Slovakia overhauls work permit application and renewal process

31 Jan 14

SLOVAKIA

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Slovakia’s overhaul of foreign work and residence permits imposes stricter rules and new processing time frames.

What does the change mean? Employers will face several stricter requirements, including an in-person meeting with the Slovak Labor Office for local labor contracts, longer notification of vacant jobs, and apostilled educational documents.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 1, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work and resident permit applications and renewals.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals.
  • Impact on processing times: The changes significantly alter processing times.
  • Business impact: Businesses will be impacted by the new rules on notification of vacant positions, and by a new requirement that the Slovak sponsoring company meet in person with the Slovak Labor Office.
  • Next steps: Companies should prepare for stricter requirements on work permit applications and renewals and allow more time for document preparation and processing.

Background: The Slovak National Council passed legislation on Dec. 3, 2013, that amended several laws affecting foreign nationals and employment. These are some of the major changes:

  1. Local contracts where a foreign employee signs a contract with a Slovak company
    • Employers must provide notification to the Labor Office of vacant positions for 30 working days instead of 15 days.
    • The Foreign Police, not the Labor Office, now issues work permits.
    • University degrees of foreign applicants must be apostilled or superlegalized (legally translated into Slovak), a time-consuming process.
    • The processing time is 90 days.
    • Renewal applications should not be submitted until the Labor Office has had the employer’s notification of vacant position for 30 working days.
  1. Assignment of foreign worker who does not sign a local contract
    • A representative of the Slovak employer must meet with the Labor Office to approve the assignment of the foreign employee.
    • University degrees must be apostilled or superlegalized.
    • The length of the foreign employee’s assignment cannot exceed four years.
    • Processing time by the Foreign Police is 90 days.

BAL Analysis: Companies should note the new processing timelines and plan accordingly. In particular, the apostilling process can take several weeks, which impacts document preparation. Because of this, renewal applications for permits should begin four to five months before the expiration date of the existing work permit.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Slovakia. For additional information, please contact GlobalVisaGroup@balglobal.com.

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