Residence / Work Permits
If you are moving to Slovenia, we strongly urge you to register with the Embassy via the Smart Traveler program, so that you will receive email updates on health and safety issues affecting American citizens in Slovenia, along with other issues of interest such as voting in U.S. elections. We will also include you in any townhall meetings.
An American citizen who wishes to remain in Slovenia for more than 90 days within a 180 day period will need to apply for a temporary residence permit. While there are no requirements to speak Slovene or to demonstrate knowledge of the history and/or culture in order to obtain a temporary residence permit, you will need to submit the results of a criminal record check. The process for residency is usually started at the Slovenian embassy with jurisdiction over your place of residence, such as the Slovenian Embassy in Washington, DC. Temporary residence permits are issued on the basis of employment, studies, marriage, Slovene descent, or other justified reasons (e.g.: ownership of real estate, custody of a Slovene child, common law marriage with a Slovene citizen). If you are applying for residency based on family ties to Slovenia (e.g. a Slovenian spouse, parent, or grandparent), then you may be able to begin the residency process in Slovenia. If you are applying based on some other reason, like employment or study, you will need to begin the process before you enter Slovenia.
After the residency application is submitted, the file will be sent to an Administrative Unit (Upravna enota) in Slovenia. This office will evaluate your qualifications for a residence permit. If the permit is issued, they will notify the Slovenian Embassy, who in turn will notify you.
Temporary permits usually are valid for one year and must be renewed prior to their expiration date at the local Administrative Unit (Upravna enota). After five years of living in Slovenia on a temporary residence permit, an individual can usually apply for permanent residency. Individuals of Slovene descent and those who are close family members of a Slovene citizen or permanent resident may be eligible for expedited permanent residency.
For information on work permits, see the Slovenian Employment Service page.
Acquisition of Citizenship at Birth
Children born to at least one Slovene parent, whether born in Slovenia or abroad, generally have a claim to Slovene citizenship. There are no generational limits or residency requirements in order for a Slovene parent to transmit citizenship to a child born outside of Slovenia. A person may also claim Slovene citizenship if he/she can prove that at least one grandparent was a Slovene citizen.
Naturalization (Acquisition after birth)
Immigrants of Slovene descent and those who are married to Slovenes are eligible for expedited naturalization. Spouses of Slovene citizens who have been married for three years and have lived in Slovenia for one year may be eligible for naturalization. Most other immigrants can expect to live in Slovenia for ten years before being eligible for citizenship. Applicants for Slovene citizenship must pass a Slovene language test. In general, Slovenia expects people naturalizing to renounce their former nationality unless the Slovenian government grants a special exception based on strong justification; if you are considering this, see our page on dual nationality and loss of U.S. citizenship.
For more information on Slovenian citizenship laws, see the Slovenian government page on citizenship. For questions, please contact either the Slovene Embassy in Washington or your local Administrative Unit (Upravna enota).