Trvalý pobyt or the Slovak residence permit for EU/EEA nationals

Updated: 26-10-2015

Probably the most frustrating moment for a foreigner who has recently moved to Slovakia is getting a residence permit. An EU/EEA national (with no exceptions) doesn’t require a work permit to be employed at a Slovak-based company. However, all foreigners must register with the aliens’ police* and get a residence permit. And this is the funny part. The bureaucracy in this country is the best way to stretch one’s patience to dangerous thinness.

EU/EEA nationals have to apply for a residence permit if they plan to stay more than 90 days on the territory of Slovakia. After having their applications processed, they will automatically be given a permanent residence permit, valid for five years.

You’ve probably been looking for a list of necessary documents, but you haven’t found one yet. Because not even the police is able to give accurate information. Ask five different EU nationals about their experience with getting the permit and you’ll hear five different stories.

In short, this is the list of documents I needed for my application:

  • Passport/ID card in original (for checking your identity, obviously; no copy needed).
  • A notarised copy of my work contract. You have to prove the purpose of your stay (work, study, etc.).
    For self-sufficiency cases please check Marius’ comment here (in short, bring a certificate to prove your highest earned academic degree, bank statements and a CV).
  • The letter of ownership of the flat I live in, in original. The same applies in the case you own the flat/house/whatever.
  • A notarised statement from the landlady according to which she allows me to live in that flat OR a notarised copy of the tenancy agreement (of the flat/house/whatever you live in). Unless you own the property, of course.
  • One 3×3.5cm photo. For €4 you can get a set of two passport-sized and two smaller photos in Hlavná Stanica (Bratislava). For €5 you can get four passport-sized photos in any Kodak shop (there’s one in Avion Shopping Center – Bratislava).
  • Electronic revenue stamps (called e-kolok) having a total value of €4.50. You can get these from the vending machine in the aliens’ police building for international residents (Hrobákova 44).
  • The application form. Click here to download. Skip the first line and then fill it in. You can also get it at the aliens’ police department, but that would just make the whole process longer and more annoying.
  • A Slovak phone number. Yours or someone else’s, as they need it to send an SMS notification when your permit is ready.
  • A Slovak-speaking companion. They don’t really speak English there and all the instructions in that building are in Slovak. Why would they speak English anyway? It’s only foreigners they have to deal with, after all. It seems that they are now bothering to speak some basic English or bring translators from time to time.
  • A huge smile. They don’t seem to like foreigners, so greeting them with a big smile on your face should help. But I don’t blame them. I have seen many foreign idiots there jumping the queue and ignoring all the common sense rules.

That’s it. Easy peasy… not.

There is a small fragment in the law saying it’s compulsory to register with the police within 10 days of the arrival in Slovakia. If you came across that a bit too late, don’t worry. I applied for the permit 40 days after my arrival. After all, as EU/EEA nationals, we have the right to stay here for 90 days without requiring any permit.

A short explanation of some of the documents:

Notarised documents (work contract and tenancy agreement). Because the police can’t take your contracts in original, you need notarised copies of them. You can do this in any notary office (notársky úrad) and it takes about five to ten minutes. The flat/house owner needs to come with you to the notary office to sign for the tenancy agreement copies. The pages of the copies must be tied together with a red, white & blue string (colours of the Slovak flag). The last page of a copy must have the notary’s seal and signature. Prices may vary, but not much. I paid about €19 for two contracts having a total of 13 pages.

Letter of ownership. This can be issued by the Katastrálny úrad (on Chlumeckého 2) and it costs €8. I am not sure if they would give this to anyone other than the owner Pretty much anyone can request this document. My problem was that the landlady didn’t want to give me the original. She had to come with me to the police. But I was quite happy for having a translator with me anyway 🙂

Notarised statement from the owner (if for some reason such as tax evasion you haven’t signed a tenancy agremeent). The owner must write and sign a statement saying that they allow you to live in their property. I was there with the landlady and even though she showed the police guy her ID and the letter of ownership, he still wanted us to go to a notary office. Yes, sometimes you need a notary to prove that you are… you. Anyway, the closest notary office to the police building is in Technopol. It cost €2.5.


