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Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment

The “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” is intended for researchers in European Union research programmes and in academic exchange programmes involving Austrian universities provided that the exchange is carried out via associations of which either an Austrian university is a member or which work in cooperation with an Austrian higher education institution (e.g. OeAD scholarship holders).

It is possible that doctoral students / PhD students meet both the requirements for a “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” (e.g. academic exchange programme) and for a “Residence Permit – Student ” (notification of admission of a university, enrolment). In this case they can apply for either of the two residence permits.

Conditions for the granting of a residence permit

You can find all necessary documents in the checklist at the end of the page.

If you want to start your research work immediately after entry, you have to apply for a visa for gainful employment (visa D, the addendum “Gainful employment” will be added to the visa) at the competent Austrian representative authority in your country of residence before entering Austria. When applying for the visa you have to submit all documents that are required for a “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” (see Checklist). Only with such a visa you are permitted to start your research activities immediately after entry. After entering Austria you can submit your application for a “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” – preferably as soon as possible – at the locally competent residence authority in Austria. You have to submit your application in person.

In principle it is possible to submit an application for a “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” at the locally competent residence authority in Austria after lawful entry and during a lawful stay (e.g. visa-free or with a visa). Please note, however, that taking up research activities in Austria without a visa for gainful employment is only permitted after receipt of the “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment”.

Please note, however, that the application does not permit you to overstay your visa-free stay or the period of residence defined in your visa.

Alternatively, you may also submit your application at the competent Austrian representative authority in your country of residence and wait for their decision there (in this case, however, a longer processing time is to be expected).

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).

Alternatively, it is possible to take out private health insurance to fulfil the requirements of having a “health insurance covering all risks”.

Validity period

If all requirements are met, the “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” will be issued for a period of 12 months. If you applied for a shorter term or your travel document is valid for a shorter period of time, your residence permit will be issued for a shorter period.

Working

Researchers with a visa for gainful employment or a “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” are exempted from the provisions of the Act Governing Employment of Foreign Nationals and can take up employment in this field without any permit.

Renewal and change to another residence title

You have to apply for a renewal of your residence permit at the competent residence authority in Austria before your residence permit expires; however, at the earliest 3 months before expiry of the residence permit. 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.

It is also possible to change to another residence title if you meet the conditions for it.

Family members

Family members* of researchers holding a “Residence Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” can apply for a “Residence Permit — Family” (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung —Familiengemeinschaft”).

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 with a “Residence Permit — Family” require a work permit to be employed in Austria. The Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) may grant this permit after carrying out a labour market check.

* 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 “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” will be issued in credit card format with a photograph and also serves as an ID document. You should carry your “Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment” at all times to prove your entitlement to residence in Austria.

Checklists

Checklist for a "Residence Permit — Special cases of gainful employment"

You have to enclose the following documents (originals plus photocopies) with the 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)
  • Employment contract / preliminary contract / scholarship award notice (minimum funds to finance your stay in Austria [2019]: 933.06 Euro/month. If the rent for accommodation is higher than 294.65 Euro/month, you have to prove additional funds.)
  • Proof of a legal claim to accommodation in Austria according to the local standards (e.g. rental or subtenancy contract, legally valid preliminary contract, accommodation agreement (Wohnrechtsvereinbarung)
  • Proof of health insurance covering all risks (unless you have or are going to have statutory health insurance)
  • Police clearance certificate from your country of residence

It is recommended to submit all foreign documentsin 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)

Checklist for a "Residence Permit – Family"

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 family relationship (birth certificate, marriage certificate) and of living together as a family in the home country
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to cover the living costs [2019]:
    • Couples: 1398.97 Euro/month for both
    • For each child an additional 143.97 Euro/month

You have to prove these funds for twelve months in advance. The funds have to be in a savings book or bank account that must be accessible from Austria.

An alternative possibility would be a declaration of guarantee of a person living in Austria, the purchase of traveller’s cheques or a confirmation of the award of a scholarship. If the costs for accommodation exceed 294.65 Euro/month, you have to prove additional funds. You also have to prove sufficient funds for the necessary health insurance. Upon request of the residence authority you should be able to prove the origin of the funds (possibly also by means of appropriate evidence); furthermore, you have to disclose loans, maintenance payments and other financial burdens.

  • Proof of a legal claim to accommodation in Austria, e.g. rental agreement, accommodation contract with a student hall of residence, accommodation agreement (Wohnrechtsvereinbarung)
  • Police clearance certificate from your country of origin
  • Proof of a (travel) health insurance valid in Austria for the period between entering Austria and e.g. the start of dependent coverage within the student insurance, covering costs of at least EUR 30,000.00
  • Proof of health insurance covering all risks (e.g. by means of dependent coverage within the student’s student insurance) in Austria

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

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

The residence permit will be issued in credit card format with photograph and also serves as an ID document. It is recommended to carry it at all times.