On 28 March 2023, following an urgent procedure, the National Assembly adopted the Act Amending the Foreigners Act (hereinafter: “Amendment“), which entered into force on 27 April 2023, the day after its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia.
The Foreigners Act (hereinafter: “ZTuj-2“) defines the conditions and means of entry, exit and stay of foreigners in the Republic of Slovenia, whereby the main solutions brought by the Amendment of ZTuj-2 are the following:
- the date on which the provision pursuant to which the extension of the temporary residence permit for family members of foreigners and the issuance of a permanent residence permit will require passing a Slovenian language examination shall enter into force has been postponed to 1 November 2024, whereby in the meanwhile the following transitional period shall apply: (i) in the period between 27 April 2023 and 27 October 2023 the condition of knowledge of the Slovenian language does not yet have to be met; (ii) in the period between 28 October 2023 to 31 October 2024, only in the proceedings regarding the extension of the residence permit due to family reunification, a certificate of participation in the program of learning the Slovenian language and knowledge of the Slovenian society at the entry level will have to be submitted; (iii) as of 1 November 2024 in the procedure for extending a temporary residence permit due to family reunification and in the procedure for issuing a permanent residence permit, a certificate of successfully passing the Slovenian language examination will have to be submitted;
- reintroduction of free financing of Slovenian language courses for all categories of foreigners who were entitled to free financing of courses before the adoption of ZTuj-2F;
- in order to relieve burden of the administrative units the possibility of serving temporary residence permits issued in the process of extending or issuing a further temporary residence permit and permanent residence permits personally also by post is being added;
- the storage of biometric data on the foreigner’s facial image and fingerprints is also envisaged for the purpose of uniquely identifying foreigners in the procedure for the renewal and issuance of a further temporary residence permit and in cases of extending the certificate on the rights of frontier worker;
- change in the concept of decision-making on working-post changes with the same employer, changes of employer or employment with two or more employers, namely the abolition of the written approval in the form of a decision, which is being substituted by the consent from the Employment Service of the Republic of Slovenia;
- the introduction of a »one-stop-shop« for the residence and work permit procedure, in accordance with which the foreigner or his/her employer submits a single application for a single residence and work permit to the administrative unit or to the competent diplomatic representation or consulate of the Republic of Slovenia abroad;
- the possibility of crossing the state border in cases where a foreigner has applied for the extension or further issuance of a residence permit and the application has not yet been decided, however, the foreigner has left the territory of the Republic of Slovenia, is being added, which allows foreigners, who do not require a visa to enter the Republic of Slovenia, to enter the Republic of Slovenia for the purpose for which they will be issued a temporary residence permit while the application is being decided;
- the abolition of the obligatory six-monthly ex officio verification of the condition of sufficient means of subsistence by the administrative unit.
The Amendment emphasizes the principle of economy of the procedure and pursues the goal of eliminating unnecessary administrative obstacles, thereby providing a basis for faster resolution of administrative cases under ZTuj-2 within the jurisdiction of administrative units, which will significantly contribute to reducing backlogs in this area.