the duty to inform the police. From the moment someone has expressed an intention to apply for international protection, he or she cannot be deported from the country in accordance with the IPA.
According to Article 35 IPA, an individual who has entered Slovenia illegally must express his or her intention to apply for international protection in the shortest time possible. Failure to do so is one of the grounds that can lead to rejecting the asylum application as manifestly unfounded in the Accelerated Procedure. Individuals who express an intention for international protection in due time are exempt from any penalties regarding illegal entry.
The “preliminary procedure”
The Police conducts the so-called “preliminary procedure” in which they establish the identity and travel route of the individual and complete the registration form. During the procedure they also take a short statement as regards the reasons for applying for international protection.
In accordance with the IPA, each person in the process must be provided with interpretation and translation in a language that the person understands. This is not necessarily the individual’s mother tongue, and it is up to the police to judge whether an individual understands the language. Interpreters for some languages are not available in Slovenia, or may not be available at the given time, or the provided interpretation is of poor quality, which may lead to problems with accessing the asylum procedure. This was one of the key issues highlighted by persons who claimed they had expressed the intention to apply for international protection but were returned to Croatia during the field visit carried out by PIC to Bosnia and Herzegovina in June 2018. It became evident from the testimonies and documentation collected that interpretation was not guaranteed in all return procedures. In the procedures of our interviewees, the police often performed the interviews in English instead of providing an interpreter. Some individuals pointed out that they did not sufficiently understand the language to be able to follow the procedure, while others did not have any problems with the language in which the procedure was conducted. However, in some cases, when interpretation was ensured in the procedure, the question of appropriate translation and professionalism of the interpreters was raised by some individuals. They pointed out that they felt they had not received all the information that the police wanted to convey to them, or that the information they wanted to pass on was not forwarded on by the interpreter to the police. In a few cases, individuals reported that the interpreters mocked, insulted and threatened them that they would be returned to Croatia. Since there is no systematic monitoring over the conduct of proceedings by the police and the work of interpreters, recording should be introduced in the procedure to allow for a comprehensive supervision of the course of the procedure. This way, dispelling potential doubts in the conduct of the procedure could be achieved faster and at the same time would make it easier to detect any possible violations of standards.
The findings were reiterated by the Ombudsman in visits carried out in 2019. The Ombudsman detected irregularities in procedures with foreigners, including lack of:
- proper documentation of the police procedure
- providing information regarding asylum
- procedural guarantees for unaccompanied minors
- individually conducted procedures
During one visit, the Ombudsman concluded that the previous recommendation in respect of police procedures being documented in a manner which removes all doubt that the foreigner did not express the intention to apply for international protection, is not respected in practice. The Ombudsman also noted that it was not evident from the documentation if and in what form the police informed the foreigners about their right to asylum. 
Access to the asylum procedure continued to be one of the main issues in 2019 (See: Access to the territory and push backs).
Once the preliminary procedure is concluded by the police, the individual is transferred to the Asylum Home in Ljubljana. The applicant does not receive a document from the police certifying his or her intention to seek asylum at that stage.
Lodging of the application
There is no time limit prescribed for the authorities between the expression of intention to apply for asylum and the lodging of the application. In the past, this rarely took longer than a couple of days, but since the last quarter of 2017 the wait for registration of the application usually takes longer, up to one week. The trend continued in 2018. Due to the increase of asylum seekers in 2018, the waiting period for registration was still up to one week and in rare cases exceeded 10 days. The trend continued in 2019 with asylum seekers waiting up to 15 days to lodge their application.
After the preliminary procedure individuals who express their intention to apply for international protection are brought to the Asylum Home or its branch facility in Logatec. Before lodging their application, asylum seekers, including unaccompanied children, are de facto detained. Because they are considered as asylum seekers after they lodge the application, they are not given any document that would allow them to move freely within the territory. They have to sign a statement that they agree to be processed as foreigners in case they leave the premises of the Asylum Home before they lodge the application, meaning they can subsequently be detained in the Aliens Centre and processed in the return procedure based on the bilateral readmission agreements or the Aliens Act. They are not issued with a detention order in respect of their detention in the Asylum Home and there is no legal basis for their detention in the IPA.
Prior to lodging the application, the personnel at the Asylum Home conduct a medical examination and take a photograph and fingerprints which are then run through the Eurodac database. PIC lawyers carry out a 30-minute – 60-minute for groups of four or more persons and for unaccompanied children – information session on the asylum procedure and system in Slovenia. The application is then lodged by the Migration Office. However, the officials that conduct the lodging of the application are not the same as those who take the final decision on the application. In the process of lodging the application, the individual is asked to state his or her personal information and describe the journey from the country of origin to his or her arrival to Slovenia. He or she also gives a brief statement about the reasons for applying for international protection
In case the person expresses their intention to apply for international protection at the border, airport or port, the law provides that the competent authority has to lodge the application and take a decision in the shortest possible time (after the preliminary procedure) which must not exceed 14 days. The procedure at the border, airport and port is not used in practice and applicants who submit their application at the border, airport and port are subjected to the regular procedure.
 Article 36(1) IPA.
 Article 52, seventh indent IPA.
 Article 35 IPA.
 Articles 42(1)-(2) IPA.
 Articles 4 and 6(1) IPA.
 Articles 42(4)-(5) IPA.
 Article 43(1) IPA.