Immigrating to Slovakia

BUSINESS TRAVEL

The term business visit, from an immigration perspective defines a short trip that does not require work permits and authorizations in Slovakia. As such the business traveler is only allowed to undertake business activities, during which visitor represents interest of employing company based outside of Slovakia.


Allowed Activities

  • Slovak legislation does not specify allowed business activities, however, activities should usually be limited to business meetings.
  • If a foreigner receives salary from a Slovak company or a company in Slovakia benefits from a foreigner’s activity, a work permit is necessary.

In certain cases a foreign national may convert from visitor to work permit status without leaving the country. Please contact Move One to confirm whether a visit may be classified as business.


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Entry Requirements and Limitations

VISA EXEMPT

Nationals of the following countries may enter Slovakia without a visa for up to 90 days (for a stay over 90 days residence registration must be arranged):

  • EU/EEA & Swiss nationals

Nationals of the following countries may enter Slovakia without a visa for up to 90 days within 180 days period:

  • Albania – biometric passports
  • Andorra
  • Antigua Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina – biometric passports
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • Macao
  • Macedonia – biometric passports
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro – biometric passports
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • San Marino
  • Serbia – biometric passports
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan passports which include ID card number
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican
  • Venezuela



VISA REQUIRED


Business Visa

Nationals not specified above must obtain a Schengen short-stay visa (type C) for business purpose before entering Slovakia.

Slovakia is a signatory of the Schengen Agreement, based on which foreigners traveling as business travelers coming from visa free countries, or countries which require Schengen visas, can cross border without inspection once initial entry has been made.

Maximum allowable stay in Schengen area is an accumulated stay of up to 90 days within 180 days period. For example, if a business visitor stays in Slovakia for 30 days within 180 days, he or she may only spend up to 60 days total in all other Schengen countries as a business visitor.


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Visa Application


Schengen Visa Application form

A foreigner must apply for a Schengen short-stay visa (type C) at a Slovakian embassy or consulate abroad.

STANDARD DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:

  • Passport
  • 1 Photo
  • Application form
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to arrange for accommodation and cover duration of stay in the Schengen area, trip back to home country
  • Round trip ticket reservation to home country
  • Invitation letter – based on an original letter of invitation signed by the Slovakian business partner or institution and verified by a Slovak notary or by an embassy of the Slovak Republic. For citizens of certain countries, the invitation letter must be additionally verified by the foreign police office.
  • Consular fee

For specific requirements visitors should contact the consulate where application is to be lodged. List of Slovakian consulates is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.


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Upon Arrival

  • If foreigner stays at a hotel, registration is handled by the hotel, therefore additional registration is not required. Foreigner must make sure to ask reception for a registration certificate.
  • Visitors staying in private accommodation must register with the local foreign police in the town of intended stay within 3 days after arrival.



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Spouse and Children

Visa regime for family members is defined in the same way as for business travelers. Family members may apply for Schengen short-stay visa together with main applicant, and their status during travel will be identified as dependent.


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WORK PURPOSE

In order to carry out paid activities in Slovakia a work authorization is required valid for a predetermined period of time and allowing the foreigner to hold a temporary job in the country. The process for obtaining work and residence authorization depends on factors including but not limited to nationality, company type and payroll.

Key Questions to Determine the Process

Answers to the following questions will determine what immigration process must be followed for a foreign employee:

  • Nationality?
  • Location of company (city within Slovakia)?
  • Location of payroll (home or host)?
  • In case of home payroll, grounds for assignment (agreement or other)?
  • Job position and description?
  • Estimated start date of assignment?
  • Length of assignment?
  • Has the foreigners lived in Slovakia / does the foreigner currently reside in Slovakia and if so, on what status?
  • Does foreigner hold any valid residence/work permits for other countries within the EU?
  • Will family members join?
  • Respective nationalities of family members?



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Typical Procedures & Timelines

Unless exempt by national law, foreigners must obtain a work permit and a residence permit in order to legally work in Slovakia.

STANDARD PROCESS FOR NON-EU NATIONALS

The standard process outlined below is a common scenario for a visa citizen employee working as a local hire in Slovakia based on Slovak payroll. For a specific case please contact Move One.

  • Step 1: Work Force Demand

    ~15 days

  • Step 2: Work Permit

    ~30 days

  • Step 3: Residence Permit & Visa Application

    ~90 days

  • Step 4: Residence Permit Pick-up

    On the spot

Labor authorities run a search on the Slovak labor market to verify if any Slovak citizens could fill in the specific position at the host company. On occasion, potential candidates may be sent for an interview. Work permit application can be submitted only if the position cannot be filled in locally.
Highest educational degrees are required in order to prove that foreigner is qualified for a specific position and has unique skills which cannot be found locally.

