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 modified. 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: (link: /en/countries/austria/dublin2 text: Dublin III Info)). ATTENTION: If you have already received a positive asylum decision in Greece, you still might be deported to there. 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 Dublin III will be made and afterwards applicants will be divided to facilities all over Austria. Depending on where you apply, you might be sent to a different, centralised police station for your first interview. You will be not be able to move freely there and have to wait for your preliminary asylum decision which, ideally, should not take longer than 48hrs. 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. You will be supplied with state legal support. Please note, that depending on the individual person handling your case one should be cautious as the legal support is still connected to the state. If you have strong reasons to believe that you are not properly supported in your claim by the “BBU” (Bundesagentur für Betreuungs- und Unterstützungsleistung) we advise to contact one of the listed independent legal aid organsations. Please note: We do advise that you contact the BBU (you should receive an info sheet which contains the contact information of the BBU) for your interview because if you do not, you might be left without any legal aid for your interview which could be disadvantageous for your asylum claim.
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.