How could a spouse be deported?

Foreign spouses of Austrians must apply for a permanent residence permit in their home country: In love, engaged - and deported?

Foreign spouses who do not want to return to their home country would also be driven into illegality. The couples lived in constant fear of their foreign partner being deported.

Last week, the Ministry of the Interior promised the association that "the cases would be dealt with if we gave the Ministry a list of those affected," said Magenheimer. It was also assured that no foreign police measures would be taken against foreign partners. Magenheimer speaks of an "immoral offer". The 160 members of the association are only "the tip of the iceberg. All those affected have a right to a place on the list."

Suspected corruption

According to the alien law expert Peter Marhold, there are always cases of corruption in the Austrian representations. "Belgrade and Sarajevo are hot spots for corruption," he says. Local officials would keep trying to get rich. For Marhold, "the ministry's concession smells like an act of grace".

The Ministry of the Interior rejects this criticism: "Officials do not make acts of grace, we work exactly according to what the law specifies," says the official Mathias Vogl to the "Wiener Zeitung". There is a decree by the Aliens Police, according to which third-country nationals who applied for a settlement before December 31, 2005, "must wait until a decision has been taken before a decision has been taken", according to Vogl. Only foreign spouses who do not have a residence permit would have to leave the country and submit the application in their home country.

The federal government's policy on foreigners was also an issue in the National Council on Thursday: In an urgent question, the Greens asked Interior Minister Liese Prokop to justify their statement that 45 percent of Muslims living in Austria were "unwilling to integrate". Prokop was also asked about their attitude towards the BZÖ's proposal to deport 300,000 foreigners.

In this context, BZÖ chairman Peter Westenthaler called for the "deportation" of foreigners. Although he does not want to "lump all foreigners into one pot", he continues to expel around 30 percent of them.

Knowledge: The Settlement Act for Spouses

The Settlement and Residence Act 2005 is part of the federal government's alien law package and has been in effect since January 1, 2006. Non-EEA citizens who marry an Austrian now have to apply for a permanent residence permit in their home country. Domestic processing is possible for "humanitarian reasons". A minimum income of the Austrian partner of 1056 euros is required for a permit. This also affects marriages from 2005, where the permanent residence permit is pending. In 2005 there were 7,835 marriages between non-EEA citizens and residents