Work Permit

A company must submit a work permit request to the local labor office in the jurisdiction where its headquarters is located. A work permit authorizes a specific foreign national to work for a specified company.

APPEARANCE: A4 paper size

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Labor office

VALIDITY: Up to 2 years

EXTENSION: Possible

DOCUMENT LOCATION: With company and with foreigner


Work Visa

On the basis of the work permit approval, a visa national must visit the Slovakian consulate in the country which issued the foreigner’s passport in order to apply for a residence permit and after this is approved, for a Type D work visa. A work visa allows entry into Slovakia in order to pick-up the residence permit.

STANDARD DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:

  • Passport
  • 2 Photos
  • Application form
  • Criminal record certificate from home country
  • Criminal record certificate from country of last residence
  • Accommodation Confirmation & Ownership certificate
  • Health insurance (policy and card)
  • Work permit

For specific requirements visitors should contact the consulate where application is to be lodged. List of Slovakian consulates is available on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia.

APPEARANCE: Sticker in passport

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Consulate / embassy abroad

VALIDITY: Up to 90 days within 180 days

EXTENSION: Not possible

DOCUMENT LOCATION: With foreigner


Residence Permit

After arrival to Slovakia, the foreigner must visit the local foreign police office in order to collect his residence permit. In case foreigner is staying in private accomodation, address registration must be completed at this time as well.
Residence permit gives the right to a foreigner to reside on the territory of Slovakia and allows multiple travels out of the country.

APPEARANCE: Card

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Foreign police office

VALIDITY: Up to 2 years

EXTENSION: Possible

DOCUMENT LOCATION: With foreigner

STANDARD PROCESS FOR EU NATIONALS

For a specific case please contact Move One.

  • Step 1: Residence Permit

    ~30 days

  • Step 2: Notification to Labor Office

    On the spot


Residence Permit (EU)

After arrival to Slovakia, an EU foreigner must visit a local foreign police office to apply for a residence permit personally. Residence permit must be arranged based on accommodation confirmation and employment contract as well as other documents. A residence permit gives a foreigner the right to reside on the territory of Slovakia.

APPEARANCE: Plastic card

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Foreign police office

VALIDITY: Up to 5 years

EXTENSION: Possible

DOCUMENT LOCATION: With foreigner


Information Card

A host company must submit a work information card to the local labor office in order to notify them about the start of employment. This must be completed within 7 days of the day that a foreign employee starts working.

APPEARANCE: A4 paper size

ISSUING AUTHORITY: Local labor office

VALIDITY: Until end of employment

EXTENSION: Labor office must be notified upon termination of employment

DOCUMENT LOCATION: With company

*The time-frames are an estimate and authorities can shorten or extend it according to their requirements. Immigration procedure vary depending on many variables therefore specific information about the foreigner and / or family member will be needed to better clarify the specific procedures that will be involved.

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Employment Enrollment Formalities


HEALTH / SOCIAL SECURITY

  • Local hires must be enrolled in the national health system. They are entitled to selected medical services including treatment by specialists, hospitalization, prescriptions, pregnancy and childbirth care.
  • Within seven days of employment start date, employers must register their employees with the health insurance fund.
  • European Union nationals who are covered by health insurance in one European country but are physically located in Slovakia may receive treatment in Slovakia if they posses a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

TAX

  • Foreigners employed in Slovakia are issued so-called birth code numbers during immigration procedure, based on which they are identified at the tax authority. A birth code is generated automatically with the residence permit and appears next to the signature.

Work Permit Exemptions

Following foreigners may be exempt from work permit requirement:

  • EU/EEA & Swiss nationals
  • Holders of a permanent residence permit valid for the territory of the Slovak Republic
  • Holders of temporary residence permits granted based on family reunification as spouse of Slovak nationals.
  • Holders of temporary residence permit granted for study purposes, in case employment does not exceed 10 hours per week/corresponding number of days or months in a year.
  • Holders of temporary residence permits granted for research and development, in case employment does not extend 50 days in a year.
  • Foreign Slovaks
  • Asylum seekers and foreigners granted temporary shelter
  • Foreigner whose employment on the territory of the Slovak Republic does not exceed 7
    consecutive days or the total of 30 in a year and who are academic employee of an university / researchers participating in a professional scientific events / performing artist participating in an artistic event / persons providing supply of goods or services or performing installation works, warranty services on the basis of a commercial contract.
  • Foreigner working in Slovakia based on an international agreement
  • Foreigner assigned to perform activities within the framework of services of an employer based in another EU country.
  • Partner of a commercial partnership (spoločník obchodnej spoločnosti) or a member of the authorized body of a commercial partnership, performing the activity on behalf of the commercial partnership
  • Foreigners with mass media accreditation



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Spouse and Children

Non-EU Dependents

Dependents’ immigration process may only be started after the residence permit of the main applicant is issued. Dependents must apply for a residence permit and entry visa abroad, based on which they may enter Slovakia and pick up their residence permits at the foreign police office in person.

