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Under the designation asylum ( Latin asylum ; from ancient Greek ἄσυλον or ἄσυλος ' untouched ', 'safe', composed of the ἀ-privativum - meaning 'un-', 'not-' - and the noun σῦλον 'robbery', 'Seizure') is understood

The right of asylum means :

On the terms asylum seeker, refugee and subsidiary protection

Asylum seekers are people who submit an application for protection or for legal recognition of their own refugee status in the country of arrival, either under national or international law.

As refugees are to be recognized, according to Article 1 of the Geneva UN Refugee Convention of 1951, people who are outside their home country and must have legitimate fear persecution in their home country because of their race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group to become, which is why they can no longer stay there. If this application is granted, you are considered a recognized refugee (including convention refugee ). Both the right to stay and most of the rights of citizens of this country are granted to this person temporarily or permanently. A refugee has the right to return to his or her home country, if it seems safe to him, and to naturalization , i.e. to accept the nationality of the country of arrival.

The 1951 Convention does not recognize economic hardship, natural disasters, climate change or war as reasons for fleeing.

Complementary protection status

Other agreements such as the OAU Refugee Convention expand the definition of refugee in some of these areas. People at risk of death as a result of war or persecution who are not protected by the 1951 Convention can, in some countries, be granted temporary subsidiary protection or temporary protection within the meaning of the mass influx directive . In contrast to conventional protection , these instruments are summarized under the term complementary protection .

Historical development of the concept of asylum and asylum law

'Asylum ring' at the entrance to Notre-Dame, Paris : Anyone who reached it escaped their pursuers for the time being.

The term asylum has a religious origin. The first written mention of sanctuaries and asylum laws are the sanctuaries mentioned in the Bible ( Exodus 21.13  EU ). This meant places where no blood revenge was allowed. They had their origins in tribal rules when the Israelites were still nomadic, and were institutionalized when the land of Israel was divided among the tribes.

European asylums were later places of Christian charity until the Middle Ages , mostly in association with a monastery or a mission station (→ church asylum ). Cities maintained benefice houses , foundations that offered asylum to those of their citizens who had contributed financially with a benefice in good time . However, the poor or strangers were dependent on the churches. It was even worse for the lepers , who were mostly "abandoned" in distant houses or colonies. Many Christian monasteries in Europe were granted at least a temporary right of asylum on their own land by imperial decree, provided that the persecuted person had not committed murder. The responsible abbot then decided on any extradition to state power. So-called Freiungssäulen (also White torture ) along the access paths marked the boundary of the sphere of influence of state tracker.

Until recently, “asylum” also referred to a home or hospital (hospice) that offered shelter to people who had difficulties coping with their lives due to accidents , invalidity , poverty , addiction or the like. For example, there were or are asylums for widows , orphans , the homeless or the elderly .

19th century

Up until now, people were persecuted mainly for religious reasons (examples: Martin Luther or Huguenots : around 1685 almost 50,000 French Huguenots fled to Germany) and looking for asylum, in the 18th and 19th centuries it was often also politically Persecuted. This new phenomenon became clear through the French Revolution (1789) and the related revolutions (1768/1782/1792/1794). The exile of around 150,000 French as a result of the French Revolution of 1789 represents the first political emigration movement with a European, if not even global dimension. French revolutionary emigrants left their homeland because they rejected the political development in France or in response to the increasing political exclusion pressure. They were distributed - from Sweden to Sicily and from Portugal to Russia - across practically all European countries.

Probably because of the language, western Switzerland, especially Geneva , was a place of refuge for French people who were persecuted in their own country. As a result, Switzerland became a pioneer of modern asylum. In 1836 the canton of Zurich passed a “law on the special circumstances of political refugees”. It allowed foreigners to stay who had fled to Zurich because of a political crime outside the Swiss Confederation “or to otherwise escape political persecution from abroad”. Political refugees from Germany, who fled to Switzerland during the Restoration under Metternich , in Vormärz and after the failed revolution of 1848/49, benefited from the law .

But also many famous personalities had to flee for various reasons and were dependent on asylum abroad. In the 19th century they included Richard Wagner and Gottfried Semper , for example , who had to leave Germany and Saxony , respectively . Zurich and Switzerland were quite proud of such prominent asylum seekers .

20th century

In 1905, Great Britain passed the first Aliens Act 1905. On the one hand, the background was that the country was exposed to an influx of mostly impoverished foreigners who wanted to emigrate to the USA via England but ended up in Great Britain. At the same time, numerous Jews who had fled pogroms in Russia were to be given refuge on humanitarian grounds. Immigrants who came to England solely “to avoid charge or punishment on religious or political grounds, or for an offense of a political nature or persecution, including the risk of imprisonment, danger to life or maim on a religious basis "Should therefore not be rejected.

The Bolshevik Revolution , the time of National Socialism , the Second World War and the division of Europe led to a flood of refugees and asylum seekers. More people followed from the former colonies; also from Hungary (after the failed uprising in 1956 ) or from Czechoslovakia (after the violent termination of the Prague Spring in 1968). Refugees from Eastern Bloc countries were given the so-called alien passport in the FRG without an asylum procedure.

In 1990 the Dublin Convention was created , which was concluded by the states of the European Union with some third countries .

