1.6.2021
MIGR
> Migration

Outline of Slovenian single work and residence permits

Globalisation and increased interconnectivity of the world has led many companies to expand their search for new employees beyond the borders of their country. However, foreigners, unless they are EU/EEA or Swiss nationals, typically do not have free access to Slovenian labour market1. Foreigners who are third country nationals thus need to acquire work and residence permits. Below is the brief outline of 4 permits companies may use to immigrate to Slovenia for employment purposes. All of them enable entry into as well as residence, employment and work in the Republic of Slovenia and are regulated by the recently amended Foreigners Act (in Slovenian: Zakon o tujich) and Employment, self-employment and work of foreigners Act (in Slovenian: Zakon o zaposlovanju, samozaposlovanju in delu tujcev).

1. Single permit to reside and work2

Basic information and duration

The single permit to reside and work enables temporary residence and work in Slovenia. It is issued for the duration of the employment agreement, but not more than 1 year. It may be renewed for additional 2 years. This permit is generally used for foreigners which wish to enter and reside in Slovenia for the purpose of employment at a Slovenian company.

A foreigner holding a single permit may, during its validity, change jobs with the same employer, change employer, or take up employment with two or more employers on the basis of the written approval of the administrative unit, which shall issue written approval in the form of a decision after receiving consent from the Employment Services of Slovenia. Thus, an additional application needs to be made in such case and the foreigner is not allowed to start work at a new work post or new employer until the aforementioned approval is granted.

Eligibility conditions specific to the permit

Several requirements apply to the employer who seeks to employ a foreigner based on this type of permit.3 Furthermore, the foreigner must fulfil the conditions required by the employer and there must be no suitable unemployed persons in the register of unemployed persons. For this purpose, submission of “request for work”/PDM form needs to be made (which is a document similar to job advert) in order to complete labour market check necessary for employment of foreigners.

Family members

A foreigner is not entitled to immediate family reunification. He must firstly reside in Slovenia on the basis of the single permit at least 2 years and hold a permit which shall still be valid for at least a year.

2. EU Blue card

Basic information and duration

EU Blue Card is a temporary residence permit for the purpose of highly qualified employment. It was introduced and has its basis in the Directive 2009/50/EC on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment.4

The EU Blue Card is issued for 2 years, and can be renewed for 3 years, while an ordinary single permit to reside and work is issued for a duration of 1 year and is renewed for 2 years. This means that an EU Blue Card holder is in a far better position for acquiring permanent residence permit in Slovenia, as such permit requires five years of continuous legal residence in Slovenia.5

Eligibility conditions specific to the permit

The foreigner 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 a salary of at least 1.5 times the average annual gross wage in the Republic of Slovenia. Additionally, an important condition is also that there are no suitable unemployed persons in the register of unemployed persons.

Family members and reunification

A foreigner holding an EU Blue Card may reunite with family members without limitations regarding the length of the person’s residence in the Republic of Slovenia or the validity of his or her permit.

3. ICT (Intra-corporate transfer) permit

Basic information and duration

ICT permit is a combined work and residence permit which allows the foreign national to live and work in Slovenia on a home employment contract. The foreigner is thus not employed by the Slovenian company (host entity), but only seconded there by his home entity. It has a basis in the Directive 2014/66/EU on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals in the framework of an intra-corporate transfer.6

The permit is issued for a length of 1 year. The permit may be extended. In case of manager or an expert, the total residence in EU countries (including Slovenia) must not exceed three years.

Eligibility conditions specific to the permit

Only managers, experts with specialized knowledge for the host entity or persons in training may qualify for ICT permit. They must be employed by their employer for at least 9 months prior to posting.

In addition to evidence of compliance with other conditions the applicant must also submit evidence of affiliation between host and home entity.7

Family members and reunification

A foreigner holding an ICT permit may reunite with family members without limitations regarding the length of the person’s residence in the Republic of Slovenia or the validity of his or her permit. Family members may join him immediately, if he demonstrates sufficient evidence that he has sufficient means of subsistence.

4. Single permit for posted workers

Basic information and duration

The single permit for posted workers is intended for foreigners who have been posted by their foreign (non-EU) employers to Slovenia for a limited period of time in order to provide cross-border services or to receive training from a company in Slovenia. The foreigner thus stays employed by the foreign employer.

