Guidance

Living in Slovenia

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Slovenia, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Slovenia. Read about how our embassy in Ljubljana can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Slovene authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Slovenia before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been legally living in Slovenia since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Slovenia and read the Slovene government’s guidance on entering Slovenia.

You should apply for a residence permit as a third country national. A third country national is someone who does not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

Your local town hall (upravna enota) deals with all residence matters. By law, they must provide services in Slovene. If you do not speak Slovene you may need an interpreter. After you have held temporary residency in Slovenia for 5 years, you can apply to your upravna enota for a permanent resident certificate (Potrdilo o Stalnem Bivanju).

New style ID cards that merge health cards with national ID cards were introduced in April 2023 and are for Slovene passport holders only. A foreign national who is resident in Slovenia (temporary or permanent) should continue to hold a separate biometric residency card (not to be confused with an ID card for Slovene nationals) and health card.  Find out more.

Visas and residency if you were living in Slovenia before 1 January 2021

If you applied for your new biometric residence permit by 31 December 2021, your rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement pending a decision on your application. You should continue the process to get your new biometric residence card if you do not have it yet. In the meantime your certificate of application (a letter you should have received when you applied) is proof of your status in Slovenia. If you have not had a response to your application you should contact your upravna enota.

When your biometric residence permit expires, you must renew it at your upravna enota.

Appeal process

If your application is refused, you will be told how to appeal in your notification letter. If you need a lawyer but cannot afford to pay for one, contact your local town hall’s resident legal adviser for information.

If your appeal is rejected, you may be able to apply for a residency visa as a third country national. Alternatively, you may be able to apply for a long term tourist visa.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for a new residence status was 31 December 2021. You can still apply if you have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. Read the Slovene government guidance on late applications. Applications will be considered on an individual basis. You should apply as soon as possible.

Family members

When your residency status is confirmed, your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Slovenia at any time in the future. Find more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance. They must travel to Slovenia and then submit, either in person or through a legal representative, a biometric residence permit application as your family member.

Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Slovene authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Slovenia.

Check the Slovenia travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Slovenia using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Slovenia with a Slovene residence permit or long stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Slovenia, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply if you are travelling to other EU and Schengen countries as a resident of Slovenia. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Slovenia before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your residence document (‘dovoljenje za začasno prebivanje’ or ‘dovoljenje za stalno prebivanje’) or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your residence document, or other evidence of residence status, if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your residence document, show your certificate of application.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Slovenia, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Slovenia with a valid passport. You do not need any extra validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.

Healthcare

Read our guidance on healthcare in Slovenia and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

Read the Slovene government guidance on healthcare arrangements.

You should also read our guidance on:

Working in Slovenia

If you are planning to move to Slovenia and work, you may need a visa. Read the Slovene government’s guidance on working in Slovenia as a foreign national and how to get a visa. To apply for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate.

Read:

If you work in Slovenia, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section for more information.

If you were living in Slovenia before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement, if you have a ‘dovoljenje za začasno prebivanje’ or ‘dovoljenje za stalno prebivanje’ residence document, or have applied for one.

If you live in Slovenia and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Slovenia.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Slovenia before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Slovenia officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Slovenia

If you plan to study in Slovenia, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Slovenia to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Slovenia before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guide includes information if you were already living in Slovenia before 1 January 2021.

Tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Slovenia so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Slovenia. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Slovenia.

Read guidance on:

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Slovenia. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Slovenia.

If you plan to move to Slovenia and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Slovenia. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as pensions, in Slovenia.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

You can check your UK National Insurance record.

Benefits

UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Slovenia.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Slovene benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Slovene social security benefits. You should read the Slovene government information on the type of benefits available and the EU information about when and how you can claim social security benefits in Slovenia.

Pensions

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Slovenia.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Slovenia, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation. Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

Read our guidance for buying a property abroad.

Driving in Slovenia

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Slovenia. Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Slovenia.

