Cessation and review of protection status

Austria

Country Report: Cessation and review of protection status Last updated: 08/04/21

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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]

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). In 2020, 194 tolerated status cards were issued,[4] compared to 162 in 2019, [5] 179 in 2018,[6] and 279 in 2016.[7]

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 Russia, Syria and 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Court stated that a subsidiary protection status, that was granted because of the minority of a person, can be withdrawn once the minor becomes an adult and commits a crime.[8]

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.

Statistics on the number of initiated cessation/withdrawal procedures

Statistics made available by the Ministry of Interior do not distinguish between cessation and withdrawal procedures. The number of initiated cessation or withdrawal procedures of the asylum status has consistently remained between 5,500 and 6,000 cases since 2018. In 2018, 5,991 cessation/withdrawal procedures were initiated,[9] resulting in the withdrawal/cessation of the refugee status in 450 cases and of the subsidiary protection in 475 cases.[10] In 2019, out of the total of 5,547 initiated withdrawal procedures, the asylum status was ceased or withdrawn in 856 cases, while the subsidiary protection was ceased or withdrawn in 917 cases.[11]

In 2020, 5,469 cessation and withdrawal procedures of the asylum status were initiated on following grounds:

Initiated cessation/withdrawal procedures of the asylum status: 2020
Country of Origin Delinquency[12] Danger to public security[13] Travel movement (COI)[14] Altered circumstances[15] Withdrawal/Cessation status of reference person Other reasons
Russia 271 5 225 683 423 101
Syria 655 7 626 16 5 111
Afghanistan 416 1 420 38 18 75
Iran 163 0 105 18 2 26
Iraq 97 0 120 7 7 11
Stateless 101 1 54 6 2 16
Somalia 54 0 61 18 40 3
Kosovo 3 0 9 36 15 1
Serbia 9 0 5 23 13 5
China 3 0 9 8 7 1
Other 81 1 82 66 43 41
Total 1,853 15 1,716 919 575 391

Source: Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request 4878/AB, XXVII. GP, 12 March 2021

As regards subsidiary protection, the BFA imitated a total of 2,321 cessation/withdrawal procedures in 2020:

 

Initiated cessation/withdrawal procedures of the subsidiary protection: 2020
Country of Origin Delinquency[16] Danger to Public Security[17] Travel Movement (COI)[18] Altered circumstances[19] Examination in the course of prolongation Other reasons
Afghanistan 201 0 127 0 361 165
Russia 25 0 12 0 314 117
Iraq 74 0 42 0 50 95
Somalia 57 0 28 0 95 11
Syria 23 0 11 0 30 10
Armenia 2 0 2 0 34 18
Kosovo 3 0 0 0 16 29
Georgia 3 0 1 0 32 4
Serbia 2 0 0 0 19 17
Bosnia 1 0 0 0 21 11
Other 27 1 18 0 159 53
Total 418 1 241 0 1,331 530

Statistics on the number of protection status ceased/withdrawn by the BFA at first instance

Not all of the initiated procedures represented above resulted in a withdrawal or cessation of protection. In 2020, the BFA ceased and withdrew asylum status in 1,341 cases as follows:

Ceased/withdrawn asylum status by BFA: 2020
Country of Origin Delinquency Danger to public security Travel movement (COI) Altered circumstances Withdrawal/cessation status of reference person Other reasons
Russia 97 2 150 395 207 101
Afghanistan 19 0 11 7 8 24
Syria 5 5 8 3 5 37
Iraq 8 0 27 4 3 8
Kosovo 2 0 11 21 3 4
Iran 5 0 6 6 4 15
Stateless 4 1 5 5 3 5
Serbia 1 0 1 10 2 5
Bosnia 1 0 0 2 0 7
DRC 3 0 1 0 0 6
Other 8 0 6 28 13 13
Total 153 8 226 481 248 225

Source: Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request 4878/AB, XXVII. GP, 12 March 2021

As regards the subsidiary protection, it was withdrawn or ceased in a total of 499 cases in 2020:

Withdrawal of subsidiary protection status by BFA: 2020
Russia 193
Afghanistan 153
Iraq 25
Armenia 18
Nigeria 17
Mongolia 10
Kosovo 10
Bosnia 10
Georgia 9
Ukraine 9
Other 45
Total 499

Source: Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request 4878/AB, XXVII. GP, 12 March 2021

It should be noted that the above figures only represent the number of protection status ceased/withdrawn by the BFA at first instance. However, there are no statistics available statistics on the number of cases in which these decisions became enforceable, were appealed and/or changed by the BVwG. In October 2020, the NGO “Menschen.Würde.Österreich” presented an evaluation of the cessation/withdrawal procedures carried out between January 2019 and September 2020. Based on publicly available decisions by the BVwG, 841 decisions of the BFA in withdrawal/cessation procedures were challenged and 79% of all withdrawal decisions by the BFA concerning cases other than withdrawal of delinquency were dismissed by the court.[20]

 

 

[1] Article 7(2)-(3) AsylG.

[2] Article 9(1) AsylG.

[3] Article 7(2a) AsylG.

[4] Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request, 4887/AB, XXVII. GP, 12 March 2021, available in German at: https://bit.ly/30XDwWv.

[5] Ministry of Interior, Answer to parliamentary request 3698/AB, 4 December 2020, available in German at: https://bit.ly/3qu7n3K

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

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

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

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

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

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

[12] Article 7 (2) AsylG, in connection with Article 27 (3) (1-4) AsylG

[13] Article 7 (1) (1), in connection with Article 6 (1) (3) AsylG

[14] Article 7 (2) last sentence AsylG

[15]  Article 7 (2a) AsylG

[16] Article 9 (3) AsylG

[17] Article 9 (2) (2) AsylG

[18] Article 9 (1) (1-2) AsylG

[19]  Artcile 9 (1) (1)AsylG

[20] Der Standard, „Die absurd hohe Fehlerquote des Bundesamts für Fremdenwesen und Asyl“, 10 December 2020, available in German at: https://bit.ly/3eUlkoR.

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