SLOVAKIA – Recent Legislative Changes to Immigration Procedures
Effective 1 January 2019, amendments to Act No.5/2004 on the Employment Service and Act No. 404/2011 on the Stay of Foreign Nationals affect non-EU nationals working in Slovakia and their employers.
What are the changes?
According to the new legislation, professions which have experienced a shortage of labour, in districts where the average unemployment rate is lower than 5%, will be identified and published by the Labour Ministry on their website on a quarterly basis (by the end of the calendar month following the respective calendar quarter) instead of once per year.
Reporting vacant positions
All vacant positions must now be reported to the Labour Office (i.e., not only those that will be filled by non-EU nationals). Non-compliant employers face a fine of up to EUR 300.
Foreign nationals applying for single permits or work permits no longer need to present legalised confirmations of their highest educational certificate, unless they are working in a regulated profession.
Monitoring of illegal employment
Authorities now review records from illegal employment from the past five years in all processes where a statement from the Labour Office is required (single permit, ICT permit, blue card, work permit and related renewals), rather than only the past two years for certain processes, as previously.
Work permit processing times
Vacant position notifications (VPN) must now be reported to the labour Office 10 business days prior to submission of the work permit application, rather than 15 business days. For renewal applications for work permits for seasonal employment, the VPN must be submitted five business days prior to submission. The length of work permit processing should thus decrease slightly.
Temporary residence permit for employment purposes
Municipality consent is now required along with housing confirmation in support of applications for temporary residence for employment purposes (single permit and ICT permit). The document must confirm that the accommodation fulfils all required conditions defined by the Ministry of Health.
Additionally, the Foreign Police must request a statement from the Labour Office on whether the foreign national can fill the vacant position within seven days of receipt of the application for temporary residence for employment purposes – previously no deadline was set. However, the Foreign Police can no longer request the Labour Office statement if there is any outstanding supporting documentation.
Shorter processing for certain applications
The Foreign Police must now decide on applications for shortage professions within 30 days of receipt of the statement from the Labour Office. Applications for employees or assignees working for one of the Technological Centres must be decided within 30 days, compared to 90 days previously. To benefit, companies need to be included on the list of Technology Centres published by the Ministry of Economy.
Residence card validity
Residence cards no longer have to be shorter by 90 days than the validity of the holder’s passport. Residence card validity is now only shortened in the case of early expiry of housing confirmation.
Employers who may be affected are encouraged to contact their immigration specialist for case-specific advice.