Living in Slovakia – GOV.UK


This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Slovakia. Read about how our embassy in Bratislava can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Slovak authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Support for British nationals abroad guidance sets out how British nationals can stay safe abroad and how the FCDO can help if you do get into difficulty.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Slovakia before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Slovakia since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Before you go

See our travel advice for Slovakia for up-to-date information on entry requirements, local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Slovakia in our travel advice.

For how to apply for a visa to enter Slovakia, read IOM Migration Information Centre’s guidance on visas and residency and Slovak Embassy in London’s visa guidance for more information.

If you are resident in Slovakia, you must always carry and show both your valid passport (as a proof of identity) and your valid residence permit. Police officers may ask to see them.

Visas and residency if you were living in Slovakia before 1 January 2021

If you have lived in Slovakia since before 1 January 2021, you and your family members have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you have an EU residence card (Pobytovy Preukaz Obcana EU) it is no longer valid, regardless of its expiry date. You need a new residence document (Povolenie na pobyt) instead.

The Povolenie na pobyt shows that you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. It also shows your right to enter Slovakia, and exempts you from the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) and visa requirements.

The deadline for applying for the Povolenie na pobyt was 30 June 2021. You will not have to pay a fine if you apply after this date, but your non-EU family members may need to. Your rights and your non-EU family members’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement will not be affected by a late application.

You should also read:

If you need additional support to obtain your residency document, contact your local Foreigners Police office.

If you have a Withdrawal Agreement residence card issued in 2020

If your Withdrawal Agreement residence card was issued in 2020, you should have received a letter from the Slovak Foreigners Police about updating it. Although your card remains valid, you should apply for the 2021 updated version of the Withdrawal Agreement residence card (Povolenie na pobyt). This 2021 version has ‘Clanok 50 ZEU’ in the ‘type of permit’ field. Having the 2021 version of the card will minimize potential delays and inconvenience when crossing a Schengen border control. You can also use it in another EU country to prove that you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement in Slovakia.

To get the 2021 version of the Povolenie na pobyt residence card, book an appointment online with your local Foreigners Police Office and take with you:

  • your valid passport
  • your residence card
  • a copy of the letter from the Foreigners Police, if you have it

If your Povolenie na pobyt residence card was issued in 2021, and you have not received a letter from the Foreigners Police, your card is already in the correct format. You do not need to take any action.

Family members

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Slovakia at any point in the future. Read more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance.

They must travel to Slovakia and then apply as your family member. Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Slovak authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Slovakia.

Check the Slovakia travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport and residence permit when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country in addition to British citizenship, you should enter and leave Slovakia using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Slovakia with a Slovak residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Slovakia, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies even if you have a Slovak residence permit. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions. 

Different rules apply if you are travelling to other EU and Schengen countries as a resident of Slovakia. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

EU Entry Exit/System

In Autumn 2024, the EU will introduce a new digital border – called the Entry/Exit System (EES).

This will require non-EU nationals, including British nationals, visiting the EU to create a digital record and provide their biometric data (fingerprints and facial image) at the border when entering the EU’s Schengen Zone.

UK nationals who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement (those who were lawfully resident in the EU before 1 January 2021) will be exempt from registration in EES, provided they hold the correct documentation.

In Slovakia, this is the “Povolenie na pobyt – trvalý” card. If you have this document, you will not need to register in the EES when travelling. Please keep your “Povolenie na pobyt – trvalý” card with you when travelling and replace it promptly if it is lost or stolen. You will still need a passport to travel.

UK nationals who hold other residence permits issued to non-EU nationals under the general system for legal residents are also exempt from the EES.

If you were living in Slovakia before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your residence document (Povolenie na pobyt) or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence document if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residence document, show your certificate of registration. If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Slovakia, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU.

Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence. Read EU guidance for UK nationals on entering and leaving the Schengen area.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Slovakia with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.


You must register for healthcare as a resident in Slovakia.

There are 3 insurance companies you can use:

If you cannot register for healthcare, you must ensure you have private healthcare cover for Slovakia.

You can not use a UK-issued European or Global Health Insurance Card (EHIC or GHIC) in Slovakia if you live and work on a Slovak employment contract.

Your employer will pay contributions to your health insurance on your behalf.

You need to take your insurance card when visiting a doctor.

Check the list of medical facilities and the list of all medical service providers in Slovakia.


If you are on a prescription for any medication you should ensure you have a supply of it, or are able to obtain it when in Slovakia. Certain medicines may not be available in Slovakia (including major brands readily available in the UK), and you may be prohibited from taking them into the country. You should consult your GP before travelling to Slovakia to find out about any alternative medication.

Read the guidance if you need to travel with medicines.

