Differential treatment of specific nationalities in reception


Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in reception Last updated: 05/05/23


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Basic Care is provided until the final decision is made, and if the decision is negative until the departure or deportation. Authorities in Lower Austria requested asylum seekers who had received a final negative decision but had not left the country and lived in private accommodation, to move to a state organised asylum accommodation, without the possibility to legally challenge this request. If they refused to do so, their social benefits would be cut. The official press release of the responsible provincial member of parliament of the Freedom Party in April 2018 stated that the aim of this measure was to ensure a “noticeable break in living conditions” as a consequence of non-participation in the return.[1] This is still being applied in practice as of March 2023.

Asylum seekers who have not complied voluntarily within the 14-day deadline will receive an order from the BFA to go to a return center. Currently, there is a center at the airport in Vienna / Schwechat as well as in Tyrol / Fieberbrunn and both centers are run by the Ministry of the Interior. Increased return counseling are carried out in these centers. The establishment of the BBU will further increase return counseling.

For asylum seekers whose application has been rejected and for whom the appeal has no suspensive effect, the right to basic care was removed during the appeal proceedings (see Criteria and Restrictions to Access Reception Conditions). Asylum seekers from safe countries of origin are particularly affected by this restriction. If an asylum seeker participates to the voluntary return, the entitlement to the Basic Care will be granted until the departure.

NGOs report that there is an imbalance between Syrians and other refugees, as Syrians have access to a German course through the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) during the asylum procedure, while others do not. This has created frustration but also confusion, including among the support teams.[2]




[1] Freiheitlicher Klub im Landtag, „Illegalen-Lüge in NÖ – Landesrat Waldhäusl zieht die Konsequenzen“, 27 April 2018, available in German at: https://bit.ly/3343CY5.

[2] asylkoordination österreich, Nationwide NGO survey on basic services Dec 21/Jan 22, unpublished.

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