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Living and working conditions

Slovakia

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area - 49,035 km2

Population – 5,450,421

Official Language – Slovak 

REGISTRATION AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

EU/EEA citizens can enter Slovakia with just a valid travel document (passport, ID or identity card). Conditions for the entry to and residency of foreigner nationals in Slovakia are governed by Law No. 404/2011 Coll., On Residence of Foreigner Nationals and Amendment of Certain Acts with effect as of 01/01/2012.

EU/EEA citizens and citizens of the Swiss federation can stay on the Slovak territory longer than three months if:

they are employed in Slovakia or are self-employed persons in Slovakia;

study at a primary, secondary school or university in Slovakia;

have sufficient financial means to secure their stay and the stay of their relatives, as well as health insurance in Slovakia;

are likely to become employed;

are a family member of an EU/EEA citizen whom they accompany and fulfil the conditions listed above.

Reporting a Stay
EU/EEA citizens are obliged within ten working days from entering Slovakia to report the start date and place of residence in Slovakia to the Foreign Police Department, unless the provider of their accommodation (hotel) does so. The relevant police department in the place of residence will require confirmation of accommodation or the name and birth certificate number of the person with whom they are staying.

Registration of residence in Slovakia

An EU/EEA citizen remaining in Slovakia for longer than three months is required to apply for registration of residence within 30 days after the first three months in the country have elapsed. The application is free of charge and should be made in person, using the official form, at the Foreign Nationals Police Department, accompanied by a valid identity card or travel document and documents proving any of the facts listed above (employment contract, trade licence, confirmation from school, bank statement, etc.).

On the day when the full application is submitted, the police department will issue a certificate stating the name, surname and address of the EU/EEA citizen and the date of registration. If the EU/EEA citizen fails to submit evidence of accommodation, the address given in the certificate will be the municipality where the EU/EEA citizen will reside.
An EU/EEA citizen may apply for a residence permit valid for five years (a plastic card) in person at the respective Foreign Nationals Police Department based on their place of residence in Slovakia. A residence permit application must be accompanied by a valid travel document or identity card, two photographs (3 x 3.5 cm) and evidence of accommodation.

The right of permanent residence for EU citizens

EU/EEA citizens have the right of permanent residence once they have resided legally in Slovakia for a continuous period of five years. In certain cases it is possible to apply for permanent residence before the five-year period has elapsed.

The right of residence or the right of permanent residence for an EU/EEA citizen ceases to exist if:

  • the individual notifies the police department in writing that they are terminating their residence;
  • they have been administratively deported;
  • the respective police department has cancelled their right of residence or permanent residence;
  • they have died or have been declared dead;
  • they have acquired Slovak citizenship.

For more detailed information please contact the relevant Foreign Nationals Police Departmenthttp://www.minv.sk/?ocp-1.

LOOKING FOR A JOB

If you are planning to find a job in Slovakia, it is recommended to select the type of job you are interested in. When choosing a suitable occupation, it is recommended to consider actual jobs currently available on our labour market, taking into account occupations with workforce shortfalls, as well as your qualifications and practical skills. Sectors with the highest demand and multiple vacancies in Slovakia include mechanical engineering, information technologies, waste management and healthcare. There is continuous high demand for various assembly experts for the automotive industry, good vehicle and lorry drivers, and healthcare professionals. Occupations with workforce shortfalls include in particular general practitioners, nurses and healthcare assistants.

In order to be successful on our labour market, you will need various formal and informal letters of recommendation provided by your formal employers or relatives, acquaintances and friends. After considering these factors, you should choose your job search strategy. Your options are as follows:

Today, an online job search is one of the most commonly used ways to access websites of state and private entities with job offers in Slovakia. Some job portals have a multilingual version, where you can register your CVs and test your potential for the labour market.

By going through job ads in print media, you can also get efficient access to a wide range of job offers.

