The use of immigration detention is increasing in Austria, according to information disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Interior in response to two parliamentary questions (3078/J and 3131/J) in May 2019.

The Federal Agency for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) took 5,010 detention orders in 2018, resulting in 5,242 persons placed in detention. Of those, 4,803 were men and 439 were women. The detention orders issued by the BFA mainly concerned nationals of Nigeria (809), Slovakia (412), Serbia (331), Afghanistan (323), Pakistan (281) and Hungary (248). This represents an increase compared to 2017, during which 4,962 persons were placed in detention.

The BFA reported an average duration of detention of 25.2 days in 2018. Out of the total number of people in detention, 1,628 were detained for up to one week and 682 for up to two weeks. 9 persons were detained for more than 30 weeks.

Capacity and occupancy of detention centres: Detention was mainly implemented in the pre-removal centre (AHZ) of Vordernberg and the police station (PAZ) of Vienna Roßauer Lände, which have a maximum capacity of 193 and 353 places respectively. During 2018, 3,844 people were detained in Vienna Roßauer Lände and 1,646 in Vordernberg. At the end of the year, there were 464 persons in detention, including 240 in Vienna Roßauer Lände and 118 in Vordernberg.

The Federal Administrative Court (BVwG) is competent for reviewing detention orders issued by the BFA. In the last four years, detention cases before the Court have grown exponentially from 596 in 2015 to 1,873 in 2018 of which detention was upheld in 1,075. The BVwG found that 23.8% of the detention orders issued in 2018 by the BFA were unlawful.

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*This information was first published by AIDA, managed by ECRE.


Photo: (CC) Neil Conway, November 2011

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.