21st century

Today, asylum is primarily understood as the “political asylum” derived from this development, which is granted to recognized political refugees (see political persecution ). There are different definitions. At the beginning of 2004, the UNHCR put the number of worldwide refugees for which it is responsible at 17 million people (6.19 million in Asia, 4.29 million in Africa, 4.24 million in Europe, 1.32 million . in Latin America, 0.98 million in North America and 0.07 million in Oceania). Then there are the Palestine refugees, for whom UNRWA is a separate UN organization.

National and supranational

Common European law

The basis of the common law of the European Union was the Dublin Convention , which came into force in 1997. It was replaced by Regulation (EC) No. 343/2003 (Dublin II) and later by Regulation (EU) No. 604/2013 (Dublin III) . There are also accompanying measures for the free movement of people .

Article 31 of Directive 2013/32 / EU (Asylum Procedures Directive) stipulates that applications for international protection must be examined quickly, adequately and fully. Based on this guideline, the procedures should last a maximum of six months from July 2018, exceptionally extended to 15 months.


Procedure and status in the procedure

The term of the asylum law is in Germany , both the fundamental right to asylum for political persecution gem. Art. 16a of the  Basic Law refers to the entirety of all national and international protective rights applicable in Germany for people at risk, in particular the refugee law and the rights to subsidiary protection .

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in Nuremberg with its various branches in an asylum procedure makes the decision on the recognition of politically persecuted persons as entitled to asylum or the granting of another form of protection . This procedure is based on the Asylum Act .

The asylum seeker is allowed to stay in the federal territory while the asylum procedure is being carried out. For this he receives a residence permit , which does not, however, constitute a residence permit . Residence permits generally limit the stay to the district of the immigration authority to which the asylum seeker is assigned ( Section 56 (1) AsylG). The permission can also be provided with official requirements. The residence permit expires when the rejection of the asylum application has become final. If the asylum application is rejected as "obviously unfounded" (Section 30 Asylum Act ), the residence permit expires before the asylum application is finally rejected, with the result that the asylum seeker, if departure is not already impossible, is subject to interim legal protection proceedings to apply to the administrative court for suspensive effect of his action or to continue any legal proceedings against the rejection from abroad.

The highest number of asylum applications was reached between 1993 and 1995, partly because of the conflict in the Balkans: in 1993 there were 513,561 asylum applications, of which 16,396 (3.2%) were recognized. In contrast, the lows for 2008 were 20,817, 233, 1.1% and 2012: 77,651. However, the numbers are increasing due to legal proceedings that sometimes last more than ten years. In the first half of 2014, the number of asylum seekers was 77,109, almost 60% higher than in the same period of the previous year, of which almost 13,000 came from Syria .

Most asylum seekers are not recognized according to Art 16a GG, but as refugees according to the Geneva Refugee Convention, e.g. B. if you entered a so-called safe third country. Asylum seekers, whose asylum application has been rejected, may be able to obtain a residence permit in accordance with Section 25 of the Residence Act in accordance with Section 25 of the Residence Act due to health-related, humanitarian or political prohibitions on deportation. V. m. § 60 II-VII AufenthG received. A short-term, temporary suspension of the deportation of foreign nationals who are required to leave the country ( tolerance ) in accordance with Section 60a of the Residence Act does not constitute a residence permit .

See also: Residence Act , refugee status , hardship commission , immigration law

Status after completion of the procedure

Depending on the outcome of the asylum procedure, there are different legal positions for the applicant:

  • Recognized refugees and persons who have been granted asylum within the meaning of Article 16a of the Basic Law will receive a residence permit in accordance with Section 25 (1) or (2) sentence 1, 1st alt. AufenthG, which includes an unrestricted permit to work, as well as a travel document for refugees . They enjoy freedom of movement in the federal territory like German citizens, are entitled to integration- promoting measures and unrestricted entitlement to social benefits like German citizens. Your family members (spouse and underage children or the parents of underage recognized refugees) who are in Germany receive the same status without an individual examination and family reunification from abroad is made easier. You enjoy easier submission of documents from your home country, can already receive an unlimited right of residence after three years (normally: five years) ( Section 26 subs. 3 AufenthG) and can after six years (normally: 8 years) and in principle with acceptance be naturalized by multiple citizenship. In addition, they enjoy special protection against expulsion in accordance with Section 56 subs. 1 no. 5 AufenthG.
  • Persons who have been granted a subsidiary form of protection within the meaning of Section 4 (1) Asylum Act are entitled to a residence permit in accordance with Section 25 (2) sentence 1, 2nd alternative, which entitles them to unrestricted gainful employment. Persons who are banned from deportation in accordance with Section 60, Paragraphs 5–7 of the Residence Act receive a residence permit in accordance with Section 25, Paragraph 3 of the Residence Act, which does not directly entitle them to work. However, employment can be permitted. The persons concerned are generally required to have or obtain a home passport. You have access to social benefits according to SGB II or SGB XII. Relatives do not have the same status, but a derived right of residence for family members may arise for humanitarian reasons. An unlimited right of residence ( settlement permit ) is only possible after five years in accordance with Section 26 subs. 4 AufenthG. For persons with a residence permit according to Section 25, Paragraph 3 of the Residence Act, naturalization is only possible after obtaining a settlement permit. Naturalization usually requires giving up previous citizenship; There are no special reliefs when accepting multiple nationalities.
  • People whose asylum application has been rejected in full and who did not previously have a right of residence in the Federal Republic of Germany for other reasons are required to leave the country if their application is rejected ; In the case of applications that are classified as “obviously unfounded”, this applies when the rejection decision is received, otherwise only when it has become final. As a rule, you will be set an exit deadline with the rejection notice and, if you do not leave the country, you will be threatened with deportation. If the persons concerned do not leave the federal territory and deportation is not possible or not wanted, the stay will be subject to spatial restrictions in accordance with § 60a Abs. 2 AufenthG tolerated (see also Duldung ). No permission to work is associated with the acquiescence, but employment can be permitted after examination in individual cases. Social benefits are still only granted in accordance with the AsylbLG , and overall access to integration-promoting measures is only possible to a very limited extent. Those affected are required to have or obtain a home passport. In the event of changes in the circumstances, the asylum procedure (follow-up asylum application) can be successfully resumed. Alternatively, humanitarian residence permits, especially according to §§ 25 Paragraph 5 or 25a AufenthG, could also be considered. During a merely tolerated stay, the receipt of an unlimited right of residence ( settlement permit ) or naturalization is fundamentally excluded, even if the tolerated stay lasts many years and very good integration achievements have been made during this time. A change of purpose of stay with subsequent issue of a residence permit without prior departure is usually also possible if urgent family reasons make a short-term absence of the foreigner unreasonable in the long term, e.g. B. in the case of the birth of a child with German citizenship.