Offices of Labour, Social Affairs and Family continuously update job offers at their regional branches, and at every Labour Office you can contact EURES advisers who can help you with the job search. If you are unemployed, the Offices of Labour, Social Affairs and Family can also provide a range of advisory services and subsequently an opportunity to take different re-training courses.

International, national and regional job fairs and selection interviews provide direct contact with employers followed by potential job placement.

Job agencies can also help you find a job, although under certain conditions these agencies may charge administration fees for their services.

Temporary employment agencies or supported employment agencies are also one of the options to find a job in Slovakia.
If you come across a suitable job, you should respond as quickly as possible and send in your CV and cover letter to the contact stated in the job advert. Make sure you prepare the documents well, as this is your first contact with your future employer. CVs can be sent via email/post or be delivered in person.

One of the best ways to find a job successfully is personal contact with the employer based on prior arrangement by phone.

The following websites will be particularly helpful in your active job and information search on the labour market.

INCOME AND TAXATION

Taxation in Slovakia is regulated by specific legal rules. All taxpayers are subject to tax obligations.

The registration duty does not relate to a taxpayer who only has income from dependent work, from capital assets or other income, or only income from which tax is collected by deduction, or a combination of these incomes.

Taxes payable in Slovakia:

  1. Direct taxes:
  • income tax:
    • income from dependent work (employment)          
    • income from business
    • income from other gainful activity
    • income from letting real estate
    • income from the use of a work or artistic performance
    • income from a capital asset
    • other incomes
  1. Indirect taxes:
  • value-added tax (VAT)
  • excise duty – alcoholic beverages
  • excise duty – electricity, coal and natural gas
  • excise duty – mineral oil
  • excise duty – tobacco products
  1. Local taxes:
  • property tax: land tax, buildings tax, housing tax
  • tax on dogs
  • tax on use of public space
  • accommodation tax
  • tax on vending machines
  • tax on gaming machines
  • tax on entry and parking of motor vehicles in historic city centres
  • motor vehicle tax;

The municipality also levies a local charge for municipal waste and minor construction waste.

Income tax on natural persons and legal entities is governed by Act No 595/2003, on Income Tax, as amended.

Income from dependent work (employment)

An employee who, in 2018, received taxable income from dependent work only and has not, by 15 February 2019, asked the employer to issue an annual tax assessment, or if this employee asks the employer for an annual tax assessment but does not submit the documents required for the issue of an annual tax assessment by 15 February 2019, is required to file an income tax return of a natural person, type A, in the event that the full annual taxable income is higher than EUR 1,915.01 A type A income tax return must be completed on the form Confirmation of Income of a Natural Person from dependent work, indicating advance tax payment deductions and any tax bonuses for child support that the employer is required to deliver to the employee no later than 11 March 2019. This form is also a mandatory appendix to the tax return.

If the employee cannot request the issue of an annual tax assessment from the employer because the employer ceased to exist and has no legal successor, the employee must submit a tax return in the event that his/her full annual taxable income for 2018 is higher than EUR 1,915.01.

If employees had other taxable income in addition to income from dependant work, which is subject to the tax duty, they are obliged to file an income tax return of natural persons, type B.

If an employee’s total taxable income does not exceed EUR 1,915.01, they are not required to file a tax return. This income tax return can also be filed voluntarily. In the income tax return, taxpayers will apply the non-taxable tax base in the full amount of EUR 3,830.02 and calculate the tax overpayment, which represents the advance tax payments deducted by the employer during 2018.

The tax return must be filed within three calendar months after the end of the fiscal period (calendar year), unless the Income Tax Act specifies a different deadline (e.g. the tax payer has notified the tax authority of a deadline extension for filing the tax return).

A tax return for the fiscal period of 2018 must be filed by 1 April 2019.

This deadline may be extended by no more than three full calendar months, i.e. until 1 July 2019, for any tax-paying employee required to submit a tax return (whose taxable income exceeded the sum of EUR 1,915.01) after the end of 2018 by 1 April 2019, on the basis of a notification submitted by this same deadline.

