What are the main work and business permit categories used by companies to transfer skilled staff?
The main category for transferring skilled staff is the EU Blue Card, which is a temporary residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment issued in accordance with the law governing the entry and residence of aliens that allows holders to enter, reside and take up employment in Slovenia.Procedures
What are the procedures for obtaining these permissions? At what stage can work begin?
In the procedure for issuing an EU Blue Card, the Employment Service shall grant a consent at the request of the administrative unit, provided that the following conditions are met:
- the foreigner concerned holds at least a higher education degree;
- an employment contract of at least one year is signed by the employer ensuring a salary of at least one and a half times the average gross salary in Slovenia; and
- if the following general conditions are met:
- there are no suitable unemployed persons for that particular post in the register of unemployed persons;
- the employer has been appropriately registered or entered in the Register of Agricultural Holdings or in the Business Register to pursue the activity in which the alien concerned is to carry out work;
- the employer is not in a winding-up or bankruptcy procedure;
- the employer filed monthly withholding tax returns for income from the employment relationship, if the employer employed workers, over the six months prior to the month in which the application was submitted or during the period of operation, if shorter than six months, and had no outstanding tax liabilities; and
- the foreigner fulfils the conditions required by the employer.
Foreigners can start performing work after the single permit is issued, but no later than 10 days from the issue of the single permit or the EU Blue Card. A foreigner served with a single permit or an EU Blue Card outside Slovenia shall commence work not later than 15 days from the issue of the single permit or the EU Blue Card.Period of stay
What are the general maximum (and minimum) periods of stay granted under the main categories for company transfers?
In accordance with the Foreigners Act, the first single permit for residence and work is issued for the duration of the employment contract or the contract concluded for the performance of the work, but not longer than one year. The single permit can be extended.
The EU Blue Card is issued for two years. If the employment contract is to be concluded within a shorter period than this, the EU Blue Card is issued for a period of three months longer than the contract period, up to a maximum of two years. The EU Blue Card can be extended for an additional three years.
The first single permit for posted workers is issued for a maximum period of one year. In the case of the applicant performing services that have special importance for Slovenia, the single permit can be issued for a longer period.
The first single permit for persons who are transferred within companies is issued for the period of transfer, but no longer than one year. In certain cases stipulated in the Foreigners Act, the single permit can be extended. There are no minimum periods stipulated in the legislation.Processing time
How long does it typically take to process the main categories?
In general, a single permit should be issued within 30 days; however, the duration of the process depends on which administrative office is competent for issuing the single permit (some administrative unit offices are preoccupied; therefore it can take much longer for them to issue the permit).Staff benefits
Is it necessary to obtain any benefits or facilities for staff to secure a work permit?
Upon the establishment of the employment relationship (which must be in accordance with the Slovenian law governing labour relationships and potential collective agreements binding on the employer), an employer is obliged to register foreigners in social insurance schemes (health insurance, pension and disability insurance, parental protection and unemployment insurance). The employer is not obliged to provide accommodation to foreigners; however, if the employer provides accommodation, it must comply with the minimum housing and hygiene standards that are specified in an implementing regulation issued jointly by the minister responsible for labour, the minister responsible for spatial planning and the minister responsible for health.Assessment criteria
Do the immigration authorities follow objective criteria, or do they exercise discretion according to subjective criteria?
There are specified conditions stipulated in ZZSDT and in the Foreigners Act, which have to be met in order to issue a certain type of single permit. There are different objective conditions stipulated for granting a consent of the Employment Service to different types of single permit, which have to be met. Since the conditions are defined very clearly, there is not much space for flexibility of competent authorities.High net worth individuals and investors
Is there a special route for high net worth individuals or investors?
Yes. In accordance with ZZSDT, there are some simplifications stipulated for companies that are in accordance with the Investment Promotion Act, and registered in the register of high-value companies or in the register of innovative start-up companies. With such companies, the Employment Service shall not verify some conditions in the process of issuing or renewing a single permit and written approval issued for the purpose of employment if the company is registered in one of the above-mentioned registers and the employee is guaranteed a monthly salary at least equal to the average monthly gross salary in Slovenia.
Is there a special route (including fast track) for high net worth individuals for a residence permission route into your jurisdiction?
In accordance with the Foreigners Act, a long-stay visa may be issued to a foreigner if there is an economic interest for Slovenia, which the foreigner proves by submitting an opinion issued by the ministry responsible for the economy. In accordance with the Rules on criteria for establishing the economic interest of Slovenia in issuing long-stay visas to foreigners, the economic interest is proven in the following cases:
- if the foreigner has specialised knowledge and special experience that are useful for the Slovenian economy;
- if the foreigner can enable the increase of the Slovenian economy’s business connections with foreign countries; or
- if the foreigner can enable the introduction and use of new technologies, business models or knowledge or the investment of capital in Slovenia, or the expansion and opening of new markets for Slovenian products.
