As a citizen of the European Union, you have the right to reside in the territory of the Slovak Republic for more than 3 months, if:
- you are employed in the Slovak Republic;
- you are a self-employed person in the territory of the Slovak Republic;
- you are a self-employed person in the territory of the Slovak Republic;
- you study at a primary, secondary or tertiary school in the Slovak Republic;
- you have sufficient resources for yourself and your family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system during your period of residence and have a health insurance cover in the Slovak Republic;
- are likely to become employed;
- you are a family member accompanying or joining a Union citizen who satisfies the above conditions.
You must report the beginning of your stay and the place of residence to the Foreign Police Department within 10 working days from the date of entry into Slovakia, unless your stay is reported by a provider of accommodation.
If you stay in Slovakia for more than 3 months, you are obliged to register your residence within 30 days of the expiry of three months from the date of arrival to the Slovak Republic. For more information about the administrative formalities and registration procedure visit the websites of the Ministry of the Interior of the Slovak Republic and IOM (Migration Information Centre).
A residence card of an EU/EEA citizen will be issued to you by the Foreign Police Department. More information about residence in Slovakia is available at slovensko.sk.
As a Union citizen you have the right of permanent residence if you have resided legally in the territory of the Slovak Republic for a continuous period of five years. In specific cases, it is possible to apply for permanent residence earlier.
WORKING IN SLOVAKIA
EU/EEA citizens have the same rights and obligations in Slovakia as Slovak citizens. You can work in Slovakia without a work permit. If you came to Slovakia as a worker, your employer shall, within 7 working days from the commencement of your employment, send to the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family at the place of your employment the so-called information card.
REGISTRATION WITH THE LABOUR OFFICE
Registration with the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family (UPSVAR) in Slovakia is voluntary. The conditions applicable to registration are available on the website of the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family.
If you want to apply for registration with UPSVAR, you can do it:
- in the place of your residence in Slovakia;
- in the place of your employer’s registered office (if your last employment was in Slovakia).
As an EU citizen other than a citizen of the Slovak Republic, you will have to submit, together with your application, your passport, a Certificate of Registration of Residence of an EU Citizen or a Residence Card, proof of termination of previous employment, proof of continued employment and proof of highest education attained.
If you are receiving unemployment benefits in one of the EU/EEA Member States and you have applied for its transfer to Slovakia, you must register with the Labour Office by the date set by the relevant institution. When registering, you will have to submit the above documents and the U2 form.
Information on how to proceed for EU citizens who have terminated their employment in Slovakia and want to register with the relevant Labour Office is available on the website of the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family.
Information on how to proceed for EU citizens who have terminated their employment abroad and want to register with the relevant Labour Office is available on the website of the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family.
Insured persons from EU countries use as proof of health insurance cover the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or a provisional replacement certificate. The registration obligation for an EU citizen employed in Slovakia rests with that citizen’s employer. They must do so within 8 days of the commencement of employment. In the event of termination of employment, the employer is obliged to deregister the EU citizen within 8 days. This obligation also applies to you if you work in Slovakia as a self-employed person. As an insured person you are obliged to designate another premium payer and inform the health insurer within 8 days after the termination of your employment.
All employees must be insured with a health insurer, which then issues them with a registration number and a health insurance card for use at every visit to a doctor. A health insurer is required to deliver a health insurance card to an insured person within 5 days of the date of confirming his/her application.
If you are unemployed in Slovakia and apply for registration at the labour office, the state will pay your health insurance during the period while you are registered.
Childcare for children from 6 months to three years is provided by care facilities for children under three years of age, formerly known as crèches. Crèches are not part of the education system, but are considered a social service.
