Due to COVID-19 authorities and NGOs have special procedure in place and opening hours might be different. More info can be found here.
Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum
The Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) is the only public authority deciding on asylum applications and related procedures in Austria.
The BFA has regional offices (Regional Directorates) in all 9 Austrian provinces while its headquarter (the Directorate) is based in Vienna. Contact details for all Provinces (in German) can be found here.
For more information on the BFA and its tasks please see the official brochure of the BFA which also gives an overview of the asylum procedure in Austria.
On the website of the BFA, you can also find various official forms necessary for asylum applications and related procedures (click on “Englisch” for forms in English).
Counsellingy by BBU
All asylum-seekers who received a negative first instance decision are assigned a free-of-charge legal counsellor from the BBU GmbH. The assigned legal counsellor assists asylum-seekers with lodging an appeal with the Federal Administrative Court. Upon request, they also provide representation in the appeal procedure and accompany asylum-seekers in case the court decides to hold a hearing. The BBU has offices in all of Austria. You can find more information on opening hours and contact details here. The BBU also offers counselling on voluntary return.
Counselling by NGOs
There are several NGOs in all 9 Austrian provinces, providing legal counselling in the asylum procedure:
- Vienna (Wien): Caritas Wien, Asyl in Not , Diakonie – Unabhängige Beratung Wien
- Lower Austria (Niederösterreich): Caritas St. Pölten – Flüchtlingsberatung (link only in German), Diakonie- Unabhängige Beratung Traiskirchen
- Upper Austria (Oberösterreich): Caritas Oberösterreich (link only in German)
- Burgenland: Diakonie Mobile Flüchtlingsberatung Oberwart, SOS Mitmensch Burgenland (links only in German)
- Styria (Steiermark): Caritas Steiermark (link only in German), Zebra
- Carinthia (Kärnten): Diakonie – Unabhängige Beratung Kärnten
- Salzburg: Diakonie – Unabhängige Beratung Salzburg
- Tyrol (Tirol): FLUCHTpunkt Innsbruck, Diakonie – Unabhängige Beratung Tirol
- Vorarlberg: Caritas Vorarlberg, Vindex (links only in German)
Please note: Not all NGOs offer legal advice in the appeal procedure before the Federal Administrative Court.
Counselling in detention
Persons in detention (who are not just arrested for maximum 48 hours) have access to free-of-charge legal counselling from the BBU GmbH. The annex to the detention decision (“Verfahrensanordnung”) contains contact details of legal counsellors. Legal counsellors will provide information on the legal detention situation and assist detainees with lodging an appeal against the detention decision with the Federal Administrative Court. Furthermore counselling on voluntary return is also possible. You can find contact details of the BBU here.
If detainees wish to speak with their legal or social counsellor, they can approach the police in the detention centers. Please note that detainees can also be visited.
Sexual or gender-based violence: In case you need help regarding sexual or gender-based violence you can call the following hotline: 0800 222 555 (all information you share will be treated confidentially!).
Human trafficking: For any help regarding human trafficking, you can call the 24/7 hotline on human trafficking: 0677 61343434 (all information you share will be treated confidentially!).
Finding lost family members: If you lost contact with your family members, you can contact the Tracing Services of the Austrian Red Cross in the Austrian Province you are currently residing.
For medical emergencies, please dial 144.
To reach the police in an emergency, please dial 133.
In case of fire, please dial 122.
Violence against women and domestic violence
0800 222 555
Consultation in Arabic, Turkish, Romanian, Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, German, English, Hungarian
Halt der Gewalt
Online consultation for women and girls, who are affected by violence, in German, English, Farsi/Dari, Arabic, Russian, Bulgarian, Turkish
For information about psychotherapy
NIPE Network – Network for Intercultural Psychotherapy after Extreme Trauma
Contact points for crisis intervention and ongoing treatments in all of Austria (with interpreters)
AMIKE phone, Diakonia – phone counselling for persons in distressing psycho-social situations
Life in Austria
For general information on life in Austria, please see the website “You’ve arrived” by the Austrian Red Cross.
Furthermore, there are several buddy programs offering possibilities to meet Austrians, e.g.:
The Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) offers free online classes.
German language classes are offered by the following organisations:
For recognized refugees and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection:
The website https://sprachportal.integrationsfonds.at/kurse/oesterreichische-kursinstitute lists German classes for recognized refugees in Austria. Some of these classes are open to asylum-seekers as well.
- Vienna (Wien): Caritas
- Styria (Steiermark): Caritas
- Salzburg: Volkshochschule Salzburg
- Upper Austria (Oberösterreich): BFI
- Carinthia (Kärnten): Caritas
- Vorarlberg: Caritas
- Burgenland: Volkshochschule Burgenland
Work and Education in Austria:
UNHCR compiled comprehensive information on the Austrian education system (in German, Dari, Arabic) here.
If you were granted protection in Austria and you are looking for work in Austria, please contact the Public Employment Service (AMS). Furthermore, the initiatives “More Than One Perspective” and “JUST Integration” may be useful to you.
If you are still in the asylum procedure and would like to work, please find relevant information here.