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Overview of work and residence permits in Slovenia

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

Perception of where an individual could work has greatly changed in the past decade as globalisation, internationalization and interconnectivity are increasingly growing trends. Many companies have expanded their search for new employees beyond their national borders. Even though finding employment in a foreign country is much easier now, there are still many obstacles a foreigner must go through.

Foreigners, unless they are EEA or Swiss nationality, typically do not have free access to the Slovenian labour market. Therefore, third-country foreigners must thus obtain a work and residence permit.

In this article we will explain the single work, residence permit and EU Blue Card terms. In addition, we will briefly describe the Intra-corporate transfer (“ICT”) permit and single permit for posted workers as well as the necessary procedures to acquire a permit. All of the permits may be used by companies in Slovenia to employ third-country foreigners. All above-mentioned permits allow third-country foreigners to enter the country as well as residence and employment in Slovenia. They are regulated by the recently amended Foreigners Act (“ZTuj-2”) and Employment, self-employment and work of foreigners Act (“ZZSDT”). At the end of the article we will also briefly describe the changes, that were introduced by the recent amendments to Foreigners Act and Employment, self-employment and work of foreigners Act, because they introduce new ways of receiving a work and residence permit for certain categories of persons.

1. Single work and residence permit

Single work and residence permit enables third-country foreigners temporary residence and work in Slovenia. An application for a single work and residence permit should be submitted at the administrative unit or at the diplomatic missions or consulates in the home country. The application or a renewal of a single work and residence permit may be submitted by the foreigner or by his employer, however, the employee must still go to the diplomatic mission or consulate for fingerprinting. The permit is issued by the administrative unit with the consent of the Employment Service of Slovenia.

The single work and residence permit is issued for the duration of the employment agreement, but no more than 1 year. However, if all necessary conditions are met, it may be extended for an additional maximum of 2 years.

A holder of a single work and residence permit may change workplace with the same employer, change employers, or be employed by two or more employers. Such actions do not require a new permit, however, they do require a new application to be submitted at the administrative office. The administrative office will issue a written approval once it receives consent from the Employment Service of Slovenia. The foreigner is not allowed to start working under new conditions until the aforementioned written approval is granted.

Importantly, a foreigner is principally not entitled to immediate family reunification. He/she must spend two years in Slovenia based on the single work and residence permit and hold a permit which must be valid for at least one year.

2. EU Blue Card

EU Blue Card is a temporary residence permit granted to those considered to be highly qualified workers. However, some conditions limit the issue of EU Blue Card. When the third-country foreigner applies for the EU Blue Card, he/she must hold at least a higher education degree and needs to present the authorities with an employment contract of at least one year, signed by the employer ensuring the salary is at least 1.5 times the average gross wage in Slovenia. Furthermore, the employer must present a statement saying that there are no other suitable candidates at the register of unemployed persons.

EU Blue Card can be issued for 2 years, with a possible extension for 3 years. A holder of the EU Blue Card may reunite with family members without limitations regarding the length of the person’s residence in Slovenia or the validity of his/her permit.

3. Intra-corporate (“ICT”) permit

ICT permit has its basis in the Directive 2014/66/EU and was implemented in Slovenian legislation on 1st January 2018. ICT entitles its holder to reside and work in the territory of a Member State. The foreigner is not employed by the host entity (Slovenian company). He/she is positioned here by his/her home entity. The permit is issued for 1 year and may be extended.

ICT permit has a few limitations as to who is eligible to obtain ICT permit. Only managers and experts with specialized knowledge qualify for the permit, however, they must have been employed for at least 9 uninterrupted months prior to their posting. A foreigner in possession of an ICT permit may reunite with his/her family without limitations.

4. Single permit for posted workers

Posted worker is a foreigner who, based on an employment contract with an employer who has a registered office or residence outside of Slovenia, temporarily works in Slovenia. The permit is intended for foreigners who, in order to provide cross-border services or to receive training from a Slovenian company, have been posted to Slovenia by their non-EU employers. The permit is issued for the duration of the provided service. The total duration of the provision of services must not exceed 90 days per calendar year.

There are, however, some limitations. The foreigner must be employed by the home entity for at least 9 months prior to getting posted in case of cross-border service providing and 6 months in case of posting for the purpose of receiving training in the affiliated company.

