Slovakia is not one of the traditional destination countries for migrants. It is a culturally homogeneous country that has not been affected by the dramatic increase in migration during the 20th century. Until recently, the Slovak Republic was almost exclusively the country of origin of migrants, the country from which citizens migrated abroad for various reasons.
Slovakia’s accession to the European Union and the Schengen area brought significant changes. In the period since 2004, illegal and asylum migration in the Slovak Republic has decreased, and legal migration has increased sevenfold. Despite the fact that the growth of the population of foreigners in Slovakia was the second highest among all EU Member States in 2004-2008, the representation of foreigners in the population – compared to other EU countries – remains at a low level.
Today, foreigners in the Slovak Republic make up 2.75 percent of the population and their number is growing slowly but continuously: in December 2020, there were 6,937 more people living in our country than a year earlier, which represents an increase of 4.9%.
In addition to migration for social reasons, such as family reunification or a migrant’s marriage with a Slovak citizen, the most significant component of legal migration to Slovakia today is migration for work, business and study.
The destination country that migrants choose is closely linked to migration motives. According to various studies, the most preferred target countries are the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Thanks to their advantageous geographical location in relation to Slovakia, Germany and Austria are among the preferred destination countries for migrants from Slovakia.
If we wanted to summarize the effects of migration, then we can say that the positive effects identified include:
– opportunity to travel, get to know other cultures;
– changing social and political attitudes and values;
– building relationships, tolerance;
– increasing self-confidence;
– gaining experience;
– improving language skills and various skills;
– raising qualifications;
– increasing the chances of finding a job on the domestic labor market;
– improving the financial situation.
We consider the following to be negative effects:
– frustration from staying in a foreign country;
– separation from family and loneliness;
– lifestyle changes and the various pitfalls and dangers involved – drugs,