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FAQ: EU Citizens - dealing with immigration authorities

Wondering about dealing with the Border and Alien Police (official name) also known as the Foreigner Police? We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions with regard to dealing with immigration authorities.

Illustrative stock photo(Source: TASR)

Q: Am I obliged to register with the authorities as a citizen of another EU member state living in Slovakia?

Q: How long can I stay in Slovakia without a residence permit?
Q: What happens if I do not register?
Q: Where do I register? Who issues the residence permit in Slovakia?
Q: Can I also register for residence prior to my arrival, outside Slovakia?
Q: Where do I find the immigration office of the Border and Alien Police in Slovakia?
Q: Where do I find the foreign police department in Bratislava? What are the opening hours?
Q: How does the queueing system work at the office in Bratislava and how do I make sure to have my application handled without complications?
Q: What can I do when I have complications at the office?
Q: Am I able to communicate in English at the foreign police office in Bratislava?
Q: When is the busiest time at the Bratislava office?
Q: How long does it take to obtain my residence permit in Slovakia?
Q: Do I have to pay an administrative fee to be registered?
Q: Do I need to ask for the residence card?
Q: What documents do I need to apply for my residence permit?
Q: Do the documents need to be written in Slovak?
Q: When can I ask for permanent residence in Slovakia?
Q: On what grounds can the authorities refuse to issue a residence permit for me?
Q: I am an exchange student. Do I need a residence permit?
Q: How do I register my family members living with me in Slovakia?  
Q: What are my duties as a foreigner with a residence permit in Slovakia?
Q: Do I need to carry my residence permit card with me at all times?
Q: What do I do if I am leaving Slovakia?
Q: What do I do if I need to prolong my residence permit in Slovakia?
Q: What do I do if I change the address of my residence?

Not an EU citizen? See the frequently asked questions answered here.

Q: Am I obliged to register with the authorities as a citizen of another EU member state living in Slovakia?
As an EU citizen, you are required to report your stay in Slovakia within 10 days of entering the country (if you are staying in a hotel, they report for you). You need to fill out  this form which is available in several languages but MUST BE FILLED OUT IN SLOVAK, and your ID or passport.
You need to request a residence permit if you are staying in Slovakia for more than 90 days.  You are allowed to stay in the country longer than 90 days if you are employed or planning to get employed, start your own business, study, or you are a family member of a person who resides in Slovakia, or if you prove that you have sufficient financial resources to cover you and your family during your stay. You are required to register as a resident within 30 days after the first 90 days of your stay elapse.

Q: How long can I stay in Slovakia without a residence permit?
You can stay in Slovakia up to 90 days without requesting a residence permit at the Alien Police Department. After the first 10 days, you are required to report your stay.

Q: What happens if I do not register?
If an EU citizen fails to register within the required period, they are committing an offence and can be fined up to €300.

Q: Where do I register? Who issues the residence permit in Slovakia?
In Slovakia, the Alien Police Department acts as the immigration authority and receives residence permit requests.

Q: Can I also register for residence prior to my arrival, outside Slovakia?
No, you are only able to register with the respective alien police department within the country.

Q: Where do I find the immigration office of the Border and Alien Police in Slovakia?
You need to register at the department of the Border and Alien Police respective to your place of residence in Slovakia. The addresses of the departments  can be found here.
The division of districts among the departments does not always match Slovakia’s official administrative division into regions and districts. The departments cover the districts of Slovakia as follows:
Bratislava office:
all districts of Bratislava
Dunajská Streda office: Dunajská Streda, Galanta, Senec
Trnava office: Trnava, Malacky, Pezinok, Piešťany, Senica, Skalica
Nitra office: Nitra, Hlohovec, Partizánske, Topolčany, Zlaté Moravce
Nové Zámky office: Nové Zámky, Komárno, Levice, Šaľa
Trenčín office: Trenčín, Myjava, Nové Mesto nad Váhom, Bánovce nad Bebravou, Ilava, Považská Bystrica, Prievidza, Púchov
Banská Bystrica office: Banská Bystrica, Banská Štiavnica, Brezno, Detva, Zvolen, Žarnovica, Žiar nad Hronom, Krupina
Rimavská Sobota office: Rimavská Sobota, Lučenec, Poltár, Revúca, Veľký Krtíš
Žilina office: Žilina, Bytča, Čadca, Martin, Turčianske Teplice, Kysucké Nové Mesto, Ružomberok, Dolný Kubín, Liptovský Mikuláš, Námestovo, Tvrdošín
Košice office: Košice I., II., III., IV., Košice – okolie, Gelnica, Spišská Nová Ves, Rožňava
Michalovce office: Michalovce, Sobrance, Trebišov, Humenné, Snina, Medzilaborce
Prešov office: Prešov, Bardejov, Sabinov, Stará Ľubovňa, Poprad, Poprad, Kežmarok, Levoča, Stropkov, Svidník, Vranov nad Topľou

