Do I need to move to Slovenia for a residence permit?
The beginning of the journey
In recent months, several acquaintances have asked us this question: should we consider Slovenia as a country to obtain a residence permit?
We will not delve into the reasons for such questions, but try to answer it in essence.
Investment relocation option
At the moment, you can move to Slovenia in different ways and get a temporary residence permit, also known as a residence permit. The simplest and most understandable way is to invest in the country's economy in the amount of at least 50,000 euros. Consider this method as the main one. The procedure of company registration, opening a bank account - these are the first steps in this process. It should be noted an important fact: banks are reluctant to open accounts for people from the former Soviet Union.
Next, you need to come up with a type of business that over time will start to generate enough income for all family members. This is where the greatest difficulty arises. Slovenia has a population of just over two million, with just over 10% living in Ljubljana. The rest of the population lives relatively evenly throughout the country.
Thus, it is necessary to come up with a business model that would cover both the population of Slovenia and the population of neighboring countries.
Therefore, you should not move to the country for the last money without a reserve of money for 3-4 years of residence or a stable source of income outside Slovenia.
Approximate cost of living in Slovenia
To correctly calculate the size of the financial reserve, let's do simplified arithmetic. About 1,500 euros a month are needed to maintain your company. This money is needed to pay the salary to the director of the company (that is, you), pay payroll taxes, pay for accounting services and other small expenses. Next, you need to live somewhere. The cost of rent varies from 500 to infinity euros per month. The highest rental rates are in Ljubljana and on the coast. Let's take the average rental price of 800 euros per month. This amount may not include payment for utilities (100-180 euros per month). I would not recommend buying a home right away, as there are a lot of pitfalls and fine points when buying. I would recommend renting a home first, and starting the buying process six months or a year later. An important factor for buying a home is the climate of a particular area. For example, in Ljubljana in autumn and winter there are often heavy fogs.
Let's move on. The amount needed to buy food, clothing and other necessities. At least 700-800 euros per adult will be needed per month. Of course, you can fit in a more modest amount, but then you need to include austerity. In the minimum mode, you can live (meaning the cost of food and necessities) for 450-500 euros per adult.
In addition, there are costs for mobile communications, Internet, transport and other costs. They do not exceed 50 euros per month.
The amount of financial reserves
Total we get: 1500 + 900 + 50 = 2450 euros per month per adult. In Slovenia, the minimum wage is currently set at 1,044 euros gross or 730 euros net after taxes. Therefore, it is necessary to cover the difference of 2450 - 730 = 1720 euros each month. If we assume that the selected business will start to generate income for the fourth year, the amount of the financial reserve is calculated as follows: 1720 euros x 12 months x 3 years = 61920 euros. Conclusion: if you do not have such an amount of money or do not have additional income of about 2,000 euros per month, the question of moving should be carefully weighed.
Pitfalls and misconceptions
Despite the fact that the Slovenian language belongs to the Slavic language group, it is very different from Russian. There is a misconception that language seems understandable. Yes, it is true that about 30-40% of words will really be clear. But in reality, you can easily miss the context. Therefore, the language should be learned immediately after moving, and better before it. Fortunately, there are now many opportunities to learn the language online.
Many people believe that all Slovenes speak English. Yes, many people do speak English, but the farther away from Ljubljana, the fewer such people. Conclusion: you need to learn Slovenian.
Despite EU membership, business in Slovenia is mediocre. First, it concerns the sphere of IT, banking services, public services and so on. You also need to be morally ready for this fact.
Slovenia is an adult-dominated country. It follows that most people will seem conservative and traditionalist. This fact strongly influences the choice of business type.
Business focused on the Russian-speaking diaspora
As a rule, many people rely on the possibility of developing their business, focusing on the Russian-speaking diaspora. In fact, almost all such businesses already exist and are unlikely to be overtaken quickly.
Numerous online scammers
We often see online advertising offering Slovenian citizenship in a year or even 3 months. Yes, such a program does exist. But it presupposes the real existence of kinship ties in Slovenia. If you do not have one, and you decide to use this method of relocation, then know for sure - you will simply lose your money.
Purchase of real estate by an individual
Alas, in Slovenia it is impossible to buy real estate for an individual without the citizenship of the EU and several other countries. Real estate can be bought only for a legal entity, i.e. for your company. A significant limitation that does not provide flexibility in investment instruments.
Therefore, you have to rent a house from your own company at market rates by concluding a standard lease.
Temporal residence permit, permanent residence permit, citizenship
There is some confusion in these terms. A residence permit is a temporary residence permit, which is renewed first after a year and then every two years. In essence, a residence permit card is a long-term visa and work permit in one card.
After five years of residence on a temporal residence permit, it is possible to replace it with a permanent residence permit card. In the future, the status of permanent residence is not renewed, only the validity of the card itself is renewed every 10 years.
After 10 years of residence (5 years for a residence permit and 5 years for permanent residence), you can apply for Slovenian citizenship. To do this, you will have to renounce the citizenship of other countries, since dual citizenship is not allowed.
What to do
Calculate income and expenses soberly without euphoria. As before, in Slovenia there is a considerable shortage of highly qualified specialists in the field of construction, repair, auto mechanics, programmers. This means that you yourself need to be able to do everything with your own hands, and not dream in the category "now I will open a construction company and start growing." This option will not work precisely because there are few real specialists, so such specialists will have to pay high salaries, which will inevitably change the original scheme for calculating income and expenses.
It is necessary to look towards international online business, the sphere of demanded services for the local market, the production of environmentally friendly products.
The post was not written at all in order to denigrate Slovenia. Slovenia is beautiful for its nature, variety of landscapes and climate (from the Alps to the Adriatic Sea). After all, it is a very clean and safe country. Geographically, it is very conveniently located, which makes it easy to travel to neighboring countries. In general, life in the country is calm and there are practically no reasons for stress.
The most important takeaway from the post is the need for careful financial planning of the move so that there is no disappointment from changing the country. If you overcome this stage, then, in our opinion, you will not regret choosing Slovenia as a new country to live in.