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.
THE ALIENS’ POLICE DEPARTMENT IN BRATISLAVA
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.
COLLECTING YOUR PERMIT
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