Second Citizenship
April 8, 2024
Reading Time: 12 min

All ways to obtain Slovenia citizenship: a comprehensive guide

Slovenia, a beautiful country in Europe, offers five distinct pathways to citizenship, each with its own requirements. Whether you have Slovenian family members, marry a Slovenian national, live there for some time, or invest in the country, this guide will cover all of these options.

You will learn what documents you need, how much it might cost, and the benefits of having a Slovenian passport. We will also talk about dual citizenship, how you might lose and get back Slovenia citizenship, and important tax details.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Explains everything about Slovenia citizenship

How to obtain Slovenia citizenship

All ways to obtain Slovenia citizenship: a comprehensive guide

7 ways to obtain Slovenia citizenship

1. Citizenship by birth. If you are born to one or both Slovenian parents in or outside of Slovenia, you usually qualify for citizenship by birth. 

2. Citizenship by application. If you have Slovenian parents or grandparents, you might be eligible for citizenship by descent. This method requires you to prove your Slovenian roots with documents like birth certificates and family records.

3. Citizenship by repatriation. This route is for those of Slovenian origin or their descendants who have emigrated. It involves proving Slovenian roots and meeting specific criteria set by the government.

4. Citizenship by investment. Slovenia allows citizenship by investment in certain cases. This involves making a financial contribution of ‚ā¨50,000 to the country‚Äôs economy, although this route is less common.

5. Citizenship by naturalisation. Living in Slovenia for several years can lead to citizenship. You need to show that you have been a resident for 10 years, understand the Slovenian language, and are integrated into society.

6. Citizenship by exceptional naturalisation. This applies to those contributing significantly to Slovenia’s national interest in areas like science, economy, and culture.

The applicant must live in Slovenia for at least one year, and conditions are less stringent. The government decides on these applications based on the opinion of competent authorities.

7. Citizenship by marriage. Marrying a Slovenian citizen can be a path to citizenship. This usually requires being married for at least three years and living in Slovenia for a year prior to submitting an application.

The practical guide on second citizenship for children's better future

Practical Guide

The practical guide on second citizenship for children's better future

Slovenia citizenship by birth

Slovenia citizenship can be acquired at birth in three ways: automatically, by application, and by adoption. A child automatically becomes a Slovenian citizen in the following cases:

  • at¬†birth, if¬†both parents are Slovenian citizens;

  • one parent is¬†a¬†Slovenian citizen, and the child is¬†born in¬†Slovenia;

  • one parent is¬†a¬†Slovenian citizen, and the other parent is¬†unknown, stateless, or¬†of¬†unknown nationality, and the child is¬†born abroad.

Citizenship registration for a child born in Slovenia is done automatically, while for those born abroad, it’s done automatically only under specific reciprocal agreements with the birth country. Otherwise, it requires a parental request with no set deadline.

Slovenia citizenship by application

For children born abroad to one Slovenian parent and one foreign parent, Slovenia citizenship is not automatic. Parents need to apply for it on their child’s behalf before the child turns 18.

If the child reaches adulthood without having Slovenia citizenship applied for, they have the opportunity to declare their intention to acquire citizenship themselves up until the age of 36.

This application or declaration for citizenship can be submitted at Slovenian diplomatic or consular offices abroad or directly to the relevant administrative units or the Ministry of the Interior in Slovenia.

Slovenia citizenship by repatriation

Citizenship by repatriation is for individuals who are of Slovenian origin but may have left Slovenia or were born abroad. This includes Slovenian expatriates or their descendants in a direct line up to the fourth degree.

To apply, you must have resided in Slovenia for a continuous period of at least one year and show that you or your ancestors were once Slovenian citizens or part of the Slovenian ethnic community.

This process involves providing documentation such as birth and marriage certificates and sometimes evidence of your or your ancestors' connection to the Slovenian community.

Citizenship by investment in Slovenia

Slovenia offers a pathway to citizenship that involves investment, but it’s important to note that this process primarily leads to residency rather than citizenship. Citizenship can be acquired later upon meeting the residing conditions.