Working in Slovakia

If you are planning to move to Slovakia and work, you may need a visa. Read the IOM Migration Information Centre’s guidance on working in Slovakia as a foreign national and how to get a visa.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate.

Your employer must notify the local labour office within 7 working days of you starting your job.


If you work in Slovakia, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Slovakia before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you live in Slovakia and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers. 

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Slovakia. When doing this, you will be treated as a third country national. A third country national is someone who does not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Slovakia before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Slovakia officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Slovakia

If you plan to study in Slovakia, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Slovakia to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Slovakia before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Slovakia before 1 January 2021.


The UK has a double taxation agreement with Slovakia so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Slovakia. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Slovakia.

Read guidance on:

National Insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Slovakia. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Slovakia.

If you plan to move to Slovakia and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Slovakia. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Slovakia.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

Check your UK National Insurance record.


Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Read the EU guidance on Slovak social security benefits.


Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Slovakia.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Slovakia, you can claim your UK State Pension or new UK State Pension. Contact the International Pension Centre for further information

You can also claim:

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation.

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property


Driving in Slovakia

Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Slovakia:

If you’re asked for a letter authenticating, certifying or validating your UK driver’s licence, you should contact your DVLA UK issuing office.

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence

If you live in Slovakia, you must exchange your licence for a Slovak one within 60 days of completing 185 days of residence. You cannot exchange your UK licence before reaching 185 days of residence. Read more information on the Slovak police website (in Slovak) and the European Commission-affiliated Euraxess website. You must do this at your nearest regional police directorate (in Slovak). You do not need to take a driving test to exchange your licence.

You need to provide:

  • a valid form of identification, for example, your passport
  • your UK driving licence
  • an official Slovak translation of your UK driving licence. See our  list of translators in Slovakia
  • your Residence Card (as evidence that you have completed 185 days of residence)
  • for licences issued in Great Britain (England, Wales or Scotland),  Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) confirmation of your driving licence, including information on your driving categories (groups). You should print out this information
  • for licences issued in Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man, contact the relevant issuing authority to request a letter or certificate of entitlement
  • an official Slovak translation of the DVLA (or Northern Ireland, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man authority) confirmation of your driving licence. See our list of translators in Slovakia
  • if you are aged over 65, a medical certificate from your doctor, confirming that you are fit to drive
  • if you want to retain certain driving categories (such as categories C or D, to drive a lorry), a medical certificate and certificate of mental capacity. You can arrange these through your doctor
  • the fee to exchange your licence: 6.50 euros (ready within 30 working days) or 26 euros for an express service of up to 2 working days. Read the Interior Ministry’s fee information (in Slovak)

You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

If you are visiting or you have been resident for less than 185 days, you can drive in Slovakia using your UK driving licence.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Slovakia, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. You can apply for a new Slovak disabled parking card (in Slovak only). For further information in English, see the International Automobile Federation’s guide for disabled motoring.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Slovakia

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

See also the European Consumer Centre’s factsheet for Slovakia and the EU-affiliated Slovak Central Government portal.

Driving outside Slovakia with a Slovak licence

You can use your Slovak licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Slovak licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Slovak licence you may need to apply for an IDP (in Slovak).

Read the EU guidance on:


You can vote and stand in municipal elections in the respective city or district if you are a registered permanent resident in Slovakia and are over 18 years old.

You cannot vote in national parliamentary elections in Slovakia or European Parliament elections.

For more information check Municipal elections guidance by the city of Bratislava or Slovak Ministry of Interior’s guidance (in Slovak only).

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships


If your child is born in Slovakia you should register the birth with the local authorities. You can then register with the UK authorities and apply for a UK birth certificate.

If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.


If someone dies in Slovakia read our guidance on:

Marriages and civil partnerships

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need:


If you’re moving to Slovakia with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:


Dial the European emergency number 112 in Slovakia, or dial:

  • 150 for fire and rescue
  • 155 for emergency medical service
  • 158 for police

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read:

If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault in Slovakia, read the guidance on what to do and where to get support in cases of rape and sexual assault. Also read the guide for the victims of rape or sexual assault abroad.

Check the local list of lawyers in Slovakia.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Bratislava.

Returning to the UK

Tell the Slovak and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

You should tell your local Slovak tax office that you are changing address and the date you will leave.

You should inform your Slovak health insurance provider:

You’ll need to tell your local social security and benefit office you’re leaving if you’ve been getting unemployment benefit, child benefit or other benefit from the Slovak state.

You should inform your municipality (Registry office) and Slovak Foreigners Police and return your Slovak residence permit card if you’re leaving permanently.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Your non-British family members wishing to return with you will require their own immigration status.

Useful information

Support for British Nationals abroad guidance sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

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