If the tax-paying employee’s income also includes revenue accruing from sources abroad, the deadline for filing the tax return based on a notification submitted by 1 April 2019 may be extended by no more than six whole calendar months, i.e. until 30 September 2019.

Tax allowances

Demonstrating a taxpayer’s entitlement to a non-taxable portion of the tax base and to a tax bonus

In addition to the request for an annual tax assessment, employees have to enclose confirmation of received income of a natural person from dependent work, on tax advances and tax allowances for dependent children from other employers (if they had more than one in the tax period). They must sign the declaration of taxable income and enclose documents proving entitlement to a non-taxable portion of the tax base for 2018, documents proving payment of mandatory insurance premiums and contributions, where the employee asserts these claims, the most recent decision on the award of a pension or a document on the annual total of pension contributions paid, if at the beginning of the tax period the employee is the beneficiary of an old-age pension or early retirement from social insurance, pension savings or a pension from foreign mandatory insurance of any kind, or a military pension, if the total pension sum does not exceed EUR 3,830.02.

non-taxable portion of the tax base

Employees are entitled to a non-taxable portion of the tax base only on a partial tax base of the income tax from dependent work and from business income, or from another self-employed activity or the total thereof (from work actively done), depending on the reported tax base. If the taxpayer’s tax base is equal to or less than EUR 19,948, the non-taxable portion amounts to:

  • EUR 3,830.02.

If the taxpayer’s tax base is higher than EUR 19,948, the non-taxable portion amounts to:

  • the difference between 8,817.01 and one quarter of the taxpayer’s tax base; if this sum is less than zero, the non-taxable portion of the tax base for the year is equal to zero.

Applying the non-taxable portion of the tax base to the taxpayer Applying the non-taxable portion of the tax base to a spouse

Employees are entitled to a non-taxable portion of the tax base only on a partial tax base of income tax from dependent work and from business income, or from another self-employed activity or the total thereof (thus from work actively done), depending on the reported tax base.

A taxpayer may apply the non-taxable portion of the tax base for a spouse only in the event that the spouse lives with the taxpayer in one household and meets at least one of the following conditions:

  • s/he cared for a dependent minor living with the taxpayer in the household;
  • in the given tax period, s/he received a monetary contribution for care;
  • was included in the job seekers’ register;
  • s/he is classified as a disabled person;
  • s/he is classified as a severely disabled person.

If these conditions are met for only one or several calendar months of the fiscal period, the taxpayer may reduce the tax base by the non-taxable portion of the personal income tax for a spouse corresponding to 1/12 of the non-taxable portion for the calendar month, at the start of which the conditions for applying this non-taxable portion of the tax base were met.

If, in the 2018 tax year, the taxpayer secures a tax base equal to or lower than EUR 35,268.06, the non-taxable portion of the tax base amounts to:

  • EUR 3,830.02, provided that the spouse living with the taxpayer in one household did not have his/her own income;
  • the difference between EUR 3,830.02 and the personal income of the spouse living in the same household, provided that the spouse had his/her own income not exceeding EUR 3,830.02;
  • zero, if the spouse living in the same household had his/her own income exceeding EUR 3,830.02.

If the taxpayer’s tax base in the 2018 tax year is higher than EUR 35,268.06, the non-taxable portion of the tax base is:

  • the difference between 12,647.032 (63.4 times the applicable subsistence minimum that as of 01.01.2018 represented EUR 199.48) and one quarter of the taxpayer’s tax base, provided that the spouse living in the same household did not have his/her own income; if this amount is less than zero, the non-taxable portion of the tax base for the spouse is equal to zero;
  • the difference between 12,647.032 and one quarter of the taxpayer’s tax base reduced by the personal income of the spouse living in the same household, provided that the spouse had his/her own income; if this amount is less than zero, the non-taxable portion of the tax base for the spouse is equal to zero. The spouse’s income includes any income, even if it is exempt from the income tax, except for employee bonus, tax bonuses, pension increases for helplessness and, in addition to the relevant state social benefits, reduced by premiums paid and health and social insurance contributions that the spouse was obliged to pay.