Number of asylum applications and costs

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) has been keeping statistics on asylum applications since 1953. According to this, there were all-time highs in 1980 with 107,818 applications, 1992 with 438,191 applications, 2014 with 202,834 applications and 2015 with 476,649 applications. In 2016 there were 745,545 applications. The number of asylum seekers actually entering Germany was significantly higher; the Federal Ministry of the Interior estimated their number ex post at 890,000.

In the first half of 2015, the BAMF forecast that up to 450,000 asylum applications would be made in Germany throughout 2015, an increase of up to 120 percent compared to the previous year. In August 2015, the federal government increased its forecast to 800,000 expected asylum seekers. According to the statistics published by the Federal Office, asylum applications in 2015 actually amounted to 476,649. These rose, u. a. due to a delayed application, from refugees who entered the country in 2015 to 745,649 in 2016. In 2017, 222,683 asylum applications were still registered. In 2018 the number fell to 185,853. At the end of 2017, 242,088 asylum proceedings were pending in the administrative courts that have to decide on legal remedies against decisions of the BAMF.

The gross expenditure according to the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act in Germany decreased continuously from 2000 to 2009 and then increased again. In 2013, at around 1.52 billion euros, they were almost as high as in 2002.

In the 2018 federal budget, 21.4 billion euros were booked for “refugee-related services”. However, this also included costs for, for example, combating the causes of flight (around 6.6 billion euros). In 2017, the net expenditure on asylum seekers' benefits amounted to 5,604,062,000 euros. However, benefits for asylum seekers fell by around 36% in 2017 compared to the previous year.

There were also costs for the registration of persons and the processing of asylum applications. In September 2015, the media reported that an incompatibility between the IT systems of the federal and state police forces and the BAMF led to considerable duplication of work.

In Bavaria, the estimate was almost three billion euros by the end of 2016 - according to the then Finance Minister Markus Söder , this was more than the entire budget for economy, health and the environment combined. The care of 10,000 unaccompanied minors in Bavaria alone could cost up to 480 million euros in 2015, since a youth welfare daycare place costs 40,000 to 50,000 euros per year.

Due to the possibility of submitting a follow-up asylum application in Germany, a total of 28,283 asylum seekers who have entered the country since 2012 and had submitted an application but were then deported or left the country re-entered and made (at least) one further application. These include 4,916 asylum seekers who have already entered the country twice, but were then deported or left voluntarily and have since re-entered and made their third application, and 294 asylum seekers who have already tried five or more attempts.

Duration of the proceedings

The nature and duration of the procedures for granting asylum and international protection are of great political importance. Here, humanitarian considerations and considerations related to European values, on the one hand, and economic and migration policy goals, on the other, come into play. So it was met with incomprehension that at the beginning of the refugee crisis in 2015, a high backlog of unprocessed old applications for asylum at the BAMF had built up .

Gerald Knaus, head of the European Stability Initiative , called for fair, credible and only weeks-long asylum procedures with paid lawyers in the first instance as in the Netherlands or Switzerland, with automatic appeal in the event of rejection to save time as in Denmark, with only one appeal instance as in Switzerland and Denmark, as well as with short deadlines and sufficiently qualified staff.

Work bans

The regulations on labor market access for asylum seekers and persons entitled to asylum in Germany have changed significantly over time. The Geneva Refugee Convention does not provide any guidelines on this. Asylum seekers were systematically granted work permits from 1971 onwards, although the priority check was not carried out. After the recruitment stop in 1973, refugees were banned from working, which was partially relaxed in 1975 in order to relieve the municipalities financially. From the beginning of the 1980s, the Federal Employment Agency no longer granted asylum seekers any work permits during the first year of the asylum procedure; from 1982 this was valid for two years. Baden-Württemberg (from 1982) and Bavaria (from 1985) issued asylum seekers a general work ban for the duration of their asylum procedure. In 1985/86 work bans for a period of five years were introduced. As part of the refugee policy after reunification , this ban was gradually reduced to one year in the course of 1991, then lifted, reintroduced in 1992 and set for three months and further tightened in 1993. As part of the Blüm Decree , which was later described in the case law as unconstitutional and then withdrawn, asylum seekers were not given any work permits from 1997 to the end of 2000 on the grounds of high unemployment; later work access was made possible again on the basis of a priority check and condition check. Access to the labor market was newly regulated in 2005 with the Immigration Act.

