[ 22. May 2006 // letzte änderung: 20. Mar 2009 ]

marriage without borders

ehe ohne grenzen

The initiative "Ehe ohne Grenzen" (marriage without borders) is struggling for the right of partnership and the right to stay. From 19th of April 2006 until 23rd of April 2008 a manifestation in front of the Ministry of the Interior in Vienna (1010, Herrengasse 7) tookk place every Wednesday, 5pm. The initiative still offer legal support.


"The right to family life is indivisible!"
Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

We are a group of bi-national couples in Austria and have joined forces under the name "Ehe ohne Grenzen" (marriage without borders). The Austrian immigration policy and the new immigration package keep us from living together with our partners and children in peace and without fear. We, as bi-national families, are being discriminated against through this policy and our family life is threatened in its existence. Being married to an Austrian citizen doesn't mean that you automatically have the right to legally stay in Austria.

For us, there is no certainty that we will ever be able to lead self-determined lives with our families - neither in Austria, nor in the countries of origin of our partners or any place else.

Since January 1, 2006 the legislator requires that the application for a residence permit has to be filed in the country of origin. This means partners have to live separated from one another for an undefined period of time without knowing whether the application will succeed, without any guarantee that they will ever be able to live together in Austria.

Non-Austrian partners without a residence permit might be expelled from the country any day. Every time the door bell rings, it might be the police wanting to throw your partner into prison for up to 10 months. Afterwards they will want to deport your partner to the country from which he or she has fled.

Without a residence permit you can't obtain a working permit. The Austrian partner has to raise the minimum monthly income of EUR 1,056 required since the beginning of 2006. Many people can't comply with this requirement.

For so-called third country nationals, it is almost impossible to legally enter and leave the country or to survive. Due to this, residence bans and expulsions are what follows rapidly. A joint family life becomes impossible.
As a basic principle, Austrians who marry so-called third country nationals are criminalised and considered as suspicious.

We demand our human rights back:

Immediate working and residence permits for our spouses!

  • Residence permits should immediately be granted to all asylum-seekers who were or are married to an Austrian, irrespective of the wedding date.
  • Same-sex marriages and partnerships concluded abroad should be acknowledged.
  • Equal opportunities should be granted to so-called third-country nationals with a residence ban so that they can reintegrate and resocialise themselves.
  • Bi-national marriages should be decriminalised.