Prove your romantic relationship, please

Prove your romantic relationship, please

In Slovakia the right to private and family life is protected by law, well, with the condition to fulfil the local definition of what a family and a romantic relationship are. Slovakia does not recognize civil unions and registered partnerships. Even if part of the EU rules the partner of an EU citizen who wants to reside in Slovakia must be granted entry and residence, a long list of hurdles may await for them afterwards in Slovakia from difficulty to access the medical records of their partner to property and inheritance rights.  

The situation can get trickier for foreigners marrying Slovak citizens as the foreign police check if this is not a marriage of convenenience. The two have to stay married for at least five years after the foreigner gets residence in Slovakia otherwise the police cancel the residence.

Family reunification is another complex issue and it can take years  for it to be completed mainly when it involves asylum seekers.

A group of lawyers specialized in immigration have decided to put their experience in the field to good use and last month launched a project aiming at increasing awarness among various stakeholders to the issues linked to the right to private and family life of foreigners. It received support from the US and Dutch embassies in Bratislava and I will discuss it with one of its coordinators, lawyer Miroslava Mittelmannová from the Bratislava based NGO, the Human Rights League.

Right to private life

Anca Dragu, Photo: TASR