SAIA, n.o.

Foreign scholarship holders coming to Slovakia

If you are looking for most recent news in English about the situation concerning the spread of COVID-19 in Slovakia and national and institutional measures generally, you can check the Slovak Spectator newspaper website - https://spectator.sme.sk/t/8282/coronavirus

 

SAIA information:

 

June 4, 2020

 

SAIA recommends scholarship holders still not to travel to Slovakia or carefully check the situation in advance. The reason for this recommendation is, that at the moment there are still restrictions of international transport of persons in place (meaning international bus and train connections to and from Slovakia are suspended at the moment and international airports are not operating for personal travel).

 


June 2, 2020

 

Starting on June 1, 2020, the Foreign Police Departments will provider usual service as before the coronavirus outbreak for all customers icluding proceeding temporary residence applications and applications for the change of the purpose of the residence permit.

Monday: 7:30-15:00
Wednesday: 7:30-17:30
Friday: 7:30-12:00 (up to 14:00 in Bratislava)

Hygiene measures such as face masks, social distancing are still in place.

Information available at the website of the Ministry of Interior of SR https://www.minv.sk/?vizova-info-typy-viz-1

 


 

 

May 7, 2020

 

Changes in the work of foreign police offices - for more information see the EURAXESS Slovakia portal.

 


 

April 14, 2020

 

Changes in the Act on the Residence of Foreigners related to the crisis situation caused by the COVID-19 disease as of April 9, 2020 - more detailed information at:

https://www.mic.iom.sk/en/residence/general-information/652-prepared-changes-act-residence-foreigners-covid19.html

 


 

April 6, 2020

 

Dear scholarship holders!

We would like to inform you that SAIA, n. o., with the approval of the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic has issued the Guidelines from 3 April 2020 for scholarship holders within the programmes administered by SAIA, n. o., whose scholarship stays are affected by spreading of COVID-19. These guidelines can be found on following links:

It is a set of measures to mitigate the negative impact of the crisis situation in the world and in Slovakia on scholarship holders whose stays were affected by force majeure without individual fault (considered are for example cases of increased travel costs neccessary for the return journey, including the possibility of travel cancellation fees for unused return flights, and also the possibility of a prolongation of the scholarship in case that the scholarship holder "got stuck" in Slovakia after the end of his/her official stay).

The measures above concern scholarship holders within the following programmes: the National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic, the CEEPUS Programme and the Action Austria - Slovakia Programme. In the event that the measures are applicable to your situation, it is necessary to communicate further with the respective administrator of the scholarship programme (contacts for administrators can be found in the Contacts section on this page).

 

 


 

March 24, 2020

 

NOTE: The procedures announced on March 24 are not valid any longer, since there have been changes in laws introduced as of April 9, 2020 (for more information see https://www.mic.iom.sk/en/residence/general-information/652-prepared-changes-act-residence-foreigners-covid19.html).

 

Head of the Bureau of Border and Foreign Police of the Presidium of the Police Force on the current situation for third-country nationals whose 90-day period or Schengen visa expires during the measures taken in relation with the spread of COVID 19:

  • Schengen visa issued for less than 90 days

If third country nationals who had already arrived in Slovakia within the Schengen visa for the planned stays of less than 90 days and stayed in the country during the measures being taken in Slovakia as well as in neighboring countries and thus cannot leave the Slovak Republic in time, they can apply for a visa extension (maximum possible 90 days) at the relevant Foreign Police Department. 

