Nationals of Third Countries

If you do not have EU/EEA or Swiss nationality you are a "national of a third country" and you will need an entry or residence permit in order to enter or become resident in Austria.

Select the information according to the duration and purpose of your stay:

Students: stays for up to 6 months

If you want to study in Austria for a period no longer than 6 months, you will either need

  • a travel visa C ("Schengenvisum"): for stays in Austria and all other countries within the Schengen zone for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days (not necessary if you are allowed to enter Austria visa-fee)

or

  • a residence visa D: for stays in Austria of at least 91 days up to a maximum of 6 months, stays within the Schengen zone are possible for a maximum of 90 days during this period (not necessary if you are a Japanese national)

for entry to and residence in Austria.

You have to apply for this visa in person at the competent Austrian representative (embassy, consulate-general) in your country of residence before travelling to Austria. The visa will then be issued by this authority.

Important information for U.S. and Canadian exchange students and Fulbright programme scholars

Attention: If you are already holding a residence permit for a Schengen member state you are only entitled to apply for Austrian visa at the Austrian representative authorities in Bratislava, Ljubljana or Munich.

Attention: A visa (travel visa C or residence visa D) can neither be applied for nor being renewed in Austria!

If you are entitled to enter Austria visa-free you will not need a visa for staying in Austria for up to 90 days (Japanese nationals 180 days, only applies to Austria!). During your visa-free stay you may apply for a residence permit. The application for the residence permit, however, does not permit you to stay longer than your visa-free stay.

In certain cases it is also possible to apply for a residence permit at the competent residence authority within Austria after entering with a travel visa C or a residence visa D. This is possible for example for students in education and training/further education/research programmes of the European Union, students with certain Austrian scholarships or students with an Austrian school leaving certificate or a higher education degree certificate who want to apply for a "Residence Permit – Student" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender").

In any case the application for the residence permit, however, does not permit you to overstay your visa-free stay or the period of residence defined in the visa.

Attention: The visa free stay is related to all Schengen countries, i.e. days you spend in other Schengen countries are included in the 90 days visa free stay!

The travel document plus visa has to be carried at all times to prove your entitlement to residence in Austria.

To apply you need

  • completed and signed application form: visa C | visa D
  • 2 passport photos in accordance with ICAO-criteria (in colour, size 3,5 x 4,5 cm): www.passbildkriterien.at/oesterreich.html
  • valid passport and photocopies of all pages that contain entries and stamps
  • Proof of accommodation in Austria: e.g. rental contract, accommodation contract with a students hall of residence, confirmation of the reservation of accommodation by the OeAD Housing Office, private accommodation agreement
  • Proof of travel health and accident insurance that is valid in Austria with coverage of at least 30,000 euros
  • Proof of sufficient funds to finance your stay in Austria, e.g. savings or bank deposit, proof of purchase of traveller’s cheques, letter of guarantee of a person living in Austria or an institution domiciled in Austria
  • Confirmation of admission by the university
  • return flight ticket, if available

The Austrian representative authority may ask for additional documents in individual cases.

Schengen countries are the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Family members of students can also apply for a travel visa C or a residence visa D at the competent Austrian representative authority in their country of residence or – depending on their nationality and length of stay – enter Austria visa-fee.

Attention: You have to register within 3 working days of arrival in Austria with the registration office at your place of residence!

Visiting lecturers, scientists, researchers: stays for up to 6 months

If you want to do scientific research in Austria for a period no longer than 6 months, you will either need

  • a travel visa C as a visa for gainful employment ("Visum C - Erwerb"): for stays in Austria and all other countries within the Schengen zone for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days. Gainful employement, however, is limited to Austria. (also necessary if you are entitled to enter Austria visa-free)

or

  • a residence visa D as a visa for gainful employment ("Visum D - Erwerb"): for stays in Austria of at least 91 days up to a maximum of 6 months, stays within the Schengen zone are possible for a maximum of 90 days during this period. Gainful employment, however, is limited to Austria.

You have to apply for this visa in person at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate-general) in your country of residence before travelling to Austria. The visa will then be issued by this authority.

