The applicant lived in Slovenia for 52 years, of which he had a permanent residence for 28 years. After being erased from the register of permanent residents, he lived in Slovenia for another 24 years. In 2014, a return decision was issued to him. Two years later, when the deadline for voluntary return had expired, he filed an application for permission to stay. The competent authority rejected his request and the case was referred to the administrative court.
The administrative court ruled that when considering the applicant's stay in Slovenia, specific circumstances must be taken into account, especially the length of the applicant’s residence in Slovenia and his social status, as well as the fact that he was a stateless person. In that regard, it is necessary to ensure that his right to respect for this private life is respected.
A stateless person of Albanian origin, whose parents had been granted refugee status in the former SFRY, had lived in Croatia for nearly forty years, but his repeated attempts to regularise his residence were largely unsuccessful, apart from short term permits that were granted and withdrawn sporadically. The Court found that Croatia’s failure to comply with its positive obligation to provide an effective and accessible procedure or a combination of procedures enabling the applicant to have the issues of his further stay and status in Croatia determined amounted to a violation of the right to private and family life under Article 8 ECHR. The Court determined that the applicant was stateless and emphasised that statelessness was a relevant factor towards establishing Croatia’s violation of the ECHR.