Slovenian Citizenship Requirements

By John Costa

Slovenian citizenship can be acquired by origin or through naturalization. Citizenship acquired by origin means that a person is automatically granted citizenship through their parents or at birth, through consent, or through adoption. Eligible persons can also apply for citizenship based on residence in Slovenia and other conditions outlined in legislation.

Automatic Citizenship

Slovenian citizenship is automatically granted if at least one parent is a citizen of Slovenia and the child is born in the Republic of Slovenia. Automatic citizenship is also granted to any person born in or outside the country when both parents are citizens of Slovenia. Citizenship may also be granted to a person who was born to at least one parent who is a citizen of Slovenia and the citizenship of the other parent is unknown at the time. An adoptive child may also acquire Slovenian citizenship if at least one adoptive parent is a citizen of Slovenia.

Citizenship Through Consent

If a person is born in a foreign country to a Slovenian parent, citizenship can be obtained on the basis of consent for citizenship. A child born abroad to one parent who is a Slovenian citizen and another parent who is a foreign citizen must be registered for citizenship with the Ministry of the Interior or a Slovenian consular office abroad. If the child is not registered at birth or by their parents until the age of 18, the person may register for citizenship until the age of 36.

Citizenship Through Naturalization

Acquiring citizenship by naturalization is possible if a person has been living in Slovenia for at least 10 years and for five continuous years before making an application for citizenship. Applicants must also be at least 18 years of age, have a valid residence permit, demonstrate financial independence and good character without outstanding tax obligations or certain criminal convictions, and have command of the Slovene language by passing a basic level language exam. Foreign citizenship must also be renounced or proof must be provided that foreign citizenship will be automatically lost upon becoming a Slovenian citizen. The applicant must also declare that they agree to abide to the Slovenian legal system.

Naturalization Exemptions

Applications for citizenship can also be made if a person is married to a Slovenian citizen for at least two years after residing in Slovenia for at least one year. Citizenship by naturalization may also be possible if a person lost Slovenian citizenship due to renunciation of or release from citizenship, or is a Slovenian expatriate or a descendant of an expatriate after living in Slovenia for at least one year. Citizenship may also be acquired if a person does not have any citizenship and is considered stateless person, or is a refugee. Citizenship may also be granted if a person attended and successfully completed a university study program in Slovenia. Children under the age of 18 of parents who are naturalized may apply for citizenship if the minor has also been living in Slovenia or was born in Slovenia to non-Slovenian parents and has been living in Slovenia since birth.

Exceptional Naturalization

Slovenian citizenship may be given based on the national interests, including scientific, economic or cultural reasons. In order to qualify for exceptional naturalization, a person must reside in Slovenia for at least one year and be 18 years of age or older. The person must also provide evidence of financial independence, not be convicted of certain crimes and hold a valid residence permit. Applicants must also demonstrate they are of good character without any tax obligations, pose no security, public order or defense threat, and declare that they will abide by Slovenia's laws.