First country of asylum


Country Report: First country of asylum Last updated: 08/04/21


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The concept of “first country of asylum” is established in Article 4a AsylG. An application will be rejected as inadmissible, if the applicant has found protection in an EEA country state or Switzerland and asylum or subsidiary protection status was granted.

A law amendment that entered into force on 1 September 2018 deleted the 3 months deadline if the person cannot be deported. As a consequence, the inadmissibility decision does no longer cease to be valid and deportation can still be undertaken at a later date.

Rejections for existing protection in another EU state are also made in countries such as Greece or Hungary where Dublin responsibilities are denied, even though the appeal is regularly granted suspensive effect.

A Syrian mother with 3 children gave birth after she arrived in Bulgaria where she suffered from prenatal depression. She was granted subsidiary protection in Bulgaria shortly after moving to Austria. The Bulgarian authorities denied responsibility under the Dublin system, but were ready to take over as a result of the readmission agreement. The BVwG considered the deportation to Bulgaria as not permissible because of the PTSD from which the children were suffering and which was triggered, among other things, by experiences during the imprisonment in Bulgaria at the end of September 2015, as well as the intensive family relationship with relatives living in Austria.[1]

The BVwG has also accepted an appeal of an Afghan family who had received subsidiary protection in Hungary, due to the need to clarify whether the current situation of beneficiaries of protection in Hungary raises a risk of violation of Article 3 ECHR.[2] In the case of a single Syrian who obtained subsidiary protection in Bulgaria, however, the BVwG found no real risk on the ground that he did not belong to a vulnerable group.[3]

In a case ruled by the Federal Administrative Court, the rejection of the application as inadmissible of a Chechen refugee who was registered in Azerbaijan as “person of concern” to UNHCR was considered as insufficient. The court did not adequately assess whether the status is similar to the status of a recognised refugee nor whether the protection from refoulement was ensured.[4]

As mentioned in Safe Third Country, inadmissibility may be ordered when a person has obtained status in another EU Member State.


[1]           BVwG, Decision W192 2131676, 8 September 2016.

[2]           BVwG, Decision W205 2180181-1, 21 December 2017.

[3]           BVwG, Decision “233 2166376-1, 18 September 2017.

[4]           BVwG, Decision L518 2109232-1, 6 August 2015, available at:

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation