A total of 4,023 (2020: 3,971) persons were detained throughout 2021 but there is no public data available on how many of them are asylum seekers or how many persons applied for asylum during detention. During 2020, 13 minors were held in detention while in 2021 no minors were registered as being held in detention. However, in most cases, rejected asylum seekers are being arrested 48 hours prior to deportation. This is not counted as formal detention prior to deportation. Data on arrests prior to detention without detention order is not available.
There are 4 main detention centres currently operating in Austria: Vordernberg, Styria; Police Apprehension Centres (PAZ) Vienna Hernalser Gürtel, PAZ Vienna Rossauer Lände and Familienunterbringung Vienna Zinnergasse.
There are 11 smaller Detention Centres (PAZ) under the responsibility of the police – Bludenz, Eisenstadt, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, Salzburg, St Pölten, Villach, Wels and Wiener Neustadt – that are used for short term arrests. In most cases, detainees are transferred to the main centres after an average of 7 days.
The answer to a parliamentary request demonstrated that it is not possible to assess the total capacity of detention centres, as most of them are used for different measures (e.g. administrative and penal detention). Only the detention centre (Anhaltezentrum – AHZ) Vordernberg in Styria and PAZ Hernalser Gürtel and PAZ Roßauer Lände are designated for the sole purpose of pre-removal detention. The maximum total capacity of these three centres amounts to 685.
In practice, asylum seekers are subject to detention mainly under Dublin procedures as well as de facto detention in the airport procedure. Persons who submit a subsequent asylum application are often detained as well. If a person applies for asylum while in detention, he or she may be detained during the admissibility procedure.
When asylum seekers are detained, the personal interview examining their application is held in the detention centre. Interpreters are present and legal representatives have to be summoned to the interview. The BFA may also order to bring the asylum seeker to the BFA for the interview. A person of confidence has the right to be present at the interview of an asylum seeker. If the asylum application is processed as an inadmissible application a legal advisor has to counsel the asylum seeker before the interview and has to be present at the interview.