Country Report: Dublin Last updated: 12/05/23



Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dublin transfers were de facto suspended for several months from April 2020 up until the writing of this report, although no official decision on the suspension was made. In 2021 Dublin procedures were re-established. In 2022, 20 outgoing transfers and 257 incoming transfers were carried out during the year.

Dublin statistics: 2022

Dublin statistics: 1 January – 31 December of 2022

Outgoing procedure Incoming procedure
Requests Transfers Requests Transfers
Total 2,606 20 Total 2,834 257
Croatia 2,265 8 France 1,148 52
Bulgaria 113 0 Germany 721 96
Cyprus 67 0 Italy 349 1
Greece 59 0 Belgium 228 12
Italy 51 5 Switzerland 142 48

 Source:. Migration directorate, March 2023.



Note that “requests” refers to both sent and accepted requests.

“Transfers” refers to the number of transfers actually implemented, not to the number of transfer decisions.

Outgoing Dublin requests by criterion: 2022
Dublin III Regulation criterion Requests sent Requests accepted
Take charge”: Articles 8-15: 391 313
 Article 8 (minors) 1 0
 Article 9 (family members granted protection) 0 0
 Article 10 (family members pending determination) 0 0
 Article 11 (family procedure) 7 7
 Article 12 (visas and residence permits) 212 192
 Article 13 (entry and/or remain) 171 114
 Article 14 (visa free entry) 0 0
“Take charge”: Article 16 0 0
“Take charge” humanitarian clause: Article 17(2) 0 0
“Take back”: Article 18 2,215 1,980
 Article 18 (1) (b) 2,214 1,980
 Article 18 (1) (c) 0 0
 Article 18 (1) (d) 1 0
 Article 20(5) 0 0

Source: Migration directorate, March 2023.


Incoming Dublin requests by criterion: 2022
Dublin III Regulation criterion Requests received Requests accepted
“Take charge”: Articles 8-15 169 128
 Article 8 (minors) 1 1
 Article 9 (family members granted protection) 1 1
 Article 10 (family members pending determination) 1 0
 Article 11 (family procedure) 11 4
 Article 12 (visas and residence permits) 129 122
 Article 13 (entry and/or remain) 26 0
 Article 14 (visa free entry) 0 0
“Take charge”: Article 16 0 0
“Take charge” humanitarian clause: Article 17(2) 0 0
Take back”: Articles 18 and 20(5) 2,665 1,701
 Article 18 (1) (b) 2,644 1,697
 Article 18 (1) (c) 1 0
 Article 18 (1) (d) 20 4
 Article 20(5) 0 0

Source: Migration directorate, March 2023.


Application of the Dublin criteria

In practice, the most frequently used criteria for outgoing Dublin requests are irregular entry,[1] and first country of application.[2] The most frequently used criterion for incoming requests is the first country of application.[3]

In 2022, the most frequently used basis for outgoing requests was Article 18 of the Dublin Regulation, while the majority of incoming requests were based on Article 18(1)(b) of the Regulation. Out of 2,606 outgoing requests made in 2022, 411 were rejected by other Member States. The most common reasons why the requested Member States deemed that they were no longer responsible were based on the criteria the Member State was no longer responsible or the responsibility was transferred to another Member state.[4]

According to available information, the family unity criteria under Articles 8-11 of the Regulation are respected in practice, both in outgoing and incoming procedures. Article 8 of the Dublin Regulation is consistently invoked when a child applies for international protection in Slovenia. However, due to the high absconding rate and the long duration of the Dublin procedure the procedure is usually stopped before it can be completed and transfer to another Member State implemented; In 2022 none of the unaccompanied children were reunited with a relative in another Member State through the Dublin procedure. Outgoing procedures for adults pursuant to Article 9 and 10 of the Regulation are also used in practice; one such case was registered in 2017. From 2018 and up to 2022 no such case was registered.

Originals or at least copies of documents showing family links (birth certificates, family books) are required by authorities, while DNA analysis was used for the first time in 2019 because the applicant could not provide a copy of his documents. DNA analysis has not been needed and used since. The application of the family provisions is not refused, even if the asylum seeker fails to indicate the existence of family members in another Member State from the outset of the asylum application. The asylum seeker can invoke the application of family unity criteria within the timeframe for sending the Dublin request to another Member State i.e. three months from the asylum application.

The dependent persons and discretionary clauses

The use of the “sovereignty” clause under Article 17(1) of the Dublin Regulation is not done through a formal procedure and no decision is passed on it; applicants are simply not processed in the Dublin procedure and their case is instead referred by the authorities to the regular procedure. The sovereignty clause was first used in 2014 and has so far been employed in three cases (involving nine persons). The grounds that led to it were a person’s health situation and vulnerability. The sovereignty clause was not used from 2018 up to 2022.

Transfers under the “dependent persons” and “humanitarian” clauses have not been implemented in practice so far.



