Austria to put time limit on refugee protection

2015-11-02 19:03


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Vienna - Austria will review whether refugees in the country are still in need of protection after three years, the Interior Ministry said om Monday.

The government coalition of social democrats and conservatives agreed that this new "temporary asylum" procedure would apply to all those who get refugee status starting November 15.

Such a status will only be valid for a period of three years, after which the grounds for protection will be reviewed.

As part of its planned amendment of the asylum law, the government also plans to make it harder for refugees to have their families join them in Austria, by setting minimum thresholds on income and housing that refugees have to meet.

"We want to give protection to those people who need it. However, what is often happening today is not a search for protection, but for the most economically attractive country," Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said.

It is not clear when the amendment will pass parliament, where the government coalition parties have a majority. However, the amendment is to come into force retroactively even if the vote happens after November 15.

Austria is a major European transit and destination country for refugees arriving from Africa and the Middle East. The Interior Ministry has been registering around 9 000 asylum applications a month since July.

Read more on:    austria  |  migrants

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