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Blue Card EU

Nationals of third countries have the chance to get a “Blue Card EU” if they fulfil the general criteria for this card and can provide a written confirmation of the Public Employment Service (AMS) that they fulfil the criteria of a key worker. Researchers may also fulfil the requirements for the “Blue Card EU” due to their qualifications and their salary, especially if they already possess a “Blue Card EU” of another Schengen country.

Conditions for the granting

You will find all the requirements for the Blue Card EU in the checklist at the end of this page.

You have to apply for the “Blue Card EU” in person at the competent Austrian representative authority in your country of residence. In case that you are allowed to enter Austria without a visa or that you entered Austria with a residence title of another Schengen country you may also submit your application at the competent residence authority in Austria. The application can also be submitted by the researcher’s employer in Austria. The Public Employment Service (AMS) will submit a written confirmation to the competent residence authority stating that the researcher fulfils the eligibility criteria of a key worker. If all necessary documents have been submitted, the residence authority will decide about the application within 8 weeks.

Insurance

In principle travel health insurance must be taken out to enter Austria. Please note that this insurance must be valid in Austria and provide sufficient cover for various health issues (insurance cover well over 30,000 Euro, including guarantee to cover possible recovery and repatriation costs). Third-country nationals will only receive a residence title if they can additionally provide proof of having a “health insurance covering all risks”. Travel health insurance is only sufficient for the period until a “health insurance covering all risks” can be taken out after entry. Researchers who are employed by an Austrian research institution fulfil the requirement of a “health insurance covering all risks” due to the statutory insurance associated with this employment – provided that their salary exceeds a certain limit (Geringfügigkeitsgrenze) [446,81 Euro/month, as of 2019] employees will automatically be covered by health insurance (and also accident and pension insurance).

Validity period

Researchers will receive a “Blue Card EU” with a validity period of up to two years. If your employment contract is for a shorter period, your “Blue Card EU” will be issued for the duration of your employment contract plus an additional period of three months.

Working

Researchers with a “Blue Card EU” are allowed to take up their planned research activities without any further labour market documents being required.

Renewal and change to another residence title

You have to apply for a renewal of your card at the competent residence authority in Austria before your card expires; however, at the earliest three months before expiry of the card. Until a decision about your application for a renewal is taken you are considered to be lawfully resident, even if your current residence permit expires in the meantime.

After two years researchers can apply for a “Red-White-Red Card plus” if they were employed according to the requirements for a “Blue Card EU” at least 21 months within the last 24 months.

After a total settlement period in Austria of five years researchers may obtain the residence title “Permanent Residence EU” if they fulfil the requirements for this title.

Family members

Family members* of researchers holding a “Blue Card EU” can apply for a “Red-White-Red Card plus”. As a general rule, family members of researchers have to apply at the competent Austrian representative authority in their country of residence.

In case they are permitted to enter Austria without a visa they can also apply at the competent residence authority in Austria.

Family members holding a “Red-White-Red Card plus” enjoy free access to the labour market and may carry out any job without a work permit as long as the family relationship remains upright.

* Spouses, partners in a civil union and unmarried minors. Spouses and partners in a civil union must be at least 21 years old at the time of application.

Please note

The “Blue Card EU” will be issued in credit card format with a photograph and also serves as an ID document. You should carry your “Blue Card EU” at all times to prove your entitlement to residence in Austria.

During its validity period your “Blue Card EU” entitles you to travel through other Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland) and to stay in these countries for a maximum duration of 90 days within 180 days.

You have to register within three working days of arrival in Austria with theregistration office at your place of residence.

[Translate to English:] Checkliste

Checklist for "Blue Card – EU"

You have to enclose the following documents (originals plus photocopies) with your personally signed application form:

  • Valid travel document
  • Birth certificate or equivalent document (only in case of first-time applications)
  • Passport-sized photograph according to the ICAO criteria (colour photograph, size 3.5 x 4.5 cm)
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Statement of the employer (Arbeitgebererklärung; to prove that you have a guaranteed offer for a highly qualified job for at least one year that corresponds to your education and with a minimum annual salary of currently 62.265 Euro [2019])
  • Police clearance certificate from your country of residence (where available)
  • Proof of completion of a degree programme with a minimum duration of three years by means of a degree certificate and documentation of the status of the higher education institution
  • Confirmation of the Public Employment Service (AMS) that you are accepted as a key worker after a labour market check

It is recommended to submit all foreign documents in legalised German translation as well as foreign documents and proofs (e.g. birth certificate) in legalised form according to the applicable regulations.

Costs: 160 Euro (120 Euro when submitting the application, 20 Euro when the permit is granted and 20 Euro fee for the collection of police identification data)