DNA testing for family reunification: Why Nehamer’s proposal is polarizing

Currently up to 900 applications for family reunification are submitted every month in Austria. This means that partners or minor children of asylum-seekers are also allowed to travel to Austria for family reunification. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (PMI), half of those brought in so far this year are children. With around 300 children of Syrian asylum seekers arriving in the capital every month, school places in Vienna have become scarce recently.

The ÖVP now wants to take countermeasures. “We will control family reunification through strict checks,” the chancellor declared Carl Nehammer On Sunday. His approach: strict controls and DNA tests. home Minister Hegard Garner and Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg (Both ÖVP) have been instructed to “effectively implement measures in the next few days”. Greens approval not required.

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Crisper: “Already Legally Possible”

Nehamer’s call to increase the use of DNA tests is particularly sensational. “Even if there is even the slightest doubt, DNA tests should be carried out so that we can say for sure that there was no foul play here,” the Chancellor insisted.

A Neos asylum spokesman says the proposal shows “a lack of legal knowledge on the part of the federal president”. Stephanie Crisper In a broadcast. Otherwise, Nehhammer should have known that DNA tests for family reunification are already legally possible and already being used in practice. Crisper said a constructive approach was needed instead of “populist election campaign noise”.

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In principle, Nehamer’s reports leave no doubt that the possibility of DNA testing for family reunification already exists. The president had announced that he wanted to toughen the current version. How does it look?

A family member has the right to DNA analysis

Indicates the applicable legal basis Lukas GahleitnerGertz Asylum integration from Austria X there. According to it Procedure Act of the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) It is now the case that a family member has the right to DNA analysis. This happens when the BFA or the Federal Administrative Court doubts the relationship with the person entitled to asylum due to lack of documents and makes a “negative” presumption decision.

In the first quarter of 2024, 4,050 forecast decisions were made – Out of which 3,717 cases were Syrians – only 267 were negative. In principle, DNA tests are currently the exception. If the law is to be tightened, DNA tests should be expanded to include positive predictions.

Current rule: If the prognosis is negative, the applicant has the option of DNA analysis and Pay the expenses yourself for now. But: “If the relationship claimed by the report is established on the basis of DNA analysis and the alien is in the federal territory, the federal office or the federal administrative court shall reimburse the costs of the DNA analysis upon the alien’s application.” law.

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