How to get Slovenian citizenship for entrepreneurs and ancestors

Written by Andrew Henderson
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Last updated: September 20, 2020
Dateline: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

One of our absolute favorite European countries here at Nomad Capitalist is Slovenia. 

And while the debate on whether it’s “Little Austria” or a country in the far western Balkans is still on, no one can dispute just how gorgeous the country is. 

Slovenia’s capital city of Ljubljana drips with as much charm as any other city in Europe, and Lake Bled and its surrounding mountainous area should make it to everyone’s bucket list. 

For years, Italy and Slovenia feuded under the usual auspices of western Europe vs. Cold War Eastern Europe. 

But today, Slovenia is not only part of the eurozone and the European Union. It feels like it’s an equally advanced country as its neighbors to the west. 

In some ways, it’s even superior to its neighbors; service in Ljubljana puts service in Spain and the United Kingdom to shame. 

Banks, while not perfect safe havens, are efficient and direct. Real estate isn’t as cheap as in Budapest but is still affordable and of good quality.

Overall, Slovenia is one of the best-guarded secrets in Europe. How would you like to become its citizen?

It’s quite possible, if you have ancestry in the country or if you’re willing to invest in a local business and then wait to become naturalized. 

Let’s find out about both of these options in more detail. 

About Slovenian citizenship

As part of the European Union, Slovenia has an excellent passport that’s ranked as 12th best in the world. 

In total, a Slovenian passport offers access to 180 countries and territories. Slovenians can visit the United States, Canada, and Australia without a visa, as well as enjoying the freedom of movement throughout all of Europe.

Unlike Italy or other bankrupt European countries, most people don’t know a lot about Slovenia. That, luckily, means prejudices and stereotypes are not an issue for those holding Slovenian passports.

In other words, there are much worse second citizenships out there. 

To become a Slovenian citizen, you must start as a Slovenian resident, maintain a residence in Slovenia (even if it’s a rented room), and spend the requisite amount of time in the country each year.

There are exceptions to the residency policy which makes the residency process even easier.

Once you are a resident, you can apply for naturalization and obtain a Slovenian passport within 10 years, in most cases. 

Slovenia does require you to renounce your current citizenship, although there are some loopholes to keeping your existing nationality as well as obtaining future ones later.

Slovenian citizenship for entrepreneurs

Anyone can become a Slovenian resident by starting a local business and investing the required €7,500 in paid-up capital. 

Once your company is up and running, you can merely apply for a residency permit to run the company.

Ideally, your business will hire at least one Slovenian worker, although that is not necessarily required, and can be done later on. If you need to hire staff, Slovenia may not be as affordable as some eastern European countries but is still quite affordable when compared to western Europe.

So, long as you keep your nose clean and your company earns enough in profits to pay you a livable wage – €1,000 a month is a good place to start – you should have no problem having your residence permit renewed after the first year and every few years thereafter.

Personal income tax rates in Slovenia can be as high as 50% but are far lower on basic salaries. 

You will need to pay social security tax on your salary; an owner-employee earning small profits and a basic salary should expect to pay around €4,000 to €5,000 a year in taxes.

If your business grows, corporate taxes are a more respectable 17%, which is moderately low for Europe.

After 10 years of permanent residency in Slovenia, you can apply to become a citizen so long as you have some ability to speak the language. 

The interesting part is that, if your business requires you to travel throughout Europe, you may be able to avoid being considered a tax resident in Slovenia if you spend fewer than 183 days in the country.

Slovenian citizenship for investors

In response to countries like Latvia that allow investors to obtain residency merely by making a six-figure bank deposit, the Slovenian government allows “persons of means” to bypass the requirement to start a company.

In this case, you’d get Slovenian residence, and subsequent citizenship, by showing bank statements proving that you have sufficient funds not to become a burden on the society.

This is not a pre-fab program, and eligibility is subject to approval by the local authorities. 

The residency process is the same as for entrepreneurs but without the ongoing compliance and taxation of running a business. 

If you’re interested in learning more about this option and have the ability to deposit a six-figure sum, feel free to contact us for help.

And finally, unlike other countries, there currently is no way to obtain residence in Slovenia by purchasing real estate there. 

Slovenian citizenship by descent

Provided you can show personal ties with Slovenia and its culture, you can go back up to two generations to prove Slovenian ancestry and apply for a passport. 

In the case of citizenship by descent, you don’t need to demonstrate any period of residency in Slovenia, although you will need to demonstrate why you should be naturalized.

Note that Slovenians by descent will be required to give up their current citizenship, although a few exceptions apply.

If you think you might be eligible to apply for this European passport based on your heritage and want some help, you’ve come to the right place. 

We recently started offering a service that helps people claim their Slovenian citizenship by descent. 

We’d help you confirm eligibility, collect documents (from your country and from Slovenia), deal with the bureaucracy, and file for citizenship alongside our trusted lawyers and agents on the ground. 

You can learn more about our premium citizenship by descent service here.

Slovenian citizenship by marriage

There is one final way for obtaining a Slovenian citizenship and that’s by marrying.

Overall, marrying a foreigner is a great way to obtain a second citizenship, so long as you do it for the right reasons.

Marrying a Slovenian national offers one of the fastest paths to citizenship in Europe; you only need to prove that you’ve been married to a Slovenian for two years and reside in the country for one year before applying for citizenship. 

You will still need to speak Slovenian, although you should have the benefit of 24/7 tutoring, for free.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: Sep 20, 2020 at 5:48PM

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31 Comments

  1. efe

    Thanks for the article Andrew. Basicly, if i want to live in Slovenia by starting a business, should i hire a worker and profit 1000 euro per month? That’s it?