  • Schengen visa issued for 90 days

If third country nationals were issued a 90-day visa but are unable to leave the Slovak Republic by the date of their expiry, they will have to report to the appropriate Foreign Police Department immediately after the visa expiry. Subsequently, they will be issued a decision on administrative expulsion without a ban on entry with a 30-day travel period. During these 30 days, they will be able to remain legally in the territory of the Slovak Republic (they will be in the regime of staying in the territory of the Slovak Republic pursuant to Section 61a of the Act No. 404/2011 on the Residence of Foreigners). Should the situation remain unchanged after the expiry of this 30-day period, third country nationals will have to apply for an extension of their departure period no later than the last day of the given period at the relevant Foreign Police Department (that had previously issued the administrative expulsion decision). This will be extended accordingly, taking into account the current situation in the Slovak Republic, the European Union as well as their home country (it may be extended by several months). The same procedure for issuing a decision on administrative expulsion will also apply to visa-free third country nationals after 90 days of entry.

The issued decision on administrative expulsion will not be recorded in the information system and thus will have NO negative impact on the resident's stay in the future or the application for a visa to re-enter the territory of the Slovak Republic or the territory of another Schengen country.
 

 


 

March 13, 2020

 

Dear scholarship holders!

Yesterday (March 12, 2020) in the afternoon the Central Crisis Committee of the Slovak Republic decided upon several measures that significantly affect the planned stays of SAIA scholarship holders (we put the published information on our website yesterday evening - see bellow). The measures are currently valid for 14 days, however the validity of those measures can be prolonged at any moment or there can be new, even more strict measures introduced as the situation evolves.

Because of those current measures we recommend the following:

If you have not arrived in Slovakia yet, please, cancel or postpone your stay (if you cancel, let us know as soon as possible; if you plan to postpone the start of the stay, consult your individual case with the respective programme administrator, as there are specific programme rules that can impact the possibility of postponement). We recommend this due to the fact, that currently:

  • as of today, March 13, 2020 7:00 a. m., the borders to Slovakia have been closed for foreigners, who do not already have a permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia (meaning if you do not already have a residence card, you will be denied entry),
  • restrictions of international and domestic train and bus services are being introduced (meaning even if you want to arrive, there will be no connection to cross the border, as international trains and bus traffic shall be cancelled and all international airports in Slovakia shall be closed),
  • even if you manage to arrive to Slovakia (because you have a residence card), you are required to stay isolated for 14 days
  • you may have problem to find accommodation, since for example university dormitories are being closed,
  • if you plan to spend your stay at a university in Slovakia or use any library etc., it will not be possible, because they will be closed; conferences and seminars also will not be organised because of the ban introduced via the measures.

If you are in Slovakia already, your stay has started and is affected by the introduced measures, you can terminate your stay or continue with your stay (if the situation allows it) – the decision is up to you and we will accept it, however we strongly recommend to discuss the situation with your home and host institution and follow their advice in this matter.

In case of early termination of your stay (that has already started) we would like to remind you that you need to terminate your stay properly, in line with the terms and conditions of the respective programme, i.e. you need to submit the certificates and other documents required under the respective scholarship programme as well as the final report, where the reasons for the early termination of the stay shall be explained (the respective situation that arose without your fault and that led to early termination shall also be documented, e. g. by the e-mail from a host institution or the person who invited you originally, that cancels your stay due to the implemented Covid-19 measures, or by a “printscreen” from the website confirming this situation). Due to the exceptional situation, when considering the entitlement to a monthly scholarship in connection with an early termination of the stay, we will consider even an unfinished month of your stay as a regular full month of your stay – however, bear in mind that other conditions related to the scholarship remain unchanged.

For all those scholarship holders who terminate their stays early due to the Covid-19 measures and restrictions and want to return to Slovakia after this critical situation is over and continue what they started, we recommend to reapply for the scholarship within the same scholarship programme again (for the upcoming deadlines of the programme check the respective website). In such case please note clearly in your application that your original stay has been terminated early due to the Covid-19 situation. We will try to find a solution for such exceptional cases, however it is very early to state any concrete details now since we first need to consult the situation with other decision makers.

