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surviving Slovakia

- I AM a US Citizen of Slovak descent and I hold a Slovak Expatriate Card. What has changed for me as a US citizen, and what will be the value of the Slovak Expatriate Card now that Slovakia has joined the EU?
For citizens of the USA, immigration procedures have not changed since Slovakia joined the EU; they must undergo the same procedures as they had previously. Likewise, the situation for you as a holder of the Slovak Expatriate Card and a US citizen has not changed.

- I AM a US Citizen of Slovak descent and I hold a Slovak Expatriate Card. What has changed for me as a US citizen, and what will be the value of the Slovak Expatriate Card now that Slovakia has joined the EU?


For citizens of the USA, immigration procedures have not changed since Slovakia joined the EU; they must undergo the same procedures as they had previously. Likewise, the situation for you as a holder of the Slovak Expatriate Card and a US citizen has not changed. However, Slovakia's membership will bring changes for holders of this card. A new law is being prepared that will do away with the advantages resulting from this card (such as freedom from the need for work and residence permits). It has not yet been approved, but it is likely that eventually there will not be any major advantages resulting from this card. More information on this law should be available by the end of 2004 and we will make sure to keep you updated on any changes.


- Do I need to get a Slovak driver's license in order to drive here?


EU citizens can use their driver's licences when driving in Slovakia. For those not from the EU, everything depends on what kind of permit you have. If you come here with a temporary residence permit (which must be renewed every year), you may use your national driver's license along with an international driver's license. Just keep an eye on their validity dates. If you have permanent residency in Slovakia, you should get a Slovak driver's license. This means attending Slovak driving school and passing the practical exam and tests - both require certain Slovak language skills.


- When applying for a residence permit I was requested to submit a document on health insurance, what type of insurance should I have to come to Slovakia?


For a residence permit, each foreigner must have health insurance covering his or her stay in the country. This can be Slovak insurance for foreigners or international health insurance. In both cases you need a document from the health insurance company that specifies your personal data, passport number, and what they cover during your stay in the Slovak Republic. This document must be in Slovak (as an original or else officially translated) and not older than 90 days. It should be printed on the official paper of the insurance company, originally stamped, and signed. If multiple family members are covered by the same international insurance, they and their data may be included on the same document.

Ivona Telekiová, general manager of the Bratislava-based company Relocation (www.relo.sk) awaits for your questions at surviving.slovakia@gpp.sk.

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