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Immigrating to Slovakia as a family – what is the process?
When a family is planning to immigrate to Slovakia, they first ask four questions: how will they support themselves financially? Where will they live? What about healthcare services? And what about education for their children? We will try to answer all of these questions in order.
Firstly, you need a residence permit, and for that, adults in the group must obtain a permit granted for a year under conditions such as working, studying, or opening a business. This is essentially the way to immigrate to Slovakia without a Slovakian passport. An official position allows you to obtain a temporary residence permit, which provides you with social rights and health insurance – every foreigner in Slovakia must have health insurance according to the law. A residence permit is granted for a period of one to three years, and if you are still employed in the same position, it will not be difficult to extend it. In Slovakia, after five years of temporary residency, you obtain permanent residency status, and after three more years, if you meet the criteria, you can apply for citizenship and a Slovakian passport, which is one of the strongest passports in Europe, giving you many advantages as a citizen of the European Union.
Opening a business in Slovakia:
If you do not belong to the sought-after professions in Slovakian companies or in international companies that have opened offices in Slovakia, you can still obtain a residence permit on the condition that you open a business in Slovakia. It can be a freelance business, a self-employed business, a licensed business, or a limited liability company. The cost of opening a business is not high and amounts to several thousand euros, and in fact, a foreigner without a Slovakian passport can open a business without any problems. After a year, you must show that the business is earning enough to provide for you and your family, for example, for a self-employed or licensed business, the average annual turnover should be around 6400 euros. If you meet the conditions, you can extend your residence permit. We can assist you if you choose this path, as opening a business in Europe requires knowledge of local laws and bureaucracy, and it is advisable to work with professionals to avoid complications.
Another visa that can be obtained for immigration to Slovakia is a student visa. If one of you is accepted for studies in Slovakia, you will be entitled to a temporary residence permit as long as the studies continue. Studies in the local language in Slovakia are free, even for those without a Slovakian passport, but studies in English cost money. However, this is a good way to acquire relevant European education in a variety of fields, and there is a good chance that after completing your studies, it will not be difficult for you to find work in Slovakia because the attitude towards immigrants, especially Israelis, is tolerant, and if you have connections, good English, good education, you can definitely be good candidates.
Apartment in Slovakia
If you have sorted out your visa, it’s time to find an apartment. When migrating to Slovakia, it’s important to keep in mind that although the cost of real estate in Slovakia has increased like in the rest of Europe, it’s definitely possible to find a 3-room apartment for around 1000 euros per month including some bills, as long as you don’t insist on living in the center of the capital, Bratislava. We recommend renting an apartment before buying real estate, even if you are planning on investing in housing as a result of migration to Slovakia. There are options for getting a local mortgage at a lower interest rate compared to Israel, so it’s advisable not to rush into buying an apartment and investing your own capital. It’s worth trying to live in a specific neighborhood and see if it suits you.
What about schools and kindergartens? In general, those who have experienced migration to Slovakia claim that the education system is overall good. There are public kindergartens from the age of 3, but there are also private ones, which are more expensive. Schools are divided into primary (1st to 5th grade), middle (6th to 9th grade), and high (10th to 12th grade) schools, with most high schools having a vocational or academic focus in a specific field. Registration for kindergartens and schools is in advance, sometimes as early as six months or more, so it’s not advisable to procrastinate. If you are planning to migrate to Slovakia, register your children well in advance of the start of the school year. We are happy to assist you in this area as part of the guidance we provide to our clients who are planning to migrate to Slovakia.
Of course, there is always the option to enroll your child in a private or commercial educational institution. Prices range from 400 euros to 1000 euros per month. In this case, everything is much simpler and you can start studying at any given time.
Healthcare in Slovakia
In Slovakia, there are insurance companies such as UNION and DOVERA, as well as private or commercial health insurance. After registration, you can turn to any doctor who works with the same insurance company. In Slovakia, the market is not divided into several main health funds as it is in Israel. Here, any doctor can work independently with insurance companies or join a small clinic. However, those looking for a solution similar to our health funds and who do not want to juggle between private doctors can register with PROCARE. It usually brings together all services in one place, and the average membership fee is 30 euros per month.
The path of migration to Slovakia begins with obtaining temporary residency, that is, finding a job, studying, or opening a self-employed business. Then comes finding an apartment and registering your children for school and kindergarten. We are happy to assist our clients and advise on each of these steps.