If your stay is continuing normally and is not affected by extraordinary measures at institutional level or level of the state authorities, we inform you that (due to the exceptional and constantly changing situation) for each upcoming scholarship payment term (e.g., every month normally at the beginning of the month in case of multi-month scholarships) we will request a written statement from the scholarship holder that he/she continues the stay (such statement must be sent to the administrator of the respective scholarship programme by e-mail or post). This measure stays valid until further notice.

We know that there are a few cases of scholarship holders who until today arrived to Slovakia from abroad however they need to submit their application for temporary residence at the Foreign Police Office. We have been informed that as of today the Foreign Police Offices will not accept any new applications for temporary residence. However, if you are in a critical situation that you crucially need to submit the application for temporary residence to be able to stay in Slovakia legally to continue your stay as planned (for example the validity of your documents needed for the temporary residence will expire soon or your visa expires within next 30 days or if you came visa free and the 90 day period of your legal stay is over in 30 days), please contact the respective scholarship programme administrator and we will try to help you (however, we cannot guarantee a solution in these extraordinary times).

Please note, that as of Monday March 16, 2020 SAIA offices will be closed for personal visits. Our employees however will be working normally, some of them working from home. Therefore we recommend you to contact the programme administrators and other employees primarily via e-mail or via Skype (contacts can be found at https://www.saia.sk/en/pages/contact/saia-staff). Currently (until further notice) it is also possible to communicate with our staff via telephone, but this way of contact can change suddenly in case the state authorities request to close offices and stay isolated at our homes.

Please, keep checking our website for the news and changes concerning the Covid-19 situation:

 

 


 

March 12, 2020 (20:25 CET)

 

Note: In the afternoon, the conclusions of today's meeting of the Central Crisis Committee of the Slovak Republic were published in the joint press conference of the Slovak Prime Minister and the Slovak Minister of Interior. The measures decided in the meeting can significantly affect the planned stays of SAIA scholarship holders, therefore, we provide relevant information about the announced measures in the wording as they are currently published on the website of the Public Health Office of the Slovak Republic (translation is not official and for informational purposes only, the Slovak text at the source link bellow is the original; in case further details with possible impact on mobility will be published by official authorities, we will inform about them on this website):

 

"The Central Crisis Committee of the Slovak Republic decided on further measures in connection with COVID-19 on March 12, 2020. As of Monday, March 16, 2020, all kindergartens, primary and secondary schools, universities and all leisure facilities and premises will be closed for 14 days. At the same time a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all persons returning from abroad will be introduced. Only residents with permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia or a valid [Slovak] passport will be allowed to enter the territory of the Slovak Republic. A fine of up to 1,659.00 € can be imposed on a citizen for failure to comply with the regulation. If necessary, the Slovak Ministry of Interior will provide premises for a quarantine.

All three international airports in Slovakia will be closed. International bus and train services will also be stopped, except for supply. National trains will operate in holiday mode. Inter-transit truck traffic will be allowed. Border checks will be launched on Friday 12.03.2020 starting at 7 am.

[...]

Conclusions of today's meeting of the Central Crisis Committee of the Slovak Republic:

  • closing of all three international airports
  • compulsory 14-day quarantine for people with permanent or temporary residence in Slovakia who return from abroad
  • closing of all schools and school facilities
  • introduction of temporary border controls with all neighbouring states with the exception of Poland, at this border the situation will be continuously monitored
  • restrictions of international and domestic train and bus services; transport restrictions do not apply for import and supply
  • closing of bars, leisure facilities and premises (ski resorts, wellness centres, fitness centres, amusement parks and water parks)
  • closure of social and cultural facilities
  • limited operation of shopping centres - only groceries, medicines and drugstores can be purchased during the weekend
  • restrictions concerning office hours for client centres
  • the ban on visiting hospitals and on the organisation of collective sporting, cultural, social or other events remains valid
  • hotels and restaurants will stay opened”

 

Source: http://www.uvzsr.sk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4087:covid-19-ustredny-krizovy-tab-zavadza-alie-opatrenia-zatvoria-sa-koly-inletiska-karantena-plati-pre-vetkych-ktori-sa-vratia-zo-zahraniia&catid=250:koronavirus-2019-ncov&Itemid=153

 


 

March 12, 2020 (11:30 CET)

 

Dear scholarship holders!