Attention: If you are already holding a residence permit for a Schengen Member state you are only entitled to apply for Austrian visa at the Austrian representative authorities in Bratislava, Ljubljana or Munich.

Attention: A visa (travel visa C or residence visa D) can neither be applied for nor being renewed in Austria!

In certain cases, however, it is possible to apply for a residence permit with the competent residence authority within Austria after entering with a travel visa C or a residence visa D. This applies for example on the one hand to academic teachers and researchers who want to obtain a "Residence Permit – Researcher" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Forscher") and on the other hand to academic teachers and researchers, students in education and training/further education/research programmes of the European Union and students with certain Austrian scholarships who want to apply for a "Residence Permit – Special Cases of Gainful Employment" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung Sonderfälle unselbstständiger Erwerbstätigkeit").

In any case the application for the residence permit, however, does not permit you to overstay your visa-free stay or the period of residence defined in the visa.

Attention: After entering visa-free or with a travel visa C or residence visa D that does not have the addition gainful employment ("Erwerb"), you are not entitled to work in Austria!

You should carry your travel document plus visa at all times as proof that you are entitled to stay in Austria.

To apply you need::

  • completed and signed application form: visa C | visa D
  • 2 passport photos in accordance with ICAO-criteria (in colour, size 3,5 x 4,5 cm): www.passbildkriterien.at/oesterreich.html
  • valid passport and photocopies of all pages that contain entries and stamps
  • Proof of accommodation in Austria: e.g. rental contract, accommodation contract with a student hall of residence, confirmation of the reservation of accommodation by the OeAD Housing Office, private accommodation agreement
  • Proof of travel health and accident insurance that is valid in Austria with coverage of at least 30,000 euros
  • Proof of your activities during your stay and of funding for your stay in Austria: e.g. employment contract with the host institution
  • return flight ticket, if available

The Austrian representative authority may ask for additional documents in individual cases.

An additional work permit or a confirmation of assignment ("Entsendebestätigung") is not required for the above mentioned purposes. Gainful employment that goes beyond the activities exempted in the Act Governing Employment of Foreign Nationals is not permitted.

Schengen countries are the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Family members of lecturers, scientists and researchers can also apply for a travel visa C or a residence visa D at the competent Austrian representative authority in their country of residence or – depending on their nationality and length of stay – enter Austria visa-free.

Attention: You have to register within 3 working days of arrival in Austria with the registration office ("Meldeamt") at your place of residence!

Students without entrance examination: stays for more than 6 months

Application before entry to Austria

The application for a residence permit must generally be submitted in person at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in your country of residence before travelling to Austria. The application will be forwarded to Austria by the representative authority and processed by the competent residence authority within Austria. Since you have to await the decision regarding your application in your country of residence, you should apply at least three months before the intended entry to Austria.

If the residence authority within Austria decides to grant you a residence permit, you will be informed by the representative authority in your country of residence. If you apply within three months of receiving this information, a residence visa D for entry to Austria will be issued to you. You then have to collect the residence permit at the residence authority within Austria within 6 months of receiving the information, in any case within the validity period of the resident visa D.

Most students opt for a residence permit for students ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Studierender").

Application after entry to Austria

IIn some cases, students are entitled to apply for a residence permit for students ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung Studierender") at the competent residence authority within Austria:

  • If you are entitled to enter Austria visa-free or are a holder of a residence permit valid for another Schengen member state

or

  • If you are a holder of certain Austrian scholarships - also if you entered Austria with a visa

or

  • If you are coming to Austria within an education and training/further education/research programme of the European Union - also if you entered Austria with a visa

Attention: Please note that an application for a residence permit does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time! The application should therefore be filed immediately upon arrival in Austria.

