Overview on Austria
last update: March 2016
GENERAL NOTE: Austria is part of the EU and has therefore very similar asylum laws to other EU countries. Still, lots of details differ between the countries as asylum laws are steadily modiefied. Especially since the strong refugee movement in summer 2015, constant changes of the legal situation in Austria have happened. The information on these pages gives you a general overview of the situation in Austria and concentrates on the basic legal structure. This information should support you as a guideline and for preparation. If possible, check for the most up-to-date detail informations with local legal aid or contact us if you have specific questions.
Chances of getting asylum in Austria depend a lot on your migration history and the preparation of your asylum application. Austria is executing Dublin III and other deportations. Only exception is Greece and -at the moment- Hungary (See: Dublin III Info). Police controls are taking place on trains, in public areas (streets, plazas) as well as in traffic hotspots like train stations. Even though there are strict controls, some people are able to cross through Austria to another country.
Legally you can apply for asylum at any police station in Austria. There, a first check of the application concerning DublinIII will be made and afterwards applicants will be divided to facilities all over Austria. Every federal state (part of Austria) has their own reception center. The location is connected to a quota-system and is almost impossible to influence unless for very drastic reason (close family ties, specific sickness, etc..).
The asylum process can last for a long time (from several months to a couple of years) depending on your personal history and how the authorities treat the case. It is important to prepare the interviews and to collect material/evidence to support your story. In recent years, apart from others, especially people from Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, Irak, Syria, Eritrea or the Russian Federation were able to get subsidiary protection or even asylum. There are some independent NGOs providing legal aid. Take note that the "Verein Menschenrechte" which is working in the camps has close ties to the government and has no interest in helping you get asylum! Better contact one of the listed NGOs.
There are some antiracist groups and individuals which try to support migrants but their resources are limited. In big cities like Vienna, various migrant communities exist from different countries.