The situation concerning the spread of the novel coronavirus Covid-19 is evolving rapidly, and measures are being taken by state authorities and institutions to slow down the spread of the virus in society. On March 11, 2020, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic published on its website (https://www.minedu.sk/ministerstvo-skolstva-vydalo-tretie-usmernenie-v-suvislosti-so-sirenim-koronavirusu/ – in Slovak only) guidelines for schools, school facilities, staff in the competence of the Ministry, and for sports associations, and these guidelines – among other things – abolish and prohibit:

  • all tours, excursions and study visits of pupils, students and teachers abroad;
  • visits of students from abroad.

We have also been informed that several institutions in Slovakia have introduced measures impacting the travel abroad and the hosting of foreign visitors, and at the same time a majority of Slovak universities have decided to suspend the teaching activities, grant leave or remote work to their employees and close the premises as of March 9, 2020 (at the moment some of them for one week, some of them for two weeks, but this can change).

As of today, 12 March 2020, the Government of the Slovak Republic has declared an emergency situation for the whole territory of Slovakia, which means that further measures can be taken and ordered to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which may affect mobility abroad and from abroad.

We are aware that all these measures may significantly affect your planned stay or even lead to its cancellation.

For this reason, we strongly recommend that you consult the situation with your home and host institution before commencing your planned stay and follow their instructions. In case your stay is cancelled (or not manageable), do not travel. In this case we would like to ask you to inform us about the cancellation of the stay, and of the scholarship as well, as soon as possible.

If you have already started your stay supported by the scholarship and are requested to terminate it early due to the current situation (i.e. recent restrictions set in place that did not result from your own action or decision but were imposed by the institution or state authority), we would like to inform you that you need to terminate your stay properly, in line with the terms and conditions of the respective programme, i.e. you need to submit the certificates and other documents required under the respective scholarship programme as well as the final report, where the reasons for the early termination of the stay shall be explained (the respective situation that arose without your fault and that led to early termination shall also be documented, e. g. by the institution's official e-mail that cancels your stay due to the implemented Covid-19 measures, or by a “printscreen” from the website confirming this). Due to the exceptional situation, when considering the entitlement to a monthly scholarship in connection with an early termination of the stay, we will consider even an unfinished month of your stay as a regular full month of your stay – however, bear in mind that other conditions related to the scholarship remain unchanged.

If your stay is continuing normally and is not affected by extraordinary measures at institutional level or level of the state authorities, we inform you that (due to the exceptional and constantly changing situation) for each upcoming scholarship payment term (e.g., every month normally at the beginning of the month in case of multi-month scholarships) we will request a written statement from the scholarship holder that he/she continues the stay (such statement must be sent to the administrator of the respective scholarship programme by e-mail or post). This measure stays valid until further notice.

We are currently suspending (until further notice) cash payments of the scholarships and grants in SAIA offices and the scholarships and grants will be paid out via bank transfer instead. Therefore, if this applies to you, please inform us of your bank account details as soon as possible, respectively let us know about any changes of your bank account details.

The above mentioned procedures and measures relate only to scholarships and grants directly paid by the SAIA within the following programmes: National Scholarship Programme of the Slovak Republic, CEEPUS and the Action Austria – Slovakia. If the funding within those programmes is also provided by another organisation (e.g. the payment of CEEPUS scholarships by the national office in the host country or in case of the Action Austria – Slovakia Action the payments by the OeAD-GmbH), it is necessary to contact the respective organisation for more information in this extraordinary situation.