Applying a tax bonus for a dependent child – if, in the 2018 tax year, the taxpayer received a taxable income from dependent work in the amount of at least EUR 2,880 or income from business and other gainful activity of at least EUR 2,880, and reported the tax base (partial tax base from income from business and other gainful activity), the taxpayer may, after meeting the set conditions, apply a tax bonus in the annual amount of EUR 258,72 (12 x 21.56) to this dependent child, or more precisely for the number of months in which the child was considered dependent.

Conditions for applying this tax base:

  • any child being supported in the household – biological, adopted, step, foster, who is not deemed dependent (under the Child Allowance Act) and may not be the child of a partner;
  • attaining the stipulated amount of taxable income; and
  • substantiating the relevant document, such as the child’s birth certificate or confirmation of school attendance in the appropriate school year, if the child is systematically being prepared for a profession through study at secondary school or university.

Applying the employee bonus. The taxpayer is entitled to apply the employee bonus for the 2018 tax year only if the following basic conditions are met:

  • for the year 2018, the employee must receive a taxable income from dependent work only from the current or a previous employment relationship (as well as income from agreements on work done outside the employment relationship), active service, employment in the civil service, membership or similar relationship in which the employee is required, when working, to comply with instructions or orders from the income payer, and taxable income on monies from social funds provided under the Social Funds Act;
  • income received must be for work done within the Slovak Republic only;
  • income deemed received must constitute a total amount of at least 6 times the minimum wage (EUR 2,880);
  • the calculated amount is a positive number.

The entitlement to apply the employee bonus does not arise for an employee who was concurrently receiving another income (see the Act).

If for the respective tax period, taxpayers achieve taxable income from dependent work, assessed for the purpose of awarding the employee bonus, in the volume of at least EUR 2,880 and lower than EUR 5,760, based on the employee bonus calculation mechanism, an entitlement to the employee bonus does not arise. If in the respective tax period taxpayers achieve taxable income from dependent work, assessed for the purposes of awarding the employee bonus, in the amount of at least EUR 5,760, the employee bonus is calculated as 19% of the difference between the non-taxable tax base per taxpayer and the tax based calculated pursuant to Section 5(8) of the assessed taxpayer income. A progressive reduction of the employee bonus is introduced in connection with the amount of the tax base for each taxpayer applying the employee bonus, until the right to apply this employee bonus has fully expired. An entitlement to the employee bonus for the year 2018 may arise for a taxpayer who has paid a higher amount for insurance premiums and contributions related to taxable income from dependent work; e.g. the taxpayer has paid arrears on the annual account of premiums for public health insurance for the previous fiscal period.

Applying a voluntary contribution to savings for an old-age pension (second column)

The non-taxable tax base mentioned above can only be applied when filing an additional tax return for the tax periods 2013 to 2016. This non-taxable portion of the tax base may no longer be applied as of the 2017 tax period.

Reducing the tax base by contributions for supplementary old-age pension savings (third column)

This may only be applied to the income tax base from dependent work or the tax base for income from business or other gainful activity or for a demonstrably paid total of no more than EUR 180 per year. Taxpayers may deduct the non-taxable portion of the tax base if the following conditions are met:

  • contributions for supplementary pension savings were paid in line with a customer contract concluded after 31 December 2013, or in line with changes to a customer contract where an allowance cancellation plan constitutes an integral part;
  • the taxpayer has not concluded another customer contract under the Supplementary Pension Savings Act, which does not meet the conditions stipulated by an amendment to the Supplementary Pension Savings Act.

