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Marriage with a foreigner

QUESTION: Greetings, I am a citizen of the Slovak Republic residing permanently in eastern Slovakia, while also holding temporary residence in Bratislava. I am engaged to a person from Serbia who lacks a Certificate of Slovak Abroad, as she is not a Slovak citizen. In her home country of Serbia, she pursued her primary and secondary education in the Slovak language and participated in exchange educational programs in Slovakia during her studies. Furthermore, she completed her university education in Nitra, Slovakia, and presently works in Bratislava. Her proficiency in spoken and written Slovak is excellent, and she maintains temporary residency in Bratislava as well.

During the upcoming year, we plan to enter into matrimony jointly, and following the wedding, we both intend to establish our residence in Bratislava or its vicinity. I have thoroughly reviewed the information available on your website regarding the necessary documentation for marriage. My fiancée has already made some preparations for her residency, and given our time together, I have gained some familiarity with the processes, especially at the Foreigners’ Police. Our primary concern is the timing of these procedures. We aim to hold our wedding at the registry office in Bratislava.

We are aware that my fiancée will need to notify the Foreign Police of any changes, such as her last name, which will occur after the wedding. She will also need to update her address as we will be residing together. There are several aspects that require attention, and we would appreciate guidance on the timing for these actions. Specifically, we need to know when we must inform the police of these changes and simultaneously apply for permanent residency for my fiancée, who will soon become my wife and will be eligible for it.

Additionally, we are mindful of the typical requirement for documents not to be older than three months. We are uncertain about the order of these tasks. Should she return home after the wedding to obtain the necessary documents, including a new passport and ID card, or should she first report these changes to the immigration police before initiating the documentation process related to her surname change?

THE RESPONSE: The legal framework for obligations pertaining to foreigners from non-EU countries is outlined in § 111 of Act no. 404/2011 Coll. concerning the residence of foreigners. According to this provision, any significant changes must be promptly reported to the foreign police, with the timeframe for reporting commencing on the day the change occurs.

The stipulated deadlines are as follows:

  1. Foreigners must notify the police department of a change in their name, surname, personal status, nationality, or data in their travel document within five working days from the date of the change. This also applies to the replacement of the travel document.
  2. Foreigners must apply for the issuance of a new residence document within five working days if the information contained in it no longer aligns with their actual circumstances, such as changes in the data it contains.
  3. They should inform the police department if they plan to stay outside their registered place of residence within Slovakia for more than 30 consecutive days.

As a result, if your fiancée changes her surname due to marriage or her address within Slovakia, she must promptly notify the immigration police within five working days from the date of the change. Simultaneously, she should request a new residence card if any information on it has been altered. In this process, changes are reported to the foreigner’s police after they have transpired, rather than in advance.

Following your marriage, your wife can initiate the application for permanent residence in the Slovak Republic. The foreign police will make a decision on permanent residence within a period of 90 days.