Duration of detention


Country Report: Duration of detention Last updated: 30/11/20


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Detention should be as short as possible,[1] and cannot exceed 6 months for adults,[2] and 3 months for children over the age of 14.[3] Prior to November 2017, these maximum time limits were 4 months and 2 months respectively. There is also a possibility to exceptionally extend these periods for up to 18 months, e.g. when the identity or citizenship cannot be verified or when the foreigner resisted against police force in the context of deportation.[4]  As regards asylum seekers, detention should generally not last longer than 4 weeks following the final decision on the application.[5]

Figures on the average duration of detention of asylum seekers in general are not available. In 2019, however, the average time of a person kept in detention centre was 28.9 days.[6]

Asylum seekers falling under the Dublin procedure are often detained immediately after lodging their application and may be kept in detention until they are transferred to the responsible Member State. In Dublin cases, detention may last for some weeks, as suspensive effect of the appeal is hardly ever granted and the transfer can be affected while their appeal is still pending.

[1] Article 80(1) FPG.

[2] Article 80(2)(2) FPG.

[3] Article 80(2)(1) FPG.

[4]  Article 80(4) FPG.

[5]  Article 80(5) FPG.

[6]  Ministry of Interior, Answer to a parliamentary request 4023/AB XXVI GP, 16 August 2019, available in German at: https://bit.ly/39jKNlW.


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