For the application for a residence permit for students "Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Studierender" the following documents are necessary:

  • Completed and signed application form: residence permit for students "Aufenthaltsbewilligung -Studierender" | Completion Assistant "Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Studierender"
  • Zwei Passfotos gemäß ICAO-Kriterien (in colour, size 3,5 x 4,5 cm)
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Notification of admission ("Zulassungsbescheid", "Aufnahmebestätigung") from an Austrian university, University of Applied Sciences or other education institution
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to finance your stay [2017]:
    • students up to the age of 24: 491.43 euros/month
    • students aged 24 and above: 889.84 euros/month (for a maximum of 12 months in advance)
      e.g. by means ofa bank or savings account that can be accessed from Austria, or a declaration of liability of a person living in Austria, or proof of purchase of travellers’ cheques in the necessary amount, or a confirmation of the award of a scholarship/grantIf the accommodation fees exceed 284.32 EUR/month, additional funds must be proven.
  • Proof of accommodation: e.g. rental contract, private accommodation agreement or confirmation of reservation from the OeAD Housing Office or a student hall of residence
  • Proof of health insurance (travel medical insurance) must be valid from the entry to Austria to the beginning of your studies or the beginning of your student self-insurance. The application for student insurance with the Austrian national health insurance carrier (Gebietskrankenkasse) has to be proven upon request of the Austrian residence authority
  • Police clearance certificate (where available)

You need to file the original documents and one set of photocopies. All documents have to be legalised and documents in languages other than German have to be submitted together with a certified German translation.

For the residence permit a fee of 120 EUR has to be paid. Of this amount, 80 EUR of this have to be paid when applying at the Austrian representative authority in your country of residence, another 20 EUR for the collection of police identification data ("Personalisierungsgebühr"), and the remaining 20 EUR when collecting your residence permit in Austria. Additional expenses may occur.

The residence permit will be issued in credit card size including a photograph and also serves as an ID. You should always carry your residence permit with you or keep it at hand at all times.

Family members

Family member students (spouses, unmarried minors) have to apply for a residence permit for family members ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Familiengemeinschaft") for entry to Austria (application form).

The application must generally be submitted in person at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in the country of residence at least 3 months before travelling to Austria. Family members who are entitled to visa-free entry or hold a residence title from another EU member state do also have the possibilty to apply for the residence permit with the competent residence authority within Austria.

In addition to the valid student’s residence, all the above-mentioned documents must be submitted for each family member.

Funding of at least [2017]:

  • 1,334.17 euros/month for couples
  • an additional amount of 137.30 EUR/month for each child must be proven.

Furthermore, proofs of being related to the student (e.g. marriage certificate) and are of living together as a family in the home country have to be provided.

Family members of students must have been granted a work permit in order to be able to work (pursue gainful employment) in Austria. The work permit is issued by the Public Employment Service Austria ("AMS") after it has determined whether or not the vacant position can be filled by a candidate with an Austrian citizenship or permanent resident status in Austria ("Arbeitsmarktprüfung").

Hints

Within 3 working days of your arrival in Austria, you have to register with the registration office (Meldeamt) at your place of residence. If you plan on working (pursuing gainful employment) in Austria during your studies, please make sure to enquire about the legal regulations before taking up a job! Working in Austria illegally may lead to fines or prison sentences and you may ultimately be expelled from the country. For further information see here: Working.

You can apply for a renewal of your residence permit before the current permit expires. Graduates who have completed at least the second part of a diploma programme or a full Master programme at an Austrian university, university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or accredited private university and who have found employment in Austria may apply for a "Rot-Weiß-Rot - Karte " wechseln.

During its validity period, residence or settlement permits also entitle you to travel through other Schengen countries (Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, France, Luxemburg, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Switzerland, Greece, Netherlands) for a maximum of 3 months.

Students with entrance examination: stays for more than 6 months

Application before entry

If you have to sit an entrance examination at an Austrian university or higher education institution, you have to proceed as follows (unless you are allowed to enter Austria without a visa):

Upon application the university will issue a "conditional letter of admission" (Bedingter Zulassungsbescheid). This conditional letter of admission and all other necessary documents (see the list below) have to be provided when you apply for a residence permit for students in person at the competent Austrian representative authority.

For the time being, sufficient financial means and accommodation only have to be shown credibly for the time being, e.g. by a confirmation of maintenance payments by your parents, a preliminary rental contract or reservation of a room in a student hall of residence.

Since you have to await the decision regarding your application in your country, you should apply at least 3 months before the date of the entrance examination.