 

 


 

March 9, 2020

 

NOTE: Due to confirmation of first cases of Covid-19 in Slovakia recently, the majority of Slovak universities have decided to suspend the teaching activities and close the premisses as of March 9, 2020 - some of them for one week, some of them for two weeks. Therefore it is inevitable to check the actual situation with the respective host university before departing your home country. All those, who are already in Slovakia, should follow the institutional and national measures in Slovakia. (For issues concerning your scholarship, see more details further bellow.)

 


 

March 3, 2020

 

Dear scholarship holders!

The current situation regarding the spread of the new Covid-19 coronavirus raises in all of us in the international community questions related to our personal safety and respectively to the safety of our families and friends. That is also the reason why we have decided to summarize some of the facts in order to manage this critical period and share them with you.

First of all, please stay calm and avoid panic, as decisions made in panic may usually make the situation more complicated. People in stress situations tend to act based on less rational principles, tend to get influenced by unverified information and to follow recommendations not based on scientific facts. Such behaviour thus may cause more damage than to provide protection. It is necessary to approach the situation with caution, adequacy and always keeping human dignity in mind.

Before traveling, check with your host institution about the current situation at the place of planned stay and whether there are any institutional or national measures or restrictions concerning travellers coming from abroad (since a situation may change last minute).

When planning your journey to Slovakia, as well as during the stay here, please follow the travel recommendations of your national authorities (e.g., the respective Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country), for both Slovakia and for the countries you will be passing through. Also find in advance and note contact details for the embassy of your country in Slovakia or nearby.

When organising any journey abroad (including to Slovakia), it is recommended to have a travel insurance that covers not only medical treatment abroad in the event of illness, but also potential cancellation fees in case of cancellation of your journey or early termination of the stay. When concluding an insurance, also consider applicable limitations of such travel insurance, so that your insurance is relevant to the specific situation globally.

For your personal protection as well as for the protection of people around you, please pay special attention to hygiene prevention and other recommendations during this period - details can be found at the World Health Organisation/WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public.

If you are arriving to Slovakia from a country, where the spread of the Covid-19 has already occurred, follow the information published by the Chief Health Officer of the Slovak Republic (http://www.uvzsr.sk/docs/letaky/Koronavirus_odporucania_EN.pdf). In case you come from a country where visa to enter the Slovak Republic is required, please check if there are any restrictions at the consular offices of the Slovak Republic in regard to issuing visa or opening for public. Please check the website of the respective Slovak embassy abroad or https://www.mzv.sk/web/en/news/current_issues (as of March 4, 2020 there are temporarily suspended selected consular services at the Slovak diplomatic missions and consular offices in China, South Korea and Iran).

With regard to the awarded scholarship within the programmes National Scholarship Programme, CEEPUS and Action Austria - Slovakia, we would like to remind you about the following:

  1. if you are considering changes in your stay compared to the details in your letter of award (e.g., plans to postpone the start of your stay, shortening of your stay, earlier termination of your stay, or cancellation of your stay), always consult these plans in advance with the responsible Programme Administrator;
  2. bear in mind that within scholarship programmes administered by our organisation SAIA we are only providing funding for a stay in Slovakia, however such stay is solely planned, organised and realized by the scholarship holder – for that reason the scholarship holder should primarily communicate with his/her host institution and home institution on implications of the current situation on the actual implementation of the stay;
  3. changes in stays will be assessed by SAIA on an individual basis, taking into account the current situation globally and in Slovakia and the possibility of applying force majeure principles will be considered only if appropriate and dully justified; at the same time, however, we remind you that all changes must be made in a standard manner, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the respective scholarship programme (note that we cannot provide any funds beyond or in contradiction to the terms and conditions of the respective programme and call from which the scholarship has been awarded).

Should you have questions concerning a stay financed by a scholarship based on bilateral intergovernmental agreement (cooperation programme between respective ministries of education), please contact your ministry of education or the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic.

We truly hope that this information may help you to manage better your stay funded by one of our scholarships in appropriate and responsible manner. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions - all our contacts can be found here.

 

SAIA, n. o.