Foreign investors can obtain the right to¬†reside in¬†Slovenia by¬†investing in¬†the country. This typically involves starting a¬†business or¬†investing in¬†a¬†specific economic sector and creating new jobs. The minimum investment required is¬†generally around ‚ā¨50,000.

The investment grants the foreigner a residence permit, usually valid for a year and renewable, which is the first step towards eventual citizenship.

To be eligible for Slovenia citizenship by investment, an individual first needs to become a permanent resident. Generally, it is possible after maintaining residency for 5 years. Following this, after a total of 10 years of continuous residence in Slovenia, an individual can be eligible for citizenship.

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Practical Guide

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Slovenia citizenship by naturalisation

Naturalisation is an option for those who have lived in Slovenia for a certain period. You are also required to show that you can speak Slovenian and have integrated into Slovenian society.

Residing requirements are the following:

  • 10¬†years, with a¬†continuous period of¬†5¬†years immediately before applying, is¬†the most common requirement;

  • 6¬†months of¬†residency in¬†Slovenia before applying is¬†required for those who have lost Slovenia citizenship by¬†release or¬†renunciation;

  • 5¬†years of¬†continuous residency in¬†Slovenia is¬†required for stateless persons and those granted refugee status;

  • 7¬†years of¬†residency, including a¬†continuous year before applying, is¬†required for individuals who have completed higher education in¬†Slovenia.

Those born and having resided in Slovenia since birth, or minors living in Slovenia whose parents have acquired Slovenia citizenship, can also apply.

Extraordinary naturalisation. This is an exceptional route where less stringent conditions apply, such as a one-year continuous residence in Slovenia. It is applicable for those whose naturalisation is in the national interest due to their contributions in various fields like science, culture, or economics. The beneficiary of extraordinary naturalisation may retain their original nationality.

Other criteria. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a clean criminal record, no threat to public order, security, or defence of Slovenia, and have settled tax obligations. Proficiency in the Slovenian language and respect for the country’s constitutional order are also essential.

Where to apply. Applications can be submitted at any administrative unit in Slovenia, and for extraordinary naturalisation, at the Ministry of the Interior or abroad at any Slovenian diplomatic mission or consulate.

Slovenia citizenship by marriage

The non-Slovenian spouse usually needs to have been married to a Slovenian citizen for 3 years. Additionally, they need to have resided in Slovenia for a year prior to submitting an application and may be required to demonstrate a certain level of integration into Slovenian society, such as language proficiency.

If an individual is married to a Slovenian citizen, they are not required to provide evidence of having renounced their previous citizenship.

However, the Slovenian Government must give its consent in the following cases:

  • if¬†renouncing citizenship of¬†their home country could put the individual‚Äôs life at¬†risk;

  • if¬†termination of¬†the original citizenship would result in¬†the loss of¬†ownership of¬†immovable property or¬†of¬†the right to¬†own immovable property.

7 benefits of holding a Slovenian passport

1. Freedom of travel. Slovenian citizens have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 169 countries and territories, making the Slovenian passport one of the most powerful in terms of travel freedom. This ranking places it 23rd overall in the world.

2. EU citizenship. A Slovenian passport grants its holder all the rights of an EU resident. This includes the freedom to choose residence in any EU country, the right to buy real estate in many EU countries without needing special permission, and the opportunity to study at EU universities.

3. Access to quality healthcare. Slovenian citizens have access to the country’s universal healthcare system, which is known for its high standards of care and comprehensive coverage.

4. Education opportunities. As¬†an¬†EU¬†member state, Slovenia offers its citizens access to¬†a¬†wide range of¬†educational opportunities, including the possibility to¬†study at¬†universities across the European Union, often on¬†preferential terms and sometimes even for free‚Äč.

5. Ease of doing business. Slovenian citizens can easily start and operate businesses within Slovenia and the EU, benefiting from the single market’s regulations and trade agreements.

6. Access to European banking. As a Slovenian citizen, you can secure loans from European banks, often at competitive rates. This access to reliable banking systems can be a significant advantage for personal finance management and business operations.

7. Safety and quality of life. Slovenia is known for its high quality of life, safety, and clean environment, making it an attractive place to live and raise a family.

