I determined early on in the process that I am not an expert in Slovenian immigration law—or any other. I talked to a bunch of people, and I heard a bunch of different things. Everybody couldn’t be right, because the advice or information that I was hearing was contradictory. So I did what I always prefer to do.
I found (through a friend) an expert who knew what they were doing. I found someone who did this often enough to know the ins and outs. They know the official and unofficial lists. They knew to ask me for things I didn’t even know existed. They had contacts within the various offices. Now rather than combing through three or four different websites and making a number of phone calls, I had one list of things that I needed to get. That doesn’t mean that it was necessarily easy, but it was certainly easier!
Easier does not come for free though. Nataša, our expert, charged about $2000 and that included the government fees as well. It was worth it many times over. She saved us many hours of work, and more importantly, she secured residency permits for us much quicker than I would have been able to. Also, if problems would have arisen, she could have resolved them much quicker. It was definitely worth it.
If you are moving to a country where many others have done so successfully, and the process is straightforward, and your situation is rather vanilla, then you may want to handle it on your own. If all of those conditions don’t apply (none of them did for us moving to Slovenia), then don’t go it alone!
How to find someone
- Talk to people. Ask how they did their paperwork. Focus on people from larger organizations that generally may have larger budgets.
- Search for companies that specialize in relocations. They may offer more services than you need, want, or can afford. That’s ok. I have been surprised that companies that deal primarily with large corporations often have very reasonable prices for the services that I have needed.