Guidance

Living in Slovakia

Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Slovakia, including guidance on residency, healthcare, passports and the Withdrawal Agreement.

What you should do

You should:

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Slovak Government and your local authority. You can also read our Slovakia travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

Attend a citizen outreach meeting

The British Embassy regularly holds events across Slovakia for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Slovakia.

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Slovakia at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Slovakia.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Slovakia. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Slovakia.

Residency

If you are resident in Slovakia before transition period ends on 31 December 2020 you will be able to stay.

If you’re staying in Slovakia for more than 3 months, you must register with your local Foreigners Police department as soon as possible. You should read the Ministry of the Interior’s guide to residence of foreign nationals in Slovakia.

Check the address of your local Foreigners Police department where you must register your stay. You can also check how to book an appointment online with the Slovak Foreigners Police Units (in Slovak).

You will need to obtain a new Residence Card before 30 June 2021. Read the Slovak Ministry of Interior guidance on the transition period and residency.

If there are changes to residency registration processes, we will update this page as soon as information is available.

Read our guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

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

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.

Healthcare

If you are living in Slovakia or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Slovakia as you do now, provided you remain resident.

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

  • Union zdravotná poisťovňa
  • Dôvera zdravotná poisťovňa
  • Všeobecná zdravotná poisťovňa

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

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

Read our guidance on who can access healthcare in Slovakia and how to register.

State healthcare: S1

If you live in Slovakia and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Slovakia, you must not use your EHIC from the UK to access healthcare in Slovakia.

When you travel from Slovakia for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC as you did before during this time.

You should also read guidance on:

Working in Slovakia

If you are resident in Slovakia on or before 31 December 2020, your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Slovakia.

Read our guidance on working in an EU country.

You may need to apply for a UK police certificate.

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

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Slovakia to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Slovakia have not changed.

Read guidance about:

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

National Insurance

Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your state pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in Slovakia you can claim:

If you have worked for at least 15 years and you have reached the retirement age as stipulated under Slovak law, you can claim your pension in Slovakia. You will only need to make one single application covering all the countries where you have worked. You can make your application in person at the nearest Social Insurance Agency’s branch (in Slovak).

If you have worked in the UK or any other EU Member State you need to indicate this on the form. The Slovak authorities will liaise with the relevant governments and agree on the amount that should be paid to you. Each EU Member State where you have worked will send you the appropriate pension payments separately to your bank account. The UK or Slovak authorities will contact you directly if they need further information.

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 don’t.

Pensions after 31 January 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.

If you are living in Slovakia by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Slovakia, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Slovak pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Benefits

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Slovakia. You should:

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

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

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Benefits after 31 December 2020

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Slovakia, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Slovak contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.

Read our guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Driving in Slovakia

Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you are a resident in Slovakia, you can voluntarily exchange your UK licence for a Slovak driving licence after 185 days. You can still use your Slovak licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

Read our guidance on:

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Slovakia

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

You should read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Slovakia. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so, you will need certificates of exemption.

Voting

You can vote and stand in local elections in Slovakia if you are a registered resident in Slovakia.

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

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

Births, deaths, getting married

If your child is born in Slovakia, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in Slovakia you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Slovakia.

You may also need:

Accommodation and buying property

Read our guidance on buying a property abroad.

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time, you must visit your vet to obtain a pet passport.

Read guidance on bringing your pet into the UK.

Emergencies

You can dial the European emergency number 112 or Slovakia also has:

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

You can read a list of emergency numbers in Slovakia.

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

Returning to the UK

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

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.

If you get healthcare in Slovakia through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

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

Disclaimer

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

Published 22 May 2013
Last updated 23 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  2. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  3. Brexit Update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  4. Brexit update: We have added new information on residency, pensions and benefits.

  5. EU Exit update: We have added new information in "Passports and travel after the UK leaves the EU section"

  6. EU Exit update: We have added new information about pensions.

  7. EU Exit update: updated information on EU Exit in healthcare, visas and residency, passports, driving and working sections

  8. EU Exit update: added information about citizens outreach meetings in April in EU Exit section

  9. We have added information on residence in relation to EU Exit to the Visas and residency section.

  10. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  11. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  12. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare

  13. EU Exit update: added the Slovak government´s announcement about a no deal scenario for British nationals to EU Exit section

  14. EU exit update - updated information on pensions and driving

  15. Information added about applying to the penalty register in the Working in Slovakia section

  16. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in Pets section.

  17. We have updated ´residence of foreign nationals´ under the visas and residency section

  18. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  19. First published.