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Immigration to Slovenia


Slovenia is a small country of beautiful hills, mountains, numerous castles and monasteries. Along with all these advantages Slovenia has a great economical, agricultural and industrial potential. That is why it attracts so many immigrants who hope to get an interesting and highly paid job here. However it is almost impossible to immigrate to Slovenia because the state legislature protects itself from economical immigrants (especially illegal).

The easiest way to move to Slovenia is to become a business immigrant. It is almost the only way to get a residence permit in this country.

Being a business immigrant allows one to get a status of a non-resident (what most of the business immigrants actually do), but some people are also interested in getting the Slovenian citizenship. At the same time it is much easier to become the citizen of Slovenia than to immigrate here.




One can get a Slovenian citizenship in the following ways:

1. Citizenship through naturalization. One must meet the following requirements:

- the applicant must live in Slovenia for at least 10 years and for five continuous years before making an application for citizenship;

- must refuse from the foreign citizenship;

- must have good command of the Slovenian language;

- must have no criminal convictions;

- must be at least 18 years of age;

- must demonstrate financial independence.

There are also some naturalization exemptions that are to be specified in the immigration offices.

Naturalization exemptions:

- Slovenian immigrants (and descendants of Slovenian citizens in not younger than the third generation) may be naturalized after one year of living in Slovenia. This concession gives the right not to refuse from the previous citizenship;

- Applications for citizenship can also be made if a person is married to a Slovenian citizen for at least two years after residing in Slovenia for at least one year.

- completion of a special petition may exempt from the necessity to refuse from the previous citizenship:

- there are some exemptions that take into account the state interests of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenian citizenship may be granted on the basis of “special achievements” in Slovenian science, economy etc.);

- a former citizen of Slovenia or a Slovenian descendant may get the citizenship being exempted from the common naturalization requirements (omitting the necessary period of residence in Slovenia);

- children under the age of 18 living in Slovenia may be naturalized together with their parents. Children at the age of 14 and older must give the personal agreement for getting the Slovenian citizenship.

2. Slovenian citizenship by birth or adoption (at least one of the parents/adopting parents must have the Slovenian citizenship).


Slovenian citizenship is automatically granted if at least one parent is a citizen of Slovenia and the child is born in the Republic of Slovenia. However children that were born in Slovenia from parents who are not the citizens of Slovenia, do not get the right to get the Slovenian citizenship automatically. The place of birth is important only when a Slovenian child born from the Slovenian parents (even outside the country) is getting the Slovenian citizenship.




Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is allowed in Slovenia except from the cases of naturalization (when a person must refuse from the previous citizenship). After getting the independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 some categories of citizens belonging to the former Yugoslavia got transitional status. Before Slovenia became independent all citizens of this country had had Yugoslavian citizenship but there had been also domestic “citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia” that existed alongside the Yugoslavian citizenship. That is why when Slovenia became independent, all former citizens of Yugoslavia with the citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia automatically gained Slovenian citizenship.

According to the transitional provisions some other categories of the former Yugoslavian citizens got an opportunity to become Slovenian citizens as well.

1) The citizens of Yugoslavia connected with another republic who had been the residents of Slovenia as of the date of 23 December, 1990, had remained the residents of Slovenia (together with their children under the age of 18) until the Law on Slovenian Citizenship came into operation.

2) People at the age of 18 to 23 who were born in Slovenia from parents who had domestic citizenship of the Republic of Slovenia (at the times of the former Yugoslavia) but gained Yugoslavian citizenship.




Loss of Slovenian Citizenship

A Slovenian citizen who possesses another nationality may be deprived of Slovenian citizenship based on "activities ... contrary to the international and other interests of the Republic of Slovenia". These are generally defined as:

if the person is a member of any organization engaged in the activities to overthrow the Constitutional order of the Republic of Slovenia; or

if the person is a persistent perpetrator of criminal offences prosecuted ex officio and of offences against public order;

if the person refuses to carry out the duty of the citizen of the Republic of Slovenia prescribed by the Constitution and the Law

Slovenian citizens who possess another nationality may normally renounce Slovenian citizenship if resident outside Slovenia.


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