The last version of this report was previously updated in April 2022.
- Key asylum statistics: A record number of 112,000 asylum applications were lodged in 2022 (2015: 88,000). At the same time, a record number of discontinued cases of 42,000 have been registered due to the onward travel of applicants to other countries. Afghanistan remained the top country of origin of applicants with 25,000 applications. In 2022, 17,000 cases of Afghan nationals were discontinued as they had left the country. Applications from nationals from India, Tunisia and Morocco have surged as a consequence of visa-free entry to Serbia and onward travel through Hungary to Austrian border. The rate of first instance decisions amended or annulled by the Court at second instance increased to 55% of all decisions challenged. The second instance court reduced the backlog of pending procedures from 8,300 to 6,400.
- Registration: Due to the rise in arrivals at the Eastern border in Burgenland the registration process was altered by internal decree. All asylum applicants were registered and fingerprinted. Non-vulnerable applicants without a EURODAC hit in other countries are sent to other regional police directorates for the first interview.
- Pushbacks: The appeals brought in by the police against the landmark rulings by the Regional Administrative Court of Styria from 2021 confirming the illegality of push backs by the Austrian police were dismissed. There were no reports of pushbacks by Austrian authorities on Austrian territory in 2022.
- Dublin procedures: A record number of 24,000 incoming Dublin requests were registered in 2022. However, at the same time only 1,575 applicants were actually transferred to Austria while 1,100 applicants were effectively transferred to other countries.
- Reception crisis: In October 2022, a reception crisis hit Austria. Due to the lack of cooperation between the provinces, who are responsible for the accommodation of asylum seekers after positive conclusion of the admissibility procedure, and the federal system, asylum seekers had to be accommodated in tents due to shortage of capacity in the federal reception centres.
- Lack of cooperation between the Federal State and provinces: A lack of cooperation between the federal basic care system (admission phase) and the provinces created the reception crisis: Only around 17,000 applicants were transferred to the provinces throughout the whole year, leaving the federal reception centres overcrowded.
- Waiting zones: As the registration process for non-vulnerable applicants was altered, so called waiting zones were established close to police stations where the first interviews were conducted. The reception conditions in these waiting zones were very poor and inadequate, possibly contributing to the high number of applicants travelling on to other countries after applying for asylum in Austria.
Detention of asylum seekers
- Lack of data: There is still no data available on how many asylum seekers were held in detention or how many rejected asylum seekers left the country upon receiving an order to leave the country.
- Detention under Dublin: 1,183 persons were detained on the detention ground of a Dublin transfer as the condition of Art 28 (1) (2) of the Dublin Regulation were viewed as fulfilled.
Content of international protection
- Withdrawal and cessation procedures: there was a decrease in initiated withdrawal and cessation procedures in 2022 due to the high number of asylum applications.
- Naturalisation: Compared to the years before, 2022 saw a sharp increase of successful naturalisation processes (over 2,000) of beneficiaries of protection. This was mainly due to the expiry of the waiting time of Syrian nationals having received asylum status in 2015 and 2016.
The information given hereafter constitute a short summary of the 2022 Report on Temporary Protection, for further information, see Annex on Temporary Protection.
- Key temporary protection statistics: In 2022, 462,000 Ukrainians entered and 382,000 Ukrainians left the country. 91,232 persons were registered as displaced persons from Ukraine, including 89,770 Ukrainian nationals. 68,124 Ukrainians were registered in the Central residency registration system, of which around 50,000 receive basic care services in Austria. Of those registered for temporary protection, around 2/3 were female.
Temporary protection procedure
- Scope of temporary protection: Based on the TPD, a regulation based on § 62 AsylG (Vertriebenenverordnung) was passed defining the target group of the temporary protection: only Ukrainian nationals or beneficiaries of international protection from Ukraine that lived in Ukraine before 24 February, as well as their family members, are eligible for temporary protection. This is a more restrictive scope compared to the Council Implementing Decision at the EU level. In March 2023, the VfGH annulled a decision by the BVwG rejecting the registration as Vertriebene because the person was not physically present in Ukraine on 24 February 2022. There is no consistent jurisdiction on the matter yet.
- Access to basic care: The big number of arrivals in March and April 2022 led to a crisis of the dysfunctional basic care system. The responsibility regarding accommodation and care for people displaced from Ukraine was that of the provinces who were not prepared for such a crisis. This led to a huge backlog in applications for basic care in the first half of 2022.
Content of temporary protection
- Rights of TP beneficiaries: Ukrainians registered as „Vertriebene“ are eligible to receive basic care like asylum seekers, not social care like beneficiaries of asylum. They receive an identity card and are allowed to work with a working permit. The working permit has to be applied for by the employer. There is no reason to deny the working permit. This process has been seen as unnecessary and will be changed by April 2023, after which Ukrainian refugees will be allowed to work without working permit.
- Prolongation and transitioning out of TPD: In December 2022, the Ministry of Interior announced that the status of Vertriebene based on the TPD was to be prolonged until March 2024. Furthermore, the Ministry of Interior announced that he believes half of the Ukrainians present will stay in Austria after the end of the war and that a plan for introducing a new title of stay for Ukrainians after TPD will be presented in the first half of 2023.
- Accommodation of TP beneficiaries: Before 2022, the Austrian basic care system was mainly based on organised housing. In July 2022, 45,000 out of 54,000 Ukrainians that were registered as Vertriebene were accommodated in private housing. The rate of Ukrainians housed by civil society decreased from 78% to 70% in January 2023 due to the high cost of living and small contribution of the Austrian basic care system for recipients housed privately.