NOTE: This advice was accurate as of 9 October 2019, but may be subject to changE. For the very latest information you can read the GOV.UK Living in Slovenia Guide (http://bit.ly/2W6cwQb) and sign up for updates (http://bit.ly/LiG-SLO-SignUp); and subscribe to British Embassy in Ljubljana's newsletter: (http://bit.ly/UKNinSLO-News)
The British Embassy recently hosted a Q&A on Brexit on its Facebook page, but this is difficult to search and not much of a permanent record. So with the permission of the Embassy and questions edited to remove personal details, here’s what people asked and what the Embassy replied - scroll down for everything or click on the following headings.
How will becoming a temporary resident be affected by no deal?
You will still be able to apply for temporary residence, set up a business and buy property as a non-EU national. The criteria for doing this is different for EU and non-EU nationals. If you are planning on staying in Slovenia we advise that you register for temporary residency as soon as possible at a local Upravna Enota (Office for Foreigners) and acquire an EU status 5 year temporary residency permit.
With this permit you will be entitled to remain in Slovenia and have the same rights and benefits as an EU national would with a few exceptions such as onward movement (eg relocating to another EU member state). You can then apply to become a permanent resident in Slovenia after 5 continuous years of residency.
If you apply for residency after Brexit then you can still apply for residency on the basis of an EU national within 6 months from Exit day. You would however only receive a 1 year permit. After 1 year you would need to apply as a third country national and there are different criteria for doing this such as being self-employed, pensioner, family reasons or property.
If Britain drops out of the EU on 31 October, what will be the process for permanent residents to ensure they retain their residency status? If a deal is done then what will be the process and will the transition period be 20 months as per the proposed deal or will it be until December 2020 (13 months)?
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, your residency status will continue until its current expiry. You will need to exchange your current residence permit for a new one, noting that the UK is no longer part of the EU. You must do this within one year of exit day. The UK government would prefer to leave with a deal and it is working in a determined way to get one. Under the current Withdrawal Agreement the Implementation Period will last until 31 December 2020. If a deal is reached, we will further provide information on the process required in that scenario to maintain legal residence in Slovenia.
I currently have temporary residence in Slovenia. Would there be any advantage in switching this to permanent before Brexit?
Ultimately this is a personal choice, but if you have legally lived in Slovenia for a continuous period of 5 years then you may wish to do obtain a permanent residency document. A permanent residence document can be useful when dealing with the authorities or for administrative formalities. To learn how to register as a permanent resident, please visit our Living in Slovenia Guide (www.gov.uk/living-in-slovenia).
In its page on residency and Brexit the EU refers to “EU long-term resident status”, and states:
"This permit will grant you a permanent status, and allow you to enjoy the same treatment as nationals regarding access to employment, education, and core social benefits. This will also allow you, under certain conditions, to acquire the right to reside in another EU Member State."
Does this still apply under no deal, and where can we learn more about applying for this status in Slovenia?
The 'EU long-term residence permit' is equivalent to the permanent residence permit issued to EU nationals in Slovenia. In the event of a no deal Brexit, Slovenia's parliament has passed legislation to enable UK nationals who are permanent residents in Slovenia to maintain most rights enjoyed by EU citizens. Slovenia's no deal legislation can be found through the link below: http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO8007#
In the event of no deal, will professional qualifications gained in the UK continue to be recognized in Slovenia, and vice versa?
Both the UK and Slovenia will continue to recognize professional qualifications previously accredited before Brexit. The UK and Slovenia will also evaluate applications made before Brexit under pre-exit rules, even if review takes place after Brexit. In the event of a no deal Brexit, we understand that Slovenia will evaluate UK professional qualifications under the rules it currently applies to third country nationals.
How will no deal affect setting up a business in Slovenia?
For setting up a business in Slovenia you may wish to contact the British Slovenian Chamber of Commerce who will be able to provide information about doing this as a non-EU national. For more information on this please visit www.bscc.si or the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce at https://eng.gzs.si/.
Can you tell us what will happen to any goods imported from the UK, in the event of no deal? Will goods, even small orders for UK products be subject to additional taxes and duty?
The EU will apply tariffs to UK goods in case of a no deal exit. Details of these tariffs can be found here https://ec.europa.eu/.../import-and.../import-into-eu/
Under the UK’s proposals for a deal, the UK and Ireland will collect their own customs duties according to their respective customs legislation. The vast majority of consignments will be cleared within seconds by HMRC without any documentation of physical checks needed.
In case the UK leaves without a deal, it will continue in this vain with no border checks at Dover. The EU importer will need to liaise with the UK exporter and the electronic paperwork will need to be completed on the UK side. The UK exporter will need to be registered for an Economic Operators Identity. More details are here https://ec.europa.eu/trade/import-and-export-rules/import-into-eu
Please also see the attached handout for businesses (http://bit.ly/2IkLvUE) which outlines the preparations businesses should be making in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
How should service providers to / from the UK prepare for Brexit?
If you are a UK service provider in Slovenia you can continue to provide services in Slovenia until the end of your contract (regardless of how the UK exits the EU). After this time you will become a third country national Service provider and will need to check with the relevant regulatory body on continuation of providing services.
If you are a Slovene Service provider in the UK you will be able to continue to provide services and renew your contracts as a third country national once the UK has exited the EU but additional paperwork may be required. Further information on this can be found on www.gov.uk
Will I still be able to buy property in Slovenia?
Regarding the purchase of property as a non-EU national, UK nationals will still fall under OECD rules on property rights and will therefore be able to acquire property in Slovenia under these rules after Brexit.
If No Deal, what effect is it likely to have on those of us who own a holiday home in Slovenia?
Property rights will not be affected by Brexit. If there is a no deal Brexit, UK nationals will be able to visit the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180 day period. If you want to spend more time in Slovenia, you will need to apply for a visa and/or residence. Slovenia has outlined its residency regulations for a no deal Brexit in its no deal contingency regulation, which can be found below: http://www.pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO8007.
What will happen to the EHIC with or without a deal? Is it true that British expats will no longer be entitled to any healthcare in the UK, in the event of a deal or no deal?
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, you will be able to continue using your EHIC as you do now for the duration of the Implementation Period.
In the event of a no deal Brexit, the UK is seeking in parallel an EU-wide approach or bilateral arrangements with Member States to transitionally continue the current social security coordination rules, including reciprocal healthcare, in full until the end of December 2020. Current reciprocal healthcare arrangements also include EHIC rights. This will protect the rights of individuals who live in, move to, visit or work in the UK or EU until 31 December 2020.
If an agreement is not reached, UK-issued EHICs will no longer be valid in Slovenia. If you are resident in Slovenia, you should seek healthcare coverage through the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (ZZZS). To ensure continuity of cover, the UK Government has committed to continue to pay for state-funded healthcare for UKNs currently in Slovenia, for a period of 6 months while you transfer to ZZZS. (http://bit.ly/2o9KmIk).
After the UK leaves the EU, UK insureds will continue to have the right to free NHS care when temporarily visiting England, Scotland and Wales. They will also be eligible for NHS care if they move permanently back to the UK (including Northern Ireland).
What advice would you give to British pensioners on fixed incomes who are unable to afford additional insurance in Slovenia? Will there be funds available to help repatriate them for NHS treatment, if needed?
It is important people think about their own needs and circumstances and look at their options carefully by checking the Living in Slovenia guide, NHS Slovenia country page and speaking to ZZZS.
After the UK leaves the EU, those who have an S1 form will continue to have the right to free NHS care when temporarily visiting England, Scotland and Wales. They will also be eligible for NHS care if they move permanently back to the UK (including Northern Ireland).
In the first 6 months the UK Government has put in place emergency provisions to provide bespoke support to people who find themselves in a challenging healthcare situation (i.e. requiring urgent treatment) due to a change in their healthcare cover after Brexit (http://bit.ly/2o9KmIk).
What will happen to the EEA Family permit in the event of deal or no deal?
Your spouse will be able to visit the UK after 31 October, provided they comply with UK immigration policy. Under the current Withdrawal Agreement nothing will change until the end of the Implementation Period, which will last until 31 December 2020.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, it is possible that the EEA Family Permit route to visiting the UK will cease, because the UK national will no longer be an EU national. In this case, your spouse would need to apply for a visit visa (or settlement visa if you plan to stay).
For more information please visit: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
Will UK citizens who are married to Slovenes be able to move with their families to the UK without conditions, or will there be a minimum earnings threshold?
UK Nationals can return to the UK at any time. Existing close family members of UK Nationals (spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, children, grandchildren and dependent parents and grandparents) who return from living in the EU by 29 March 2022 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Future spouses and partners of UK Nationals who return from living in the EU by 31 December 2020 can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Dependent relatives of UK Nationals who previously lived in the EU with that family member can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme until 31 December 2020.
After these dates UK Immigration Rules will apply as it does for other UK Nationals returning from abroad.
Will elderly parents of UK citizens who live in Slovenia be able to move here to live with their children, or will there be restrictions?
While the UK remains in the EU, elderly parents of UK nationals resident in Slovenia should be able to live in Slovenia, provided they comply with relevant regulations (depending on whether the parent is an EU national or third country national). In the event of a no deal Brexit, provisions for family reunification are outlined in Slovenia's no deal contingency legislation.
Our understanding of the legislation suggests that close family members are entitled to the same rights as a resident, whatever time they join them, and have permission to reside. You may need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support an individual's parents.
