Visiting the Foreign Police in Slovakia

If you’re a foreign national working in Slovakia you are required to have some form of residence permit. This means a visit to the Oddelenie cudzineckej polície, officially translated as the ‘Aliens Police Department’, or colloquially as the ‘Foreign police’, is a mandatory experience. The residence card allows you to obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and makes it easier to open some bank accounts (for example, mBank).

picture shows the foreign police building in bratislava

Foreign police, Bratislava

As an EU citizen, working in any EU country should be a simple process. However this process feels like another opportunity for the Slovak state to continue their unnecessary and relentless quest for bureaucracy, waste precious time for everyone involved, and test the limits of your patience.

The following information is based on my experience in June 2016, and hope it will be of use to someone coming to work in Bratislava.

How to get to the foreign police

Address: Hrobákova 44, Petržalka

The nearest bus stop is Hrobákova (Bus #83 or #95 from the city centre). There are two other bus stops which may be of use, depending on where you are coming from; Bradáčova and Starý háj. Use the CP atlas route planner (Apple and Android) to find the best way to get there.

When to go

Current opening hours can be found here, although Tuesday’s are apparently for Slovak nationals only, and on Thursdays the office is closed.

  • Monday (07:30 – 12:00, 12:30 – 17:00)
  • Wednesday (07:30 – 12:00, 12:30 – 17:00)
  • Friday (07:30 – 12:00, 12:30 – 15:00)

I arrived at 06:50, a good 40 minutes before the office opened, and I was still ninth in the queue. However, it was the start of a warm sunny day, so that didn’t bother me. When the building opens you have to take a ticket from the machine (there is an English language option). It was easy enough to select the relevant option (for me, that was ‘Registration of an EU citizen’). Fortunately my number was called at 8:10. The policer officer dealing with me spoke a reasonable level of English, which was a tremendous help. It’s probably advisable to bring a Slovak speaker with you.

Documents required

There is a lot of conflicting information out there as to what documents are needed. Obviously, it will vary depending on your situation, but this is what I, as a British national and EU national working in Slovakia, required:

  • Passport (or national ID card)
  • Employment contract (in Slovak)
  • Health insurance contract (in Slovak)
  • Accommodation contract (in Slovak)
  • Completed request form (in Slovak) – download here
  • 2 passport sized photos
  • Slovak mobile number
The officer took around 25 minutes to process my application. I was then summoned for a biometric photo, fingerprints and signature. Excluding the initial waiting, the whole process took around 1 hour 20 minutes, which wasn’t too bad, and much better than I was expecting. Provided you have all your paperwork in order, you shouldn’t face any problems. Having a Slovak speaker check your documents prior to visiting the foreign police is advisable.

What next?

I left the Foreign Police with a confirmation slip that I’ve registered, although within one month I will get a text confirming that my ID is ready for collection, at which point I’ll can pay €4.50 for a residence card. I believe this is optional and that the important thing is to register. A 2-day express service is available for €24. I’ll update this section at a later date.

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