The work bans have repeatedly been viewed critically because they prevent integration and at the same time make asylum seekers look like idlers. For example, this was summed up in an article from Die Zeit as follows:

“If you don't work an asylum seeker for two years and - in the imagination of your host people - let them live and live like a parasite, in the end it doesn't matter whether they are recognized or rejected."

Inaction leads to psychological distress and dequalification , and cements dependence on government support.

For the current legal situation see: Section “Work ban” in the article “Residence permit” and section “Employment” in the article “Duldung (right of residence)” .


Right to asylum in Austria

In Austria - unlike in Germany, for example - there is no fundamental right to asylum (i.e. as a constitutionally guaranteed individual right ) in the sense of a permanent right of residence with integration and optional later citizenship. Since no such explicitly arises from the ECHR or the Geneva Refugee Convention, the implementation and design of the humanitarian inclusion of Austrian legislation is free. In addition to the actual asylum (within the meaning of the Asylum Act for recognized refugees with the same rights as a resident), there are other forms of asylum such as subsidiary protection (informal temporary accommodation until a return is possible: non-refoulment ) or the temporary granting of protection, such as it is defined, for example, for a maximum of three years in the EU mass influx directive , or with regular checks that the original reasons for fleeing no longer apply, as was discussed in early 2016.

Organization of the asylum system and asylum procedure

Asylum authorities: The Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum  (BFA) is responsible for the initial reception centers  (EASt) and federal support centers, including the branch offices.

The asylum procedure

Due to the EU-wide (or within the framework of the Schengen Agreement ) applicable visa regulations for refugees, entry into Austria is usually only possible with a visa or via the green border . If the entry is successful, the refugees have to contact a police station or personally submit an application for asylum directly to one of the initial reception centers. Then the approval process begins. In a first questionnaire within 72 hours after submitting the application, the identity and travel route of the refugee should be determined. The refugee's clothes and luggage are searched for evidence that shows where he / she came to Austria from. In addition, asylum seekers have their documents removed and put on file. This is followed by the identification service , i.e. the recording of personal details and the taking of fingerprints, which are compared with the data stored in the EURODAC central computer in order to determine whether the asylum seeker has already applied for asylum in another member state or has tried to illegally apply for one To cross the EU external border, or whether he was caught and registered while illegally staying within the EU. At the same time, if no EURODAC hit is achieved, the data is stored in the central computer. A procedure card is issued to the refugee , which entitles the refugee to stay and take care of the EAST. Leaving the EAST is prohibited.

If an asylum seeker is admitted to the asylum procedure, he is entitled to temporary residence in the federal territory until the end of the procedure, and he is issued a residence authorization card which serves as proof of his identity and his legal residence. Refugees admitted to the asylum procedure are assigned to a basic welfare district in Germany and transferred there.

If it is determined in the competence test that Austria is not responsible for examining the asylum application under § 5 of the Asylum Act 2005 (Dublin procedure), a decision rejecting the issued and asylum seekers in general for the preparation and enforcement of deportation in detention pending taken.

Although it is possible to appeal against an expulsion related to the rejection in the admission procedure, this does not mean that you cannot be deported anyway, because the appeal is only granted suspensive effect if the appellate authority grants one.

After admission to the asylum procedure, the application should be examined by the first instance, the Federal Asylum Office. Some of the procedures are also decided in the EAST in terms of content. In the course of the Federal Asylum Office's investigations, the asylum seekers are mostly questioned again. A negative decision from the Federal Asylum Office can be appealed to the Federal Administrative Court within two weeks . This court has the option to decide the procedure itself or to refer it back to the Federal Asylum Office.

Basic supply (GV) and needs-based minimum income

If an asylum seeker is admitted to the procedure, he is assigned to a basic welfare district in one of the nine federal states. The prerequisite for basic care is “neediness”. Anyone who has their own financial means or who has received a visa on the basis of a declaration of commitment from a third person will usually not be included in the AGM.

The care of asylum seekers during the procedure is regulated in the basic support agreement according to Article 15a B-VG and in nine state laws. These regulations were enacted to comply with the European Reception Directive. Not only asylum seekers and recognized refugees (persons entitled to asylum) should be cared for during the first four months after asylum seekers have been granted asylum, but also rejected asylum seekers and other foreigners who cannot be deported. The Ministry of the Interior maintains a coordination office that is also responsible for the allocation and transport of refugees to their quarters in the individual federal states and for a quarterly statement of costs.

The basic supply quarters are houses or apartments operated by private persons or NGOs, accommodation facilities operated by restaurants, former pensions or inns, barracks, student dormitories, training centers for the police, monasteries and other church institutions as well as terraced houses built by non-profit housing cooperatives with state funding for first-time use are too expensive for Austrians.