First you need you make a short visit to the building on Hrobákova 44 (a white building) to get your e-kolok from the vending machine. Leave the building (because they only deal with international residents there) and go to the green one next to it, on Hrobákova 42. This is where the EU nationals have to apply for their permits. The opening hours are not very convenient for those who work. You can check them here (OCP PZ Bratislava). I got there for the first time on a Friday at 7:20 and I had to join a massive queue waiting in the snow. Upon arrival, you need to take a numbered ticket and wait for your turn. Once you get in, give them your ID proof and your other documents. They’ll ask you for a Slovak phone number. All this takes less than three minutes if you’re lucky enough not to need any other documents.

Top tip:When I had to change my residence permit (March 2015), I went there on a rainy Wednesday afternoon and there was only one person waiting in front of me. I got in in less than 10 minutes.

Aliens’ police offices in other Slovak towns.


Exactly two weeks after applying, I got an SMS with a confirmation number to go and get my permit. I went there again, got a ticket waited for about one hour and a half. Once I got in, it took two minutes to show my passport, sign and get the card. And the police woman could speak some English 😀

The permit is pink 😉 and it includes a photo, date of birth, place of birth, residence in Slovakia, nationality, gender and a number. The new ones also have a chip. It also includes the type of residence: trvalý (permanent) and právo na pobyt (right to stay). It looks like it can be used as an ID (in Slovakia) so hopefully I won’t have to carry the passport with me at all times anymore. I’m not very sure about this though.

This is it, I hope it helps.

Good luck and stay calm, it will be over soon 😉

* that police department is indeed made of aliens


31 thoughts on “Trvalý pobyt or the Slovak residence permit for EU/EEA nationals

  1. Hi panos and welcome to my blog 🙂
    I know they don’t really speak English & that’s why I asked a friend to call. But what they told her on the phone wasn’t exactly what I needed. So you can’t really trust them 😉

  2. hey there, thank you for this very useful info, I forgot how it was when I had to go and apply for the card 🙂 Since it’s been awhile and I need to re-apply, because I’m changing the address – does anyone perhaps know what’s the exact procedure for renewing your “povolenie na pobyt”? I’m an EU citizen. What all do I need exactly? Do I need my working contract? Thanks!

  3. 😀 that was such an amusing text, thank you for sharing your experience, it helped me feel that I am not the only one. Although I am slovak national I know exactly what you were talking about, and I must congratulate you to your great success, you has won over our crazy slovak bureaucracy and unclear procedures, worsen by dealing with officers with poor, if any, knowledge of english language, on the places and positions where they definitely should have multi-language competency.
    Just the “HUGE SMILE” in your recommendations could be also written in bold, as this seems to be the most important, together with strong nerves.
    Just a question: how long did it take to finally become a holder of a residence permit ?

  4. After about two weeks the police will send an SMS to the phone number you provided asking you to come and collect the permit 🙂
    I’m now looking to move to a new flat and that means applying for a residence permit change (exactly what Jean asked above) but I have no idea what to do. I need to start researching 🙂

  5. Just the information i was lookiing for, thing is i work for my self so i dont have a work contract so god knows how im going to get my card!!!! But i do know that once you have this card you do not need to carry your passport around with you (i hate carrying my passport everywhere with me). But please let us know how you get on with changeing your address as im sure ill be doing that at some point to.

  6. Are you self-employed here? If you have some document to prove that I think it should be enough. They only need your reason to stay here (studies, work, etc.). Not sure about the self-sufficiency cases though. I’ve given up on the idea of moving as some landlords seem to freak out when I tell them I need their address for my residence permit.

  7. Salut Sabina,
    Here is my story: I have arrived in Bratislava in March with the intention to settle here so therefore I was thinking that would be nice to have some proper documents. My girlfriend (slovak born) told me that I would need to go the aliens police and take with me the passport, 2 photos and the rental contract. Well because I was unemployed at that moment I had plenty of time to queue even though I was a bit surprised of how many foreigners desire to live in Slovakia. Anyway, the second shock arrived immediately because I needed to re-learn the system (I had the “chance” to queue for a UK visa as well) and to see people “jumping the queue and ignoring all the common sense rules”. Unfortunately for me I have arrived there around 11.30 am and, of course, there were no more tickets. I was keep taking a numbered ticket but being alone there and not understanding the language I didn’t knew that the numbers were finished for that day. Anyway I was waiting there just in case and to see what’s going on. Before lunch break they took people which didnt had a ticket! Arrived in front of the aliens policeman I was struggling to communicate as the only words meaning something for me were kataster and notar (time spent inside 3 minutes).
    Ok, I went home a bit disappointed but happy that I have learned the system.I have convinced the owner of the flat that we need to go to notar with the rental contract and the girlfriend to go to kataster, they provide the paper for anybody asking and paying 8 euro (if I remember correctly), unless the owner of the flat specified that the info about his ownership to be confidential. With the new documents in hand and revenue stamps but with another strategy I went at 7.30 at aliens place. Surprise, a huge queue. Anyway this time I have got a number. After 2 hours I have arrived again in front of the “aliens” just to find out that what I had was not enough (time spent inside 3 minutes). Now they bothered to give me an extract of the law (in slovak) which states the conditions you must fulfill to get the ID (trvaly pobyt). Good, so there were some points but some were quite unclear like “you need to prove your intention to work”!!!
    Anyway, I have a diploma and some funds so I went to the bank, asked for a statement, took my diploma, my CV in english and slovak and went again around 12 just before the lunch break. OK, this time they knew me 🙂 and put all the documents in front of them to prove that I have enough funds to live, I have intention to work and I have where to live (time spent inside 5-8 minutes).
    After 3 weeks (30 days officially) I have received the sms to come and pick up my ID.