If the residence authority in Austria decides to grant you a residence permit, the representative authority will inform you. You then have to apply for a residence visa D for entry to Austria, which will be issued by the representative authority with a validity period of 4 months.

Visa D allows you to travel to Austria and sit the entrance exam. If you pass the entrance exam, you have to submit your definite notification of admission (Zulassungsbescheid/Aufnahmebestätigung) and provide documents proving sufficient financial means and accommodation to the competent Austrian domestic authority in order to receive your residence permit. You have to collect your residence permit within the validity period of your visa D.

For the residence permit a fee of 120 EUR has to be paid. Of this amount, 80 EUR of this have to be paid when applying at the representative authority, another 20 EUR for the collection of police identification data ("Personalisierungsgebühr"), and the remaining 20 EUR when collecting your residence permit from the domestic authority. Additional expenses may occur.

Application after entry

Students are exceptionally allowed to apply for a residence permit for students after entering Austria. The following cases are possible:

  1. Entitlement to enter Austria without a visa (excemption from the visa requirements or already existing residence permit for another Schengen member state)
  2. Awarded scholarship granted by an Austrian governmental unit (in this case an application within Austria is also possible after a visa required entry, see below)
  3. Entry to Austria through an European Union programmes in the areas of education and further training or a reciprocal exchange programme (in this case an application within Austria is also possible after a visa required entry, see below)

Please note that an application for a residence permit does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time; therefore, the application should be filed immediately upon arrival in Austria. For the residence permit a fee of 120 EUR has to be paid.

Visa-free

Students who are allowed to enter Austria visa-free are allowed to sit the exam and subsequently apply for the residence permit during the period of their visa free stay in Austria.

The following documents have to be submitted:

  • Completed and signed application form for a residence permit for students "Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Studierender "
  • current passport photos in colour sized 3,5 x 4,5 cm (according to EU and ICAO passport photo criteria)
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Notification of admission (Zulassungsbescheid, Aufnahmebestätigung) from an Austrian university, University of Applied Sciences or other education institution
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to finance your stay: students up to the age of 24 have to prove at least 491.43 EUR/month, students aged 24 and above have to prove at least 889.84 EUR/month [as of 2017]. These amounts have to be proven for a maximum of 12 months, e.g. by means of a bank or savings account that can be accessed from Austria, or a declaration of liability of a person living in Austria, or proof of purchase of travellers’ cheques in the necessary amount, or a confirmation of the award of a scholarship/grant;
    If the accommodation fees exceed 284.32 EUR/month, additional funds must be proven.
  • Proof of accommodation: e.g. rental contract, private accomodation agreement, OeAD Housing Office or student hall of residence
  • Proof of health insurance (travel medical insurance) must be valid from the entry to Austria to the beginning of your studies or the beginning of your student self-insurance. The application for student insurance with the Austrian national health insurance carrier (Gebietskrankenkasse) has to be proven upon request of the Austrian authority.
  • Police clearance certificate (where available)

Important notice

You have to submit the original documents and provide photocopies. All documents have to be certified and documents in languages other than German have to be submitted together with a certified German translation.

The residence permit will be issued in credit card size, includes a photograph and serves as an ID. You should carry your residence permit with you or keep it at hand at all times.

Family members

Each family member of a student (spouse, unmarried minors) has to apply for a residence permit "Family" (Aufenthaltsbewilligung “Familiengemeinschaft”) for entry to Austria (application form).

In addition to the valid student’s residence, all the above-mentioned documents must be submitted for each family member. Funding of at least 1,334.17 EUR/month for couples and an additional amount of 137.30 EUR/month for each child [as of 2017] must be proven. Furthermore, proofs of being related to the student (e.g. marriage certificate) and are of living together as a family in the home country have to be provided.

Family members of students must have been granted a work permit in order to be able to work (pursue gainful employment) in Austria. The work permit is issued by the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) after it has determined whether or not the vacant position can be filled by a candidate with an Austrian citizenship or permanent resident status in Austria.

Other important information

Within 3 working days of your arrival in Austria, you have to register with the registration office (Meldeamt) at your place of residence.