Q: Where do I find the foreign police department in Bratislava? What are the opening hours?
The office is at Hrobákova 44 in the Petržalka district.
Nearest bus stops: Bradáčova (lines 83, 92, 95, 99, 192), or Hrobákova (68, 83, 92, 95, 96, 192, 196)
Opening hours: 
Mon: 7:30-12:00, 12:30-17:30
Tue: 7:30-12:00, 12:30-15:00
We: 7:30-12:00, 12:30-17:30
Thu: closed
Fri: 7:30-12:00, 12:30-15:00
In 2016, a client centre was opened in Bratislava to handle most of the issues Slovak citizens need to deal with. The Alien Police department however is not part of this centre. It is expected to move to a new location soon, possibly in the course of 2016. We will update this information after the day of moving is confirmed.

Q: How does the queueing system work at the office in Bratislava and how do I make sure to have my application handled without complications?
The office is located in two buildings, one handles EU citizens and a second deals with third country nationals. There is a queueing system machine that issues numbers. The office has been notorious for long queues and people queueing there early in the morning. The management of the Alien Police now claim, however, that if you manage to get a number from the queueing machine, you should get your turn on the same day.
When a police officer dealing with your application finds that there is something missing in your documentation, make sure to have them look at all the documents, to make sure that no other documents are missing. That way you avoid multiple unnecessary trips to the office. If there are things you need to remedy in your application, the police officer should give you a checklist of documents where the missing documents should be named.

Q: What I can do when I have complications at the office?
There is a helpline number displayed on a notice board in the office where you can call to get advice in English.

Q: Am I able to communicate in English at the foreign police office in Bratislava?
Foreigners have repeatedly complained of the officers’ lack of English language skills. There should always be at least one officer at each shift who speaks English.

Q: When is the busiest time at the Bratislava office?
Early mornings at the start of office hours tends to be the busiest time. You might be able to get your turn faster later in the day. Also, the start of the academic year in September and early October is a busy time in general, because that is when most foreign students handle their applications.

Q: How long does it take to obtain my residence permit in Slovakia?
You receive a document of registration for a residence permit on the day when you submit your registration with the Alien Police Department. Within 30 days, the police issues a plastic card stating your residence in Slovakia, which you can then use as a valid ID in the country (Pobytový preukaz občana EÚ). You can speed up the process and get the card issued within two days if you pay a higher fee.

Q: Do I have to pay an administrative fee to be registered?
While the registration is officially free of charge, you are required to pay to get your residence card (Pobytový preukaz občana EÚ) issued. The standard fee is €4.50. If you pay €24.50, you will have the residence card issued in two days time.

Q: Do I need to ask for the residence card?
The document that you receive from the alien police department after they accept your registration request is sufficient for you in the first five years of your stay in the country. You can request the card to be issued for you, but it is optional.
After the first five years of your stay in the country you can register for permanent residence in Slovakia and then you are required to have the residence card issued for you (Pobytový preukaz občana EÚ).

