Naturalizing as a Slovene Citizen

Bled. Photo: Darinka Mladenovič

A person may acquire Slovenian citizenship by naturalisation upon satisfying the following conditions:

  • a total of 10 years residence in Slovenia, including 5 years continuous residence before the application
  • renunciation of foreign citizenship (or providing proof it will automatically be lost).
  • competency in the Slovenian language
  • good character
  • aged at least 18
  • sufficiently established in Slovenia so as not to require welfare payments

Adult applicants are to file an application for granting of citizenship with the Ministry of the Interior in Ljubljana, with one of Slovenia’s administrative units or with the competent diplomatic/consular representation of the Republic of Slovenia abroad.

Exceptions to the requirements for naturalisation

  • those who have emigrated from Slovenia (and those of Slovenian ancestry up to the fourth generation in direct descent) may be naturalised after one year's residence in Slovenia. Renunciation of foreign citizenship is not required under this concession.
  • a person who is married to a Slovenian citizen for at least three years may be naturalised after one year's residence in Slovenia
  • the requirement to renounce foreign citizenship may be waived upon special application.
  • a general waiver to the naturalisation requirements can be made based on the national interests of Slovenia
  • a person of "Slovenian origin" up to the fourth generation in direct descent or a former Slovenian citizen may be naturalised without any residence requirements. The application for Slovenian citizenship can be lodged with a Slovenian diplomatic mission from abroad. In this case, the applicant is required to prove his/her active ties with the Republic of Slovenia, i.e. his/her active participation over several years in Slovenian associations, Slovenian language schools, expatriate or national minority organisations. The Government Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Slovenes Abroad, which is the authority competent for evaluating the existence of national reasons in concrete terms, gives a positive opinion in cases when the applicant is a person of Slovenian origin and when he/she has proven the existence of his/her active ties with the Republic of Slovenia.

Children aged under 18 can normally be naturalised alongside their parent, if resident in Slovenia. Those aged 14 or over must normally give their own consent.

Citizenship by birth and adoption

A child born in Slovenia is a Slovenian citizen if either parent is a Slovenian citizen. Where the child is born outside Slovenia the child will be automatically Slovenian if:

  • both parents are Slovenian citizens; or
  • one parent is Slovenian and the other parent is unknown and/or of unknown citizenship the other is stateless.

A person born outside Slovenia with one Slovenian parent who is not Slovenian automatically may acquire Slovenian citizenship through:

  • an application for registration as a Slovenian citizen made at any time before age 36; or
  • taking up permanent residence in Slovenia before age 18.

Children adopted by Slovenian citizens may be granted Slovenian citizenship.

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is generally permitted in Slovenia, except for certain persons seeking to become Slovenian citizens by naturalisation. However Slovenian citizens who have another nationality may be deprived of Slovenian citizenship in certain circumstances.