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AT: Supreme Administrative Court rules on access to labor market for asylum applicant

Input Provided By
Other Source/Information:
Referral to the CJEU
Original Documents
Relevant Legislative Provisions
Revised Reception Conditions Directive (Directive 2013/33/EU laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection) and/or RCD 2003/9/CE;
Austria, Supreme Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgerichtshof - VwGH], Applicant (Afghanistan) v Labour Market Service, Ro 2019/09/0011-5, 28 April 2020. Link redirects to the English summary in the EUAA Case Law Database.
Permanent link to the case
Case history
Related cases:

The Austrian Supreme Administrative Court ruled that the Federal Administrative Court's contested decision that the Austrian Labour Market service should have issued a work permit to the applicant in question, was in fact unlawful.

Article 15 of Directive 2013/33/EU applies directly in Austria as said Directive was incorrectly transposed into Austrian national law. Following this reasoning, restrictions on access to the Austrian labour market for asylum seekers are considered incompatible with the Directive. Any requests for a work permit, as in the underlying case, need to be met on the basis of direct applicability of aforementioned Article 15. This provision, granting the right to access to the labour market, has its limitations however. Although access should be 'effective', it does not mean, according to the Court, that all professional fields are open to applications without restrictions. It also presupposes that access to the labour market should be granted only until a decision on the application for international protection at first instance has been taken. Although the provision at hand protects the applicant from the withdrawal of said right during an appeal procedure, but access can only be granted, according to the Court, before the first-instance decision was taken in the asylum procedure.

Following this reasoning and the facts of the case at hand, the decision to refuse the applicant access to the Austrian labour market was deemed correct by the Austrian Supreme Administrative Court as the application in question was lodged after a negative decision on the application for international protection in first instance was issued.

The Court did not rule on the admissibility of quota for access to the Austrian labour market.

Country of Decision
Court Name
AT: Supreme Administrative Court [Verwaltungsgerichtshof - VwGH]
Case Number
Ro 2019/09/0011-5
Date of Decision
Country of Origin