Consent for the issuance of a single permit to a worker posted to carry out services as part of the cross-border provision of services is limited. The duration of providing the service shall not exceed 90 days in a calendar year. Consent for the extension of a single permit of a posted worker may be granted when the contract is extended for a maximum of one month and the service provider and the client demonstrate evidence that the services could not be provided in the stipulated period for objective reasons (force majeure, a delay in the implementation of work related to the work specified in the contract, etc.).

Eligibility conditions specific to the permit

The foreigner must be employed by the employer – the home entity – for at least 9 months prior to posting in case of posting for the purposes of provision of cross-border services and 6 months prior to posting in case of posting for the purposes of training in an affiliated company.

A service agreement between the employer (home entity) and the host entity (the Slovenian company to which the employee is posted to) need to be submitted to the authorities.

Family members and reunification

The holders of single permit for posted workers for the purposes of provision of cross-border services do not have the right to reunite with family members in Slovenia.

5. Procedure for all permits

The application for the permit may be submitted at a competent administrative unit or at the Slovenian embassy. The administrative unit ex officio initiates the procedure for obtaining consent from the Employment Services of Slovenia which carries out labour market checks (if necessary) and gives the consent for the issuance of a single permit.

The process is meant to be simplified so that the applicant only files one application to the administrative office even though two separate governmental bodies are involved in the process. After the filing of the application, the foreigner must also travel to the competent embassy and submit biometric information (fingerprints). Once the Employment Services of Slovenia issues the consent, the fingerprint submission is concluded and the administrative unit processes the application, the permit may be granted. It must be served to the foreigner in person (either at the competent embassy, or by the administrative unit – the latter only under the condition that the foreigner is already residing in Slovenia legally and the application was submitted prior to his entry in the country).

Among with the specific eligibility conditions outlined above, the foreigner must also fulfil basic requirements for entry and residence, i.e., they need to have a valid passport with sufficient validity, must have health insurance that covers at least necessary medical services in Slovenia, must have sufficient means of subsistence. Furthermore, the authorities must also ascertain that there are no negative reasons for the foreigner to be denied entry.8 For this purpose, the applicants must thus submit a number of supporting documents (passport, police clearance certificate, etc) which need to be authenticated.

Experiences have shown that the process of obtaining a single permit may be lengthy. The COVID-19 pandemic only prolonged the procedures as it not only caused delays at the administrative units but also in the stage of obtaining the supporting documentation needed for filing the application.

Thus, we advise companies which wish to employ or post employees to Slovenia to initiate the proceedings at least several months prior to the envisaged arrival of the foreigner. As the procedure may be quite bureaucratic and lengthy, it is advised to seek advice from legal counsel in order to ensure that the immigration process commences as smoothly and efficiently as possible.


1. In certain limited cases they do have the access (if they are residing in Slovenia on the basis of a permit for family reunification with a Slovenian citizen, on the basis of permanent residence permit, on the basis of temporary residence permit for foreigner of Slovenian descent, or if they have been granted temporary residence on the basis of being victims of human trafficking, illegal work, asylum, etc.
2. The below outline is for foreigners who have not received vocational education degree in Slovenia or have not resided in Slovenia prior to submitting the application.
3. E.g. the employer is not in liquidation or bankruptcy proceedings is registered in the business register to carry out the activities that the foreigner concerned is to carry out, that is actively operating and has filed monthly withholding tax returns for employment income or payslips.
4. OJ L 155, 18. 6. 2009, p. 17–29.
5. There are of course other conditions which must be fulfilled.
6. OJ L 157, 27. 5. 2014, p. 1–22.
7. Affiliation is deemed to exist between companies under the majority ownership of one company or between companies when one company, directly or indirectly, exercises a controlling influence over the other on the basis of its ownership, equity holding therein, or management rules. A controlling influence shall be deemed to exist where one company holds a direct or indirect majority of another company’s subscribed capital, holds the majority of the voting rights of shares it issued, or has the right to appoint more than half of another company’s administrative, managerial or supervisory board members.
8. E.g. if he was banned entry into Slovenia, if there are reasons for believing that upon the expiry of the permit the foreigner will not voluntarily leave, that he will not act in compliance with the legal order, if there are reasons for believing that the foreigner will nor reside in Slovenia, etc.

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Authors: Aleksandra Jemc Merc, Partner, Aljaž Cankar, Senior Associate, Maja Činč, Junior Associate