If you plan on working (pursuing gainful employment) in Austria during your studies, please make sure to enquire about the legal regulations before taking up a job! Working in Austria illegally may lead to fines or prison sentences and you may ultimately be expelled from the country. For further information see here: Working

You can apply for a renewal of your residence permit before the current permit expires. Graduates who have completed at least the second part of a diploma programme or a full Master programme at an Austrian university, university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or accredited private university and who have found employment in Austria may apply for a "Rot-Weiss-Rot – Karte".

During its validity period, residence or settlement permits also entitle you to travel through other Schengen countries (Austria, Hungary, Norway, Belgium, Iceland, Poland, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Latviam, Slovakia, Estonia, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, Finland, Lithuania, Spain, France, Luxemburg, Sweden, Germany, Malta, Switzerland, Greece, Netherlands) and to stay in those countries for a maximum of 3 months.

Researchers, scientists, visiting lecturers: stays for more than 6 months

Residence permit "Special cases of gainful employment"

This kind of residence permit is available to all persons whose activities are exempted from the Law Governing the Employment of Foreign Nationals. These are scholarship recipients, academic teaching staff and researchers (without a "hosting agreement").

After the entry to Austria, these persons can apply for a residence permit for "Special Cases of Gainful Employment" with the competent Austrian authority. In order to make a lawful entry to Austria, an application for a residence visa D (Visum D "Erwerb") must be filed with the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in person before entering Austria. Therefore, all necessary documents for a residence permit (see the list below) must be handed in. If the documents are found to be complete and sufficient, a residence visa D valid for 6 months will be issued. This visa allows entry to Austria, where a residence permit for "Special Cases of Gainful Employment" must be filed with the competent authority. Please note that an application for a residence permit does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time; therefore, the application should be filed immediately upon arrival in Austria.

Exception: Persons who are allowed to enter Austria without a visa (visa-free), or hold a valid right of residence of a different Schengen state can apply for their residence permit in Austria during their visa-free stay. Please note that an application for a residence permit does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time; therefore, the application should be filed immediately upon arrival in Austria. Working (pursuing gainful employment) is not permitted during a visa-free stay.

Residence permit "Researchers"

If you have signed a hosting agreement (Aufnahmevereinbarung) with an Austrian research institution, you can apply for a residence permit for researchers in Austria.

The hosting agreement has to contain a monthly gross salary or equivalent incomes that ensure sufficient means of subsistence. Furthermore, documents providing health insurance (if there is no statutory compulsory insurance) and an accommodation are necessary.

Please note that an application for a residence permit for researchers does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time; therefore the application should be filed immediately upon arrival in Austria. After arriving in Austria you should apply for the residence permit “Researcher” at the competent residence authority in Austria as soon as possible.

The residence permit will be issued in credit card size, includes a photograph and serves as an ID. You should carry your residence permit with you or keep it at hand at all times.

Common provisions

The residence or settlement permit is issued in the form of a card with photo, it also serves as an ID document. You should carry it at all times to prove your entitlement to residence in Austria or else keep it in a place near you.

To apply you need:

  • completed and signed application form: There are different forms and explanations for aresidence permit "Special Cases of Gainful Employment" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung Sonderfälle unselbständiger Erwerbstätigkeit") and a residence permit "Researchers" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Forscher")
  • two recent passport photos in colour sized 3,5 x 4,5 cm (according to EU and ICAO passport photo criteria): www.passbildkriterien.at/oesterreich.html
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of employment and of sufficient financial means to finance your stay: at least 889.84 EUR/month (as of 2017). These amounts have to be proven for a maximum of 12 months, e.g. by means of an employment contract with an Austrian higher education institution or a confirmation of the award of a scholarship by the OeAD. If the costs for accommodation exceed 284.32 EUR/month, additional funds must be proven.
  • Proof of accommodation: e.g. rental contract, a private accommodaton agreement, of the OeAD Housing Office or a student hall of residence
  • Proof of health insurance valid in Austria, unless the employment is subject to a compulsory health insurance (in this case the insurance policy has to be shown)
  • Police clearance certificate (where available).

Important notice

You have to submit the original documents and provide photocopies. All documents have to be certified and documents in languages other than German have to be submitted together with a certified German translation. An employment permit is not required.

