Bratislava, 25 June 2020 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Slovakia provides UK nationals living in Slovakia with information and practical support in registering their residence in Slovakia from 25 June 2020. Changes in the residence status of citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland living in Slovakia result from the UK withdrawal from the European Union.
IOM will provide UK nationals with practical support in registering their residence and the residence of their family members. It will also offer them support in other areas of life that can be affected by the UK withdrawal from the EU. The services provided by IOM to UK nationals are free of charge.
“The services are primarily intended for people who face specific challenges, such as people living with disabilities, those with chronic illness, language and literacy barriers, or barriers in accessing technology. These people may not have enough information, understand the exact requirements and procedures, or don’t know how or cannot register their residence in Slovakia and can consequently face problems with securing their residence rights and other rights now that the UK has left the EU“, explains Zuzana Vatráľová, the head of IOM office in Slovakia.
Based on the Withdrawal Agreement concluded between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the EU, UK nationals and their family members lawfully residing in Slovakia before 31 December 2020 will be able to continue to live, work and study in the country broadly as they do now. They have until 30 June 2021 to exchange their existing EU Residence Card for a Withdrawal Agreement compliant one. Apart from certain categories of UK national family members, those wishing to come to live to Slovakia from January 2021 will need to follow rules in place for third-country nationals.
„IOM plans to provide personal assistance and support also to UK nationals living outside of Bratislava. For these people it might be more difficult to register their residence in Slovakia. We want the information on securing their residence rights to reach as many UK nationals living in Slovakia as possible, “ adds Zuzana Vatráľová.
Apart from Slovakia similar services are also offered by IOM missions in France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. Altogether the aim is to provide approximately 30 000 UK nationals with support in securing and maintaining their residency rights in these countries. The program is financially supported by the government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland through its UK Nationals Support Fund.
In this program IOM Slovakia will use its 14 years of experience in providing counselling and services to foreigners living in Slovakia. Since 2006 IOM Slovakia has been operating the Migration Information Centre offering the foreigners living in Slovakia complex legal, social and labour counselling and other services related to their integration in the country. In 2019 the Centre carried out more than 10 000 consultations and 6 191 clients benefited from its counselling services. For more information visit https://www.mic.iom.sk/en/.
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Information on the project on the website of the UK government: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/3-million-grant-to-help-uk-nationals-in-eu-for-brexit
Information on the project on the IOM headquarters website: https://www.iom.int/news/risk-uk-nationals-eu-receive-residency-support-uk-departs-eu
International Organization for Migration (IOM) is an international inter-governmental organization established in 1951 with the aim of helping displaced persons, refugees and migrants in Europe. In 2016 IOM joined the UN system as the UN migration agency. At present IOM activities cover a wide range of migration issues in more than 150 countries in the world. As the leading international organization in the field of migration IOM works closely with governments and migrants and it is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. For more information visit www.iom.int.
IOM has been active in Slovakia since 1996. IOM Bratislava implements activities in the field of migrant integration, assisted voluntary returns to migrants’ countries of origin and assistance upon their return, fight against the trafficking in human beings, coordination of the activities of the European Migration Network, and humanitarian transfer of refugees. As part of these and other areas IOM carries out different activities – providing services to migrants, conducting research, raising awareness about migration and migrant integration through information campaigns, implementing educational and capacity-building activities for key stakeholders. For more information visit www.iom.sk/en.
IOM priority in all of its programs is providing direct assistance to migrants.