Get a citizenship in Slovenia and explore its wonders

Tartini Square in Piran, Slovenia, lined with historic buildings

Dual citizenship in Slovenia

In Slovenia, the concept of dual citizenship is recognised but is subject to certain conditions. In general, when a person naturalises as a Slovenian citizen, they may be required to renounce their previous citizenship. However, exceptions are made in certain circumstances.

EU citizens. If an individual is a citizen of the European Union, they are not necessarily required to renounce their previous citizenship to become a Slovenian citizen, provided there is reciprocity between the countries.

Stateless individuals and special cases. Stateless persons and those who lose their original citizenship automatically upon naturalising in Slovenia are not required to provide proof of renunciation of their previous nationality. Similar provisions apply to certain other categories, such as minors or individuals whose renunciation of their original citizenship would put them at significant risk.

Dual citizenship by birth. In cases of citizenship by birth, a child born to one Slovenian and one foreign parent can have dual nationality, subject to the laws of the other country.

Slovenia’s laws do not provide for the automatic loss of Slovenian citizenship when its nationals acquire citizenship in another country. It is up to the other country to decide whether to ask the applicant to renounce their Slovenian passport.

Establishing residency in Slovenia before citizenship

Establishing residency in Slovenia is a key step towards applying for citizenship, and it involves obtaining either a temporary or permanent residence permit.

Temporary residence permit. You can apply for a¬†temporary residence permit if¬†you have valid reasons, such as¬†work, study, or¬†family reunification. Initially, this permit is¬†usually granted for one year but can be¬†extended for up¬†to¬†three years. You need to¬†demonstrate a¬†valid reason for your stay, like employment or¬†enrollment in¬†an¬†educational institution. The fee for a¬†temporary residence permit is¬†approximately ‚ā¨50.

Permanent residence permit. To apply for a permanent residence permit, you need to have resided in Slovenia continuously for five years with a temporary residence permit. This permit is valid for ten years and can be renewed.

Holders of¬†a¬†permanent residence permit receive similar benefits as¬†Slovenian citizens, including access to¬†work and education. The fee for a¬†permanent residence permit is¬†around ‚ā¨90.

Permanent residence registration certificate for EU citizens. An EU citizen can obtain a permanent registration certificate after legally and continuously residing in Slovenia for five years. Exceptions include absences from Slovenia for no more than six months per calendar year or once for not more than twelve consecutive months for important reasons.

Documents needed for Slovenia citizenship application

The documentation essential for applying for Slovenia citizenship varies depending on the type of application, such as naturalisation, citizenship by descent, etc. However, here is a general list of documents that are commonly required:

  • a¬†completed and signed application form specific to¬†the type of¬†citizenship application;

  • an¬†official birth certificate of¬†the applicant;

  • proof of¬†Slovenian ancestry, if¬†applicable¬†‚ÄĒ documents such as¬†birth certificates of¬†Slovenian parents or¬†grandparents, or¬†other official documents proving Slovenian descent;

  • documents demonstrating continuous and actual residence in¬†Slovenia for the required period, such as¬†a¬†residence registration certificate;

  • a¬†valid marriage certificate and proof of¬†duration of¬†marriage, if¬†applying based on¬†marriage to¬†a¬†Slovenian citizen;

  • proof of¬†proficiency in¬†the Slovenian language, usually through a¬†language test certificate;

  • criminal record certificate;

  • a¬†valid passport or¬†another travel document;

  • documents showing financial resources or¬†stable income;

  • documents proving that all tax obligations in¬†Slovenia have been settled;

  • oath of¬†allegiance¬†‚ÄĒ a¬†signed statement of¬†respect for the constitutional order of¬†Slovenia;

  • documents related to¬†the renunciation of¬†your current citizenship, if¬†required;

  • evidence of¬†valid health insurance coverage;

  • documents related to¬†employment or¬†studies in¬†Slovenia, if¬†applicable;

  • for minors, written consent from parents or¬†legal guardians.

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and additional documents may be required depending on individual circumstances and the specific pathway to citizenship.

