According to Article 76 FPG, the principle of necessity has to be taken into account. Detention has to be necessary to reach one of the stated objectives. When examining the proportionality of detention, criminal offences committed by the applicant are taken into account to assess whether the public interest is affected by the seriousness of the offences. Similarly, the authorities must assess whether the public interest in speedy deportation overrides the personal liberty of the individual. Proportionality means to weight or balance the interests between the public interest of securing the procedure (i.e. mainly in the context of deportations) and the right to liberty of the individual.
The BFA must review the proportionality of detention every 4 weeks. Proportionality is also a constitutional principle applicable to all administrative procedures and therefore also to asylum and return proceedings. This has been confirmed by the jurisprudence of the VwGH and the Constitutional Court (VfGH).
Alternative measures must be applied as much as possible. An individualised examination is foreseen by the FPG, but in practice less coercive measures are often regarded by the authorities as not sufficient to secure the return procedure or expulsion.
Article 77(3) FPG enumerates three alternatives to detention: (a) reporting obligations; (b) the obligation to take up residence in a certain place and (c) the deposit of a financial guarantee. Details about the deposit and amount of the financial guarantee are regulated by the Ordinance Implementing the Aliens Police Act (FPG-DV). This amount must be determined in each individual case and must be proportionate. The law specifies a maximum of €1,717.46 for financial guarantees (2 x €858,73). The measure is not usually applied in practice, however. Recent observations confirmed that this was still the case in 2019.
Alternatives to detention are applied in open centres, in regular reception facilities, in facilities rented by the police or property of NGOs, as well as in private accommodations of the person to be deported. If an alternative to detention is ordered, asylum seekers have reporting duties. This includes presenting themselves to the police offices of the Federal Police Directorates every day or every second day. If reporting obligations or the obligation to take up residence in a certain accommodation facility are violated, the person can be detained.
The duration of alternative measures is limited. Asylum seekers benefiting from an alternative to detention are not entitled to Basic Care, although necessary medical treatment(s) must always be guaranteed. These costs may be paid by the BFA. Asylum seekers may also receive free emergency medical treatment in hospitals.
However, in practice, alternatives to detention are very rarely used. Alternatives to detention were applied only in approximately 270 cases per year between 2016 and 2018. Information for the year 2019 is not available.
In Vienna Zinnergasse, alternatives to detention are provided for vulnerable persons, especially for families. However, families are detained 72 hours prior to their removal and other vulnerable persons (e.g. people with mental illnesses) are detained in regular detention facilities, unless a psychiatrist certifies that this is not appropriate.
 Article 76(2) FPG.
 Article 76(2a) FPG, in force as of 1 November 2017, citing Articles 2 and 28 Dublin III Regulation.
 Article 80(6) FPG.
 VwGH, Decision Ra 2013/21/0008, 2 August 2013.
 See e.g. VfGH, Decision B1447/10, 20 September 2011.
 Article 13 FPG-DV.
 Article 77(4) FPG.
 Ministry of Interior, Parliamentary request, 9 September 2018, available in German at: https://bit.ly/2SGqZQr.