Cessation and review of protection status

Austria

Country Report: Cessation and review of protection status Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

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The Asylum Act contains the provisions on cessation and withdrawal of international protection in a single provision: Article 7 for refugees and Article 9 for beneficiaries of the subsidiary protection.

Refugee status can be ceased if the conditions in Article 1C of the Refugee Convention are met, or if the refugee status has been granted in another country.[1] Subsidiary protection can be ceased where the conditions on which status was granted no longer exist, where the person obtains the subsidiary protection status in another country, or obtains the nationality of another country and return thereto would not violate the principle of non-refoulement.[2]

 

Cessation procedure

 

Where the BFA considers that the conditions in the country of origin have changed, thus questioning whether the beneficiary’s fear of persecution is still valid, it shall inform the person ex officio of the initiation of a cessation procedure – irrespective of whether the person has a permanent or temporary residence permit.[3]

The authorities must assess whether return would be contrary to Articles 2, 3 or 8 ECHR and, in such a case, issue a residence permit. Where return would amount to refoulement, or in case of practical obstacles, the BFA is responsible for issuing a tolerated status card (Duldungskarte). From January to August 2019, only 94 tolerated status card were issued,[4] compared to 179 in 2018,[5] and 279 in 2016.[6]

If a person has held refugee status for 5 years, refugee status may be terminated only after the person has received a residence permit under a different immigration status.

Cessation procedures for beneficiaries of the subsidiary protection are often initiated by the BFA when they apply for a prolongation of their residence permit. Persons originating from Afghanistan are particularly concerned by these procedures. The Administrative Court stated that a subsidiary protection status, that was granted because of the minority of a person, can be withdrawn once the minor becomes an adult and commits a crime.[7]

A cessation procedure is further initiated when entering the country of origin or applying for a passport from the country of origin. The entry of persons entitled to protection in Austria with a Convention or Foreigner passport is reported by the border police to the BFA. As of today, it is not clear yet if every case of entry from third countries is reported.

In 2018, 5,991 cessation procedures were initiated,[8] resulting in the withdrawal of the refugee status in 450 cases and of the subsidiary protection in 475 cases.[9] From January to August 2019, 5,547 withdrawal procedures were initiated, concerning nationals of the following countries:

 

Initiated cessation procedures Jan-Aug 2019

Country of origin

Number

 Afghanistan

1,536

 Russian Federation

1,178

 Syria

896

 Iraq

439

 Other

1,498

 Total

5,547

 

Out of the total of 5,547 initiated withdrawal procedures, the asylum status was withdrawn in 856 cases, while the subsidiary protection was withdrawn in 917 cases.[10] There are no statistics available, however, on the number of cases in which the decision became enforceable, was appealed and/or changed by the BVwG.

 


[1] Article 7(2)-(3) AsylG.

[2]  Article 9(1) AsylG.

[3]Article 7(2a) AsylG.

[4] Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request 4023/AB, 16 September 2019, available in German at: https://bit.ly/39cOhXt.

[5] Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request 2483/AB XXVI. GP, 27 February 2019.

[6] Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary question 12114/AB, 30.05.2017(XXV.GP18 April 2016, available in German at: http://bit.ly/2kmW2Ri.

[7] VwGH, Decision Ra 2018/18/0343, 21 June 2018.

[8] Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request, 4105/AB XXVI GP, 30 October 2019.

[9] Information provided by the Ministry of Interior on 1 February 2019.

[10] Ministry of Interior, Answer to a parliamentary request 4024/AB XXVI. GP, 16 September 2019, available in German at: https://bit.ly/2PEhsuJ.

 

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