Pre-primary education in the Slovak Republic is provided in kindergartens. Officially, children from 3 to 6 years of age can be enrolled in kindergarten. As an exception, children above 2 years of age may be enrolled, provided certain material and personnel conditions are satisfied. Younger children must not be admitted to kindergarten. A child may be enrolled in any kindergarten according to the choice of the legal representative. Children may be enrolled throughout the year, respecting the capacities of the kindergarten concerned. Again, precedence is given to children who are to start elementary school the following year. A child can also be enrolled with scheduled admission from September. Such enrolment usually takes place from April. It is, however, recommended to ask the relevant kindergarten in advance, because it is up to them to set the enrolment date. There is no binding application form and individual establishments can create their own designs. When enrolling, the parent shall submit:
- Application form with information about the child and the legal representative (name, surname, residence, birth number (national ID) of the child, telephone contact)
- Certificate from a general practitioner for children and adolescents (usually, there is a space reserved in the application form for this certificate)
- Confirmation from the educational counselling and prevention facility, if the child has special educational needs
- Written confirmation from a specialist if there are any special dietary requirements
According to the Education Act compulsory school attendance in Slovakia is ten years and lasts until the end of the school year in which the pupil reached the age of 16 as a maximum. Compulsory school attendance usually starts at the age of six.
According to the law, every child who reaches the age of 6 by 31 August of a given year must start their compulsory school attendance. That means, they must be enrolled in a primary school. Exceptions are children who, according to their parents or professionals, are not mature enough to start school despite their age. In such a case, the parents need to request a postponement of the start of school attendance and must inform the school principal in writing by 15 April.
On the other hand, a child who is sufficiently mature even before reaching the age of 6 may be enrolled for the first year of school even earlier. The individual condition of the child is always taken into account.
Every child must be enrolled in a primary school according to their residence (i.e. within their intake area) or in a school of the parent’s choice. The latter will only accept such a child if all applicants from the intake area have already been enrolled. Parents can enrol a child in several schools. In such a case, however, they must inform the schools concerned of their final choice no later than 31 August.
Primary school enrolment takes place approximately from 1 April to 30 April. It is up to the director of each school to set a specific date, which will be published in a publicly accessible place.
When enrolling for the first year of school, the child and their parent or legal representative need to be present. Documents required for pupil enrolment:
- Identity card of the legal representative;
- the child’s birth certificate;
- In the case of a disabled child, proof of disability
- Completed application form (the parent can complete the form directly at school)
During enrolment, teachers also check the readiness of pupils for the first year of school. It is up to the parents to decide if their child is able to handle the first year. They can be helped with the decision by the pedagogical staff of the kindergarten or by an educational counselling and prevention facility. If the child does not tackle the first year, they can attend a preparatory course (as a ‘year zero’) or return to kindergarten.
Primary and lower secondary education is provided by primary schools in two stages:
1. stage: 1st to 4th year;
2. stage: 5th to 9th year;
After completing primary school, students complete the mandatory school attendance in the first year of secondary school.
Secondary schools provide upper secondary general or vocational education.
Pupils can apply for secondary school placement in the 5th, 8th and 9th grade (of a primary school) and in the 5th grade of an eight-year grammar school.
Applications for secondary schools with talent testing and for schools without talent testing need to be submitted by 20 February and 10 April, respectively. According to the law, applicants are allowed to submit an application for two secondary schools or two different courses at the same secondary school.
In order to be admitted to a secondary school, a student must pass Test 9 and an admission test. A student who has achieved more than 90% in all subjects of Test 9 can be admitted by the headmaster of the secondary school even without admission tests. This does not apply to courses where a talent test is required. There is a standardised application form to be filled in by applicants. Applications are submitted to the directorate of the primary school. The results of admission tests must be posted by secondary schools on their notice boards no later than the 3rd day after the testing date. A student who has not been admitted to any secondary school, may submit an additional application for a place at those schools that hold a second round of admission testing.
In Slovakia, it is possible to obtain higher education at a public (state) or private university or a foreign university that provides higher education in the Slovak Republic.
