Guidance

Living in Slovakia

Official information British people moving to and living in Slovakia need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.

Brexit: what you need to know

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Slovakia while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate Brexit, you should:

Before you go

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

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for Slovakia in our travel advice.

If you’re staying in Slovakia for more than 3 months, you have to register with your local foreign police department. See also residence of foreign nationals in Slovakia.

Healthcare

See our travel advice for Slovakia.

The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Slovakia.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

Health insurance is compulsory in Slovakia and there are 3 insurance companies you can use:

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

You need to take your insurance card when visiting a doctor – find English-speaking doctors in Slovakia.

You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Slovakia.

S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Slovakia and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pensions Centre.

When you get your S1 form, register it with your local social security office before you register with your GP surgery and get a medical card.

Working in Slovakia

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

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

Tax

See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

Slovakia and the UK have a double taxation convention to prevent income being taxed in both countries. We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Slovakia.

See paying income tax in Slovakia.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

Pensions

See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

If you have worked in Slovakia, you should claim your pension by submitting a written application to your local social security office – see old-age pensions.

If you haven’t worked in Slovakia, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Benefits

See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

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

You may be eligible to claim some Slovakian social security benefits.

Driving in Slovakia

See driving abroad and road travel in Slovakia.

See taking a vehicle out of the UK and driving licence renewal and exchange – Slovakia.

Voting

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Slovakia, you can vote in local municipal and European Parliamentary Elections.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

See what to do after someone dies and English-speaking funeral directors in Slovakia.

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

Emergencies

As well as the European emergency number 112, Slovakia also has:

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

See Slovakia – emergency numbers.

If you need urgent help, contact the British embassy in Bratislava.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

You need to return your residence card to your local foreign police department when you leave Slovakia.

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

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Slovakian authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 22 May 2013
Last updated 18 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  2. First published.