Read guidance on:

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence

If you live in Slovenia, you must exchange your driving licence for a Slovene one within 12 months of becoming legally resident. You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

You can exchange your licence without having to take a test within 12 months of becoming resident.

To exchange your driving licence you will need:

  • your current driving licence
  • a valid medical certificate
  • a passport photo
  • proof you are a habitual resident in Slovenia
  • proof that you were resident in the UK when your UK driving licence was issued. The British Embassy has produced a letter which clarifies that UK driving licences are only issued to UK residents. Contact us if you require a copy

Check with your town hall (upravna enota) what further documentation you may need to exchange your driving licence.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Slovenia, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority. Contact your local upravna enota (in Slovene) to find out how to apply for a Slovene Blue Badge.

Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Slovenia

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the Slovene government’s guidance on importing vehicles into Slovenia and the Slovene government’s guidance on car registration.

Driving outside Slovenia with a Slovene licence

You can use your Slovene licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Slovene licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Slovene licence you may need to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP) (in Slovene).

Read the EU guidance on:

Voting

Voting in Slovenian elections

If you are registered as a permanent resident (Potrdilo o Stalnem Bivanju) in Slovenia you can vote in local elections. You cannot stand in local elections. You cannot vote in Slovene national or European Parliament elections.

Voting in UK elections

There are changes to voting for British and eligible Irish citizens living overseas from 16 January 2024:

  • people living overseas can now register to vote in the UK no matter how long ago they left or were last registered to vote in the UK
  • overseas declarations are now valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect (for example, if your declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026)
  • people living overseas can now register online (not available in Northern Ireland)

Here you can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Slovenia, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Slovenia read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or get a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need:

Pets

If you’re moving to Slovenia with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:

Emergencies

Dial the European emergency number 112 in Slovenia for the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or dial 113 for police.

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Ljubljana.

Returning to the UK

Tell the Slovene and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

If you get healthcare in Slovenia through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 4 November 2013
Last updated 15 February 2024 + show all updates
  1. The section on Voting in UK elections has been updated to reflect the changes to voting for British and eligible Irish citizens living overseas from 16 January 2024.

  2. Information related to the coronavirus was removed from the "Passports and travel" and "Returning to the UK" sections. "Coronavirus" section was deleted.

  3. Important information in the Working in Slovenia, and National insurance sections if you work in Slovenia, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  4. Visas and residency guidance updated, following the 31 December 2021 residency deadline for people with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

  5. Guidance reviewed and updated throughout including, professional qualifications, passports and travel, healthcare, working in Slovenia, professional qualifications, and studying in Slovenia.

  6. New guidance on how to obtain a biometric residence permit in visa and residency section

  7. Working in Slovenia section updated: new guidance for frontier workers.

  8. Healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; working in Slovenia section updated with link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on working or providing services; and education section updated with link to DIT guidance on recognition of professional qualifications.

  9. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines. Driving section updated with new guidance on exchanging your UK licence.

  10. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on residency, driving, pet travel and moving to Slovenia.

  11. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  12. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers.

  13. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  14. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  15. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  16. Brexit update: change in the section "Healthcare after Brexit". Please note that UK nationals will not be able to return to UK for treatment.

  17. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  18. EU Exit update: new information about returning to live in the UK and passports and travel after EU Exit

  19. Updates to formatting

  20. Updated information about exchanging driving licences (for UK nationals resident in Slovenia).

  21. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  22. EU Exit update: Updated information on passports. You must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip.

  23. EU Exit update: Updated information on the UK double-taxation agreement with Slovenia in the Money and tax section. Link to citizens outreach meetings added to EU Exit section

  24. EU Exit update: detailed information about applying for Slovenian citizenship added to the visas and residency section.

  25. EU Exit update - Updated information on access to healthcare.

  26. EU exit update - updated information on pensions and driving

  27. Updated guidance on gov.uk on driving.

  28. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in Pets section.

  29. Clarification about how to get a tax code and how to claim your Slovenian pension.

  30. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  31. First published.