Country Report: General Last updated: 10/07/24


The decision on detention of asylum applicants is taken by the Migration directorate or the UOIM. Asylum seekers can be detained in the Foreigners Centre or in the Asylum Home.[1] Most asylum seekers are generally not formally detained.

Detention of asylum seekers 2017-2023  
  2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
Foreigners Centre 47 123 22 217 69 105 22
Asylum Home 1 0 1 0 20 0 0

Source: Official statistics provided by the Police, Migration directorate and the UOIM.

In March 2019, in accordance with the CJEU judgment in case C-538/15 Al Chodor, the Slovenian Supreme Court ruled that the provisions of the IPA on detention are not in accordance with the Dublin Regulation, because the IPA does not contain the definition of the “risk of absconding” and the objective criteria needed to establish the risk of absconding in an individual case.[2] The Supreme Court therefore considered that detention in the Dublin procedure is not lawful as long as the IPA does not set the proper legal grounds for detention. Thus, asylum seekers in Slovenia could not be detained in the Dublin procedure or on any other ground that required the risk of absconding to be established. The only possible ground for detention, until the amendments to the IPA, were the prevention of security threats to the country or to the constitutional order of the Republic of Slovenia or protecting personal safety, property and other grounds related to public safety.[3]

In 2021, the IPA was amended and the definition of the risk of absconding was added. This enabled the authorities to detain asylum seekers again. In addition, the IPA now allows the UOIM to detain asylum seekers in order to prevent security threats to the country or to the constitutional order of the Republic of Slovenia or if it is necessary to protect personal safety, property and other grounds related to public safety. The UOIM did not have this authority based on the previous provisions of the IPA as only the Ministry of the Interior could detain asylum seekers.

The changes include a provision that allows the Migration directorate to detain asylum seekers and individuals who have expressed the intention to apply for international protection but have not yet lodged the application. According to the new amendments, asylum seekers detained in the Foreigners Centre can be subject to the same measures as foreigners if they violate the rules of the Foreigners Centre.[4] This means that they can be subject to solitary confinement,[5] prohibited to attend the activities in the centre, or have their rights limited (for example: they can lose their privileges regarding TV and radio, exists from the Foreigners centre etc).[6] In 2023, 5 asylum seekers were subjected to solitary confinement and 2 had their rights limited. In addition, the Police issued 60 warnings due to violations.[7]

In the past detained asylum seekers struggled to obtain legal help and representation from refugee counsellors.[8]  In 2023, 18 asylum seekers were detained by the UOIM and 4 by the Migration directorate.[9] In practice, detained asylum seekers can have trouble accessing the help of refugee counsellors in order to lodge the judicial review. (see: Legal assistance for judicial review of detention).

Apart from asylum applicants, the Foreigners Centre also detains aliens in return procedures, which is the main purpose of the institution. In 2023, 264 aliens were detained throughout the year. During the year 4 children and 10 unaccompanied children were detained. The highest number of detainees were nationals of Albania, Afghanistan, Serbia, China and Kosovo. At the end of the year, 11 individuals were detained in the Foreigners Centre.[10]

A regime of de facto detention is applied to all newly arrived asylum seekers. Upon arrival in the Asylum Home, applicants are informed they are not allowed to leave the premises until they lodge their application. In general, individuals had to wait from 3 to up to 20 days to lodge the application in 2023. If they leave the premises of the Asylum Home before lodging their application, they are considered as foreigners under the Foreigners act, which means that they can be channelled through the return procedure or readmitted to another country. They have to sign a statement according to which they were informed about the consequences of leaving the asylum home. In 2022, the UOIM stopped the practice of locking up the area where newly arrived applicants are accommodated.[11] (see: Detention). In 2023, the decision was made in a case of an applicant that was de facto detained in the reception area of the Asylum Home in February 2023. After the police procedure, the applicant was de facto detained for 7 days in the Asylum Home until lodging the application. Upon lodging the application, the applicant was detained in line with the provisions of the IPA. The applicant was detained in the reception area of the Asylum Home which was locked so the applicant could not go to the courtyard without the approval of the security. The Administrative Court found that based on the intensity, the measure amounted to deprivation of personal liberty not freedom of movement. The Court also noted that there was no legal ground for the deprivation of liberty.[12]

Due to the change in practice, a large number of applicants absconded before lodging their application. In 2023, 60,587 individuals expressed the intention to lodge an application for international protection, but only 7,261 applications were lodged.[13]

Detention itself does not have an impact on the overall quality of the asylum procedure. According to Article 48 IPA, detained asylum seekers’ applications should be prioritised, yet it is not clear to what degree this provision is respected in practice as statistics on the prioritised procedures are not collected by the Migration directorate.

In 2023, 71 individuals expressed their intention to apply for asylum in the Foreigners Centre.[14]




[1] Article 84 IPA.

[2] Supreme Court Decision, X Ips 1/2019 from 13 March 2019, available in Slovenian at:

[3] Article 84(1) IPA.

[4] Article 84(10)-(12) IPA.

[5] Article 77 Foreigners Act.

[6] Article 76.c(2) Foreigners Act.

[7] Official statistics provided by the Police, March 2024.

[8] For further information on this practice, see AIDA, Country Report Slovenia – 2021 Update, May 2022, available at:

[9] Ibid.  

[10] Official statistics provided by the Police, March 2024.

[11] For further information on this practice, see AIDA, Country Report Slovenia – 2021 Update, Detention: General, May 2022, available at:

[12] Administrative Court decision, III U 62/2022.

[13] Official statistics provided by the Police and the Migration directorate, 2024.

[14] Official statistics provided by the Police, March 2024.

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