We provide care, counselling and support to foreigners in need of assistance and protection in Austria within the framework of our legal mandate.

The legal framework of our activities is described in the BBU Establishment Act. Accordingly, quality care, as well as independent and personalised legal advice, have the highest priority. Our return counsellors mostly come from one of the countries of origin and can bring this experience into their work with the clients. Human rights observers help to ensure that human rights standards are maintained during out-of-country transfers. Our interpreters promote our clients’ understanding of the possibilities or consequences of their own case.

Basic care

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On 1 December 2020, the operational provision of basic care for asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable aliens in need and assistance (asylum seekers, persons granted asylum, displaced persons and other people who cannot be deported for legal or de facto reasons) – to the extent the federal government is responsible for them – became the responsibility of BBU GmbH.


BBU GmbH is responsible for providing care for asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable aliens in need and for undertaking the following tasks in a suitable federal care facility:

  • providing accommodation and food,
  • providing social, medical and psychological support, and
  • providing necessities for daily use (hygiene articles, clothing) and the required information.

Quality care and professional support are at the heart of the work of our competent, interdisciplinary team (consisting of, for example, social workers, cooks, psychologists, nurses and doctors).

In doing so, we always treat our clients with respect, appreciation and fairness.

Since 1 January 2021, BBU GmbH has been providing legal advice and legal representation at the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) pursuant to Sec. 49 of the BFA-VG Federal Law Gazette I No. 87/2012 and before the Federal Administrative Court (BVwG) pursuant to Sec. 52 BFA-VG as amended by Federal Law Gazette I no. 87/2012.

Because legal advice and legal representation is our statutory task, we advise and represent persons in the asylum procedure or in measures to end their residency, thereby contributing to a fair and just case.

BBU GmbH offers legal advice and legal representation in the following proceedings:

  • application for international protection (recognition and withdrawal procedures)
  • measures terminating the stay (decision to return, ban on entry, expulsion and ban on residence)
  • detention pending deportation.

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The legal advice given in proceedings at the BFA is general advice on pending proceedings or procedural steps, including clarification about the prospects for success.

Legal advice services in proceedings at the BFA are co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.



The legal advice in proceedings at the BVwG in particular encompasses:

  • the discussion and explanation of official and legal decisions (decision of the BFA, findings of the BVwG) and relevant legal provisions
  • information on the rights and obligations of the clients in the proceedings
  • information on the personal situation from a legal perspective on the basis of the details provided by the clients and the case file (objective declaration of prospects with the involvement of relevant case law)
  • information regarding the right to representation
  • information on mandatory repatriation counselling.

The legal representation in proceedings at the BVwG encompasses:

  • complaints handling
  • preparation for and representation during the proceedings
  • drafting of opinions.

The legal adviser focuses on the individual situation of the clients in personal discussions. BBU GmbH guarantees that it will act to the best of its knowledge and belief until the conclusion of the cases or the termination of the power of attorney and that it will comply with all due duties of care customary in representation.

Within the scope of both the advice and the representation, the clients have the possibility to discuss the decision of the Federal Administrative Court with the legal advice team (objective explanation of the decision: effects, meaning, options). The consultancy mandate of BBU GmbH ends with the discussion of the legal decision.


In principle, consultations without the need for an appointment are also available during the open consultations held at the BBU offices. However, an appointment is required for a counselling interview to discuss the BFA decision.

The goal of the advice is to objectively and sufficiently inform the client about utilisation of the advisory services so that they can make an independent decision about how to proceed.

In the case of representation, the client will be provided with high-quality representation in compliance with counselling and representation standards.

The legal advice and representation is free of charge and is also carried out in the clients’ native language, if necessary through the use of interpreters provided by BBU GmbH.

Return counselling and return assistance

Since 1 January 2021, BBU GmbH offers return counselling for foreigners who are interested in leaving the country and are obliged to do so.

The task of return counselling is to inform foreigners who are interested in leaving the country or obliged to do so about the possibility of voluntarily returning to their country of origin. Asylum seekers in proceedings under the Dublin III Regulation will be informed about a possible voluntary transfer to the responsible EU Member State. Clients should be able to make an independent and fully informed decision about their departure. Voluntary repatriation (also in implementation of corresponding EU standards) always has priority over an obligation to leave the country enforced by the authorities.

In addition to clarifying an individual’s prospects during the return counselling, our counsellors also provide support with organising the journey home, should the individual decide to return.

The tasks of return counselling include:

  • advice on the possibility of voluntary departure
  • clarification of the coverage of costs for clients without means
  • organisation of the departure (e.g. flight bookings, travel documents)
  • help before departure (e.g. transfer to and assistance at the airport)
  • placement in reintegration programmes in the country of origin
  • contact with clients after their return

Most of the return counsellors working at BBU GmbH themselves come from one of the countries of origin of their clients, bring this experience to bear in their work, and mostly advise their clients in their mother tongue. With many years of experience, they are professionals in their field who want to provide their clients with the best and most reliable support to enable them to return home.

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The return counselling service is co-financed by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.


Human rights monitoring

The task of the human rights observers of BBU GmbH is to accompany and observe the entire process of out-of-country repatriations by charter flights or buses from the beginning until the persons to be returned are handed over to the authorities in their home country. Subsequently, the human rights observer must report any observations relevant to human rights to the competent authority.

The tasks of the human rights observers include:

  • participating in the contact talk between the escort leader and the deportee on the day before the forced return operation
  • the monitoring accompaniment of charter return operations, starting from the police detention centre through to the arrival of the returnee in the country of origin, and
  • preparation of a report on the course of the deportation carried out

Our human rights observers are qualified and trained experts who bring several years of experience in monitoring charter deportations to the BBU GmbH.

Interpretation and translation services

Since proper understanding is vital within the context of asylum and foreigner law procedures, the BBU counsellors can call on interpreters if necessary.

The BBU GmbH interpreters support both the legal and repatriation counsellors at BBU GmbH in their activities. They enjoy both substantive and personal independence.

The desired services can be organised quickly and easily directly by the BBU GmbH counsellors. The interpretation and translation services are regularly checked for compliance with the BBU quality criteria.

In this way, we can guarantee that our interpreters provide professional assistance to our clients and that they correctly understand the nature of the counselling with the resulting possibilities and consequences.