    Another story is if you want insurance but you are not working….but maybe this some other time.

    And here is my question: now I am moving in my own flat, I am working and I have the trvaly pobyt. What documents do I need just to change the address on the trvaly pobyt and if I need to queue again in the ALIENS police?

    Good luck for those who will need this documents.

  8. Salut, Marius 😉

    Thank you for your comment, I added a link to it from the main article. Good to know there is a solution for self-sufficiency cases 🙂
    I’d be happy to host a guest post on how to get insurance when unemployed. Any detail to help us confused expats is more than welcome. So if you’re interested, please drop me an email.

    As for your last question(s). I know that you must change your permit when you change your purpose of your stay. You went from being self-sufficient to being employed so that’s one change. I’m not sure if that’s that urgent though, and what documents you’d need. Probably the work contract 😀
    And yes, the problem of changing addresses. Well, I have no idea. I’m very interested in finding that out and so are many other people. Therefore I created a new section in my sidebar 😉

  9. They “just” asked me:
    – notarised home rent contract;
    – a document from the company, stating that I work there and I have a monthly income;
    – copy of passport/ID card;
    – 2 passport-size pictures;
    – 4.50€ in postal stamps;
    – to compile a format to ask for residence permit.

  10. Správa katastra (katastrálny úrad) give Letter of ownership/ownership document (list vlastníctva) to anyone. You just need 8 € revenue stamp, number of letter of ownership, name of cadastral district (katastrálne územie) and number of flat if you live in flat. You can check it via (if owner dont know, you can search by name of owner or building number (black plate on building or first of two numbers)).

  11. Your infos is trully helpfull …. I was there three times ..I had to be there at 6 am waiting in a line . ?? Second time the police officer who was responsible to give the right door ticket 1-2-5-6…. after half hour unplug the ticket machine and desapair ???.. 3 time they ask me to show them 200€ in my wallet because as they told me after I was from Greece (crisis country) and all of these for what reason… Also I hate when the start a sentence with the phrase “” here in Slovakia “” Slovakia is eu member hello !!

  12. Thanks for this post, was great help. Yesterday i went to alien police around 8am, was specting some bad time after all i read in here, but not. Gladly it was very positive experience. As EU citizen i went to the new building, that looks far better than the old one from what i noticed, even very clean bathroom. Got a ticket and i wait 1 minute, FOR REAL, only one!! Went inside and gave the police my passport; he made a copy and gave it back, my work contract (copied it aswell) and also gave back, then i gave and he kept the original notarised flat contract, paper fron kadastra, 2 pictures (3×3,5), the form and 4,5 euros value stamps. Then had to go into a cabin, took a digital picture of me, my finger prints in a machine and my digital sign. It took around 15 minutes and it was it. Now i gave to wait for the SMS. But it was far from be considered a bad experience, worked pretty well and police was not unfriendly. Hope works this well from now to everyone going there.

  13. Hi!
    I am a citizen of an EU member state and I am going to study in a Slovak University. I would like to find a job there. I am going to stay in a room of a family house, they are not my relatives but they do it as a personal favour and of course there will be no contract made for my room. How can I obtain a confirmation of permanent residency for tax purposes as long as I am not going to have a Notarized lease agreement?
    Thank you!

