Slovenia is a beautiful European country bordered by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia. Its south-central location gives Slovenia a mild climate, making it highly appealing to expats from around the world. Of course, Slovenia remains small with only 2.1 million residents, but its tech sector is a force to be reckoned with.
The country’s largest market is information systems outsourcing, followed by systems integration and hardware support. Slovenia is also in need of specialized tech talent as a few of its largest sub-sectors include security systems, eBanking, and IT solutions.
If you’re looking to move to Slovenia for a tech job, here’s what you need to know.
A visa is not necessarily required to immigrate to Slovenia, but it all depends on where you’re coming from. A Slovenia work visa may be needed to gain entry and establish residence.
If you’re a citizen of one of the European Union Member States or a citizen of one of the member states of the European Economic Area (EEA), you do not need a visa or residence permit to enter Slovenia. However, you will need a valid identity card or valid passport.
As of 2023, these rules apply to citizens of:
If you are not a citizen of one of these countries, you’ll need to obtain a visa before moving to Slovenia.
To visit or immigrate to Slovenia as a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to obtain a visa by submitting an application explaining the reason for your visit and by providing a few identifying documents. A long-stay work visa will allow you to stay in Slovenia for an extended period while you work.
After getting your visa, you’ll also need to apply for a temporary residence permit. You can do this before arriving in Slovenia at the same embassy where you apply for your visa or you can do it on arrival at the nearest administrative unit.
Temporary residence permits last for a year before you’ll need to ask for an extension. You’ll need to stay in Slovenia for five years before you can apply for a permanent residence permit.
The EU Blue Card program is available to non-EU/non-EEA nationals and aims to simplify the immigration process. In effect, a Blue Card is a residence permit. If you qualify for a Blue Card, it will put you on the fast track toward permanent residence and citizenship in Slovenia (or any of the participating EU countries).
Being a Blue Card holder also provides countless benefits outside of Slovenia. In many ways, it gives you the privileges of an EU citizen, including free movement throughout the EU (no additional visas required) along with full educational, economic, cultural, human, and health rights.
To qualify for a Blue Card, you must fulfill all of the following criteria:
In Slovenia, a Blue Card is valid for two years and can be extended to a maximum of three years. The application process involves a thorough review of you and your skills, so set aside 4-6 months and prepare to pay an application fee of €140.
While entering Slovenia without a Blue Card means you’re 5 years away from permanent residence, a Blue Card could allow you to become a permanent resident in as little as 21 months if you achieve B1 level knowledge of the Slovenian language (or 33 months otherwise).
Excluding rent, a single person’s estimated cost of living in Slovenia is €791. A one-bedroom apartment ranges from €484 to €605 per month on average. A three-bedroom apartment is about twice as much.
The capital of Ljubljana has the most amenities and it’s naturally the country’s economic and cultural hub, meaning many job opportunities can be found there — but it also has a higher cost of living.
In Ljubljana, the average cost of living is €803 for a single person without rent. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center starts at €700 a month. With some good searching, you may be able to find a two-bedroom apartment for around €1,000 a month, but it won’t be downtown. Utilities range from €250 in the summer to €350 in the winter for a couple or small family.
When searching for jobs in Slovenia, you may be surprised by the average salary, which will look quite low compared to some other EU countries.
For a software engineer, the average salary is just €34,774 annually, which works out to around €2,897 monthly. As with any country, salaries vary across the market and it is possible to find a good offer if you spend time looking.
Alternatively, you can work remotely for a non-local company and try to get a residence permit by opening a company of your own.
There are a few different types of taxes in Slovenia and you’ll need to sort them out before you arrive to ensure you’re budgeting based on your actual take-home pay:
All sorts of accommodations are available in Slovenia, ranging from shared accommodations and spare rooms to apartments and houses.
In your search, know that many people do not want to report the income they receive from renting out a property. This may mean they try to lease to you without an official contract — and you should be wary of these situations. You may also experience challenges due to language barriers, especially in more rural areas.
Most apartments that aren’t being leased “under the table” are handled by real estate agencies, which means they likely have an English-speaking representative. However, these agencies often require at least one month’s rent upon signing and may ask for other deposits as well.
Slovenia has a social health insurance system offering universal coverage to all residents and a broad range of benefits. It costs around 30 euros a month for an adult and children's healthcare is fully covered. There are co-pays for healthcare services, so some Slovenians choose to take out private health insurance to cover these co-payments.
Until you become a resident of Slovenia, you’ll likely need to purchase a private expert health insurance plan. This is a type of international medical insurance policy that will cover both emergencies and routine care while you’re in Slovenia or elsewhere.
When it comes to the quality of care, Slovenia’s healthcare system is considered good and may even offer state-of-the-art equipment and services, especially in Ljubljana.
Locals speak Slovenian, which is a Slavic language that can be challenging for non-Slavic speakers to learn. However, Slovenian is rarely spoken outside of the country and most locals have learned to speak English. German and Italian are also widely spoken.
Slovenia is renowned for its thriving coffee culture, notably the increasing abundance of specialty coffee shops and roasters.
Some of the largest international tech companies in Slovenia include:
While Slovenia has relatively low salaries compared to places like Germany, it has many benefits, including a high quality of living, great work-life balance, free medical insurance, a good education system, a convenient location, and many opportunities for remote work.
If you want to start searching for job opportunities abroad, let Relocate.me help you find the perfect position.
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