Employment of a foreigner as a doctor in Slovakia

In this article, we summarize the options that health care providers have if they want to employ a healthcare professional in their facility. We will also approach the individual steps of the procedure. The article concerns the employment of a foreigner from a third country (outside the European Union).

If you need legal services do not hesitate to contact us by email office@akmv.sk or call +421 915 046 749.

Procedure for employing a foreigner – a doctor from a third country

It is possible to employ a doctor in Slovakia (a third-country national who has studied as a doctor in a country outside the EU) as a doctor if:

  • has a recognized diploma / qualification
  • has passed a supplementary exam
  • speaks Slovak language

This is a complicated process that we will look at.

Recognition of education for the exercise of a regulated profession takes place in two phases. In the first phase, the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic recognizes the diploma. The application for recognition of a certificate of education and professional qualifications for the exercise of a regulated profession in the Slovak Republic is accompanied by:

  • identity card – copy
  • proof of education (certified copy of proof of education with apostille / superlegalization and official translation into Slovak)
  • statement of completed subjects and completed exams (diploma supplement) – a certified copy of the statement of exams with apostille / superlegalization and official translation into Slovak, the supplement should result in min. 5,500 hours number of study hours
  • confirmation from the ministry or other institution that the relevant higher education institution in the country is authorized to provide this education
  • information or a copy of the document of previous education obtained before the education which is the subject of the application
  • proof of payment of the administrative fee

Subsequently, a supplementary medical exam is passed, as well as a language exam in the Slovak language.

After successful completion of these exams, the final recognition of the doctor’s qualification takes place, when the Ministry of Education of the Slovak Republic issues the relevant decision. After this step, a foreigner – doctor without specialization can find an employer and it is possible to take steps in order to obtain a temporary residence for the purpose of employment. The doctor will also enroll in the Slovak Medical Chamber, or may subsequently recognize the specialization.

Doctor – trainee without passing an additional exam

Institutional health care facilities can use the employment of a doctor as an intern (temporary internship) even when he has not passed a supplementary medical examination. The internship can be carried out no later than 180 days from the end of the crisis situation. The intern will perform the work under the supervision of Slovak doctors.

The possibility of a temporary internship was introduced into the legal system in connection with the shortage of health professionals during the coronary crisis. Temporary professional internship means “the performance of professional work activities by the intern in the scope established for the doctor according to § 28 par. 2, a nurse or midwife according to § 28 par. 1 in connection with the COVID-19 crisis situation;…“

A foreigner from a third country must have in Slovakia:

  • recognized proof of education according to a special regulation 24da) for the purposes of practicing the medical profession a doctor
  • performs professional work activities in an employment relationship or similar employment relationship
  • at the institutional health care provider, and
  • under the professional supervision of a doctor professionally qualified to perform specialized work activities, who is employed by the provider of institutional health care according to letter a) for the established weekly working time (hereinafter “supervising doctor”), if it is the performance of professional work activities to the extent specified for a doctor; if a supervising doctor is not present, the trainee must be under the professional supervision of a substitute supervising doctor, who must meet the same conditions as the supervising doctor. Please note that the supervising doctor may perform a professional supervision of a maximum of three trainees and must be present in person during the internship, or a substitute supervising doctor must be physically present during their absence.

If a foreigner wants to go to work in Slovakia as a trainee doctor, he / she needs to submit to his / her future employer (institutional health care provider) in particular:

  1. a copy of the identity document
  2. a copy of the decision on the recognition of the certificate of education according to a special regulation for the purposes of practicing the medical profession doctor, nurse or midwife
  3. a document proving medical fitness according to 32 par. 1 and 7
  4. affidavit of good conduct pursuant to 38
  5. a solemn declaration of command of the state language or the English language to the extent necessary for the exercise of the medical profession

The provider of institutional health care with which the trainee has started the internship is obliged to immediately notify the Ministry of Health of the following data in electronic form:

  1. name and surname of the trainee
  2. date of birth of the trainee
  3. nationality of the trainee
  4. registration number of the decision on the recognition of the diploma according to a special regulation
  5. name and surname of the supervising doctor, supervising nurse or supervising midwife
  6. information that the trainee has submitted all the documents required by law

The arrangement of the temporary internship is also extended to nurses and midwives. The legal regulation is described in § 30a of Act 578/2004 Coll. This option was added to the law in April 2021.

Other options for medical facilities

The following options may be considered for medical facilities:

  1. Employment in another suitable position (other than a doctor). Here it is necessary to choose the position, job description, other conditions of employment and apply for a vacancy at the employment office. Subsequently, an application for temporary residence for the purpose of employment is submitted. If the stay is granted and the foreigner comes to Slovakia, he / she can obtain recognition of the doctor’s education, a supplementary examination and subsequently his / her professional qualification will also be recognized. After recognition, the foreigner’s job position will change if he / she wants to work as a doctor. Please note that the Labor Office does not issue consent for less qualified positions, without the need for experience, education or other professional qualifications, if it finds such a candidate in its database of unemployed.
  2. Voluntary work. In this case, the consent of the employment office is not required, but the volunteer may not receive a salary / remuneration for the work performed.

A foreigner may also come to Slovakia for another purpose. One of the possibilities is to study in Slovakia. Based on his/her studies, he/she can obtain a temporary residence in Slovakia, but in this case he/she cannot work. It is possible to study the Slovak language at the iCan language school (Slovak for foreign doctors) or at the Comenius University (Language and professional teaching of the Slovak language for health professionals).

Examination of foreigners after granting a stay for the Foreigners Police / medical report for foreigners

Examination of foreigners in Bratislava and 12 other places is provided by Medical control s.r.o.

Phone number: 0948 350 123

Contact us.

EN Kontaktný formulár (#13)


+421 915 046 749 (8-18 h Mo-Fri)


AKMV advokatska kancelaria s. r. o. Pluhová 17, 831 03 Bratislava Slovenská republika
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