[ 22. Oct 2017 ]

New Rules for Asylum Seekers in Austria effective from 1st November 2017

On 1st of November a strengthening of immigration and asyluum laws in Austria will take effect. Bordercrossing Spielfeld summarized the most important changings.


Persons getting a negative decision on their application to be admitted to an asylum procedure in Austria and at the same time are not granted a suspension, will lose their right to primary care. Rejected Asylum seekers are forced to co-operate with their own deportation.

In future, rejected Asylum seekers have to look after the required traveling papers. If they deniy, fines and imprisonment are imminent. It will be more easier to put people into pre-deportation detention

To make deportations more easier, the authorities can order people to stay in special federal camps.

Freezing out unwanted asylum seekers / new rules will take effect in November

Report from :: Facebook:

In a recent interview with Austria's daily newspaper Kurier, Minister of the Interior Sobotka already announced: "Those who have no right to stay will be increasingly subject to controls and if necessary picked up." In addition, there will now be fines and detention or jail as well as a gradual infringement on people's right to free movement, in many cases aided by the new Amendments to the Foreigners Act (FRÄG) the last part of this will become effective on 1 November 2017.

Below is only a small selection of new rules (the law actually includes a multitude of measures, many of them not relevant to asylum seekers)

No primary care after nagative decisions. Failure to actively get involved in leaving the country can lead to fines and imprisonment

Persons getting a negative decision on their application to be admitted to an asylum procedure in Austria and at the same time are not granted a suspension, will lose their right to primary care (this includes food, money, living quarters and medical care). Such care can only be granted after a negative decision if the person(s) actively work towards their departure from Austria. Such active involvement includes making an effort to get travel papers from their country of origin and also showing up at the repatriation advice meeting (VMÖ). Non-compliance can lead to a fine of 100 to 1000 Euros and eventually up to 4 weeks of coercive detention.

Pre-deportation detention - coescive detention - fines

As mentioned above, asylum seekers who have been denied must now actively participate in getting their travel papers. If people actively hinder the authorities in this, they can be detained up to 4 weeks, but later also detained. Those not detained may be ordered to move to special federal camps to facilitate their deportation when the time comes (let us not forget that the majority of people do not leave voluntarily). Existing social contacts and networks - be it with family or Austrian friends, schools, non-urgency medical treatments etc - are not taken into consideration.

Pre-deportation detention can also be ordered if travel documents, even by a third transit country, are not provided in time. Under certain circumstances, detention can be prolonged up to 18 months (even minors can be detained up to 4 months).

Refusing to leave the country can lead to a 5000-15000 Euro fine, or if payment cannot be made up to 6 weeks in prison. The same applies to people already deported who illegally re-enter Austria, in case of repeated offence 6 weeks imprisonment will be imposed.

Austria among leaders when it comes to deportations

According to the minister, these measures will help keep Austria at the top of deporting countries: "Concerning deportations we are already leading in Europe in terms of per capita numbers. This year alone, we have deported 8,829 persons up to the end of September."

Information concerning his plans for legal alternatives for refugees who should have a right to asylum is less forthcoming: "We can only talk about legal immigration when illegal migration has been completely stopped, not before then."

Sources (most in German):
:: Border Crossing Spielfeld (Facebook)