My son plans to go to university next year. He has permanent residency in Slovenia and has lived here since he was five years old. He would like to study in The Netherlands. Currently the course fee's for EU students are €2,200 Euro, but €12,000 Euro for a non-EU student. How will he be classed? I was also told that he if goes to the UK, because he has been out of the UK for more than 10 years, he will be classed as an international student there too.
If your son is planning to attend university in the UK next year (academic year 2020/2021) and is either a UK or EU national he will qualify for home fee status for the duration of his course. If your son has lived outside the UK for more than 10 years this should not affect his status if he holds EU citizenship for the duration of his study.
If your son is planning to work in the UK after his studies he may also consider the 'graduate immigration route’. (Available to undergraduates and upwards - primarily aimed at furthering post-grad/work experience for new graduates.) This allows for overseas/EU students to stay and work in the UK at any skill level for 2 years. After the 2 years ex-students will be able to switch onto the skilled work route if they find a relevant job for their skills.
For further information on student finance please visit https://www.gov.uk/student-finance-calculator to find out what your son can qualify for.
In regards to studying in the Netherlands, the Netherlands government have published information here:
Should you require more information, please contact British Embassy The Hague:
Is it still possible to apply for Slovenian citizenship and keep my UK passport?
The Slovene Ministry of Interior have confirmed to us that UK nationals are able to apply for dual citizenship while the UK remains part of the EU. Applications lodged prior to Brexit will treat the applicant on the same terms as an EU national, even if the review process takes place after exit.
Will Slovenes still be able to get dual nationality in the UK through marriage (and thus vice versa, since it seems to be reciprocal)?
Dual citizenship is permitted in the UK. The Slovene nationals who are married/in civil partnership with a UK national will be able to obtain UK citizenship if they meet the criteria outlined below: https://www.gov.uk/british-citizenship
I am a dual national of Slovenia and the United Kingdom. Will there be any changes for dual nationals after a possible No deal Brexit?
Your dual national status will not be affected in case the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
The last gov.uk publication on UK driving licence said that Slovenia would accept UK driving licence. You will just require an International Driving Permit for visits over 90 days.
You are correct that visitors to Slovenia for 90 days or less will not need an International Driving Permit (IDP). However we advise all Brits living here to read carefully the Slovene government's guidance on driving licences here (http://bit.ly/2u8gNX2).
The Living in Slovenia Guide continues to advise all UK nationals living in Slovenia to exchange their UK driving licence for a Slovene driving licence before the UK leaves the EU (www.gov.uk/living-in-slovenia).
My UK driving licence has the EU flag on it – will I need to change it in the UK before swapping it for a Slovene licence?
As long as it remains valid, UK-issued driving licences will continue to be valid, including those with EU images. You should exchange your UK driving license for a Slovene one if you meet the residency criteria. Residents will be required to do so within 12 months of Brexit. More information can be found on our Living in Slovenia guide (www.gov.uk/living-in-slovenia).
We have a holiday home in Slovenia. Am I correct in thinking that we need to get our UK will translated into Slovene and a copy deposited with a notary in Slovenia in order for our wishes to be upheld rather than defaulting to Slovene law regarding wills?
You are correct - you do need to translate your will into Slovene and deposit this with a solicitor.
We get child benefit for our two grandchildren who we are raising under a UK special guardianship order. Will this benefit be effected?
Should the UK depart the EU with the Withdrawal Agreement (Deal) your rights as UK nationals in the EU will continue as before and you will have full access to the rights you currently enjoy (e.g. child benefit) for as long as you remain a resident in Slovenia. If the UK departs the EU without a deal then the Slovene government has put in place legislation to protect the rights of UK residents until the end of 2020 when they expect an EU wide agreement to be reached.
If you are a permanent resident your access to Slovene social security benefit should continue as before and you will automatically continue to qualify for child benefit from the Slovene authorities. If you are a temporary resident you will be entitled to the same benefits until expiry of your permit when you will need to either roll over to permanent residence or apply for a temporary residence as a third-country national.
Our current understanding is that the payment mechanism between the UK and Slovenia will remain in place for payment of UK child benefits in all scenarios and are confirming this with our UK tax advisers. We will get back to you as soon as we have confirmation.
Since Brexit, deal or no deal, will be a complex, multi-year process, is the Embassy planning on employing someone to deal full time with the related issues, as well as those that arise if/when the UK finally becomes a third country?
As you may know HMG has allocated a significant number of additional staff to work on the wide variety of Brexit-related issues - both in London and overseas. That includes a number of full-time staff at the Embassy in Ljubljana, as well as additional staff in London and Europe who directly support our work and UK nationals living here.
If you have specific questions that are not covered by the Living in Slovenia guide you can contact us via our contact form (www.gov.uk/contact-consulate-ljubljana) or by telephone (01) 200 39 10.