How to obtain a residence permit in Slovakia


Q&A 1/7: Why do I need a residence permit?

A permitted residence in Slovakia (Milestone 2/3) is a prerequisite to an application for Slovak citizenship by descent (Milestone 3/3). The easiest way to obtain a residence permit is based on a Slovak Living Abroad certificate (Milestone 1/3). The applicant may stay in Slovakia until a residence permit is issued; however, the applicant is not required to stay or have a physical residence in Slovakia. An SLA certificate holder can acquire a five-year renewable temporary residence permit in Slovakia. Some applicants may apply for a permanent residence permit instead of an SLA-based one.

Q&A 2/7: What can I do with a residence permit?

Any applicant with an SLA-based residence permit or a permanent residence permit may do business, work, and study in Slovakia without the need to apply for additional immigration permits. Moreover, a residence card holder may travel freely across the European Union without worrying about exceeding the 90-day Schengen visa. However, permanent relocation to another EU Member State (exceeding three months) is subject to an additional residence permit.

Q&A 3/7: Can my spouse also apply for a residence permit?

If your spouse doesn't qualify for an SLA certificate and/or Slovak citizenship by descent, they are still eligible for a five-year renewable temporary residence permit (a so-called "family reunification" or "dependency" residence permit), allowing them to do business, work, and study in Slovakia without the need to apply for additional immigration permits. Your spouse may apply for a residence permit upon completion of Milestone 2/3. Your spouse would have the same rights as any other residence card holder, mainly the right to travel freely across the European Union without worrying about exceeding the 90-day Schengen visa. However, obtaining this type of residence permit is subject to the demonstration of a physical residence in Slovakia (e.g., by owning or leasing a residential property, regardless of the size, location, or value).

Q&A 4/7: How do I apply for a residence permit?

The applicant may only apply for a residence permit in person at the Immigration Police Department in Slovakia or the Slovak Embassy/Consulate in the country of which the applicant is a national or in which the applicant resides. The application must be accompanied by the following:
  1. Two (2) identical color photographs measuring 3 x 3.5 cm;
  2. A valid passport;
  3. A Slovak Living Abroad certificate;
  4. A criminal background check, not older than three (3) months, issued by the country of which the applicant is a national and of the countries in which the applicant has resided for more than 90 days within six (6) consecutive months in the past three (3) years (not required if a residence permit application is submitted within 60 days of the SLA certificate issuance or the applicant is under 14 years of age).

Q&A 5/7: Are there any special requirements for the documents?

All documents must either be originals or certified true copies. In addition, official documents issued in any jurisdiction other than the Slovak Republic, i.e., all foreign documents, must be apostilled (applicable for the USA, Canada, UK, Israel, and all other Hague Convention countries) or authenticated and then super-legalized (applicable for countries that are not parties to the Hague Convention).

All foreign documents must be officially translated into Slovak by a sworn translator registered by the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic or an officially registered foreign translator. Official translation by a foreign translator must also be apostilled or super-legalized unless the Slovak Embassy/Consulate confirms the translator’s competence on a cover letter submitted to the Immigration Police.

Q&A 6/7: When do I get a residence permit?

If the application is submitted at a Slovak Embassy/Consulate, the file is transferred to the Immigration Police to start the proceedings. A Slovak Embassy/Consulate doesn't have the jurisdiction to conduct residence permit proceedings or decide on your application. If the application was submitted at a Slovak Embassy/Consulate, the 30-day period starts from the delivery of a complete application to the Immigration Police. The Immigration Police shall decide within 30 days of receiving a complete application. If the applicant submits the application at the Immigration Police Department in Slovakia, they will also receive a document proving the permission to reside in Slovakia, i.e., a residence card valid for five (5) years.

Q&A 7/7: Do I have to pay taxes in Slovakia?

Unless you become a Slovak tax resident (by having a permanent residence in Slovakia, residing in Slovakia for more than 183 days per year, or creating/maintaining a steady home/household in Slovakia), you don’t have to declare taxes and file tax returns in Slovakia. You’re only required to do so if you have an income from sources based in Slovakia, and you are taxed on that income only (usually, this includes any salary from employment in Slovakia, profit distribution from a business in Slovakia, or revenue from the selling or renting of property in Slovakia if any profit was made). Also, there is a 1993 Double Taxation Treaty between the USA and Slovakia and a 2001 Double Taxation Treaty between Canada and Slovakia to prevent double taxation so that you are never taxed in both countries on the same income. We advise consulting each specific case with a licensed legal/tax practitioner in the relevant jurisdiction.



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How can I get a residence permit in Slovakia?

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