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Arriving in Slovakia – how to proceed?

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Have you arrived in Slovakia without valid identity or travel documents and are you a citizen of a country outside the European Union?

Here you will find the information you need about where you are, how to deal with the police and other authorities, what your rights are and where to find support services.

When you arrive

If you have just arrived in Slovakia, you should contact the police. You must tell them about your situation or that you are interested in applying for asylum (see below). The police are not allowed to use force against anyone unless they have reasonable grounds to do so (e.g. if someone is a threat to the community).

You can read or show this text to the police officer:

“Prišiel som na územie Slovenska bez platných cestovných dokladov, víz či povolenia na pobyt. Prosím, vezmite ma na oddelenie cudzineckej polície.“

Translation:

“I came to Slovakia without valid travel documents, visas or residence permits. Please take me to the Foreign Police Department.”

This police officer will then take you to the nearest Foreign Police Department where you will be registered. If you have the option, you can go to the Foreign Police Department yourself.

If you have had a bad experience with the attitude of the police, please contact the Human Rights League at hrl@hrl.sk or +421 918 366 968.

Registering with the police

When you arrive at the Foreign Police Department, the officers will find out who you are and what country you are from.  They will take your fingerprints, photograph you, search you and temporarily take your mobile phone or other belongings, which will be returned to you when they are finished. It may take 30 minutes or several hours for your turn to come.

Your rights during registration:

  • You have the right to an interpreter in a language you understand. If there is none, ask for one.
  • If you wait more than 6 hours to register, you have the right to be provided with food and drink. 
  • During registration, the immigration police must inform you about the possibility of applying for asylum in Slovakia.

Once you have registered with the police, you may receive the following decisions:

1.Confirmation of Stay in the Slovak Republic

If you come from a country to which you cannot return due to objective reasons, such as a threat to your life or personal freedom, and you do not apply for asylum in Slovakia, the police will issue you a “Certificate of Residence of a Third-country National on the Territory of the Slovak Republic”. This document allows you to stay in Slovakia until the objective obstacles to your return to your country of origin cease to exist.

You will receive a certificate of stay, which:

  • does not order you to leave Slovakia (like an administrative expulsion decision),
  • does not allow you to move freely within the EU without meeting the relevant conditions for entry into other EU countries, 
  • does not allow you to work or run a business,
  • does not give you any other rights in Slovakia.

2.Administrative Expulsion Decision

The police will issue you with an “Administrative Expulsion Decision” if there are no obstacles to your return to your country of origin. This document may set a deadline by which you must leave Slovakia. Once the administrative expulsion procedure has been initiated, the police can detain you. 

You can also be detained by the police if you have already applied for asylum in another EU country (the so-called ‘Dublin procedure’, see the section on applying for asylum for more information). If you are detained in Medvedovo or Secovce, you can seek legal assistance.

For more information on these decisions and other options, please see also the League for Human Rights leaflet: English.

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