Paid reimbursements related to spa treatment

As of 1 January 2018, a new non-taxable portion of the tax base was introduced, by which demonstrably paid reimbursements related to spa treatment and any related services incurred in the relevant fiscal period in natural curative spas and spa institutions operated under licence pursuant to a special regulation (Section 33 of Act No 538/2005, on Natural Healing Waters, Natural Curative Spas, Spa Towns and Natural Mineral Waters, and on the Amendment and Supplementation of Certain Acts). This non-taxable portion of the tax base may be applied for the first time in the 2018 tax year.
The non-taxable portion of the tax base, representing reimbursements associated with spa treatment and any related services may be applied by the taxpayer in the total amount of no more than EUR 50.00, where also deemed part of the taxpayer’s non-taxable portion of the tax base, constitutes any paid reimbursements paid for the taxpayer’s spouse and any child who, for the purposes of the Income Tax Act, is deemed dependent on this taxpayer under Section 33 of the Income Tax Act, in a total amount of no more than EUR 50.00 per year for each one of them.
If the entitlement to apply this non-taxable portion of the tax base to the taxpayer’s child is satisfied by several taxpayers, and unless otherwise agreed, the non-taxable portion of the tax base by which reimbursements related to spa treatment and any related services will be applied in the order: mother, father, other entitled person.

The non-taxable portion of the tax base does not include reimbursements of spa treatment and related services, for which the procedure under Section 152a of the Labour Code was applied (i.e. where the employee applied for a contribution for recreation from the employer for these expenditures), or procedure under Section 19(2)(w) of the Income Tax Act (i.e. where the taxpayer included expenditures related to the spa treatment under tax expenses on income under Section 6(1 and 2) as expenditures for recreation.

Tax bonuses on interest paid

A tax bonus on interest paid relates only to interest due on housing loans under Section 1(6 and 7) of Act No 90/2016, on Housing Loans and on the Amendment and Supplementation of Certain Acts, as amended. This tax bonus on interest paid may be applied for the first time for the fiscal period of 2018.

The taxpayer may apply a tax bonus on interest paid calculated on the amount of the housing loan provided in line with one housing loan agreement for the amount of no more than EUR 50 000 for one property in Slovakia intended for accommodation and which is a flat or family house.

The tax bonus on interest paid may be applied on a loan agreement after 31 December 2017. If the taxpayer has been provided with a mortgage on the basis of a mortgage agreement concluded before 1 January 2018, to which the state contribution or state contribution for young people under a special regulation has been applied, the taxpayer’s entitlement to a tax bonus on interest paid arises for the first time in the calendar month following the calendar month in which the taxpayer was for the last time entitled to a state contribution or state contribution for young people.

The taxpayer is entitled to a tax bonus on interest paid on a loan if the following conditions are met:

  • the taxpayer is at least 18 years of age and no more than 35 years of age on the day on which the housing loan application was submitted;
  • the taxpayer’s average monthly income for the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the housing loan agreement was concluded did not exceed 1.3 times the average monthly wage of an employee in the economy of the Slovak Republic, as ascertained by the Statistical Office of the Slovak Republic for the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the housing loan agreement was concluded.

A tax bonus on interest paid is a sum of 50% of the interest paid in the relevant fiscal period, but no more than EUR 400 per year.

The taxpayer may apply the tax bonus to the interest paid during the five years immediately following the month in which interest on the housing loan began to accrue.

The taxpayer’s tax will be reduced by the sum of the tax bonus on the interest paid.

Advance tax payments

Advance tax payments are made during the course of the advance-payment period by a taxpayer whose last-known tax obligation was higher than EUR 2 500, whilst the advance-payment period is the period from the first day following the deadline for filing the tax return for the preceding tax year, up to the last day of the period for filing the tax return in the next tax year. This normally lasts from 1 April to 31 March of the following year. Exemptions from payment of tax advances are stipulated by law.

