Understanding Residence Permits in Slovakia

In this concise piece, we’ll delve into the realm of residence permits in Slovakia. We’ll discuss the various types of residence permits available, elucidate who qualifies for them, and outline the application procedure. It’s imperative to note that the information presented here is sourced from official channels and has undergone thorough verification.

Residence permits in Slovakia are categorized as temporary and permanent.

Temporary residence permits afford foreign nationals from non-European Union (EU) countries the privilege to reside in Slovakia while they engage in work, business, or educational pursuits within the Slovak Republic. These permits are granted upon meeting the specific conditions outlined in the law and upon submission of a formal application.

Temporary residence permits can be sought for a range of purposes, including:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Employment or seasonal employment
  • Education
  • Various activities like lecturing, sports, cultural engagement, volunteer work, accredited journalism, medical care, internships, and more
  • Scientific research endeavors
  • Family reunification
  • Peacekeeping duties in armed forces
  • Individuals recognized as Slovaks living abroad
  • Individuals with recognized long-term residence permits in another EU member state

The most common reasons for obtaining a residence permit in Slovakia are related to employment, business ventures, and family reunification.

Procedure for Obtaining a Residence Permit in Slovakia

For temporary residence permits, applicants must apply in person, except in cases of family reunification, where the person with whom reunification is taking place submits the application on behalf of the incapacitated applicant.

There are two main avenues for seeking a temporary residence permit:

  1. Applying through the Slovak diplomatic mission accredited in the country that issued the applicant’s foreign passport or in the country of their residence. The accredited Slovak diplomatic mission conducts a personal interview to preliminarily assess the application.
  2. Applying for a temporary residence permit at the immigration police station in the applicant’s place of residence in Slovakia.

Please note that the following individuals are not eligible to apply for a residence permit:

  1. Holders of tolerated stay permits due to their inability to leave the country or for other reasonable grounds
  2. Asylum applicants

Temporary residence permits are valid until their expiry date, permitting legal residence in Slovakia, foreign travel, and return to Slovakia. The initial permit’s duration varies depending on the purpose of stay:

  • Work, special activity, or research activities: Up to two years
  • Entrepreneurship: Up to three years
  • Family reunification or those with long-term residence permits in another EU state: Up to five years
  • Study: Up to six years

If the purpose for which the temporary residence permit was granted remains the same and the applicant continues to meet the conditions, Slovak authorities may extend the permit for three to five years. If the purpose changes, a new permit is necessary.

Permanent residence permits, on the other hand, are granted indefinitely to foreigners who meet certain criteria, such as:

  • Having been legally in Slovakia for five years prior to the application
  • Transferring their long-term residence permit to another EU member state
  • Holding a continuous residence permit in an EU member state for five years, with at least two years spent in Slovakia as a Blue Card holder

However, certain categories of individuals, such as asylum seekers, students, seasonal workers, individuals with special activity permits, and those with diplomatic immunity, do not qualify for permanent residence permits.

Should a foreigner possess a temporary residence permit for study or special activities, they must first obtain a temporary residence permit for another purpose, like work or business, before applying for permanent residency.

Obtaining a residence permit in Slovakia involves associated costs, including travel expenses, rent, daily living costs, translation services, notary fees, state fees, mandatory medical examinations, and financial requirements. When seeking assistance from consulting firms, additional service charges may apply. Engaging a reputable consultant can help mitigate extra expenses and errors. Planning for rent and daily expenses during the initial months is advisable, as the process can be somewhat costly.

ExpatSK offers residence permit services at prices below the average, ensuring impeccable document preparation, on-time submissions, professional guidance through the application process, and comprehensive “turnkey” assistance for obtaining residence permits in Slovakia.