As a third country national*, you can generally find employment or work in Slovenia only if you obtain a work permit.
A work permit is a document which allows you to conclude an employment or work contract with an employer in a certain country. The permit is usually issued on the basis of the employer’s application and allows you to work only for the employer that requested the permit.
In special cases, you can also apply for the work permit yourself. Thus you obtain a personal work permit, which gives you a free choice of employment or work during the period of validity. You also apply for a personal work permit in the case of self-employment.
!!! If you only have an employment contract and no work permit, such a contract is null and void and sanctioned by the Labour Inspectorate.
There are three main types of work permits:
- personal work permit,
- employment permit
- permit for work.
1. PERSONAL WORK PERMIT
You apply for a personal work permit yourself and it gives you a free choice of work or employment. It is also the basis for obtaining a residence permit, issued by the Slovenian diplomatic mission or consular post in your country or the relevant administrative unit in Slovenia.
You can apply for a one-year personal work permit if:
- you are lawfully resident in Slovenia when the application is lodged,
- you have been lawfully residing in Slovenia for at least one year continuously before the registration or application,
- you provide proof of personal financial resources in the amount of 10,000 euro
- you provide proof of ownership of business property or offices or a relevant tenancy agreement for this property.
The personal work permit can be renewed several times for the period of no more than one year. You can lodge the application for renewal no sooner than 60 and no later than 30 days before the personal work permit expires.
You can also apply for a personal work permit for self-employment, which allows you to be registered as a sole proprietor, an individual performing business activities or to establish a company.
You can also obtain a three-year personal work permit, but only under certain conditions. You can find more information on obtaining a three-year work permit on the website Infotujci.si.
Personal work permit for special categories of foreign nationals
You can obtain a personal work permit if you are an applicant for international protection*, person under temporary protection, victim of human trafficking, victim of illegal employment or person under subsidiary protection*.
Personal work permit on the basis of an international treaty
A personal work permit can also be issued in cases and for a period specified by a legally binding international treaty concluded with the Republic of Slovenia.
2. EMPLOYMENT PERMIT
An employment permit is a work permit pertaining to the employer’s needs of permanent employment. This means that the permit can only be issued on the basis of the employer’s application for the period of one year with the possibility of renewal. This permit allows you to be employed only by the employer that acquired your permit and only for the work for which the permit was issued.
The employment permit is issued only if there are no suitable unemployed residents of Slovenia in the records of the Employment Service of Slovenia (ESS). However, this does not apply to:
- shortage occupations – occupations in demand on the Slovenian labour market,
- sportspersons, cultural workers, foreign language professionals, researchers, family members of a foreign national with higher education etc.
Instead of a written statement of the ESS, the opinion of the relevant authority is submitted, such as:
- the relevant ministry, in cases of employment of a foreign expert, teacher, professor, foreign language professional, cultural worker;
- The Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federation, in cases of employment of a sportsperson, coach.
3. PERMIT FOR WORK
In general, it is the employer that applies for the permit for work. The permit is valid for the period of time and work for which it was issued. The permit for work is issued for special categories of work, such as:
- education and training of foreign nationals,
- company training,
- training of Slovenian workers,
- season work* of foreign nationals,
- work of foreign representatives,
- individual services of foreign nationals etc.
The assessment of the labour market situation is not required in order to obtain the permit for work.
!!! Work permit and residence permit are two different documents.
When you obtain the required work permit, you will also need a residence permit. Work permit and residence permit are two different documents. The work permit allows you to find employment or work in Slovenia and is issued by the Employment Service of Slovenia (ESS). And a residence permit allows you to enter and reside in Slovenia. The application for the first temporary residence permit must be lodged with the diplomatic mission or consular post of the Republic of Slovenia in your home country. You can later obtain the renewal at the relevant administrative unit in Slovenia.
To obtain a residence permit, you need the following supporting documentation:
- employment contract,
- work permit,
- certified copy of your passport,
- net salary confirmation letter,
- commercial health insurance policy.
!!! In order to obtain a residence permit, you must also provide sufficient grounds or reasons for staying in Slovenia and fulfil certain conditions to obtain a particular type of residence permit (for instance, a work permit in order to obtain a residence permit for reasons of employment or work).
If you have higher education and are looking for high-skilled employment*, you can apply for a Blue Card, which allows you to enter and reside in Slovenia. The Blue Card acts as a single work and residence permit. You can apply for it at the diplomatic mission or consular post of the Republic of Slovenia in your home country or alternatively, your employer can apply for it at the relevant administrative unit in Slovenia.
The administrative unit requests approval from the Employment Service of Slovenia for the issue or renewal of the Blue Card, which gives its decision within 30 days.
Some of the conditions for obtaining a Blue Card:
- valid travel document,
- adequate health insurance,
- necessary higher education,
- employment contract, signed by the employer with the duration of at least one year,
- no suitable unemployed residents of Slovenia in the records of the Employment Service etc.
You can find more information on the Blue Card on the website of the Employment Service of Slovenia.
You have the same rights and obligations arising from the employment relationship as Slovenian workers in Slovenia. When you enter into an employment relationship, you have the obligation to register for health insurance. In the case of personal work permit, you have to obtain health insurance yourself, otherwise it is your employer’s responsibility.
The application must be made within 15 days after the residence permit was obtained or within 10 days if you had already obtained the Slovenian residence permit before the work permit was issued.
In addition to the completed M form*, you must also submit a validated PD-1 form, employment contract, work permit and residence permit to the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, in order to apply for social insurance. Later you must also obtain a Slovenian tax ID number, open a personal bank account etc.
You can find more information on social rights in Slovenia on the website of the European Commission.