labor office published the regulations internally in February 2012, however, the rules have only been brought in practice since 1 April, 2012.
Work Force Demand Needed for Local Hires
Employers intending to hire non-EU/EEA foreigners as local hires must submit work force demand applications to a local labor office prior to work permit applications. Per the request, the labor office runs a search to verify if any Slovak citizens could fill the specific position at the host company. Work permit applications can be submitted only if the position cannot be filled locally. As a result of the new requirements, the immigration process for non-EEA local hires has been extended by appropriately 15 days.
Assignment and Transfer Letter Specifications
In cases where employment in Slovakia is based on an Assignment Contract or Transfer Letter, the maximum term of an assignment (ideally 5 years) must be specified on the contract/transfer letter as any future extensions of the work permit will be done according to this specification. Although the initial work permit will be issued for the validity of up to 2 years, in cases where the assignment is extended, the new work permit may not be issued for longer periods than what is indicated in the foreigner’s original contract/transfer letter.
Should the assignment period stated on the contract/transfer letter fall short of the desired period, the company may not be able to extend the work permit at all. The labor office will deny any subsequent applications on assignment, and the foreign national will have to change to local employment in order to continue working in Slovakia. Applicants switching to local payrolls should note that the processing time is considerably longer for work permits issued on local payroll. Presently the time to obtain a work permit on assignment is approximately 15 days, whereas obtaining a work permit for local employment takes approximately 45 days, together with the work force demand requirement.
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