During the ongoing asylum procedure, asylum seekers are entitled to stay anywhere in Germany and, unlike during the admission procedure, are in principle not subject to any territorial restrictions. However, they can only benefit from the basic service if they stay in the district assigned to them or - if they live privately - stay in the assigned federal state.

In principle, it is possible for asylum seekers to look for individual accommodation within the framework of the general assembly. In addition to the restrictions on the housing market due to the amount of possible GV payments (€ 180 per adult, € 80 per child for meals and € 220 per family for rental costs), different requirements must be met from state to state before the step of " Going privately "is allowed. Asylum seekers generally have no access to the Austrian labor market, but a limited number of seasonal work permits are granted. Furthermore, asylum seekers can pursue a remunerant activity that does not require an employment permit.

Once an asylum application has been approved, recognized refugees have unrestricted access to the labor market and - like every Austrian - the right to receive needs-based minimum income, and integration assistance can also be granted. For the transition phase, for example, integration houses are available, and many apartments are provided by the integration fund of the Ministry of the Interior and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). A refugee advisor can also be appointed to provide support .

An asylum procedure usually takes an average of four months. After 6 years, recognized refugees can acquire Austrian citizenship (naturalization).

History of asylum law

Asylum Act  1991 and Aliens Act 1997 were criticized by human rights organizations. For example, the offense of aiding and abetting unauthorized residence under the Aliens Police Act could lead to the criminal prosecution of defenders of the rights of illegals who are at risk in their home country. In November 2005, the European Court of Human Rights ordered the suspension of deportation to a country threatened with torture and “serious human rights violations”. The Austrian asylum law was then fundamentally amended with the alien law package in 2005 and the Asylum Court  (AsylGH) was created in 2007 as the highest court in asylum proceedings, which replaced the Independent Federal Asylum Senate  (UBAS) from 1998 , which was installed as an interim solution. But the new legal situation has also been criticized with regard to third country provisions. In 2013 the Asylum Court was closed again, and the agendas of the final decision on the granting of asylum were handed over to the Federal Administrative Court as normal administrative law .

Number of asylum applications and recognized refugees

The UNHCR estimates that of the more than two million refugees who came to Austria between 1945 and 2015, 700,000 remained in the country, around 10% of the population and half of the residents with a younger migration background. The first wave of refugees in the second republic were the 1.4 million ethnic Germans after the war. Most of the Cold War convention refugees remained in Austria (18,000 of 180,000 Hungarians in 1956/57 ; 12,000 of 162,000 Czechs and Slovaks in 1968 , 15,000 of 150,000 Poles in 1981 ). Of the roughly 90,000 people who were granted asylum in Austria in the course of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, mostly Bosnians , around two thirds are likely to have stayed in Austria. In recent years, the origins shifted to Asia and Africa.

In Austria, the number of asylum applications in the course of the refugee crisis rose continuously in recent years from 11,012 applications in 2010 to 28,064 in 2014 and thus reached the level last seen during the Chechnya and Afghanistan crises in the early 2000s. In the course of the refugee crisis in 2015 , the number of asylum applications tripled compared to the previous year to 90,000. Measured against the population, that is far more than in Germany. But even in 2018, Austria was the country with the highest recognition rate of asylum applications in the EU

Around 6,000–8,000 asylum seekers (figures from the 2000s) are deported to a third country each year, returned to the country of first application in accordance with the Dublin Regulation or voluntarily leave before the end of the procedure (because they realized that the procedure was hopeless). It is not yet known whether these numbers apply to the current wave of refugees. In 2015, the Federal Administrative Court ruled that “without a closer examination it cannot be ruled out with sufficient certainty that deportation to Hungary would involve a real risk of human rights violations”, and thus stopped the automatic deportation to Hungary.


In the first year, the costs for care and support are divided between the states and the federal government in a ratio of 4: 6. If the asylum procedure takes longer, the federal government must cover all of the costs.

The expenses for the asylum and refugee system include accommodation, meals, health insurance, medical services, services for people in need of care, clothing assistance, information and legal advice, interpreting costs, leisure activities, pocket money, school supplies, special care, care for unaccompanied minors, costs for transport, police operations, German courses , Funerals and administrative expenses.

Recognized refugees receive the needs-based minimum income , which consists of a cash benefit (a little over 800 euros for singles, as of 2015) and free health insurance. In addition, depending on the personal situation, there are additional payments such as child allowance, housing allowance, energy support or mobilpass. The support for a family with two children corresponds almost to the Austrian average wage; with three children it is even higher.


The State Secretariat for Migration is responsible for retaining asylum seekers in Switzerland (recognition of foreign refugees) .

Swiss asylum law recognizes as refugees, if there are no grounds for exclusion (such as war crimes or threats to public safety and order in Switzerland), who meet the criteria of Art. 3 AsylG of Switzerland (SR 142.31) and this in accordance with Art can make believable. Family members of a refugee are also recognized as refugees (Art. 51 AsylG).

In the event of non-recognition, a foreign person will not be recognized as a refugee within the meaning of the Geneva Convention ECHR , if expulsion to their home country is considered impossible, unreasonable or inadmissible , but will receive temporary admission . This entitles you to stay in Switzerland for one year and can be extended for another year. The criteria for this are set high.