Q: What documents do I need to apply for my residence permit?
To apply for a five-year residence permit you need to submit your valid ID or passport, two pictures size 3x3.5 cm, proof of address, and and proof of  your purpose of staying in Slovakia.
The proof of address is:
-if you’re renting an apartment, your 
rental contract
-if you own the property where you live in Slovakia, an ownership certificate
-If you are staying with a friend/relative, a statutory declaration of the person who owns the property you are staying with that they agree with your stay. The signature on the declaration must be officially verified (by a notary or a municipal office) and supplemented with that person’s ownership certificate to the property.
The proof of your purpose of staying in Slovakia is one of following documents: 
- a work contract or promise of employment 
- a document that you are self-employed
- a document that you have sufficient resources and will not fall into material need during your stay in Slovakia (cash, travel cheques, credit cards,...) plus proof of health insurance
- a confirmation from your school that you are a student in Slovakia
- a statutory declaration that you are continuously looking for a job in Slovakia (authorised by a notary or municipal office)
- a document that proves your family relationship to a person residing in Slovakia and the residence permit of that relative.

Q: Do the documents need to be written in Slovak?
Yes, the documents need to be Slovak originals or official translations.

Q: When can I ask for permanent residence in Slovakia?
As an EU and EEA citizen you have the right to permanent residence permit in Slovakia if you reside in the country for at least five years without interruption. In specific cases permanent residence can be requested earlier.

Q: On what grounds can the authorities refuse to issue a residence permit for me?
If you fail to submit any of the documents required by the law, you will not be registered for residence in Slovakia and you will receive notice from the police in writing about what documents you need to submit to prove the circumstances of your stay in Slovakia and obtain registration. (See above which documents you are required to submit).

Q: I am an exchange student. Do I need a residence permit?
Within 10 days after your arrival to Slovakia you are supposed to report your stay in the country to the respective alien police department. You need to fill out this form which is available in several languages but MUST BE FILLED OUT IN SLOVAK, and your ID or passport.
If your stay exceeds 90 days, you are required to apply for residence for EU citizens in Slovakia. You need your ID or passport, this form filled out IN SLOVAK, and the proof of the purpose of your stay.

Q: How do I register my family members living with me in Slovakia?
You need to submit two pictures of the family member size 3x3.5 cm, a valid passport, and a document proving your family relationship with the person you are registering (a birth certificate, a wedding certificate), as well as your residence permit document. If the family member you are registering is a different relation than your child or spouse, you need to provide a valid document of your relation with this person and their dependence on you or the fact that the person is a member of your household.

Q: What are my duties as a foreigner with a residence permit in Slovakia?
You are required to report any change in your personal data: name, surname, civil state, state citizenship, data from your passport or your ID, within 10 days of the change taking place. If your passport or your address card (Pobytový preukaz občana EÚ) is lost, stolen, or damaged, you should report it within 10 days. Among other things you are also obliged to provide your information for statistical research about the residence of foreigners. You must also submit your residence card if it is expired or if you were issued a new card. You are also required to report the end of your stay in Slovakia and the state you are travelling to.  

Q: Do I need to carry my residence permit card with me at all times?
No, there is no such requirement in the law.
You might however find it helpful to have your residence card with you since in most instances you can use it as a valid ID (to deal with authorities, but also banks, mobile phone operators, or other companies that require identification).

Q: What do I do if I am leaving Slovakia?
You are required to report the end of your stay in Slovakia to your respective alien police department in person or in writing. You must also return your residence card (Pobytový preukaz občana EÚ). This can also be done by mail to your respective alien police department, after your departure from Slovakia.

Q: What do I do if I need to prolong my residence permit in Slovakia?
You need to submit your expired residence card (Pobytový preukaz občana EÚ), a valid travel document (passport or ID), and  this form filled out IN SLOVAK.

Q: What do I do if I change the address of my residence?
You need to report the change in person to the alien police department in the region that your new address falls under. After you report the change of address, you are supposed to request a new address card (Pobytový preukaz občana EÚ) within 10 days since the change was made. The documents you need to submit are the same that are submitted with the first registration: two pictures size 3x3.5cm, your ID, and proof of address.

Sources: Eures, Alien Police Department, IOM

Topic: Frequently asked questions


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