Border procedure (border and transit zones)

Slovenia

Country Report: Border procedure (border and transit zones) Last updated: 31/03/21

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General

The possibility of border procedures was added to the existing legal provision on airport and port procedures with the new IPA in 2016.[1]

Although regulated in law, the procedure at the border, airport or port is not used in practice. There are two border transit zones in Slovenia, one at the Jože Pučnik Airport in Ljubljana and one at Edvard Rusjan Airport in Maribor. Persons can be detained in both transit zones for up to 48 hours in accordance with the State Border Control Act. In the case that a person is detained for more than 6 hours, a detention order has to be issued by the police. The person has the right to appeal against the detention order, and the right to free legal representation in order to be able to do so.[2]

Whilst detention occurs in the transit zones this is not for the purpose of the border procedure (see Detention conditions).  If a person expresses the intent to apply for international protection, detention is stopped and the person is processed in the preliminary procedure. People who apply for international protection at the border, airport or port are, therefore, first processed by the Police in the preliminary procedure and then transferred to the Asylum Home in Ljubljana as soon as possible as part of the Regular Procedure. In practice individuals arriving at the border, airports and sea ports face issues in accessing the asylum procedure (see Access to territory and pushbacks and the “preliminary procedure”).

The reason the procedure is not used in practice is mainly practical. The Asylum Home and the Migration directorate branch offices near the Asylum Home serve as a reception centre and host the majority of the asylum procedure. The majority of services intended for the applicants are therefore provided there (e.g. social services, legal representation etc.). Such infrastructure is currently not in place at the border, airport or port. The provision was included in the IPA to enable the procedure on the border, airport or port in case of a large number of applicants, as explained in the preamble to the draft of the IPA.

According to the law, a border, airport or port procedure can result in: (a) rejection of the asylum application as manifestly unfounded; (b) a Dublin decision; (c) a safe third country, European safe third country, or first country of asylum decision. The decision in the border, airport or port procedure has to be taken in the shortest time possible but no later than within 14 days. If the decision is not taken in 14 days or if the application needs to be examined in a regular procedure, the applicant is transferred to the Asylum Home and the regular procedure is carried out.[3]

The authority responsible for making the decision in the border, airport or port procedure is also the Migration directorate of the Ministry of the Interior, similarly to the regular procedure. All other rules are the same as in the regular procedure: the decision on entry to the territory is taken by the Police and from the moment someone has expressed an intention to apply for international protection, he or she cannot be deported from the country.[4]

In case of a large number of applicants who express the intention to apply for international protection at the border, airport or port, they can be accommodated near the border under the condition that material reception conditions are guaranteed.[5]

Personal interview

The border procedure is not applied in practice. According to the law, the rules for personal interviews are the same as in the Regular Procedure: Personal Interview and Dublin: Personal Interview.

Appeal

In the border procedure, the same rules for appeals apply as in the relevant procedures conducted on the territory (see Dublin: Appeal, Admissibility Procedure: Appeal  and Accelerated Procedure: Appeal).

Legal assistance

The law does not contain any special provisions regarding legal representation of asylum seekers during the border procedure. Free legal representation during the first instance procedure is not guaranteed by the IPA, while support and legal assistance in the appeal procedure is provided to applicants by refugee counsellors.[6]

[1]           Article 43 IPA.

[2]           Article 32 of the State Border Control Act, Official Gazette , no. 35/10 and subsequent changes.

[3]           Article 43(1) IPA.

[4]           Article 36(1) IPA.

[5]           Article 43(2) IPA.

[6]           Article 9(1) IPA.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the first report
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation