In 2018, 18 000 new immigrants obtained a residence permit longer than 12 months in Slovenia (excluding EU citizens), 55% more than in 2017. This figure comprises 72.2% labour migrants, 26.3% family members (including accompanying family), 0.7% who came for education reasons and 0.8% other migrants. Around 2 100 short-term permits were issued to international students and 8 300 to temporary and seasonal labour migrants (excluding intra-EU migration). In addition, 9 200 intra-EU postings were recorded in 2018, an increase of 46.9% compared to 2017. These posted workers are generally on short-term contracts.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and North Macedonia were the top three origins of newcomers in 2018.

In 2019, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 29.1%, to reach around 3 600. The majority of applicants came from Algeria (1 000), Morocco (700) and Pakistan (500). The largest increase since 2018 concerned nationals of Morocco (+600) and the largest decrease nationals of Pakistan (-300). Of the 200 decisions taken in 2019, 39.5% were positive.

Slovenia transposed the European Union’s directive on intra-corporate transferees (ICT) into national law in 2018. Non-EU managers, experts or trainees who are transferred within the same group of companies to a Slovenian office may apply for ICT permits and holders of EU ICT permits issued in another EU country may be transferred to an affiliated office in Slovenia for up to 90 days by notifying labor authorities or, for longer than 90 days, by applying for a long-term ICT permit.

In April 2018, new amendments to the Employment, Self-Employment and Work of Aliens Act (ZZSDT) were implemented as a result of the adoption of the Investment Promotion Act. The “fast track” procedure was established to allow employers of high-value-added companies or start-up companies to ease and speed up the recruitment of foreigners. For these companies, the process of obtaining a single residence and work permit does not require to check all the conditions to hire foreigners.

In July 2018, Slovenia lifted work permit requirements for Croatian immigrants so Slovenian employers no longer have to apply for work permits to hire Croatian employees. The monthly minimum wage for local and foreign workers in Slovenia increased by 6% in 2020 to EUR 940.58. Employers with pending work authorisation applications, new or renewed, will need to adjust the level of salary.

Slovenia remains a transit country, as most migrants trying to reach the western part of the EU from Turkey use either the central route via Serbia or the route stemming from the Greek- Albanian border, along the Bosnian and Herzegovinian – Croatian – Slovenian corridor. In June 2019, the Italian and Slovenian Border Police signed an agreement to foster the fight against irregular migration on the Balkan route. It will more specifically involve the implementation of mixed patrolling at the border between the two countries. Austria decided to reintroduce temporary border control at the Slovenian border from 12 November 2018 and extended its decision for an additional six months from mid-May to mid-November 2019. Continuous secondary movements and public safety motivated these decisions.

In October 2019, the Constitutional Court cancelled the amendments passed in January 2017 that would have effectively allowed the country to suspend asylum law in special circumstances if endorsed by a majority in parliament.

Slovenia reacted to the COVID-19 crisis by providing multilingual information and medical care to immigrants and by covering all costs of their diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19, even for those who are not insured in the public health system.

In addition, Slovenia offered immigrants the possibility to remain in the country and extended permits until 9 July, 2020, while quarantine for all new arrivals was mandatory. Slovenia temporarily stopped issuing new residence permits but urgent asylum applications were considered. Applications for international protection will be lodged only when the quarantine period ends and medical examination may be conducted. All personal interviews are temporarily cancelled and many on-site services related to the asylum procedure are suspended but remote procedures continue. No suspension nor restrictions regarding the Dublin procedure are applied, but transfers are very rare owing to closed airports.

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