Is there a special route for highly skilled individuals?
There is a special category of single permit stipulated in ZZSDT, that is the EU Blue Card. The ‘EU Blue Card’ shall mean a temporary residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment issued in accordance with the law governing the entry and residence of foreigners, which allows holders to enter, reside and take up employment in Slovenia. See question 11 for conditions for granting consent to the EU Blue Card.Ancestry and descent
Is there a special route for foreign nationals based on ancestry or descent?
Is there a minimum salary requirement for the main categories for company transfers?
A foreigner employed in Slovenia has equal rights to those of Slovenian citizens. That means that the foreigner is at least entitled to the minimum wage. In 2019, the minimum monthly wage is €886.63. The foreigner is entitled to a higher amount if so stipulated in the collective agreement, which is binding the employer.
If a company wishes to obtain the single permit in a simplified process (see question 16), the employee is entitled to a monthly salary at least equal to the average monthly gross salary in Slovenia.
In the case of the EU Blue Card, the employee is entitled to a wage of at least one and a half times the average gross salary in Slovenia.Resident labour market test
Is there a quota system or resident labour market test?
Given the situation and the projected labour market developments, the government may determine a quota of consent to be granted with regard to single permits and a quota of seasonal worker permits to be issued with a view to limiting the number of foreigners in the labour market. In addition to determining the quota, the government may also limit or prohibit the employment, self-employment or work of foreigners in terms of regions, industries, undertakings and occupations and can also limit or prohibit new foreigners from entering for the purpose of employment or work in full or in part or with regard to particular regions when justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health, general economic interest or the situation and projected developments in the labour market.
One of the conditions for granting a consent for employment, consent for seasonal work or consent for an EU Blue Card is that there are no suitable unemployed persons in the register of unemployed persons that could take that particular position. The Employment Service shall check if there are any suitable unemployed persons in the register of unemployed persons when the application for issuing a single permit is submitted; however, a prior labour market test is also possible. In accordance with ZZSDT, the employer may obtain a depersonalised notice from the Employment Service indicating whether there are any suitable unemployed persons registered, prior to submitting an application for a single permit, an EU Blue Card, a written authorisation or a seasonal worker permit.
The obligation of the employer who recruits new employees to publicly advertise vacancies or types of work is stipulated in the Employment Relationship Act.
Since it is possible to acquire the information on suitable unemployed persons prior to submitting the application for a single permit, it is reasonable to do so. The Employment Service will then, in accordance with work conditions set by the employer, check if there are any unemployed persons who meet all the criteria.Shortage occupations
Is there a special route for shortage occupations?
For certain occupations the labour market test is not required. Those occupations (currently 12 professions) are determined with a special order determining the occupations in which the employment of foreigners is not tied to the labour market.Other eligibility requirements
Are there any other main eligibility requirements to qualify for work permission in your jurisdiction?
There are special conditions stipulated for different types of single permits. For example, one of the conditions for granting a consent to employment, self-employment or work is that the foreigner was employed or self-employed in Slovenia for at least 20 months during the 24 months preceding the submission of the application, and was registered in the compulsory social insurance scheme on such basis.
A consent to posted workers may only be granted for those workers already employed for at least nine consecutive months or, in certain cases, for at least six consecutive months, by the foreign employer or by a company established in a third country and linked by capital ties.Third-party contractors
What is the process for third-party contractors to obtain work permission?
Generally, the application for a single permit is submitted by the worker him or herself, by the employer with whom the worker will be employed or by an authorised person. Also, a single permit that is issued or extended on the basis of a consent to employment and a written authorisation granted on the basis of a consent to employment shall be connected to the employment needs of an employer. If the foreigner wants to change the employer, he or she will have to receive a written authorisation issued by a competent authority.
In some cases, it is possible that the employee will not perform work directly by the employer. Such situation is possible with employers involved in the supply of temporary agency work in accordance with the Labour Market Regulation Act. However, such employers may, within the scope of this activity, only conclude employment contracts with foreigners residing in Slovenia on the basis of an EU Blue Card, with foreigners for whom a consent to employment, self-employment or work was granted in the procedure for issuing or extending a single permit or a written authorisation, or with foreigners with free access to the labour market in accordance with ZZSDT.Recognition of foreign qualifications
Is an equivalency assessment or recognition of skills and qualifications required to obtain immigration permission?
A foreigner seeking employment in Slovenia will have to meet all the criteria that are demanded by the employer. When the foreigner submits the application, he or she will have to enclose proof of adequate education or professional qualification and proof of the fulfilment of other conditions required by the employer. If professional or academic qualifications, membership of professional associations or guilds, or tests on medical knowledge, etc, are required by the employer, or if certain professions can only be performed if a person has such skills and qualifications, the foreigner will have to prove that he or she meets all the criteria.