Income tax for natural persons:

The tax rate is:

  • 19% on that portion of the tax base (less the non-taxable portions of the tax base and tax loss) not exceeding 176.8 times the applicable minimum subsistence amount;
  • 25% on that portion of the tax base (less the non-taxable portions of the tax base and tax loss) exceeding 176.8 times the applicable minimum subsistence amount (above EUR 36,256.37);

5% on the income from dependent work of selected constitutional officials, who are taxed at an additional special rate on income arising under Act No. 120/1993, on Compensation Packages of Constitutional Officials, as amended.

Further specific rates are stipulated by law.

Income tax for legal entities:

The tax rate on the tax base of a legal entity reduced by the tax loss shown in the fiscal period. The tax rate on the special tax base determined pursuant to Section 51e(3) of the Income Tax Act is 35%.

Valu-added tax (VAT) is governed by Act No 222/2004, on Value-Added Tax, as amended

  • basic VAT rate: 20%
  • reduced VAT rate: 10% (medicines, medicinal products, books, certain foodstuffs)

INCOME

The minimum wage is determined on the basis of the workload.

The minimum wage for 2019 is set at EUR 520 per month, which is determined for the first workload level. Jobs are classified by workload to a total of six levels. Each workload level has a specific minimum wage. At the second level the minimum wage is EUR 624, at the third level EUR 728, at the fourth level EUR 832, at the fifth level EUR 936, and at the sixth level EUR 1,040.

Calculation of net wage:

The following deductions are made from an employee’s gross monthly wage:

Health insurance – 

4%

Sickness insurance – 

1.4%

Old-age insurance – 

4%

Invalidity insurance –

3%

Unemployment insurance – 

1%

Total deductions:

13.4%

Gross wage - deductions = monthly tax base

The non-taxable portion of the tax base is deducted from the monthly tax base (if applicable). Tax at 19% or 25% is calculated on the resulting amount.

Following this:

Monthly tax base - (tax - tax bonuses) = net monthly wage

Average monthly wages in the national economy for the fourth quarter of 2018 per sector:

Industry

EUR 1,207

Agriculture

EUR 774

Construction

EUR 756

Wholesale and retail trade

EUR 1,005

   

Accommodation and catering services

EUR 657

Information and communication

EUR 1,975

   

Transport and storage

EUR 1,094

Last updated: 07/2019

COST OF LIVING

The cost of living varies from region to region and also depends on fluctuations in the prices of food, energy and other everyday necessities.

Household monthly monetary expenditures by purpose (%): housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels 20.2%, food, non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages 25.4%, telecommunications 5.5%, healthcare 3.4 %, transport 13.12%, leisure and culture 7.0%, hotels, cafés, restaurants 5.8%, education 0.8%, clothing and footwear 5.5%.

Average consumer prices of certain goods in the SR: wholegrain bread – EUR 1.44, ordinary white bread roll (40 g) - EUR 0.07, fresh butter (125 g) – EUR 1.30, wheat flour (1 kg) – EUR 0.47, granulated sugar (1 kg) – EUR 0.73, pasteurised milk (1 l) – EUR 0.68, cooking oil EUR 1.71, rice (1 kg) – EUR 1.43, potatoes (1 kg) – EUR 0.87, bottled beer (12%) (0.5 l) – EUR 0.70, MARLBORO King Size cigarettes – EUR 4.00, washing powder (1 kg) – EUR 2.94, petrol 98 octane natural (1 l) – EUR 1.5091, diesel EUR 1.244.

Last updated: 07/2019

EDUCATION SYSTEM

Compulsory school attendance defined by the Slovak education system lasts for 10 years. It normally starts at the beginning of the school year following the child’s sixth birthday. It lasts from the age of 6 to 16.

Basic school types: nursery schools (3-6 years), primary schools (6-15 years), secondary schools (15-19 years), colleges and universities (from age 19) These schools may be state, private or church schools, but they all provide education to an equal standard.

