Slovakia > Overview
last update: August 2011
Slovakia is a little country in the middle of Europe. Despite its membership in the European Union, persons in need of international protection still do not choose Slovakia as a destination country. Comparing to other countries, Slovakia remains closed not only to persons that are willing to ask for an international protection, but also to those that want to live in Slovakia based on the authorisation of the respective state institutions. Slovak immigration politics take into account the national security on the first place. This and other factors may cause that Slovakia is rather transit than destination country for foreigners.
In the last few years, the number of asylum seekers in Slovakia is decreasing. Nevertheless, if a person reaches Slovakia and is in need of international protection he or she should immediately ask for asylum. Asylum seekers are not detained in Slovakia and after submitting applications are sent to open accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Humenné. Also persons that are returned back to Slovakia under the Dublin Regulation are not placed at the Detention centre, but are sent to an accommodation centre as well.
The living conditions for recognised refugees are difficult in Slovakia. But for the initial period, a person that is granted asylum is sent to an Integration centre in Zvolen. Under the supervision of social workers, the basic information on living in Slovakia is provided. Each person may attend the Slovak language course for free. Those that were granted subsidiary protection may be accommodated either in Bratislava, Kosice or Zilina. Persons granted subsidiary protection state that the biggest problem for them is the uncertainty about the future as the subsidiary protection is granted for one year only.
Unaccompanied minors are accommodated at the Foster Home in Horne Orechove near Trencin. Most of the minors leave the facility after few days without any information and most of them are never returned back. Recently, an age examination has been conducted in more cases of foreigners due to the fact that Slovak authorities considered some of them older than they expressed.