Slovakia: Immigration changes
from July 2024

On 11 June, the government of Slovakia approved changes to the legislation related to the residence and employment of foreign nationals.

Most of these changes will come into effect on 15 July 2024. Applications submitted before this date will be processed according to current requirements and legislation.

The key objectives and changes are as follows:

  • Earlier start of employment for non-EU nationals.
  • Digitalization efforts: Certain types of applications will need to be filed electronically.
  • New step for employers: Employers intending to employ non-EU nationals will have a new process step.
  • Pre-approval required: The Foreign Police will process only pre-approved applications by the Labour Office.
  • Shorter processing times: Some applications will have a processing time reduced from 90 to 60 days.
  • New employer obligations: Employers of non-EU nationals must store immigration-related documents.
  • Blue Card: Longer validity and reduced requirements for certain positions.

More details on these changes are set out below.

Temporary Residence Permit for Employment Purposes (Single Permits, ICT Permits)

From 15 July, employers must electronically submit a “Request for Confirmation on the Possibility to Fill a Vacancy” signed by a qualified electronic signature (QES) for processes requiring vacancy confirmation. This step is new and will be managed by the employer instead of the authorities.

Before submitting the request for Labour Office confirmation, employers must still submit a Vacant Position Notification to the Labour Office and complete the required waiting period. The Labour Office will then have 15 business days to process and issue the confirmation. With this confirmation, the foreign national can apply for the Temporary Residence Permit.

Once a complete application is submitted, the foreign national can start working and stay legally in Slovakia until a decision is made. Employers must store the confirmation of the complete application and provide a copy to the foreign national. Processing time will shorten from 90 to 60 days, with expedited processing available for certain employers.

If you prefer to manage this internally, you must appoint a person authorized to access and organize a QES.

Blue Cards

The process for Blue Cards will follow the same steps as above. Additionally, Blue Cards will now be valid for 5 years instead of 4, with new salary and educational requirements:

  • Salary Requirement:2 times the average monthly wage instead of 1.5 times.
  • Educational Requirement: A Bachelor’s degree will suffice instead of a Master’s.
  • Diploma Recognition: Required except for certain IT positions with 3 years of professional experience.

Long-Term Residence Permits

Starting 15 July 2025, applicants will need to prove Slovak language knowledge at level A2 to apply for a Long-Term Residence Permit.

National Visa in the Interest of the Slovak Republic

From July, applications for this visa can only be submitted at the Slovak Embassy in the country of residence or the Foreign Police in Slovakia, but only for visa-exempt nationals or those with residence permits in another Schengen country.

New reasons for visa rejection include suspicions about the purpose of stay and foreign policy interests.

Other Changes

  • Verified Invitations, Business Residence Permits, Permanent Residence Permits for 5 Years: Now require bank account statements from the last 3 months instead of just a confirmation of balance.
  • Application Changes: Some applications for a change of purpose will only be possible through a Slovak embassy abroad.

Global immigration support

If you have questions about these changes and how it may impact your foreign candidates or employees, please contact the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters.

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