Family members of EU citizens who have exercised their right to free movement (meaning that the EU citizen resides in or travels to a Member State other than his or her country of origin) benefit from certain procedural facilitations. The basic requirements include:
• the EU citizen has exercised his or her right to free movement;
• the family member (applicant) belongs to one of the categories covered by Directive 2004/38/EC;
• the family member (applicant) accompanies the EU citizen or joins him or her in the Schengen country of destination.
Who are family members of EU citizens?
The expression family members of EU citizens applies to the family members of a citizen of any EU Member State as well as family members of a citizen of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland (“EU citizen” for the purpose of these provisions), who are:
Parents of an EU citizen, provided that the EU citizen is under 21 years of age and lives in a common household with the applicant;
Children of an EU citizen who are under 21 years of age, or such children of the spouse of an EU citizen;
Dependent direct relatives of an EU citizen in an ascending or descending line, or such relatives of the spouse of an EU citizen.
Note 1: A dependent person is a third-country national supported by an EU citizen or his spouse, who:
is a student up to 26 years of age;
cannot systematically prepare for a future profession or perform gainful activities due to illness or injury; or
is incapable of performing systematic gainful activities due to a chronic adverse health condition.
Note 2: A family member of an EU citizen may also be a foreign national who can provide credible proof that:
he or she is a relative of an EU citizen who is not specified above if:
- he or she lived in a common household with an EU citizen in a country of which he or she holds citizenship or in a country in which he or she had long-term or permanent residence;
- he or she is supported by an EU citizen; or
- he or she cannot care for him- or herself without the personal care provided by an EU citizen due to a chronic adverse health condition;
he or she is in a permanent relationship with an EU citizen that is comparable to a family relationship and they share a common household.
Special visa procedures for family members of EU citizens under Directive 2004/38/EC
Family members of EU citizens who are subject to Directive 2004/38/EC are entitled to:
Priority in scheduling an appointment to submit an application, should they need an appointment;
Processing of visa applications free of charge;
Processing of visa applications on the basis of an accelerated procedure.
When applying for a short-stay visa (C Type), family members of EU citizens need to provide the following:
A fully completed and signed application form for a short-stay visa (C Type); please note that you should not fill in the fields marked with *, but you need to fill in fields 34 and 35;
A valid passport (or another travel document, which must have been issued within the last 10 years and contain at least two empty pages for visa stickers);
A photograph conforming to ICAO standards;
Fingerprints (the same rules apply for all applicants);
Documents confirming the identity of the EU citizen and his or her family relationship with the applicant (primarily, but not exclusively, the original or a certified copy of a marriage / birth / other certificate with an official translation into Slovenian, if required).
Visa applications submitted by family members of EU citizens are generally processed in the shortest possible time. The legal time limit for processing is 15 days, or in exception up to 60 days.
In the event of documents proving the EU citizen's identity and family relationship are missing, the applicant cannot benefit from Directive 2004/38/EC, and the standard procedural rules will apply.
Appeal against a visa refusal
The decision to refuse a short-stay visa (C Type) and the grounds for the refusal are communicated to the applicant on a standard form. The decision to refuse a visa includes the grounds on which the refusal was based.
Applicants who have been refused a visa have the right to appeal in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 15 September 2009. In accordance with the Foreigners Act (Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia No. 1/2018 and 9/2018) the person concerned may file an appeal within 8 days of receipt of the notification of refusal/annulment/revocation of a visa. The appeal must be lodged in writing in Slovenian. A consular fee of EUR 153 is charged for an appeal. A new visa application cannot be processed during the visa appeal process.
In the event a negative decision on the administrative appeal is issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia, a judicial appeal can be filed against the decision. A judicial appeal may be submitted to the Administrative Court, Fajfarjeva 33, 1000 Ljubljana.