The residence permit will be issued in credit card size and serves as an ID. You should carry your residence permit with you or keep it at hand at all times. For the residence permit a fee of 120 EUR has to be paid. Additional expenses may occur.

As a general rule, the first residence permit will be granted for the duration of your employment but only for a maximum of one year. The residence permit "Researchers" can be issued for up to 2 years. Before its expiry you have to apply for a renewal of the permit. During its validity period the residence permit entitles you to travel through other Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland) and to stay in these countries for a maximum duration of 3 months.

Family members

Each Family member of grant recipient, lecturer and researcher (spouse, unmarried minors) has to apply for a residence permit "Family" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung Familiengemeinschaft") for entry to Austria.

All the above-mentioned documents must be submitted for each family member. Funding of at least 1,334.17 EUR/month for couples and an additional amount of 137.30 EUR/month for each child [as of 2017] as well as accommodation and health insurance for each person must be proven.

Furthermore, proof has to be produced that the grant recipient, lecturer or researcher and their partner are currently related (e.g. marriage certificate) and are living together as a family in the home country.

When meeting all these requirements, familiy members have free access to the labour market and are thus permitted to pursue any occupation in Austria without a work permit as long as the nature of the family relationship remains upright.

Other important information

Within 3 working days of arrival in Austria you have to register with the registration office (Meldeamt) at your place of residence.

If you wish to have an additional employment in Austria, please make sure to observe the strict regulations of the Austrian Act Governing Employment of Foreign Nationals! Working in Austria illegally may lead to fines or prison sentences as well as to expulsion from Austria. For further information see Working.

"Red-White-Red – card"

The "Red-White-Red – card" gives qualified third-country nationals and their family members permission to work and settle permanently in Austria.The following persons can obtain a "Red-White-Red – card":

  • very highly qualified persons,
  • persons who meet the requirements of a key worker
  • graduates

The "Red-White-Red – card" can only be granted by proof of an adequate employment. Furthermore, the "Red-White-Red – card" will only be granted if the third-country national provides proof of a concrete job offer that corresponds to their qualifications, is appropriately paid and meets the special admission criteria of the "Red-White-Red – card" (the candidate must score the minimum number of points; graduates do not have to reach a minimum score).

The "Red-White-Red – card" is issued in a one-stop-shop procedure. The Austrian employment service provides a statement whether the applicant fulfills all criteria and makes sure that the requirements for employment according to the Austrian employment regulations are met. The authority has to decide upon the application within 8 weeks. The "Red-White-Red – card" is quota free and is issued for 12 months, no further working permit is required.

"Red-White-Red – card" for very highly qualified persons

Visa in order to seek employment

Very highly qualified persons who do not have an employee in Austria but have reached the minimum score (at least 70 of 100 points), can obtain a visa for 6 months from the responsible Austrian representative authority to find work (“job-seeker-visa”).

If a job corresponding to the qualifications is found, the "Red-White-Red – card" will be granted without further labour market test.

Researchers who can provide proof of an employment contract can apply immediately for a "Red-White-Red – card" (either in person or by the employer).

Visa-free

Highly qualified persons who are allowed to enter Austria without a visa do not need a "job-seeker-visa". They can apply for the "Red-White-Red – card" during their lawful visa-free stay in Austria if they have found a job corresponding to their qualifications.

Eligibility criteria for very highly qualified persons

"Red-White-Red – card" for key workers

Third-country nationals who are supposed to work as key workers in a company can receive a "Red-White-Red – card" if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • minimum income [as of 2017]
    • for applicants younger than 30 years EUR 2.490 gross/month plus special payments
    • for applicants older than 30 years EUR 2.988 gross/month plus special payments
  • the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) is not able to recruit equally qualified workers who are unemployed at the moment (labour market check)
  • achievement of the minimum score of 50 points

Eligibilty criteria for key workers

"Red-White-Red – card" for graduates

Third-country nationals who

  • have completed at least the second part of a diploma programme or
  • a full Master programme

at an Austrian university, university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or accredited private university can apply once for a confirmation in order to seek for a job. This confirmation is valid for 6 months and you have to apply for it before the expiry of the residence permit with the responsible registry office.

