April 13. 2024. 6:00

The Daily

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Slovenia to ease rules to recruit foreign staff

The government has put forward legislative changes expected to be rushed through parliament to facilitate the recruitment of foreign workers as the country grapples with staff shortages.

To simplify procedures and cut the red tape in procedures to obtain residence permits and registration certificates, amendment proposals to the Foreigners Act and the Employment Of Foreigners Act are to be rushed through parliament due to the staffing crisis and long administrative procedures.

“The task of this government is to substantially ease procedures to obtain work permits, in particular for those who are already here, to make it easier for them to decide to stay here,” Prime Minister Robert Golob said when announcing the changes.

Apart from removing administrative barriers in issuing temporary residence permits, the changes to the Foreigners Act adopted by the government on 9 March reinstate free Slovenian courses for foreigners.

The changes will also allow for residence permits and extensions to be issued by mail and for fingerprints to be stored for up to five years to ensure they can be used when permits are extended. Foreigners whose temporary protection status expires will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit in eight days.

On top of that, the process of changing employers will now be easier as written confirmation by the administrative unit will no longer be needed.

As for the Employment of Foreigners Act, the government proposes to facilitate employment procedures in healthcare and social services to address the shortage of workers.

While their single residence and work permit is valid, foreigners would be able to change employer or job or work for several employers as long as these are approved by the Employment Service.

The government also proposes to cut short the from nine to three months time asylum seekers must wait to be able to freely access the labour market after obtaining asylum seeker status.

The Employment Service received 54,000 applications for work permits in the first three quarters of 2022, reaching a similar level to what was recorded the entire year before.

(Sebastijan R. Maček | sta.si)