    Reply
      • bangari subhash

        Hi can you explain how can I start and be a Slovenian by starting a company

        [email protected]

        Reply
        • Stasa Momcilovic

          Hello Bangari, thank you for your comment!
          If you are interested you can send us your application and we’ll see how we can help you.
          Here is the link https://nomadcapitalist.com/apply

          Reply
  2. andysuth

    What are the schools and universities like?
    How easy is it for a family speaking only English to learn Slovenian?
    I’m thinking of Brexile.

    Reply
    • Kate

      If you speak another Slavic language not bad – if not it will be difficult.

      Reply
  3. Joseph Jereb

    I have not been able to confirm citizenship through ancestry on any Slovenian government site. The best I could find was a suggestion that you might qualify if you have been actively involved in an expatriate Slovenian cultural community–speak the language, eat ptitsa, etc. Has anyone been able to confirm the process for ancestry-based citizenship?

    Reply
  4. Hamza Madridist

    Hi Andrews, Actually im about to start a business with my brother in slovenia and my brother asked if he can move to United States to live there for 2 years or more after getting his residency permit in slovenia. Is he can do that or not please?

    Reply
  5. kenny

    hi andrew ,
    I have a residence permit for Slovenia as mentioned above through a company basis. But its costing me a lot paying the taxes monthly. Could you tell me how can i deposit 6 figure into a bank and obtain residence permit and this way i will not be running a company and paying unnecessary taxes. Thanks

    Reply
  6. casmiro

    Hi
    My name is Casmiro. I am british and wish to have a second passport preferably in an EU country. I cannot move out of Britain for the moment as I like and work and my family is based here. Is there an EU country which can grant me citizenship without me living there, as I am unable to move my family due to their schooling and other requirements.
    thanks
    Cas

    Reply
  7. Mehdi Ali

    Hello,

    I am Pakistani and at present I am in Middle East and working here, please send your details so I can send you an email and talk about the procedures. I am ready to pay taxes per year but If i can be exempted from staying at the moment?

    Reply
  8. Ameer

    I am interested in having a 2nd passport but need an expert assistance. I am from pakistan based in saudi arabia. Let me know if there is any chance via investment or enterpreuner path. Also is there any other way like paying taxes not physically staying inside country. Let me know complete procedure, time , money and any other requirements.

    Looking forward to hear from you soon

    Reply
  9. Amit

    I am an Indian citizen working in UAE with around 3000 eur per month salary. I have around 55000 euros in my bank account . I wish to settle in slovenia while doing job in Dubai. Is it possible?

    Reply
  10. Rahul sobyi

    I would like to start business in slovenia please help me out

    Reply
  11. Amna

    Has anyone been able to confirm Slovenian citizenship based on ancestry. Is it necessary to give up current citizenship

    Reply
    • Jere

      I am also searching for the answer to this question…any help would be great!

      Reply
    • fatima

      i am also looking this answer because my family belong to Yugoslavia and hoping to get EU citizenship based on my ancestors

      Reply
      • Adnan khan

        I would like to start business in slovenia can you help me pls

        Reply
    • Bangari subhash

      Will Repatriation program of slovenia works for me even though I do not have Ancestry connections with slovenia. Is that what you lawyers gonna prove to slovenia by documents that I am Slovenian. Just asking

      Reply
      • KANDADAI SESHADRI VASU

        Yeah I heard the same passportes.com is offering this option, can we trust them.

        Reply
        • Raj

          Please be aware that passportes.com is a scam site luring customers into Slovenia citizenship. After extracting anything between 20-40k euros, they stop attending calls and block the customers. The scam is run by three people, Martin Bukovic, who attends calls, Saso Ornik, who prepares fake documents and Gregor Hieng, who executes fake contracts with customers through his company HRG.d.o.o. Please beware of them

          Reply
  12. Idahosa Charles

    I would love to form an online institute in Slovenia and work online. Also obtaining residency.

    Reply
  13. Danny

    I own a house in Slovenia which I have had for over 10 years. How easy is it for me to obtain citizenship. Also will my income outside of Slovenia be taxable in Slovenia. Finally how would Slovenian citizenship – therefore dual nationality effect any inheritance tax calculations. Would it only be my Slovenian assets or all my assets in the UK as well

    Reply
  14. Ernie

    Hi I am a Canadian citizen and my father was born in Slovenia how difficult is it for me to get Slovenian citizenship

    Reply
  15. Anna

    If you want to get a Slovene passport, you will need to pass the language test. This blog is nice, but in reality is not so easy. Itćs better to go and research on the government pages. A Slovene passport is not easy to get.

    Reply
  16. Sohaib

    Dear Sir/Madam
    I hope you are going well.
    I am Sohaib from Pakistan, i am doing business in Pakistan since, i want to get business residence of Schengen country.
    Please guide which 1 country is easy to get business activity.
    Thanks

    Reply
  17. Luis Estrada

    Hello, I watch your YouTube channel every week. I’ve learned a lot from it. I want to congratulate the whole team.

    I’m planning to move to Slovenia in the near future.

    My only question is if this article was really updated Dec 28, 2019? Are the amounts and data mentioned still valid?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Stasa Momcilovic

      Hi Luis,

      Thank you for the kind words! We are glad you decided to do the first big step! We’re updating all our articles at the moment.
      If you’d like to discuss, email [email protected] and we can discuss your personal situation.

      Reply

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