Integration of foreigners in Slovakia
Integration is a dynamic two-way process that requires accommodation of foreigners, on one hand, and the creation of conditions for the integration of foreigners, on the other.
The Slovak Republic is inclined to an integration model based on a mutual adaptation in the integration process. Foreigners contribute to shape the common culture, and, at the same time, the majority society respects them and supports their diversity.
The Slovak Republic focuses on the support of properly managed legal immigration of highly skilled third-country labour force that will contribute to the overall competitiveness of the SR. That involves, in particular, the immigration of students, scientific and research workers, artists, entrepreneurs, and foreign Slovaks in various countries.
From the EU perspective, in the integration process a joint responsibility is borne by all the parties involved. It requires active participation of immigrants based on the respect for their rights and obligations. The integration measures must produce tools and arrangements that enable foreigners to:
- integrate in the labour market,
- manage language courses of the receiving country,
- have access to education,
- have access to heath care,
- have access to social services,
- have access to housing and recognition of cultural specificities,
- have a clear legal status recognised, participate in the civil and political life, or even potentially obtain citizenship of the Slovak Republic.
The Ministry of Interior of the SR is the guarantor of the migration policy in the SR.
The integration measures are primarily aimed at foreigners who are residing legally and in the long term in the territory of the host country. The integration measures of the Slovak Republic are targeting foreigners:
- with granted temporary residence permit for the purpose of employment, i.e. persons that assert themselves in the labour market,
- with granted temporary residence permit for the purpose of undertaking business, i.e., self-employed persons,
- with granted temporary residence permit for the purpose of family reunion, i.e., family members – wives and children of foreigners, referred to under points above,
- with the right to temporary residence permit based on the certificate of a Slovak living abroad and their family members,
- with granted permanent residence permit,
- with the right to stay based on registration, i.e. the nationals of the European Economic Area,
- so-called “privileged”, with granted permanent residence permit, family members of the nationals of the European Economic Area – third-country nationals,
- enjoying international protection granted by the Slovak Republic, i.e. persons to whom asylum was granted and supplementary protection was provided,
- with tolerated stay permission granted, who are minors found in the territory of the SR,
- with tolerated stay permission granted, who are victims of human trafficking related crime.
The new integration policy of the Slovak Republic was approved by Resolution of the Government of the Slovak Republic No. 45 of 29 January 2014.
The common integration policy towards foreigners is one of the actual and expected priorities for the authorities of the European Union.
The aim of this policy is to provide citizens of the Slovak Republic with information about the legal status of foreigners who are granted long-term residence status in Slovakia, in accordance with The Common Basic Principles for Immigrant Integration Policy in the European Union.
As this is a cross cutting theme which relies on the involvement of a number of entities, the integration policy constitutes a systematic policy framework which aims to ensure the execution of measures, put in place to make the process of integration of foreigners more effective. The effective integration of foreigners will enable the society to use the potential of foreigners beneficially as well as to prevent potential radicalisation.
The integration policy has also a preventive role to play in society, as within its aims and measures preventive tools are being identified to prevent society from risks of being economically, socially and culturally divided, as well as to avert it from the formation of excluded and closed migrant communities while the legal order of the Slovak Republic, the European Union and international norms are being observed. The emphasis is put on raising awareness about the life of foreigners in Slovakia and about the means of protection against discrimination, racism and xenophobia. At the same time, the emphasis put on the regional and local level is also considered, as municipalities help the process of integration of foreigners and create social cohesion between various communities and the majority society.
The integration policy is based on the principles of equality, justice and respect for human integrity of every inhabitant of this country, while being an essential programming document in the field of integration of foreigners based on the human-rights principle. In terms of elaboration of targets and specific measurements, the integration policy is going to be detailed in Action Plans in order to take into account the actual needs of the target groups as identified by the relevant actors.
The preparation of the new Integration policy of the Slovak Republic has been supported by the National project: „Preparation of the new integration policy and its mainstreaming“, and executed by the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family from November 2012 until April 2014.
This project is co-financed by the European Union from the European Fund for the Integration of third-country nationals.Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows.