What is the change? Slovakia has adopted two pieces of legislation that change immigration rules and procedures for employers and non-EU nationals seeking work authorization. The changes affect the publication of the shortage occupation list, the process for reporting vacancies, document legalization requirements, penalties for illegal work, filing time frames, housing requirements, processing times and the validity of residence permits.

  • Implementation time frame:  The changes took effect Jan. 1.
  • Who is affected:Employers who plan to locally employ or are currently employing non-EU nationals, and non-EU nationals who are or will be working in Slovakia.
  • Impact on processing: The changes will decrease processing times in some cases. Nevertheless, employers must be sure all required documentation is provided in order to avoid delays.
  • Business impact: The changes are generally designed to improve immigration procedures in Slovakia. However, penalties will be increased in some instances.

Key points: The two laws—Act No. 5/2004 on Employment Service and Act No. 404/2011 on Stay of Foreign Nationals—are summarized below.

  • The list of shortage occupations will be published on a quarterly basis. The Labour Office will publish the list of shortage occupations (i.e., jobs for which there is a shortage of labor in districts with an unemployment rate lower than 5 percent) within a month of the end of each quarter. Previously, the lists were published once a year.
  • All positions must be reported to the Labour Office. Employers are now required to report all vacant positions, not just those that will be filled by non-EU nationals, to the Labour Office. Fines of up to €300 can be imposed on employers for noncompliance. This requirement does not apply in cases where the employer is already required to provide information about vacancies under separate regulations.
  • Legalized diplomas will not be required when applying for a Work Permit or Temporary Residence Permit for Employment Purposes. Non-EU nationals applying for Single Permits or Work Permits will only be required to provide legalized confirmation of their highest level of education in regulated professions.
  • Authorities will broaden their monitoring of illegal employment. Authorities will monitor illegal employment violations going back five years, rather than just two years, for employers requiring a statement from the Labour Office. Applications that require a statement from the Labour Office include Single Permits, ICT Permits, EU Blue Cards, Work Permits and related renewal applications.
  • Filing time frames have changed. For specific groups of foreign employees, employers can submit applications for Work Permits 10 business days after reporting a vacant position to the Labour Office, rather than 15 business days. Employers can submit renewal Work Permit applications for seasonal employment five business days after reporting a vacant position.
  • Housing documentation requirements have changed. Foreign nationals will be required to provide “municipality consent” confirming that housing accommodations meet Ministry of Health standards. This must be filed in conjunction with housing confirmation when applying for Residence Permits for Employment Purposes (both Single Permits and ICT permits).
  • The time frame for the Foreign Police to request Labour Office statements has changed. The Foreign Police will be required to ask for a Labour Office statement within seven days of accepting applications for Residence Permits for Employment Purposes (Single Permits or ICT permits). Employers should note, however, that the Foreign Police will not request a Labour Office statement until all supporting documentation is provided.
  • Processing times will be shorter for some jobs in Technological Centers. The Foreign Police will decide on applications for jobs at Technological Centers within 30 days of receiving an application for a Residence Permit, rather than the standard 90 days. To take advantage of the shorter processing times, employers must be added to the Ministry of Economy’s list of Technological Centers. The first list is expected to be published by the end of January. The Foreign Police will also be obliged to decide on applications of shortage professions within 30 days from receiving a statement from the Labour Office.
  • Residence Cards will not be shortened owing to passport expiration. The validity of residence cards will no longer be tied to a passport’s expiration date. Validity may be shorted, however, in cases where housing confirmation will expire.

Analysis & Comments: Employers are encouraged to review internal procedures in light of the new legislation. Penalties have increased in some instances, and companies will be scrutinized for illegal work violations for a longer period of time. The changes are broadly beneficial to business, however, and will improve processing times in some cases, particularly for jobs at Technological Centers. Authorities are expected to publish the first list of Technological Centers later this month.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.