Graduates who find an employment appropriate to the qualifications within the validity of 6 months (and are able to provide proof, e.g., an employment contract) can obtain a "Red-White-Red – card" if the following conditions are fulfilled:

  • a minimum gross salary of EUR 2.241 [as of 2017] plus special payments
  • other general requirements (entitlement to an accommodation in Austria according to local standards, health insurance contract, etc.)

A review within the point system is not intended.

Renewal of the "Red-White-Red – card"

The application has to be renewed before the previous residence title expires. Holders of a "Red-White-Red – card" may obtain the "Red-White-Red – card plus" if they have been employed for at least ten months within the preceding twelve months. The Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) will check whether or not the applicant fulfills this requirement.

The "Red-White-Red – card plus" entitles third-country nationals to unlimited access to the labour market. After requesting the renewal, the applicant is lawfully allowed to stay and work in Austria until a final decision on his or her application has been taken.

Family members

Family members of "Red-White-Red – card" holders obtain a "Red-White-Red – card plus" if they meet the general granting requirements.

General granting requirements

  • adequate means of subsistence [as of 2017] EUR 1,334.17 for married couples and an additional EUR 137.30 for each child,
  • health insurance: proof of a valid health insurance providing benefits in Austria and covering all risks; family members of "Red-White-Red – card" holders can usually be covered by the applicants’ health insurance (co-insurance),
  • adequate accommodation according to local standards: proof of a legal title to an accommodation (e.g. rental contract).

The "Red-White-Red – card plus" grants its holders free access to the labour market and no further permissions are required for any employed activity.

Family members may have to prove basic knowledge of German language (level A1) when applying and may be asked to fulfill the Integration Agreement within two years.

Please note

The "Red-White-Red – card" will be issued in credit card size, includes a photograph and serves as an ID. The "Red-White-Red – card" should be kept at hand at all times.

The "Red-White-Red – card" will be granted for the duration of your employment, but only for a maximum of 12 months.

During its validity period the "Red-White-Red – card" entitles you to travel through other Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland) and to stay in these countries for a maximum duration of 3 months.

"Red-White-Red – Card plus"

The "Red-White-Red – Card plus" entitles third-country nationals to fixed-term settlement and for the purpose of gainful employment or self-employment throughout Austria (unlimited labour market access). It is not limited to a specific employer.

"Red-White-Red – Card plus" plus may be issued to:

Checklist "Red-White-Red – Card plus"

Renewal of the "Red-White-Red – Card plus"

The "Red-White-Red – Card plus" is valid for one year. Applications for an extention of the residence title "Red-White-Red – Card plus" have to be submitted before the expiration date (at the earlierst three months in advance).

Third-country nationals who have been lawfully settled in Austria for at least two years and who fulfil module 1 of the Integration Agreement can receive a "Red-White-Red – Card plus" valid for three years.

Family members

Family members of "Red-White-Red – Card plus" holders also obtain a "Red-White-Red – Card plus" if they meet the general requirements.

General granting requirements

  • Adequate means of subsistence [in 2016]: EUR 1,323.58 for married couples and an additional EUR 136.21 for each child.
  • Health insurance: proof of valid health insurance providing benefits in Austria and covering all risks. Family members of "Red-White-Red – Card plus" holders are usually covered by their sponsors’ health insurance (co-insurance).
  • Adequate accommodation according to local standards:evidence of legal recourse to accommodation (i.e. rental contract)

The "Red-White-Red – Card plus" grants its holders free access to the labour market - no further permits in accordance with the Act Governing Employment of Foreign Nationals (AuslBG) are required for any employment activity.

Family members may have to prove their command of German at an A1 level when applying or fulfill the requirements set down in the Integration Agreement within two years.

Please note

The "Red-White-Red – Card plus" is issued in the size of a credit card with photograph and also serves as an ID document. You should carry it at all times to prove your entitlement to residence in Austria or else keep it nearby.

During its period of validity a "Red-White-Red – Card plus" entitles you to travel throughout other Schengen countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland) and to stay in these countries for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days.