In Switzerland, the withdrawal of refugee status and temporary admission is common practice, affecting around 4,000 to 5,000 refugees and temporarily admitted persons every year. In 2005, asylum status was revoked in 1572 cases and 3182 people lost temporary admission (in 2006 there were 1643 and 4401 people, respectively). In the event that temporary admission or refugee status is revoked, foreigners are usually expelled from Switzerland and, if they oppose the expulsion, “deported” (Swiss usage for deported ).

The asylum law, which is quite humanitarian by international standards, was tightened in 2006 by a legislative revision that was approved by the people in a vote. An important innovation was the principle that requests from asylum seekers who were unable to produce any papers (identity card, passport, etc.) will only be accepted if the authorities find the lack of these papers excusable and the applicant's submission does not proves to be obviously unfounded (Art. 32 Asylum Act). If a rejected asylum seeker is unwilling to leave Switzerland and allows the departure deadline set by the Federal Office for Migration to pass (within 24 hours in the case of non-appearance), he can be detained in deportation in accordance with the new version of the Asylum Act (AsylG) . This also applies if he was not guilty of anything (in the older version, the delinquency of a rejected asylum seeker was a prerequisite for deportation). According to the new version, detention may be extended to 18 months (9 months in the old version). The new law can also revoke asylum if refugees violate or endanger the internal and external security of Switzerland or commit particularly reprehensible criminal acts.

In contrast to the old version of the Asylum Act, detention pending deportation, which used to be the sole responsibility of the respective canton of residence, may be ordered directly by the Federal Office for Migration at one of the four reception centers (EZ). Such reception centers have the task of a summary survey on asylum reasons and are located in Basel, Kreuzlingen, Vallorbe and Chiasso.

Asylum seekers, temporarily admitted persons and refugees are still entitled to social assistance , but not asylum seekers with a legally binding removal decision who have not complied with the departure deadline. In the old version of the law, this only affected people with a legally binding decision to refuse to join. Upon application, they can receive emergency aid from the respective canton, which is limited to food, shelter, clothing and the most basic medical treatments, although some cantons in Switzerland are hardly able to provide this (due to a lack of appropriate accommodation).

Rejected asylum seekers must leave the country within a specific short period (usually three to four weeks). However, this is often not possible without valid travel documents.

Unrecognized refugees can be admitted permanently for humanitarian reasons after their temporary admission has been extended several times. According to the old law, this required a minimum stay of 4 years; such admission is granted by the canton of residence or the federal government. According to the new version, which provides for a substantial acceleration of the procedure, the minimum stay has been extended to five years. Both the canton and the federal government must agree to admission; there is no legal entitlement (Art. 14 para. 2 AsylG). The criteria are designed in such a way that a person who cannot be deported for several years due to the lack of the necessary travel documents cannot count on humanitarian admission.


After 1848 Switzerland was one of the first liberal democracies in Europe. Accordingly, a movement of refugees from the surrounding countries began to flee. Initially, admission was liberal towards democrats and restrictive towards socialist-Marxist-minded people. Under Bismarck , Switzerland was forced to act restrictively towards German republicans as well.

The most difficult and darkest period in Swiss asylum history were the years of National Socialism. While the admission practice towards Jews and politically persecuted persons was still relatively generous until 1942, a very repressive policy subsequently set in under the pressure of events (such as the military confinement by the Axis powers ): the Federal Council closed the national borders for refugees from racial backgrounds Reasons . Thousands of Jews who sought protection from the German extermination camps were turned back and so often driven to their deaths. Even those who only wanted to use Switzerland as a transit country to pass through to other countries found no mercy. The Commission of Historians for the Processing of Swiss History in the Nazi Era (UEK) published the following figures in its synthesis volume: In 1941, 1,201 refugees traveled through Switzerland to other countries, in 1942 there were just 148 who were before the border was completely closed Transit were allowed through.

Asylum in the GDR

Only small groups sought temporary protection in the GDR. There, the right of asylum was enshrined in the constitution as the law of the state and not as the subjective right of asylum seekers. Refugees came from Greece (approx. 1300 in 1961), Spain and Chile (approx. 2000 in 1973).

Other states

According to media reports, Belgium is "one of the few EU member states where other EU citizens can apply for asylum".

Motives for seeking asylum

The main reasons for fleeing and seeking asylum are: religious, political or ethnic persecution, wars, civil wars, inadequate state structures, natural disasters, hunger and poverty.

Similar terms

  • Asylie , a privilege in ancient Greece that was supposed to offer protection from violence and assault




  • Bulmerincq: The historical development of the right of asylum, judged from the point of view of the law and its significance under international law for the extradition of fugitive criminals. A Treatise in the Field of Universal Legal History and Positive International Law, 1853
  • Martin Dreher (Ed.): The ancient asylum. Cultic principles, legal structure and political function. Böhlau, Cologne 2003, ISBN 3-412-10103-6 (= files of the Society for Greek and Hellenistic Legal History , Volume 15).
  • Emil Szanto : Ἀσυλία . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume II, 2, Stuttgart 1896, Sp. 1879-1881.
  • Paul Stengel : Asylon . In: Paulys Realencyclopadie der classischen Antiquity Science (RE). Volume II, 2, Stuttgart 1896, Sp. 1881-1886.
  • Hans Wißmann, Zeev W. Falk, Peter Landau: Art. Asylum law I. Religious history II. Old Testament III. Old Church and Middle Ages. In: TRE 4 (1979), pp. 315-327.