How to apply for Slovenia citizenship

Applying for Slovenia citizenship involves a structured process, which typically spans from a year to a decade of residency in the country, depending on the specific pathway chosen, and then a few months of acquiring the citizenship. Here is a general step-by-step guide:

1

1 to 10 years

Fulfil residency conditions

Each pathway has its own conditions. For naturalisation, you typically need to have lived in Slovenia for 10 years, including five years continuously before application. For extraordinary naturalisation, you need to have resided in Slovenia for at least one year.

2

2 weeks

Gather required documents

Collect all necessary documentation, such as birth certificates, proof of Slovenian ancestry (if applicable), proof of residence in Slovenia, language proficiency evidence, a criminal record certificate, a valid passport, financial stability proof, tax compliance proof, and health insurance proof.

3

1 day

Submit the application

Lodge your application along with all required documents. The application can usually be submitted at a Slovenian diplomatic or consular office abroad, an administrative unit, or the Ministry of the Interior in Slovenia.

4

1 day

Pay the application fee

Pay any applicable fees associated with the citizenship application process. The official fee for registering for citizenship is¬†‚ā¨13.

5

Up to several months

Wait for the decision

After submitting your application, there will be a waiting period while your application is processed. The duration of this process can vary. You will be notified of the decision. If your application is successful, you will be given instructions on the final steps, such as taking an oath of allegiance.

6

1 week

Obtain personal identity documents

Once citizenship is granted, you may apply for Slovenian identity documents, such as a passport and an identity card.

7

Renounce previous citizenship, if required

Depending on your case and country of origin, you may be required to renounce your previous citizenship.

Сost of obtaining citizenship in Slovenia

The costs associated with applying for Slovenia citizenship and identity documents include various fees. The registration fee for citizenship is¬†‚ā¨13.

For passports, the fees are:

  • ‚ā¨115 for adults, 10-year validity;

  • ‚ā¨76 for children aged 3¬†to¬†18¬†years, 5-year validity;

  • ‚ā¨57 for children under 3¬†years, 3-year validity;

  • ‚ā¨47 for 1-year validity.

Identity card fees are:

  • ‚ā¨76 for adults from 18¬†to¬†70, 10-year validity;

  • ‚ā¨60 for children aged 3¬†to¬†18¬†years, 5-year validity;

  • ‚ā¨44 for children under 3¬†years, 3-year validity;

  • ‚ā¨76 for people older than 70, permanent card.

Admission to¬†and release from citizenship costs ‚ā¨354, and a¬†declaratory decision on¬†citizenship or¬†renunciation costs ‚ā¨181.

Losing and reinstating Slovenia citizenship

In Slovenia, the loss and reinstatement of citizenship are governed by specific rules and procedures. An individual may lose Slovenia citizenship in two main ways: release and renunciation.

By release. Slovenia citizenship can be terminated upon request if the individual is over 18, resides abroad, has no military service obligations, has settled all tax and maintenance liabilities in Slovenia, and is not involved in ongoing criminal proceedings in Slovenia. Additionally, they must already have another nationality or prove that they will acquire one.

By renunciation. Individuals born abroad and holding another citizenship may renounce Slovenia citizenship before they reach 25 years of age. This is done through a personal written declaration at a Slovenian diplomatic or consular office abroad or at an administrative unit in Slovenia.

For minors. A child under 18 can lose Slovenia citizenship if requested by both parents whose citizenship has ceased by way of release or if one parent has ceased to be a Slovenian citizen and the other is not a Slovenian citizen.

If parents live separately, the child ceases to be a citizen if the parent they live with requests it and also applies for release from Slovenia citizenship themselves. Consent from the other parent is typically required, unless overridden for the child’s best interests by the ministry responsible for family and social affairs.

For adopted children. The citizenship of an adopted child under 18 can be terminated upon request if the adoptive parent is a foreign national or is applying for release from Slovenia citizenship.

Reinstating Slovenia citizenship typically involves a specific application process for those who have previously renounced or lost their citizenship. This process may require demonstrating continued residency in Slovenia for at least six months before submitting an application.

Tax considerations for Slovenian citizens

Slovenian citizens are subject to various taxes, including Value Added Tax (VAT), corporate income tax, personal income tax, social security contributions, property tax, movable property transfer tax, and capital gains tax.