Nursery schools (for children 3-6 years of age) teach basic knowledge and skills. There they learn basic knowledge depending on their age, they learn to drawn, read, sing, explore nature, colours and things around them. At preschool age (5-6-year-olds), children learn, for example, to distinguish geometrical shapes, months of the year, the names of days; they acquire hygiene habits and prepare for starting primary school.

Primary schools prepare children for further study and practical work. As a rule these schools last for nine years and are divided into Level 1 and Level 2 stages. Level 1 of primary school normally comprises years 1 to 4, while level 2 comprises years 5 to 9. To reach Level 2, pupils are not required to pass any entrance examination; they continue their studies upon successful completion of year four. Or they may go to a grammar school providing eight years of education. Study at a grammar school is conditional upon passing the entrance examination and acceptable results in Level 1 of primary school.

Level 2 education differs from Level 1. While in Level 1, only one teacher teaches most subjects, in Level 2, each subject is taught by a different teacher.

In Level 1, pupils have at least four and no more than 8 lessons, and on average teaching goes on until 12.30 p.m. Pupils in Level 2 have five to six lessons, which end between 1 and 1.30 p.m. Each lesson lasts for 45 minutes and there are short breaks between lessons.

Young pupils at primary schools may spend their time after classes in school clubs.

Moreover, pupils and students may attend primary art schools on a voluntary basis in their free time.

Secondary schools. After completing the ninth year of primary school, pupils continue the compulsory 10-year school attendance at a selected secondary school, where they were accepted by decision of the relevant school system. Education in Slovakia recognises several types of secondary school.

Vocational secondary schools: at vocational secondary schools and related secondary schools providing apprenticeship training, the study takes two (in a limited number of branches), three or four years. Three-year studies for individual trades is completed with a final examination, after which the student receives a vocational qualification and may continue in a two-year follow-up study in order to obtain a baccalaureate-level qualification. Full secondary school education is achieved by passing the baccalaureate-level exam. Studies that go on for four years are completed with the baccalaureate-level exam.

Secondary and grammar schools: secondary schools provide education for four or five years. In Slovakia, there are electrical engineering, geodetic, hotel, industrial, healthcare, sporting, art, agricultural, forestry, pharmaceutical, chemical and pedagogical secondary schools, as well as conservatories and business academies, among others. Grammar schools in Slovakia provide education for four years (if the pupil applies to grammar school after the ninth year of primary school), or eight years (if the pupil applies to the grammar school after the fifth year).

Study is completed by the baccalaureate-level exam, which has both a written and an oral part.

There is an average of 6-7 lessons; lessons last for 45 minutes and there is a short break between lessons.

Secondary schools also organise post-secondary and post-baccalaureate-level courses where students study further and extend their education for qualified occupations.

Universities and colleges prepare qualified professionals with tertiary education in scientific, economic, social and artistic disciplines. The school system allows students who have completed secondary or grammar school with the baccalaureate-level exam to study at universities and colleges. There are currently 20 public universities, 12 private universities and three state universities in Slovakia. Study programmes are organised at three levels and studies are completed by presenting and defending a thesis or dissertation and taking the state examination. The first level of study for a Bachelor’s degree takes 3-4 years, the second level is a Master of Arts, Science, Engineering or medical degree which takes 4-6 years (including the Bachelor level) and the third level is the doctorate (3-4 years).

RECOGNTION OF DIPLOMAS AND QUALIFICATIONS

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:

  • An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
  • The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  • a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  • a language passport,
  • certificate supplements,
  • diploma supplements, and
  • a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

USEFUL LINKS

http://www.government.gov.sk - Government of Slovakia

http://www.upsvar.sk - Public Employment Service

http://www.employment.gov.sk - Ministry of Labour

http://www.drsr.sk - Taxes

http://www.socpoist.sk - Social Security

http://www.minedu.sk - Education

http://www.mfa.bg/bratislava - Embassy of Bulgaria in Slovakia

http://www.sofia.mfa.sk - Embasssy of Slovakia in Bulgaria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Анкети

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