Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update


Country Report: Overview of the of the main changes since the previous report update Last updated: 10/07/24


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The last version of this report was previously updated in May 2023.

International protection

  • Key asylum statistics: 58,686 applications were lodged in 2023, a decrease of almost 50% compared to 2022 (112,000), but it is still the fifth highest number of asylum applications since World War II. At the same time, the number of discontinued cases remained at a very high level as well. Almost 30,000 cases were discontinued due to the onward travel of applicants to other countries. Syria was the top country of origin of applicants (21,208) followed by Afghanistan (8,516). This is a sharp decline in applications from Afghanistan, which had reached 25,000 in 2022. Moreover, almost 8,000 cases of Afghan applicants were discontinued in 2023 as they had left the country. While the backlog of pending cases in first instance was reduced to 28,000 (2022: 46,000), the number of pending cases in second instance grew slightly to 8,700 (2022: 6,300).

Asylum procedure

  • Registration: The number of applications plummeted in fall 2023. While there were between 4,000-8,000 monthly first applications from July to October, in January 2024 only 800 first applicants were registered. This is a consequence of a change of migratory routes due to heavy military presence in Serbia and a controversial joint police operation with Hungary called “Operation Fox”.
  • Pushbacks: there were no reports of pushbacks by Austrian officials on Austrian territory. There have been some unproven allegations against the joint police operation with Hungary called “Operation Fox” as there have been more than 100,000 apprehensions in Hungary in 2023 but only 31 asylum applications and reports from people on the move claiming to be pushed back to Serbia from Hungary despite having tried to apply for asylum. On the other hand, over 11,000 persons were transferred from Germany to Austria after Germany denied entry to German territory. There were also allegations that German police officers had not reacted to asylum applications by people later transferred to Austria (see Access to the territory).
  • Dublin procedures: 17,369 incoming Dublin requests and 2,156 transfers by other member states to Austria were registered in 2023. Half of the transfers came from Germany, 16% from Switzerland and 15% from France. In the same time, 13,545 outgoing Dublin requests were sent to other states and 1,240 persons were transferred. The main recipient countries were Germany (24%), Croatia (21%) and Romania (12%) (see Dublin).
  • Legal counselling and representation: The controversial system of legal counselling and representation in Austria introduced in 2021 was found to be unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court in December 2023. The Court found that the independence of the legal counselling which was offered by the state-owned agency BBU GmbH was not guaranteed by the existing legal framework and ordered that the law be amended accordingly by the end of June 2025. In case the law is not amended in line with the decision by this time, legal counselling and representation will cease to be entrusted to the BBU GmbH (see Legal assistance).
  • Fast track procedures: In 2023, 8,258 “fast track” procedures were initiated and 8,421 decisions taken. This is a sharp decrease after almost 24,000 conducted fast track procedures in 2022, due to the decrease of applications from Morocco, India and Tunisia (see Regular procedure – General and Accelerated procedure).
  • Discontinued cases: The number of discontinued cases remained a high level with 30,032 discontinued cases in 2023 (2022: 42,000). Of 70,000 decisions taken in 2023, 43% were formal decisions because of people having travelled onwards after lodging an asylum application (see Regular procedure – General).

Reception conditions

  • Reception centres: At the end of 2023, 21 federal reception centres with a total capacity of around 4,000 were in use. 3,591 persons were accommodated in these centres at the end of 2023. Due to the decrease in applications in the last months of 2023, four centres were permanently closed and 6 locations were temporarily closed (see Housing).
  • Lack of adequate housing for UAM: As the financial resources have not been raised for the provision of adequate accommodation facilities in the provinces, many minors were left to be accommodated in the large federal reception facilities even though their admission procedure has already been concluded. By the end of the year, 500 UAM were placed in inadequate first reception facilities of which 401 UAM were already admitted to the procedure in Austria (see Reception of unaccompanied minors).
  • Lack of cooperation between the Federal state and provinces: A lack of cooperation between the federal basic care system (admission phase) and the provinces resulted more than 2,000 persons staying in large reception facilities. Even though some provinces such as Upper Austria, Vienna and Tyrol created more smaller facilities after the reception crisis of 2022, the lack of cooperation resulted in a high amount of additional costs at the federal level (see Housing).

Detention of asylum seekers

  • Lack of data: There is still no data proactively published by the Ministry of Interior 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 conditions: A CPT report in 2023 documented massive shortcomings in the conditions in pre-deportation detention. At the biggest detention unit in Vienna-Hernalser Gürtel, the overall material conditions have significantly deteriorated. Most parts of the accommodation and communal areas were in an appalling state of repair with corridors, cells and their sanitary annexes dilapidated and dirty. Such conditions were found to be not suitable for holding foreign nationals for prolonged period of time (see Detention conditions).

Content of international protection

  • Increase in family reunification applications: As the authorities worked on deciding on a backlog of Syrian protection cases in 2023, many applications for entry authorisations were brought before Austrian embassies upon the issuance of positive asylum decisions in these cases. This led to a sharp increase in asylum applications via the family reunification process. More than 14,000 applications were brought in, leading to 9,180 asylum applications in Austria in 2023. More than 95% were Syrian nationals, 70% minors (see Family reunification).

Temporary protection

The information given hereafter constitute a short summary of the 2023 Report on Temporary Protection, for further information, see Annex on Temporary Protection.

  • Key temporary protection statistics: Since 2022, around 107,000 persons have registered as beneficiaries of temporary protection in Austria. As of January 2024, around 70,000 Ukrainians that entered Austria after the start of the Russian invasion were registered in the Central Register of Residence. 40,000 beneficiaries received basic care, of which 25,000 were sheltered in private housing.

Temporary protection procedure

  • Restrictive Interpretation: In 2023, the registration process seemed to be quicker, since the number of arriving Ukrainians decreased substantially. As Austria implemented the TPD in a very restrictive manner some strategic litigation cases concerning the eligibility of third country nationals with permanent residence status in Ukraine and TCN partners (instead of spouses) are pending before Courts.

Content of temporary protection

  • Social benefits and title of stay: As the temporary protection was prolonged until 2025, also the access of beneficiaries to family allowance and childcare subsidies was extended. In spring 2024, a bill was introduced into parliament enabling Ukrainians registered as beneficiaries to change to a regular title of stay if they fulfil certain conditions such as having worked at least 12 months within the last 2 years.

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