  • Gerda Heck: "Illegal Immigration". A contested construction in Germany and the USA. Edition DISS Volume 17, Münster 2008, ISBN 978-3-89771-746-6 . ( Interview. Telepolis , November 10, 2008).
  • Flight and Migration . ( Memento from July 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF; 784 kB) Young Democrats / Young Left, brochure on current asylum and migration policy in Germany and Europe
  • Andreas Fisch, Myriam Ueberbach, Prisca Patenge, Dominik Ritter (Eds.): Refuge - Living Together - Belonging? Controversies in migration and integration policy examined from an interdisciplinary perspective (Forum Sozialethik 18 series). 2nd, revised edition. Münster 2018.
  • Andreas Fisch: Inclusion of people without residence status. Can a right to legalization be justified for certain “stateless people”? In: Christiane Eckstein, Alexander Filipović, Klaus Oostenryck (eds.): Participation - Inclusion - Integration. Concepts of social ethics for modern society (series: Forum Sozialethik 5). Münster 2007, pp. 189-202.


  • Johannes Wolfgang Steiner: Austrian asylum law. Manz, Vienna 1990, ISBN 3-214-03595-9 .
  • M. Fruhmann: The mandate procedure according to the Asylum Act 1991. In: Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsrecht , 1993.
  • Karl-Michael Brunner, Michaela Egger-Steiner, Karin Hlavin-Schulze, Manfred Lueger: Integration of refugees in small communities. Results of the third community study. Comparative analysis of the three municipalities. Vienna 1998.
  • International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights (Hrsg.): Asylland Austria: Entry prohibited? Vienna 1990
  • Helgo Eberwein, Eva Pfleger: Aliens Law for Study and Practice , LexisNexis, Vienna 2011, ISBN 978-3-7007-5010-9 .
  • Heinz Fronek, Irene Messinger (ed.): Handbook of Unaccompanied Minors Refugees. Law, politics, practice, everyday life, projects. Vienna 2002
  • Alexandra Grasl: Migrants as Actors in Austrian Politics. Political participation of the new minorities: opportunities and barriers to participation. First experiences of ethnic elected officials. Diploma thesis, University of Vienna, 2002.
  • Gernot Heiß, Oliver Rathkolb (Ed.): Asylland against will. Refugees in Austria in the European context since 1914 . Vienna 1995.
  • Anny Knapp, Herbert Langthaler (Ed.): Manhunt. Schengenland in Austria. Vienna 1998.
  • Herbert Langthaler: Refugees: The history of isolation, In: Robert Reithofer, Maruša Krese , Leo Kühberger (Ed.): Gegenwelten. Racism, Capitalism & Social Exclusion . Leykam, Graz 2007, pp. 95-108, ISBN 978-3-7011-7585-7 .
  • Bernd Matouschek, Ruth Wodak, Franz Januschek: Necessary measures against strangers? Genesis and Forms of Racist Discourses of Difference. Vienna 1995


Web links

Commons : Right of Asylum  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Asylum  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

International and Europe:




