A foreigner is a citizen from a country of origin or place of residence outside the European Union – the so-called citizens of third countries.

Foreigners who reside in the country on a legal basis cannot be expelled from it or handed over to another country against their will except under the conditions and according to a defined procedure determined by law.

A residence that is carried out on a defined legal basis is legal. The law specifies the following grounds for residence: visa, international or EU treaties on visa-free regime, acts of EU law (e.g. Directive 2004/38/EC) and permission of the offices for administrative control of foreigners – Directorate “Migration” and offices “Migration ” of the Ministry of the Interior.

The purpose of residence may be temporary or permanent settlement (immigration). Short-term and long-term stays are temporary. Permanent settlement, or immigration, is for long-term and permanent residence.

Residence that does not meet these conditions is illegal, or when they were present but have lapsed. Illegally residing foreigners who do not have or have lost their right of residence should leave the country voluntarily, and if they do not do so within a certain period, they can be forcibly removed from it.

Foreigners are allowed to stay even without all the requirements of the law – visa or entry and residence permit, regular documents, etc. For example, the state can asylum to foreigners persecuted because of their beliefs and/or activities in defense of internationally recognized rights and freedoms, and the conditions for granting it are regulated by law. The conditions and procedure for entry, stay and residence on the basis of asylum constitute the special residence regime for foreigners.