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Slovenia will amend its Aliens Act in order to attract more foreign workers

The Slovenian government is working on changes to the Slovenian Aliens Act in order to make the country more appealing to foreign workers, as one of the primary measures to address a labour shortage that has plagued the country, as well as the rest of the European Union.

Among other things, the country intends to eliminate various administrative procedures that it deems unnecessary, as well as to provide free Slovenian language lessons to foreigners who wish to relocate to Slovenia.

“The task of this government is to substantially ease procedures to obtain work permits in Slovenia, in particular for those who are already here, to make it easier for them to decide to stay here,” the country’s Prime Minister Robert Golob said commenting on the proposed changes.

In contrast, the administration stated in a news release released on Monday, February 14, that the anticipated revisions to the Aliens Act will also allow for faster procedures for awarding residence permits and registration certificates.

"We are aware of the need for foreign workers in Slovenia," the administration says, adding that the revised draught law has been given to the National Assembly for approval under an expedited procedure.

Concerning the provision of free language classes for foreigners, the government reminds that, after a two-year transition period, level A1 language competence will become essential for individuals extending their family reunification temporary residence permits on April 27 this year. Those asking for a permanent residency permit, on the other hand, must demonstrate A2 level Slovenian language competence.

This means that family members of foreigners living in Slovenia, as well as holders of a Slovenian residence permit, will have to provide a certificate proving that they passed a basic level Slovenian language exam at an authorised Slovenian institution when applying to extend their stay in the country.

“The law stipulates the condition of the basic level of language knowledge. This is the level at which a foreigner simply communicates in everyday situations related to the realization of concrete needs,” the government notes in its press release.

It also emphasises that Slovenian authorities believe that proper knowledge of the Slovenian language is one of the most important requirements for an individual's successful integration into society, and that in order to make learning the Slovenian language easier, the government plans to offer free courses through the new changes.

Additional modifications include:

Mailing out residence permits and renewals

  • Keeping fingerprints for up to five years in order to use them when permits are renewed

  • Allowing foreigners with expired temporary protection status to apply for a temporary residency visa within eight days.

  • Eliminating the necessity for administrative units to provide written confirmation when changing employers.

  • Simplify procedures for employing foreign workers in healthcare and social services to address a labour shortage in these industries.

  • Another reform that the government wants to make is to reduce the time it takes for asylum seekers to enter the labour market from nine to three months.


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