In 2020, 12 000 new immigrants obtained a residence permit longer than 12 months in Slovenia (excluding EU citizens), -37.5% compared to 2019. This figure comprises 56.5% labour migrants, 41.8% family members (including accompanying family), 0.5% who came for education reasons and 1.1% other migrants. Around 1 800 short-term permits were issued to international students and 3 000 to temporary and seasonal labour migrants (excluding intra-EU migration). In addition, 11 000 intra-EU postings were recorded in 2020, a decrease of -34% compared to 2019. These posted workers are generally on short-term contracts.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2020. Among the top 15 countries of origin, Italy registered the strongest increase (500) and Bosnia and Herzegovina the largest decrease (-4 100) in flows to Slovenia compared to the previous year.

In 2021, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 50.6% to reach around 5 200. The majority of applicants came from Afghanistan (2 600), Pakistan (500) and Iran (300). The largest increase since 2020 concerned nationals of Afghanistan (1900) and the largest decrease nationals of Morocco (-1 100). Of the 180 decisions taken in 2021, 9% were positive.

An amendment to the Foreigners Act, which took effect in May 2021, tightened the conditions for all types of residence permits in Slovenia. The government will no longer consider reimbursements for work-related expenses as well as a number of other social benefits when assessing whether applicants possess sufficient means of substance. The amendment further envisages a Slovenian language requirement at A1 level under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) for the extension of a temporary residence permit for family reunification and at A2 level for permanent residence permits after a two-year transitional period. In addition, public language and integration courses will only be offered to certain categories of migrants and participants will have to bear half of the costs. Another major change allows applicants, on certain conditions, to collect their first residence permit in Slovenia instead of at a consular post abroad. Furthermore, the mandate for all integration measures for third-country nationals (TCNs) was transferred from the Ministry of the Interior to the Office for Support and Integration of Migrants.

The amendment transposed the Students and Researchers Directive 2016/801/EU by introducing new types of residence permits for, inter alia, trainees and volunteers as well as a mobility scheme for researchers and students with residence permits from other EU member states. In addition, scholarships are included in the assessment of sufficient means of substance required for a study permit.

In November 2021, an amendment to the International Protection Act aimed at better enforcing international protection procedures became applicable. It introduced the possibility to appeal against resolutions to the Supreme Court and imposed requirements on legal counsellors to disclose information about the identity of asylum seekers. To incentivise a better integration of refugees, the amendment conditions certain rights on integration achievements. In addition, it shortened the period during which refugees are entitled to integration assistance from three to two years. Finally, the amendment extended the accommodation possibilities for unaccompanied minors.

As of 2021, an amendment to the Labour Market Regulation Act requires that unemployed TCNs who have not received any formal education in the country pass an A1 level Slovenian language exam within one year of registration in the unemployment register. Due to COVID-19 related difficulties in the implementation of the exam, the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs granted a six-month extension of the deadline to people unable to take the exam before December 2021.

To contain the spread of COVID-19 infections, Slovenia implemented a number of entry and quarantine requirements for nationals and foreigners. As of February 2022, these conditions no longer apply when entering the country.

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