The Republic of Slovenia has been forming its migration policy since 1991 when it became independent and internationally recognised state. The war in the territories of former Yugoslavia triggered the first major migration flows of the population coming from former Yugoslav republics (especially Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo).Migration flows present also today the highest number of foreign immigrants in Slovenia. Before Slovenia entered the EU the immigrants roughly composed two or three groups with different status – the first one were those who had the Slovenian citizenship granted under the then applicable Slovenian Citizenship Act (Official Gazette RS, no. 1/91) and the other group were immigrants granted permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia.
Due to Slovenia’s position in the migration sensitive central European environment which remodelled at the end of 1990’s and increased migration pressures with the expansion of geographic sources it was indicated that Slovenia was becoming more and more attractive especially as a transit country but also as a destination of migration flows otherwise directed more towards the EU. With the legislation of that time and particularities originating from the recently achieved independence and the beginning of the process towards democracy Slovenia encountered more often the same challenges as the developed western European countries within EU and the Schengen area. For a successful approaching to the family of EU Member States and important international organisations (Council of Europe etc.) it was necessary to harmonise its former migration policy with its own interests and international, as well as humanitarian obligations in order to contribute to the wellbeing of its citizens, social development, health protection, security and peace. For this purpose the Resolution on Immigration Policy of the Republic of Slovenia (Official Gazette RS no. 40/99) was adopted in 1999 which defined three main pillars of immigration policy in Slovenia, namely the protection of and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers, integration of immigrants into Slovenian society and prevention of illegal migration. The Resolution also provided the normative and organisational structure necessary for a successful and consistent implementation of immigration policy. The basic legal remedies based on which Slovenia intended to realise the Resolution views were: Aliens Act to govern entry and residence requirements for aliens, Asylum Act for arranging the refugee status and asylum policy, State Border Control Act for the supervision of borders in line with the EU accession procedures and Schengen Agreement, and an adequate visa regime as well as any relevant laws in this area. Due to a growing complex dynamics of migration flows that required new forms of migration management such as the cooperation with other countries and international organisations as well as the accession to EU the Resolution on Migration Policy of the Republic of Slovenia (Official Gazette RS, no. 106/2002) was adopted in 2002 which defined even more concrete activities and measures for the application of migration policy by harmonising them with the European acquis and basic European principles such as solidarity, right to freedom of movement and equality.
Since Slovenia became a EU Member State its immigration policy is largely in line with the EU migration and asylum policy, as well as the EU acquis, especially through the transposition of the EU legislation, such as directives on migration and asylum, as well as the establishment of the Common European Asylum System.