Individual evidence

  1. Complementary forms of protection. In: Retrieved June 15, 2020 .
  2. ^ Dieter Hesselberg: The Basic Law , Commentary on the Basic Law, 10th Edition, Hermann Luchterhand Verlag, Bonn 1996, page 155
  3. ^ Paul Tiedemann: Script for the lecture German, European and International Refugee Law WS 2013/2014. (PDF; 1.8 MB) Chapter 1: History of immigration and asylum law. In: Justus Liebig University Giessen, Faculty of Law, October 1, 2013, p. 8 , accessed on November 14, 2017 (7th edition).
  4. ^ Friedemann Pestel : French Revolutionary Migration after 1789. In: February 24, 2017, accessed November 20, 2019 .
  5. a b c Tiedemann: Script for the lecture on refugee law. (PDF; 1.8 MB) 7th edition, 2013, p. 10
  6. See also the list in Section 1 (1) AsylG
  7. Peter Kühne, Harald Rüssler: The living conditions of refugees in Germany . Campus Verlag, 2000, ISBN 3-593-36485-9 , FRG Decisions of the Federal Office for the Recognition of Foreign Refugees 1990 1999, p. 114 ( page not visible ).
  8. a b Current figures on asylum. (PDF; 300 kB) In: July 2013, archived from the original on August 28, 2013 ; accessed on April 16, 2018 .
  9. Significantly more asylum seekers than in the previous year. (No longer available online.) Frankfurter Rundschau, archived from the original on July 25, 2014 ; Retrieved July 18, 2014 .
  10. Federal Constitutional Court. Acceleration from December 1, 2008 - 2 BvR 1830/08
  11. Flight and Asylum 1950-1989 (with bar chart)
  12. 202,834 asylum applications in 2014. Press release. In: January 14, 2015, accessed September 11, 2019 .
  13. a b Refugee numbers in Germany until 2019. In: Retrieved August 10, 2019 .
  14. 2015: More asylum applications in Germany than ever before. Press release. In: January 6, 2016, accessed September 20, 2019 .
  15. De Maizière accounts ., September 30, 2016
  16. a b Bavaria sounds the alarm about refugee minors., July 27, 2015, accessed on July 27, 2015 .
  17. Asylum seekers cost up to 10 billion euros ., August 20, 2015
  18. Current figures on asylum (10/2018). (PDF) In: October 15, 2018, accessed December 4, 2018 .
  19. Administrative courts. Technical series 10 row 2.4. In: Federal Statistical Office , 2017, accessed on December 5, 2018 .
  20. Gross expenditures for asylum seeker benefits in Germany from 2000 to 2017 by location of the service provision (in million euros). In: October 7, 2019, accessed November 14, 2019 .
  21. Birgit Augustin: Refugee Policy - The Costs of Integration. In: October 31, 2018, accessed December 11, 2019 .
  22. Gross expenditure, income and net expenditure by federal state. Retrieved August 8, 2019 .
  23. Correction asylum seekers benefits 2017: Around 469,000 beneficiaries - press release no. 312 of 23 August 2018. In: August 23, 2018, accessed January 20, 2020 .
  24. World on Sunday . Quoted by: Refugee crisis reveals weaknesses in the German state., September 20, 2015, accessed on September 20, 2015 .
  25. Asylum seekers alone cost Bavaria three billion., June 15, 2015, accessed on July 27, 2015 .
  26. Marcel Leubecher: Like clan boss Miri: Thousands of deported asylum seekers back in the country . November 30, 2019 ( [accessed December 6, 2019]).
  27. Gerald Knaus: European elections 2019: Attack on Europe. In: Zeit Online. December 29, 2018, accessed December 29, 2018 .
  28. a b c Asma Sarraj-Herzberg: Work ban for refugees. In: Heimatkunde. Migration policy portal. Heinrich Böll Foundation, September 29, 2014, accessed on July 28, 2018 .
  29. a b c Work bans for refugees from 1973 to 2015. Condensed observation. (PDF) In: Retrieved August 28, 2018 .
  30. The fear of strangers . In: Die Zeit , No. 01/1982
  31. Susanne Bachmann: Discourses about migrants in Swiss integration projects: Between normalization of precariousness and conditioning for marketability . Springer-Verlag, May 2016, ISBN 978-3-658-13922-3 , p. 21 .
  32. a b "In time we will make it" . Glossary How it could work: The EU has a set of tools to deal with the crisis. Comment from public law expert Martin Kind. In: Salzburger Nachrichten . January 22, 2016, topic refugees , p. 3 .
  33. ^ Gudula Walterskirchen: Housing in Austria: A self-service shop for bigwigs . In: The press . June 28, 2015 ( full text available for a fee [accessed March 30, 2019]).
  35. ^ The first apartment in Austria. In: UNHCR, accessed April 6, 2018 .
  36. Asylum approved. What now? Dossier, Salzburger Nachrichten online, June 6, 2015, esp. What happens to recognized refugees? and How quickly do war refugees get asylum? .
  37. ↑ Long title of the Aliens Law Package: Federal law amending the Federal Constitutional Law, an Asylum Act 2005, an Aliens Police Act 2005 and a Settlement and Residence Act, the Federal Care Act , the Personal Status Act , the Federal Act on the Independent Federal Asylum Senate , the Introductory Act to the Administrative Procedure Acts 1991 , the Security Police Act , the Fees Act 1957 , the Family Burdens Equalization Act 1967, the Child Care Allowance Act and the Amortization Act 1972 are changed and the Aliens Act 1997 is repealed
  38. a b c Refugee country Austria. In: Archived from the original on September 7, 2015 ; accessed on June 29, 2018 .
  39. Integration Report 2014. Information in the Integration Report 2014: Every fifth Austrian has a migration background . Stand Vienna: Vienna online , July 28, 2014.
  40. Development of the number of asylum seekers in the Republic of Austria from 1999 to 2013 . (PDF) BMI.
  41. According to preliminary figures, 90,000 asylum applications were submitted in 2015 . Press release APA. In: Salzburger Nachrichten . January 12, 2016, online ( article archive ).
  42. 50,000 applications this year . In: Die Presse online, May 15, 2015.
  43. "Please get off" instead of passing through to Germany ., June 4, 2015.
  44. Eurostat (ed.): EU member states recognized more than 300,000 asylum seekers as entitled to protection in 2018 . April 25, 2019, p. 5 ( [PDF]).
  45. ^ Judith Welz: The Austrian deportation policy in numbers. 1995 to 2013 . ( Memento from January 25, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) (PDF) INEX working paper No. 1, University of Vienna, March 2014; in particular Table 1: Deportations, Dublin transfers and “voluntary” departures in Austria between 1995 and 2013. p. 6; For further figures see also Asylum: Statistics. In: Federal Ministry of the Interior, accessed on November 17, 2017 .
  46. On the Dublin procedure cf. Also Dublin II asylum: stranded properly . SOS Mitmensch: MO magazine for human rights. # 27, 2012 (article online,
  47. Dublin deportations stopped - but Mikl-Leitner remains unteachable! Asylum in need ; accessed on March 27, 2016
  48. ^ Asylum: The Expenditure of Styria . In: Kleine Zeitung online, April 22, 2015.
  49. Needs-oriented minimum income ., as of 2015
  50. Minimum income: higher than the average wage . Karl Ettinger in Die Presse online, accessed on December 15, 2014.
  51. «Internet-Hetzer» al-Ghanam is in custody. In: . April 12, 2007, accessed November 23, 2018 .
  52. What if Puigdemont asks for asylum in Europe? In: World N24. October 29, 2017, accessed April 1, 2018 .