Asylum applications in Austria: Children are now the largest group

Asylum applications in Austria: Children are now the largest group
6,922 asylum applications were submitted in the first three months of the year, a third of which concern children up to the age of 7.

Around 53 percent of applicants are no older than 18. In addition, the proportion of female asylum seekers has increased significantly. According to asylum statistics, the overall number of applications is falling.

6,922 asylum applications were submitted in the first three months of the year. That is 32 percent less than in the same period last year. The Interior Ministry attributes this to consistent action against smugglers, for whom Austria has become unattractive. In March of the previous year there were 1,150 arrests in Burgenland alone, whereas in March 2024 there were only 36. The prices for towing have also almost doubled due to the countermeasures. For example, you have to pay between 3,000 and 5,000 euros for the journey from Bulgaria to Austria.

  • You might also be interested in: Asylum applications in the EU increased slightly in January

The effects of family reunification

What is noticeable, however, is that family reunification has its effects. 3,649 applications came from minors. 3,273 were submitted by adults. The proportion of women has increased significantly. Almost 46 percent of the applications came from female asylum seekers. In 2023 as a whole, only around 24 percent of applications were submitted by women. Syrians are now by far the strongest nation among asylum seekers, accounting for 4,335 applications. Behind them are Afghans with 665. Both groups have a good chance of protection in Austria. For Syrians, only 30 percent of asylum applications were rejected, while for Afghans 39 percent were rejected.

In any case, the influx through family proceedings is likely to remain large. In the first quarter, a positive forecast was given in 3,783 cases, which will usually result in the receipt of protection status. 3,503 of this group come from Syria. Asylum seekers from this country were also the ones who were clearly most likely to be granted protection status. 5,330 people received asylum or subsidiary protection in the first three months. In total there were around 7,500 positive decisions (including humanitarian stays).

  • Also read: AMS boss Kopf wants to link minimum security for asylum seekers to their place of residence

According to the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum, asylum or subsidiary protection was revoked in 191 cases, with Russians at the top. The group of EU and EEA citizens against whom expulsion was issued is relatively large, namely 446 people; the Slovaks and Romanians are most strongly represented here. In addition, a residence ban was issued in 587 cases. This is possible if the person’s behavior endangers public safety or order. Detention was ordered 846 times in the first quarter.

1,427 “voluntary departures” in 3 months

There were 1,427 cases of voluntary departures from January to March. This compares to 1,722 forced removals outside the country. In total, this is almost 240 more than in the first quarter of the previous year. Adding both groups together, Slovaks, Turks and Hungarians are at the top of those who had to return to their homeland. The majority of Turks left the country voluntarily. According to the Interior Ministry, 39 percent of those deported had committed criminal offenses.

The number of people displaced from Ukraine who are still seeking protection in Austria this year is not that small. In the period from January to March, 3,484 people were registered in accordance with the Ukraine Displaced Persons Ordinance.

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