Detention pending deportation (german: “Schubhaft”)
If either a ban on further residence or deportation is issued against a person, he·she must leave Austria. If he·she does not leave Austria, he·she may be held on detention pending deportation. A person can also be held on remand to safeguard legal proceedings (for example while proving your Dublin III status), in the case of a ban of further residence or of deportation. Basically, detention pending deportation should last for as short a time as possible but can legally, under certain circumstances, last up to 18 months.
If a person is arrested, he·she has the right to learn the reason for his·her arrest in a language, which he·she understands. At his·her request, a person whom he·she trusts and a legal representative should be informed of the arrest without unnecessary delay. Further, the arrest should also be reported to the embassy or consulate of the person’s native country. Detention pending deportation is ordered with a certificate and can be fought against at the LVwG (“Landesverwaltungsgericht”) by making a remand complaint. The right to these proceedings exists during the entire period a person is held on remand and also for a further 6 weeks following the termination of detention pending deportation. If, at the time of complaint proceedings a person is still being held on remand, the LVwG must make a decision within 1 week.
People who get a negative asylum decision might get a “Wohnsitzauflage” meaning they are expected to travel to one of the few “return centers” within 3 days and stay there until being deported. If one fails to do this, one risks a administrative penalty or being put in detention before deportation.
Hunger strike and other ways of harming yourself -might- lead to being released. Please note this is very much depending on your case and might not work out! Forcible feeding is legally allowed but not executed. However, authorities are known to threaten people with it.
Detention of families and children
Because of protest against the imprisoning of children, a detention center for families (officially called “Familienunterkunft” / „family accomodation facility“) was built on the outskirts of Vienna. Those who are detained in this detention center before being deported can move „freely“ within the house and garden. This detention is only imposed for a maximum of 48 hours before deportation.
Legal and humanitarian critique on the Austrian practices
The UNHCR criticised the missing medical supply and possibility of getting legal support in Austrian detention centers after the death of a detainee in hunger strike in 2009.
Especially the difficulty of getting adequate legal advice is criticised.
In the last years, legal information was taken from the hands of NGOs and given to the governmental organisation “BBU” (Bundesagentur für Betreuungs- und Unterstützungsleistungen). If you feel badly supported by the BBU you can try and contact one of the listed independent legal aid organizations additionally.