After the applicant lodges the application, the case is first examined for a possible application of the Dublin Regulation. In the event that another EU Member State is determined as responsible in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, the Ministry of Interior conducts a Dublin interview and issues a Dublin decision, with which the procedure in Slovenia is ended (once the decision becomes final) and the person is transferred to the state responsible. If the transfer is not carried out, the Migration directorate annuls the Dublin decision and starts processing the application for international protection.[5]

The fingerprints of each applicant are obtained before they apply for international protection. Once the applicant lodges the application their fingerprints are entered into the Eurodac database. If the person refuses to be fingerprinted, the application can be rejected as manifestly unfounded.[6] However, no cases of this happening in practice have been documented.

The information about the Dublin procedure and legal representation during the procedure can also be provided by PIC.

Individualised guarantees

Individual guarantees are sought together with the “take charge” / “take back” request. Based on the recommendations from the Commission and EUAA, individualised guarantees are sought only in case of transfers to Greece.[7]


A pending Dublin procedure constitutes the main Grounds for Detention in Slovenia. The amendments of the IPA that came into force on 09 November 2021 include new provisions on detention, and the definition of the risk of absconding, which was previously absent.[8] (see Grounds for detention). This enabled the Migration directorate to start detaining asylum seekers in the Dublin procedure again. In 2022 the Migration directorate detained 105 asylum seekers,[9] out of which most were detained due to the pending Dublin procedure.

If applicants have their own financial resources, the transfer can be carried out on a voluntary basis. In most cases, however, the transfer is carried out through supervised departure or under escort. Due to the demands of airline companies and the necessity of transferring flights, applicants are escorted by an official of the Migration directorate, responsible for Dublin procedures, until the handover to the authorities of the responsible Member State. Depending on the requirements of the case, the applicant may also be escorted by other staff – medical staff, in case of medical and other psycho-physical requirements, or the police, if risk of resistance or violent behaviour exists. Past behaviour of the applicants, such as absconding and other obstruction of prior transfer attempts, are considered.

Applicants are issued a laissez-passer document for travel.

In the majority of cases when Dublin decisions are issued and become final, outgoing transfers are nevertheless not carried out, mostly due to the absconding of the applicants. In 2022 all applicants were transferred through supervised departure. Out of 2,606 outgoing requests only 20 transfers were carried out.[10]


Personal interview

According to Article 46(1) IPA, the Migration directorate conducts a personal interview before taking a decision in the Dublin procedure. The personal interview can be omitted if the applicant has already submitted the relevant information for determining the responsible country and has been given the opportunity by the authorities to submit all such information.[11]  In an Administrative Court judgment from 2019, the Court ruled that the applicant has the right to a hearing even if Slovenia decides to annul the transfer decision to the responsible state and take responsibility for processing the asylum seeker’s application.[12]

The interview is conducted in the same way as the Regular Procedure: Personal Interview.



As in the regular procedure, the legal remedy against a Dublin decision is judicial review before the Administrative Court of the Republic of Slovenia.

In line with the amendments of the IPA, the time limit for judicial review was shortened from 8 calendar days to 3 calendar days.[13] In line with the Constitutional Court’s decision,[14] preclusive time limits have to be reasonably long or they can disproportionately limit the right to judicial review, consequently depriving the individual of their rights. The time limit imposed by the amendments infringes the right to effective remedy and the right to judicial review. In practice, refugee counsellors have trouble in lodging the judicial review within the time limit, since they have to obtain the power of attorney, the case file and then lodge the judicial review. In addition, refugee counsellors rarely apply for the help of an interpreter while preparing the judicial review due to the time limit.

The application has no automatic suspensive effect.[15] However, on the applicant’s request, the court can postpone the execution of the contested decision until a final decision has been issued, if its execution could cause the applicant to suffer damage which would be difficult to repair.[16] In practice, the determining authority does not enforce the decision before the Administrative Court decides on the request for suspensive effect. As long as such practice remains, the situation is not much different from an automatic suspensive effect being prescribed by law. The applicant can lodge an appeal against a decision of the Administrative Court to the Supreme Court. This new provision came into force on 09 November 2021 with the new amendments of the IPA.[17] However, if the applicant’s request to postpone the execution of the Dublin decision is not granted by the Administrative Court the applicant can be transferred before the decision is made by the Supreme Court. In practice the Migration directorate waits for the decision of the Supreme Court for a couple of months (approximately two) and then proceeds with the transfer. In the majority of cases applicants abscond in order to not be transferred.