  • Only spouse, and children under 18 qualify for dependent visas
  • Non-married partners may accompany the main traveler under certain requirements
  • Marriage and birth certificates are required for family member applications and must be legalized.

EU Dependents

  • EU nationals follow same rules as non-EU applicants.



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Red-flags

  • Processing times for applications may vary depending on individual circumstances, therefore, assignments must be planned well in advance.
  • Degree certificates are required for work permit application and must be translated into Slovak by certified translator
  • Certain application documents have limited validity of 90 days, therefore they should not be arranged too early on in order to avoid expiration by the time of submission.
  • In case of arrival for employment purpose, within 30 days from entry, a foreign national must undergo a medical examination by a registered medical center and be free of tuberculosis, HIV, and certain other infectious diseases.
  • Change in temporary residence must be reported to the foreign police within 3 days of the move.
  • Local authorities require two identification details specifying foreign national on each provided document. For example the name, surname and the date of birth/or the name, surname and passport number/or the name, surname and permanent address.
  • Renewal processes take 3 months and residence permit renewal applications must be submitted at least 60 days before the expiry date of the residence permit.
  • Work permits must be withdrawn within 3 working days of assignment/employment end; failure to do this will result in a penalty for non-compliance.



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Penalties

FOREIGNER

  • Violation of rules of migration registration may entail a penalty up to 3.300 euros, in certain cases accompanied with expulsion from the territory of Slovak Republic. A foreign citizen who has been administratively expelled may be further banned from entry to Slovak Republic for a period of time defined by authorities.
  • Data of a foreigner expelled from Slovakia is entered into the Schengen Information System (SIS) in order to identify a foreigner as an undesired visitor within the area, and further for other Schengen members to refuse an entry visa to the entire territory of the Schengen area during the defined period of time.

COMPANY

  • Failure to follow the law may result in fines and the suspension of company’s operations.
  • The penalty for illegal employment of foreigners may be up to 200.000 euros.



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VITAL DOCUMENTS

Vital documents are official records issued by government institutions to individuals, essential as proof of identity and status. Move One offers support for the procurement of vital documents in Slovakia, as well as their legalization for use outside the country.


Birth Certificate


Birth Certificate

A birth certificate documents the birth of an individual, naming a child’s biological parents, indicating the date of birth and the place where the child was born. Birth certificates may be required as supporting documents during immigration procedures.

BIRTH CERTIFICATES IN SLOVAKIA

  • Slovakian birth certificates are issued at a regional governmental office depending on place of birth.
  • Duplicate of a birth certificate must be obtained with ID card, or based on a notarized power of attorney at the regional governmental office where an individual was born.
  • Issuing a duplicate of a birth certificate may not be handled centrally and in every case the place of birth must be visited, where the certificate is issued on the spot.



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Marriage Certificate


Marriage Certificate

A marriage certificate serves as proof of an act of marriage between two individuals.
Marriage certificates may be required as supporting documents during immigration procedures.

MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES IN SLOVAKIA

  • A marriage certificates are issued in the regional governmental office where the marriage was registered.
  • A duplicate of a marriage certificate may be arranged with ID and a written request in person or via post.



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Legalization


Apostille stamp

Public documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, criminal record certificates and notarial attestations of signatures, frequently need to be used abroad. However, before a public document can be used in a country other than the one that issued it, its origin must often be authenticated.

CONSULAR LEGALIZATION

The traditional method for authenticating public documents to be used abroad is called legalization and consists of a chain of individual authentications of the document. This process involves officials of the country where the document was issued as well as the foreign consulate of the country where the document is to be used.

APOSTILLE

A large number of countries have joined a treaty that simplifies the authentication of public documents to be used abroad. This treaty is called the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents. It is commonly known as the Apostille Convention. Where it applies, the treaty reduces the authentication process to a single formality: the issuance of an authentication certificate by an authority designated by the country where the public document was issued. This certificate is called an apostille.

Apostille requirements:

  • the country where the document was issued must be party to the Apostille Convention
  • the country in which the document is to be used must be party to the Apostille Convention
  • the law of the country where the document was issued must consider the document to be a public document
  • the country in which the document is to be used must require an apostille in order to recognize it as a foreign public document

Slovakia is a signatory to the Hague Convention, therefore documents issued in Slovakia may be authenticated with an apostille for use in a country which is also a signatory member of the convention.


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*International travelers should note that immigration procedures vary depending on many factors and specific information about the transferee and / or family members. Please get in touch with Move One to discuss your specific case by sending an email to immigration@moveoneinc.com.

Last updated: May 25, 2012

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