SLOVAKIA – Labour Market Search Requirement for Local Hires and Change to Document Requirements for Assignees
The government of Slovakia has introduced new requirements for work permit applications for non-EEA (European Economic Area) national applications. This move, similarly to other recent immigration regulation changes in several countries, is an attempt to boost the employment of Slovak nationals and reduce the country’s growing unemployment rate. The labour office published the regulations internally in February 2012, however, the rules have only been brought in practice effective from 1 April, 2012.
Work Force Demand Needed for Local Hires
Employers intending to hire non-EU/EEA foreign nationals locally must run a labour market search with a local labour office prior to work permit applications. The labour market search is intended to verify if any Slovak nationals or long term residents could fill the specific position at the host company. Work permit applications can be submitted only if the position cannot be filled locally.
As a result of the new requirements, the immigration process for non-EEA local hires has been extended by approximately 15 days.
Assignment and Transfer Letter Specifications
In cases where employment in Slovakia is based on an assignment contract or transfer letter, and the assignee remains contracted to his or her sending company outside Slovakia, the maximum term of an assignment (up to 5 years) must be specified on the contract/transfer letter as any future extension requests of the work permit will be reviewed against this specification. Although the initial work permit will be issued for up to 2 years, in cases where the assignment is extended, the new work permit may not be issued for longer periods than what has been indicated in the applicant’s original contract/transfer letter.
Should the assignment period stated on the contract/transfer letter fall short of the desired period, the company may not be able to extend the work permit at all. The labour office will deny any subsequent applications, and the foreign national may have to be locally hired in order to continue working in Slovakia.
Applicants switching to local payroll should note that the processing time is considerably longer for work permits issued on local payroll. Presently the time to obtain a work permit on assignment is approximately 15 days, whereas obtaining a work permit for local employment takes approximately 45 days, together with the labour market search requirement.
- Note that, effective immediately, labour market searches are required for local hire work permit applications for non-EEA nationals, and that processing time will be affected accordingly.
- Note that assignment/transfer letters for assignees should state potential maximum duration of assignment in order to facilitate renewal applications.