VIEWS OF VOLUNTARY IMMIGRANTS ON LIFE IN SLOVAKIA
Slovakia is not perceived as a destination country for forced or voluntary migrants in the European Union. Nevertheless, the number of foreigners living legally in Slovakia has increased more than fourfold since Slovakia joined the European Union in 2004. The aim of this paper is to recognize the views of voluntary immigrants on their own life in Slovakia. In our research, we are interested in migrants who chose small towns in Slovakia, which are culturally and linguistically homogeneous. We have chosen a qualitative research strategy. The research design is of a biographical design and a grounded theory. As a research tool, we chose an individual structured interview (in-depth interview). For qualitative data analysis, we used coding; we set descriptive and inductive codes, subcategories and categories. The subject of research is eight voluntary immigrants to Slovakia who have been living in Slovakia for at least one year at the time of the study. Thus, they meet the long-term migration criterion. Participants were selected on a deliberate basis to cover the phenomenon of voluntary migration. Due to the chosen research design, theoretical sampling was utilized. Our research confirmed the assumptions of voluntary migration described by Pierce (1999). Not only participants from developing countries, but also participants from countries with higher HDI than Slovakia praise the work and business opportunities in Slovakia. Participants identified the following areas of life benefits in Slovakia: employment, economic and social conditions, leisure, cultural and development activities, and environmental issues. Negative aspects of life include negative administrative experiences, lower living comfort, worse social conditions and the environment.
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