Procedures to acquire single work and residence permit, EU Blue Card, ICT or single permit for posted workers

Documents needed for the applicants, among others, are:

  • Valid passport (expiry date must exceed the duration of intended stay for at least 3 months)

  • Authentic picture and fingerprints

  • Proof of health insurance in Slovenia

  • A certificate from the criminal record of the foreigner’s home country (not older than 3 months), translated into Slovenian

  • Bank account statement that shows the foreigner has a sufficient means of supporting him/her-self or other proof of sufficient means of subsistence

  • Foreigner may be invited to an interview

Conditions for companies:

  • Companies registered more than 6 months must prove they are active by:

a) Employing at least one other employee for a full time at least 6 months before applying for a work and residence permit for a foreigner

b) Having an inflow to the bank account open in Slovenia of at least 10.000 EUR every month in the last 6 months before single permit application

  • Companies registered less than 6 months have to invest at least 50.000 EUR in fixed assets to be able to employ a foreigner

  • The company must be registered in the register with the activity in which the foreigner will work

  • The company must not be subject to a liquidation or insolvency process

  • The company has no outstanding tax arrears

After fulfilling all the necessary general conditions and permit specific conditions, with the confirmation of Employment Service of Slovenia, the administrative unit issues a permit, which enables a professional immigration to Slovenia and allows foreigners to work and reside in Slovenia.

Act amending ZTuj-2F and ZZSDT-C

On the 12th of April 2021, Act Amending the Employment, Self-Employment and Work of Foreigners Act (ZZSDT-C) and Act Amending the Foreigners Act (ZTuj-2F), were published in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia. The amended provisions of both acts apply from 27th May 2021, however, certain amendments will not apply immediately. Both acts provide a transitional period, which postpones the date of application for certain amendments introduced by acts.

Herein we highlight some of the changes included in ZZSDT-C and ZTuj-2F:

  • Novelties regarding conditions for entry and residence of third country foreigners for the purpose of research, study, internship, volunteer work, study exchange

  • Novelties regarding knowledge of Slovenian language

  • First permit for temporary residence

  • Family reunification

Research and study

The implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/801 into Slovenian legislation re-regulates the necessary conditions for entry and residence of third country foreigners in Slovenia for the purpose of research, study, internship, volunteer work, study exchange programs, educational projects etc. The Directive also introduces new types of single permit for residence and work. New temporary residence permits are granted for the purpose of job-searching or entrepreneurship for the researchers who have completed research work in Slovenia and students who have completed their studies at a higher education institution in Slovenia. A new type of temporary residence permit is also granted to those seeking volunteer work or internships.

The goal of the new changes is to make entry into Slovenia easier for third country foreigners, who wish to enter for the purpose of research work, volunteer work, study or internship. It also eases their mobility and the mobility of their family members inside EU.

Knowledge of Slovenian language

The Act amending ZTuj-2 presents new conditions for the knowledge of Slovenian language related to residence permit, however the new changes will be brought into force 2 years calculated from the day the Act amending ZTuj-2 became effective (from 27 April 2023).

The changes require knowledge of Slovenian language on A1 level for the extension of residence permit for the purpose of third country foreigner family reunification. A2 level is required for the issue of permanent residence to third country foreigners, however, they must have had a five-year continuous legal residence in Slovenia.

First permit for temporary residence

When obtaining a first temporary residence permit, a new system was introduced. It allows all third country foreigners, legally residing in Slovenia at the time of issue of a first temporary residence permit, to collect the permit at the competent authority. In this way, the foreigner can obtain a first temporary residence permit in the territory of Slovenia. Assuming he/she has already given fingerprints at the diplomatic mission or consulate of Slovenia abroad and will not have to return to his country of origin solely for this purpose.

Family reunification

A new condition of two-year legal residence in Slovenia for third country foreigners must be fulfilled in order to exercise the right to reunify with family, however there are certain exceptions. One of them provides for the best interest of a child; if both parents or a legal guardian have a temporary residence permit in Slovenia, then family reunification may be possible without having a prior two-year legal residence.

The other changes in the Act amending ZTuj-2 and ZZSDT-C are related to illegal residence, biometric security improvements, sufficient assets needed for subsistence etc.

If you are considering employing a third country foreigner or are a third country foreigner and are considering working in Slovenia, pay attention to the newest changes brought by the Act amending ZTuj-2 and ZZSDT-C. As a third country foreigner or a company wishing to employ one, be careful to start the process of acquiring a single work and residence permit early as all administrative and bureaucratical processes take longer due to the current pandemic. If you have any additional questions, you may contact our team of experienced professionals who will be more than happy to help.

This document (and all information accessed through the links in this document) is for informational purposes only and cannot be considered as legal advice. The facts stated therein may have changed since the date of publication. You should seek legal advice before taking any possible action.

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