The Slovenia Times

Required language skills for foreigners lowered

Students in class. Photo: Bor Slana/STA

Faced with the need to employ more foreign workers, Slovenia has decided to lower the language proficiency required in the procedure to extend temporary residence permits due to family reunion for third-country nationals.

The current requirement is A1 under the common European framework, but that will now be lowered to "survival level".

The lower level is being introduced by means of changes to the Foreigners Act, which the government confirmed on 19 October.

The government defines survival level as meaning that a foreigner is able to communicate in Slovenian in simple, predictable, everyday situations which require routine phrases.

The move comes because officials determined while drafting an integration strategy that knowledge and understanding of Slovenian at the most basic level is sufficient for initial integration.

A foreigner will be able to subsequently upgrade their Slovenian skills in more demanding courses, including through follow-up integration programmes.

The changes also postpone the phase-in of language proficiency requirements in procedures concerning family reunion which had been set for April 2023.

The proposal stipulates that, for applications submitted before 30 April 2024, a Slovenian language proficiency test at the survival level is not a condition for extending the temporary residence permit due to family reunion.

The condition of passing an A2 level exam remains a requirement to obtain a permanent residence permit.


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