- Public university
- State university (military, medical, police)
- Private university
- Foreign university – education is provided by a foreign university that has obtained a permit to provide higher education
Study programmes are carried out in three levels (bachelor’s, master’s (in some fields including the designation ‘inžinier’ or ‘doktor’) and doctor’s level), with the possibility to combine the first and the second.
Study programmes are delivered full-time or part-time; both types can be pursued on campus, as a distance study programme or as a combined programme.
Higher education institutions are divided into universities and colleges of higher vocational studies (sometimes called ‘universities of applied sciences’, ‘odborná vysoká škola’ in Slovak). Higher education institutions have the exclusive right to admit applicants for higher education. However, they can only admit applicants for accredited study programmes.
The number of students to be admitted is set by the relevant higher education institution; if more applicants meet the admission criteria, applicants showing the highest level of abilities will be admitted.
The admission procedure differs depending on the higher education institution chosen. You will first need to fill in and submit an application with the necessary documents attached and then complete the admission procedure. You will be informed by the higher education institution of the result (i.e. whether you are admitted to study or not) in the same way as you were invited to take part in the admission procedure. If the result is negative (especially if applicants placed close to the admission threshold), applicants have the right to lodge an appeal.
The admission criteria (required education, submission of applications, admission procedure, required result to be achieved in the admission procedure, application fee, etc.) along with an overview of accredited study programmes are provided by each higher education institution separately.
There are a number of ways how to finance your university studies. The Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic provides financial assistance for students in the form of:
- incentive scholarships,
- social scholarships,
- the national scholarship programme,
- a support scheme for return of experts from abroad,
- Martin Filko scholarships.
More information on specific forms of financial assistance can be found on the website of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic in the Grants and Scholarships section.
Alternatively, you can apply for a loan from the Education Support Fund, submit an application for student loan to commercial banks or find out about scholarships (for example merit-based scholarships) provided directly by universities.
Higher education ends with the completion of the study under the relevant programme, on the day when the last requirement for the successful completion of the study programme is fulfilled. Successful completion of an accredited study programme and the granting of an academic degree is confirmed by a university diploma and a certificate of state examination results.
Obligations after graduation
A student ceases to be a student on the day on which the last requirement for the successful completion of the study programme is fulfilled (in most cases, it is the day of passing the final state examination).
If an unemployed graduate makes themselves available to the labour office within 7 days of completing their studies, the state will continue to pay health insurance contributions for them. If a graduate does not make themselves available to the labour office, they are obliged to visit a branch of their health insurer and register to pay health insurance for themselves. If a graduate makes themselves available to the labour office at a later date, they will have to pay for the period while not registered.
An unemployed graduate has no obligations to the Social Insurance Agency, but can voluntarily take out pension, sickness and unemployment insurance.
If an unemployed graduate makes themselves available to the labour office, they must fulfil the obligations of a registered jobseeker (graduate practice, active job search, participation in job interviews, etc.).
More information on the procedure to be followed and the necessary documents can be found on the website of the Central Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family.
In Slovakia, home education has been possible since 2008, when the newly adopted Education Act enabled the education of children at home (the term used in the Act is ‘individual education’). Homeschooling is possible in the 1st stage of primary school.
Parents can apply to the principal of the school, to which their child has been admitted, for permission of home education and an exemption from the obligation to attend school. Together with the application for home education, parents are required to submit:
- an individual educational programme, whose principles and learning objectives must be in line with the Education Act,
- a description of teaching rooms and technical arrangements made,
- a list of textbooks and teaching texts that will be used in the pupil’s home education.
The parent of a pupil who has been allowed home education must ensure the availability of a person who meets the qualification requirements (second level of higher education) of a teacher in the first stage of primary education. Such a person providing homeschooling will be paid a financial reward.
Pupils have to take commission exams from the curriculum of each compulsory subject every six months. Based on the results of the commission exams, the school will issue a report card.
Here you can find some useful websites on living and working in Slovakia related to a job search, travelling, registration procedures, accommodation, education, social security information etc.
Last update: 22.09.2023