Draft amendment to the law on foreigners: changes relating to residence permit From May 2018

The law of the Slovak Republic No. 404/2011 “On the stay of foreigners” was changed once in 2016 and twice already this year. At the preliminary discussion stage, there are now two draft amendments. For example, it is planned to cancel the possibility of applying for a residence permit at the police office in Slovakia (with a few exceptions), and the introduction of compulsory residence in Slovakia for at least half of the period of the temporary residence permit.

On how to get your residence permit in Slovakia you can read in this article

Now two draft laws are being drafted. The first draft law has no greater impact on the life of foreigners in Slovakia and concerns only the obligations of airlines to provide data on passengers of international flights and ways of using them. Data on passengers of each flight originating from Slovakia or outside the EU or vice versa are reported, for example, 36 hours and 24 hours before departure, as well as immediately after boarding. The second draft law initiated in connection with the obligation of the introduction into the legislation of the Slovak Republic of the directive of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union No. 2016/801 of 11 May 2016 “On the conditions for entry and stay of third-country nationals for research works, study, internships, volunteer activities, the exchange of students and educational projects, as well as work for au pair system ” brings more tangible changes. This EU directive brings simplification to the aforementioned circle of foreigners, but at the same time, the Slovak police proposes to add several of its own amendments to the law, the need for the introduction of which, according to the police, has been brought by practice. There are few changes, but several of them are very significant.

Temporary residence permit with a purpose of studies

If a foreigner plans to study at a university in Slovakia and first attends a course of Slovak language training organized not by a language school (visa), but by a university (temporary residence permit), such a foreigner should continue his/her education at this university without the possibility of changing for another educational institution. Consequently, the student should know which university he would enter before the arrival in Slovakia for the preparatory course of the Slovak language. For students of language schools nothing changes.

A foreigner with a temporary residence permit with a purpose of studies at language courses organized by the university will have the opportunity to apply at the police only for the extension of residence permit for the purpose of studying at the university, but he/she will be able to file the application for changing of the purpose of residence permit (for example work or business activity) only at the consulate. Students of language schools still can apply at the police for any residence permit.

An opportunity for students to obtain a residence permit for an internship in Slovakia while studying at a university outside the EU is being proposed, and for two years after the end of a foreign university as well. However, in case of deportation of such a foreigner, the costs associated with this are borne by the organization to which he was sent for an internship.

Foreigners with temporary residence permit in Slovakia for the purpose of studying at the university, as well as with temporary residence permits for research and development, will be eligible to extend their residence permit for additional 9 months after the completion of the research or study at the university, as this term is given to them to find work or start a business.

There is no need to apply for a temporary residence permit in Slovakia for foreigners with a residence permit in another member state of the EU up to 360 days after the beginning of their stay in Slovakia if these foreign students come temporarily to study in Slovakia during their studies at a university in the EU. The same applies to foreign researchers with a stay in Slovakia for up to one year, members of their families, as well as family members of foreigners who work temporarily in Slovakia as a part of an intra-corporate transfer from the EU.

Applying for a temporary residence permit

Not all foreigners will have the opportunity to apply for temporary residence permit at the police in Slovakia. Such a possibility will remain only for the following foreigners (except for a residence permit with the purpose of an intra-corporate transfer):

  • With permission for a temporary, permanent or tolerated stay in any of the EU countries,
  • With the Slovak national visa,
  • Foreigners who do not need a visa to Slovakia,
  • Foreign Slovaks.

A similar change was planned back in 2014, but then it was rejected.

Consequently, applications for temporary residence permits can be filed in Slovakia, for example, by citizens of Kosovo or Ukraine (they are visa-free foreigners), but not citizens of Russia or Venezuela (they need a visa). You can also apply, for example, for a residence permit if you have Slovak national visa or Austrian residence permit, but not with an Austrian national visa. Application for any residence permit (except for intra-corporate transfer) will be available to students of the language school with a national visa, but students with residence permit for the purpose of language courses organized by the university will be able to only extend the residence permit in Slovakia for study purposes.

Obligation to reside in Slovakia

A new obligation to reside on the territory of Slovakia “most of the year in a current calendar year” is proposed for foreigners with temporary residence permits; this innovation does not apply to the period after the receipt of the first residence permit if “between the decision to issue residence permit and the end of the year there are less than 90 days”, and it also does not apply to foreign Slovaks and foreigners with permanent residence in another EU member country having a residence permit in Slovakia.

After the violation of this rule is discovered, the police must initiate proceedings on the cancelling of the residence permit.

The obligation to report the absence of more than 180 days is cancelled for foreigners with temporary residence permit; it remains only for holders of permanent residence. In case of non-notification, a fine of up to 300 euros is applied.

The reason for the innovation, according to the police, is the fact that many foreigners receive residence permits in Slovakia only in order to be able to “visa-free” entry into the Schengen, but do not live in fact in Slovakia and do not fulfil the purpose of residence permit.

Other suggestions 

A certificate confirming the provision of accommodation should not be submitted by a foreigner who applies for a residence permit or for its renewal for the purpose of volunteering in the framework of the European Volunteer Service, neither by students of foreign universities for an internship in Slovakia while studying at a foreign university or for the period of two years after the termination of a foreign university.

The law introduces new rules and describes in more detail the requirements for a document that confirms the purpose of residence permit for volunteer activities, as well as for residence permit for internship.

For the purposes of volunteer activities in Slovakia, only a foreigner aged 15 to 30 can get a residence permit.

A new concept is introduced, which is: “Continuing stay on the territory of the Slovak Republic”, which contains several current possibilities for obtaining a permit for a tolerated stay, as a result of which some groups of foreigners will have the opportunity to stay legally on the territory of Slovakia without having any permission to stay in Slovakia. This applies, for example, to foreigners who are detainees or convicts, foreigners who are given emergency medical care, foreigners who have the decision about their deportation issued, however for some reasons, for example, a war, cannot be deported to their homeland. All this is proposed in order to reduce slightly their rights, and such foreigners will not be able, for example, to invite anyone to Slovakia or to apply for a residence permit in Slovakia.

If employers who employ foreigners violate certain obligations, they can get a fine up to 100,000 Euros; such obligations existed before as well, but there was no penalty. This concerns, for example, the obligation to inform about the beginning and termination of a foreigner’s employment relationship.

We remind you that this is still a draft law, which is at the stage of preliminary discussion, which has not yet been discussed by the parliament and its entry into force is expected only in May 2018.

Should you have any questions regarding these changes you can contact:

Karina Ogandjanian

Skype: slovakiainvest.ru8

Tel.: +421-2-321-44-901

Mob.: +421-915-922-278