From 2013 until the end of 2017, Austria implemented a Humanitarian Admission Program (HAP) for Syrian Refugees. This project was developed as direct assistance to refuges from the Syrian Arab Republic in crisis region and was implemented independently from regular asylum procedures.

The overarching goal of the HAP was to support the Syrian Arab Republic's neighbouring states and to manifest the international community’s solidarity. The most important target group of the HAP encompasses particularly vulnerable cases, in particular women and children, torture survivors as well as persecuted minorities, such as Christians. 

During the implementation a total of 1,900 refugees from the Syrian Arab Republic were admitted to and arrived in Austria, mainly from Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The program was implemented by IOM in cooperation with the Austrian Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Office for Asylum and Immigration, the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UNHCR and the Resettlement working group composed of NGOs mandated to support the integration of the refugees. 

In the frame of this project, IOM provided the following services:

Health check-ups and medical assistance

  • Medical screening prior departure
  • Medical assistance for vulnerable persons
  • “Fit for travel”- check

Pre-departure orientation trainings

  • Cultural orientation provides first information on the host country in order to create realistic expectations; discuss fears
  • A brochure with the following content:
    Flight preparation: Information and travel simulation
    Cultural topics (religion, family, health, housing, work)

Organization and logistical arrangements

  • Organization and provision of documents
  • Flight booking and airport assistance (departure, transit, arrival)

Resettlement in Austria
AUCO - Austrian Cultural Orientation Trainings for Syrian Refugees

In the frame of the cultural orientation trainings, a brochure in Arabic was handed out to AUCO participants. Kindly also find the German version here.


IOM Austria, Operations Unit

+43 (0) 1 585 33 22 

This project was financed by the European Commission, the Austrian Ministry for Internal Affairs, the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and External Affairs and implemented in cooperation with IOM, the UNHCR as well as the Resettlement work group.