VAT, personal income tax, and corporate income tax in Slovenia are broadly aligned with European averages. The standard VAT rate is 22%, with a reduced rate of 9.5% for certain items, which is slightly higher than the EU average of around 21%.

Personal income taxes are progressive, ranging from 16 to 50%. Corporate income tax is set at 19%, which is below the EU average of 21.9%. 

Social security contributions are divided between employers at 16.1% and employees at 22.1%, a division similar to that in many other European nations. 

Other taxes, like capital gains tax, vary from 0 to 25%, depending on the holding period. The Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia is responsible for the collection of these taxes and charges.

Slovenia’s approach to refugees and stateless persons seeking citizenship

Slovenia has a structured approach to supporting refugees and stateless persons, which aligns with its obligations as a signatory to the Geneva Convention and as a member of the European Union.

Slovenia offers international protection, including refugee status and subsidiary protection, to individuals who are not protected in their home countries or places of habitual residence. This protection is provided to those who face systematic persecution due to their political views, religion, race, nationality, or ethnic origin, or who fear serious harm upon return to their home country.

Refugee status may be granted to persons with credible proof of persecution in their countries of origin based on race, ethnic origin, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Those granted refugee status receive a permanent residence permit in Slovenia.

Subsidiary protection is offered to individuals who do not qualify for refugee status but face a significant risk of serious harm if they return to their country of origin. This protection is also granted in cases of a serious threat to life or freedom due to indiscriminate violence in situations of international or internal armed conflict in the country of origin. Subsidiary protection comes with a temporary residence permit.

Application process. Foreigners seeking international protection must express their intention as soon as possible after entering Slovenia to any public authority or local community authority. The police will then process the individual to establish their identity and transfer them to the Asylum Centre to file an application for international protection.

Slovenia provides various integration assistance programs for beneficiaries of international protection. This includes accommodation, a cash allowance, language courses, education cost coverage, and more. There are also specific programs for non-EU foreigners to facilitate their integration into Slovenian society, including language and culture courses.

Naturalisation for stateless persons and refugees. Stateless persons and those with refugee status may acquire Slovenia citizenship through naturalisation if they have resided in Slovenia for a continuous period of five years.

Key points about Slovenia citizenship

  1. Multiple citizenship paths. Slovenia offers various citizenship routes, including birth, repatriation, marriage, naturalisation, investment, and others.

  2. Slovenian passport benefits. Slovenia citizenship provides significant advantages like EU citizenship, travel freedom, and access to a high-quality healthcare and education system.

  3. Investment opportunities. Citizenship or¬†residency by¬†investment of¬†‚ā¨50,000, though a¬†less common route, is¬†a¬†viable option for those looking to¬†contribute economically to¬†Slovenia.

  4. Dual citizenship conditions. Slovenia recognises dual citizenship under specific circumstances, offering flexibility for various individual situations.

  5. The path to citizenship can take up to 10 years. If you seek to acquire a second passport in a more timely manner, you may want to check out other citizenship by investment programs.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise ‚ÄĒ schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently asked questions

  • How can you get Slovenia citizenship?

    Slovenia citizenship can be obtained by birth, by naturalisation, by marriage, by application, by repatriation, by investment, or through extraordinary naturalisation in cases of national interest.

  • How long do you have to live in Slovenia to become a citizen?

    To be eligible for naturalisation, an individual typically needs to have lived in Slovenia for 10 years, including a continuous period of five years before the application.

  • How do I get permanent residency in Slovenia?

    Permanent residency can be obtained after five years of continuous legal residence in Slovenia. Specific requirements vary based on individual circumstances.

  • Can you get Slovenia citizenship through investment?

    Slovenia does not currently offer a citizenship-by-investment program. However, Slovenia offers a pathway to residency through investment, and later you can become a citizen.

  • Does Slovenia allow dual citizenship?

    Slovenia allows dual citizenship under certain circumstances, such as for individuals who are citizens of another EU country, stateless persons, or those who obtain citizenship by birth or extraordinary naturalisation.