STA, 14 November 2019 - The government adopted on Thursday an action plan that lays the groundwork for accepting persons of Slovenian descent who have asked for repatriation from Venezuela. A total of EUR 1.2 million has been set aside for a project that has been months in the making.
The Office for Slovenians Abroad has so far received 17 requests for a total of 53 individuals, while the money covers a maximum of 70 persons over the 15-month validity of the repatriation status, Olga Belec, state secretary at the Office for Slovenians Abroad, told the press about the "pioneering project".
Now that the action plan has been adopted, formal decisions will be issued immediately, but when exactly they start arriving also depends on individual arrangement of those who asked for repatriation.
The government has a list of 30 accommodation options around the country. One extended 16-member family has arranged accommodation with relatives, according to Belec.
To facilitate integration, the repatriated individuals will be accommodated in towns with good job prospects or places where their forebears come from. The majority of the expected arrivals are of working age and some have already been offered jobs.
Those who do not speak Slovenian will be immediately enrolled in Slovenian courses.
The repatriation status covers 15 months after arrival. After that, they will either be able to request permanent residence or citizenship; spouses who are not of Slovenian origin will be subject to the provisions of the aliens act.
The government decided in late August that it would help a number of Venezuelans of Slovenian origin settle in Slovenia under a law that permits repatriation from countries hit by a severe political or economic crisis.
Official data show 335 Slovenian citizens live in Venezuela, with another several hundred who are of Slovenian stock but do not have citizenship.