  14. Hi Maria, the letter of ownership from the kataster office (in original) and a notarised statement from the landlord (explaining they allow you to live there) should be enough 🙂

  15. Hi,

    Does anybody know what is the procedure if you lose your slovak id or if it gets stolen?
    Do you know if there is a penalty and how much it is? I need to go there next week and i am terryfied ;(

  16. Hi Maya, you have to apply for a new one with the same documents you need for the first permit. There is a €160 penalty for this and you can pay for it at the vending machine inside the police building

  17. This post was very helpful indeed. Thank you so much. I agree that some Wednesday afternoons you can get lucky. But sometimes there’s just too much people that they stop releasing numbers. But if you’re patient enough, you could still get a number in case some people don’t show up. Just try again, if a number is skipped for example. 😉 however you also need to be lucky. I saw a guy who couldn’t get a number everytime, but the person after him gets one. And believe me he tried like a hundred times. Poor guy.

  18. Thank you very much Sabina, I followed your instructions it must admit it was easier than I thought !
    It’s probably so far the best information I found on Internet on the process & documents for a 1st application for residence permit.
    Here is my experience: I’ve just been there Friday at 11am, I’m from EU, single and I’m unemployed but I have an health insurance (Union is the only insurance available to foreigners without jobs at the moment).
    I have been registered before in Czech Republic but it wasn’t that easy nor faster!
    I brought all the papers in this list but I didn’t had to show them all at the end. I also brought with my better smile 🙂

    I had a young lady speaking English and very friendly, very cool, we had a little chat about her travels and so on. Awesome experience. They are 6 working there so it may depends as once i was inside their office (not the waiting room) I never heard anyone else speaking English. You can still call a friend in case.

    As I’m unemployment, I was prepared. I had printed CV in Slovak & English, the proofs of the job interviews I had recently, my diplomas (original). But it wasn’t necessary. I guess that may differ on the mood of the person.
    She only took the notarized rental agreement, the proof of kataster (8 Euros at Ružinova Dolina, the guy at the reception speaks a little bit English), 2 passport-sized photos, my passport, my health insurance card and my bank account status.
    Note that your bank account must be credited with a “sufficient” amount. I haven’t found anywhere clearly what is amount should be, plus it should theoretically be multiplied by 60, number of months for 5 years residence permit 😉 but i don’t have such money)

    About the “tickets” I went straight to try to grab a waiting ticket at the EU building (the one on the left, entrance on the right side). Too bad, they were all gone for the day. Note that the police has to treat everybody who has a waiting ticket ! (They will remind you sometimes in the afternoon, in Slovak of course). So I was waiting what happened if no one shows up. Bingo ! Once a number is called and nobody shows, a new waiting ticket is released. So make sure you’re checking if someone doesn’t enter, and here is your chance ! I had to wait maybe 30 min/1 hr and maybe 2/3 person behind me did the same. I got a numbers with 10 people before me, so I went straight to the “rest of the world” building (building on the right, entrance on the right side too) to buy a stamp at 3.5 Euro for processing the documents. It’s written in both Slovak & English, but if you don’t where to look for, just search everything until you find the right choice. Then back to the UE building and wait until 12h. At 12h they go for lunch break, so do I as there is a little Terno supermarket not 3min walk from there. You have enough time to come back at 12h30 and wait for your number to be called.

    I didn’t bring the right form as the one i found is the one of the website of the ministry of interior. it is a 4 or 5 pages doc but it is dedicated to non EU. For EU there is a simple form to find, 1 page only. If you don’t find it you can directly enter inside their office without ticket and ask for the form politely and go back to the queue.
    Anyway, she could process my request as this form contains more info that she actually needed.

    They should be able to give you a rodne čislo right away. They will then have up to 30 days to provide you the identification card. You will have to come back and only pick a waiting ticket for the appropriate purpose.
    You can have this card processed within 3 working days for an extra amount of 25 Euros.
    You can also receive the card at home (instead to come back and queue again) for 3 Euros only. For this, you need to buy a “stamp” (the ticket with QR code) at the machine in the “non-EU” building. I think it is worth it unless you like to queue 😉
    My card will delivered for a period of 5 years and i will have to renew it every 10 years.

    It’s 14h30 and I’m already out of the building. I went inside, gave the papers, discuss a bit for a total of 15min, then another wait inside their office for 15/20 min, then they took a picture of my face in the cabin, took my fingerprints and digitalised my signature, all for the local ID card and that’s all. 3 Hours total, I wouldn’t expect that ! positive experience.

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