compiled by Gerhard Hetfleisch


Austrian Nationals Protection Act: Austrians given priority over aliens on the labour market.


Aliens Police Regulation enacted by the Nazis: provisions for aliens relating to immigration and residence in the German Reich and, after the “Anschluss”, on the territory of modern Austria.


Foreign Labour Regulation of the German Reich: This regulation enacted by the Nazis superseded the Austrian Nationals Protection Act. A system of employment permits was introduced for employees and work permits for foreign workers.


Reich Transition Act: The Foreign Labour Regulation of the German Reich was adopted in the Second Austrian Republic and remained in force until the end of 1975.


Signing of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (Refugee Convention): ratification by Austria in 1954; entry into force in Austria in 1955.


Aliens Police Act introduced. 14.4 % unemployment – the highest rate in the Tyrol since the end of the Second World War. Economic upturn set in in autumn. By the end of the 1950s Austria had full employment, and there were soon shortages of labour.


Hungarian crisis: 160,000 refugees arrived in Austria, but only a few remained.


Quota agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and the Austrian trade unions (Raab-Olah Accord): From 1962 onwards, employers were entitled to receive the agreed maximum number of employment permits for foreign employees from the regional employment offices without reference to the needs of the labour market.


Labour recruitment agreement with Spain: ratification in 1964.


Association Agreement of the European Economic Community (EEC) withTurkey (Ankara Agreement / Ankara Anlaşması).


Labour recruitment agreement with Turkey.


Labour recruitment agreement with Yugoslavia (SFRY). Introduction of the Aliens Employment Card showing the name of the employer, the place of employment and a health clearance entry.


First Asylum Act came into force.


Registration Law: registration forms of foreign nationals to be stamped with an “A” and forwarded to the Aliens Police by the Registration office.


Recruitment moratorium in response to global economic recession (“oil crisis”).


Foreign Labour Regulation of the German Reich replaced by the Aliens Employment Act.


Establishment of the Islamic Religious Authority of Austria.


Ordinance issued by the Ministry of Internal Affairs restricting the ability of the Aliens Police to terminate the right to residence of migrants who lose their job and no longer receive unemployment benefits on the grounds of “a lack of bona fide acquisition of the means of support” (Art. 3 Aliens Police Act) in those cases where financial support can be maintained by other members of the family.


Child benefits reduced by half for payments made abroad.


Art. 3 Aliens Police Act (residence ban) twice suspended on the grounds that it offered inadequate safeguards for the human right to respect for private and family life (Art. 8 EHCR).


Relaxation of the rules for exemption certificates for young adults presenting proof of time spent at school in Austria. That meant free access to the employment market. Previously employers had to apply for employment permits.


A restricted groups of immigrants, i.e. employees with exemption certificates and refugees, eligible to receive emergency unemployment assistance for a maximum of one year after the end of entitlement to regular unemployment benefits. Aliens Employment Act amended twenty times between 1989 and 1998. Several years of strong economic growth accompanied by a rapid increase in immigration in Austria.


Introduction of work permits. Rules for exemption certificates amended in favour of immigrants.


Beginning of the collapse of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY): 90,000 refugees in Austria, including about 3,000 in the Tyrol.


1968 Asylum Act replaced by a new act with more restrictive rules for asylum applications.


Aliens Law and Residence Law introduced (with quotas for settlement and rules for seasonal workers).


Employment market opened for Bosnian refugees who had not been granted asylum but had received temporary residence permits. In 1998 “well integrated“ Bosnian refugees were issued with permanent residence permits.


The EU’s Association Agreement with Turkey recognised by the Austrian authorities: proof of German language skills no longer required in family reunification cases.


The Integration Package came into force. The new Aliens Law provided for consolidated residence status after eight years. Integration to be given priority over new immigrant arrivals; legal foundation created for the distinction between temporary residence and permanent settlement. Children only eligible to join their parents already living in Austria up to the age of 14. Amendment to the Citizenship Act: stricter rules introduced for early naturalisation after shorter periods of residence, including proof of “adequate knowledge of the German language”.


Integration decree: employment market opened for reunified family members. EU regulations against ethnic discrimination on the employment market, in the fields of health and education, and with regard to social benefits and access to public goods and services including housing (community housing).


Aliens Package: Free access to the employment market for migrants after five years of continuous legal residence in Austria. The Integration Agreement involves proof of German language skills in the form of a diploma at A1 level.


Amendments to aliens law with stricter provisions in the Asylum Act, Settlement and Residence Law and Citizenship Act: higher German language qualification required for naturalisation, introduction of the Red-White-Red Card, additions to the Integration Agreement.


Administration of aliens law completely reorganised in the Aliens Law Amendment Act.