The IPA does not limit the grounds on which an applicant can challenge the Dublin decision and in principle they can challenge it on all grounds of incorrect determination of facts and application of law. This was in contention in the case C-490/16 A.S., where the Slovenian Supreme Court made a preliminary reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), asking inter alia whether judicial review also extends to the application of the irregular entry criterion under Article 13 of the Dublin Regulation. The CJEU judgment confirmed that it does.[18]


Legal assistance

The law does not contain any special provisions regarding legal representation of asylum seekers during the Dublin procedure. Legal assistance in the Dublin procedure is provided in the same way as in the Regular Procedure: Legal Assistance. In the first instance, the legal representation can be provided by the NGO PIC. During the judicial review applicants have to obtain the help of a refugee counsellor to represent them in the procedures before the Administrative Court and the Supreme Court. In practice, due to short time limits for judicial review, language barriers and other difficulties, applicants often cannot obtain the help of a refugee counsellor in time. Whether the applicant will obtain the help of a refugee counsellor depends heavily on the help of social workers, PIC and other NGOs. Applicants therefore often abscond without lodging the judicial review. In addition, due to the short time limits refugee counsellors do not have the time to obtain the help of translators when preparing the judicial review. Obtaining the documentation, reviewing the case and preparing the judicial review in such a short time frame is challenging for the refugee counsellors. Due to the short time limit refugee counsellors also do not obtain the help of translators while preparing the judicial review.


Suspension of transfers

Dublin transfers to Greece were systematically suspended and have not been implemented since the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) judgment in M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece.[19] However, in 2018, the Dublin Unit started issuing requests to Greece, although no transfers were carried out. In 2022, the Dublin Unit issued 7 “take charge” requests and 52 “take back” requests although no transfers were carried out.[20]

The Constitutional Court has clarified that the authorities are obliged to examine all circumstances relevant from the perspective of the principle of non-refoulement. Due to the absolute nature of the protection afforded by the principle of non-refoulement, the assessment must consider all the circumstances of the particular case, including the applicant’s personal situation in the transferring country. In this context, it should also be assessed whether the mere removal of an individual to another country due to their health status is contrary to the principle of non-refoulement.[21]

In cases where transfers are suspended, Slovenia annuls the Dublin decision and assumes responsibility for the application.


The situation of Dublin returnees

There are no obstacles for asylum seekers transferred from another Member State with regard to access to the asylum procedure. As confirmed by the Constitutional Court, Dublin returnees are considered asylum applicants from the moment of their return to Slovenia.[22]

Applicants who abscond from Slovenia while their asylum procedure is still pending at first instance and are returned through a Dublin transfer are allowed to lodge a new asylum application that is not considered a subsequent application. On the other hand, if an applicant absconds upon receiving a rejection decision, it becomes final after the 15-day deadline for lodging a legal remedy, or 3-day deadline in the case of an accelerated procedure, and if the applicant is returned the only option of accessing asylum procedure is through a subsequent application. The same goes if the rejection decision is issued in the applicant’s absence upon absconding.[23] If the applicant absconds after filing for judicial review, the court stops the procedure due to lack of legal interest, the rejection decision becomes final and, if returned, the applicant is again only left with a subsequent application procedure.

Similarly to other asylum seekers, transferred asylum seekers have to wait from 3-10 days to lodge the application due to the backlog of applications. After they lodge the application they have the same rights as other asylum seekers and are accommodated in the Asylum home or its branch.




[1] Article 13(1) Dublin III Regulation.

[2] Article 3(2) Dublin III Regulation.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Official statistics provided by the Migration directorate, March 2023.

[5] Article 51(2) IPA.

[6] Article 52, eighth indent IPA.

[7] Official statistics provided by the Migration directorate, March 2023.

[8] See also AIDA, Country Report Slovenia – 2021 Update, May 2022, available at: https://bit.ly/3kCs3cg.

[9] Official statistics provided by the Migration directorate, March 2023.

[10] Official statistics provided by the Migration directorate, March 2023.

[11] Article 38(1) IPA.

[12] Administrative Court Judgment, I U 1174/2019/11, 25. July 2019, available at: https://bit.ly/2IDAg9i.

[13] Article 70(2) IPA.

[14] Constitutional Court decision, I U 203/14, 3. December 2015, available in Slovene at: https://bit.ly/3Pv0UCF.

[15] Article 70(3) IPA.

[16] Article 32(2) Administrative Dispute Act.

[17] Article 70(4) IPA.

[18] CJEU, Case C-490/16, A.S. v Republic of Slovenia, Judgment of 26 July 2017, available at: http://bit.ly/3KPHQiu.

[19] ECtHR, M.S.S. v. Belgium and Greece, Application No 30696/09, Judgment of 21 January 2011, available at: http://bit.ly/3YdcC85.  

[20] Official statistics provided by the Migration directorate, March 2023.

[21] Constitutional Court, Decision Up-613/16, 28 September 2016, available at: http://bit.ly/2F04oba.

[22] Constitutional Court, Decision Up-21/11, 10 October 2012, available at: http://bit.ly/2HisQFR.

[23] This is possible under Article 49(7) IPA if a personal interview has already been carried out and the asylum authority has sufficient information to issue a decision.

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