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-free)

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 (application in the country of residence)

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,  the representative authority in your country of residence will inform you accordingly and, upon application, will issue a residence visa D for you to enter Austria.  You have to apply for this visa within three months of receiving the notification that your residence permit has been granted. You can then collect your residence permit at the residence authority in Austria within 6 months of receiving the notification; in any case you have to collect it within the validity period of your visa.

Most students will opt for a "Residence Permit – Student" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender").

Application after entering Austria (application in Austria)

In some cases, students are entitled to apply for a "Residence Permit – Student"("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender") at the competent residence authority in Austria:

  • If you are, on the basis of your nationality entitled to enter Austria visa-free or are a holder of a residence permit valid for another Schengen member state, also if you entered Austria with a visa

or

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

or

  • If you are coming to Austria within the framework of 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 after arrival in Austria.

The following documents are necessary to apply for a “Residence Permit – Student” (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender"):

  • Completed and signed application form: Residence permit for students ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender") | Completion Assistant (Ausfüllhilfe) "Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender"
  • Two passport-sized photographs according to the ICAO criteria (in colour, size 3,5 x 4,5 cm)
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Notification of admission from an Austrian university, University of Applied Sciences or other education institution ("Zulassungsbescheid", "Aufnahmebestätigung")
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to finance your stay [2017]:
    • students up to the age of 24: EUR 491.43/month
    • students aged 24 and above: EUR 889.84/month (for a maximum of 12 months in advance)
      e.g. by means of a bank or savings account that can be accessed from Austria, or a declaration of liability ("Haftungserklärung") 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 costs exceed EUR 284.32/month, additional funds must be proven.
  • Proof of accommodation: e.g. rental contract, private accommodation agreement ("Wohnrechtsvereinbarung") or confirmation of reservation from the OeAD Housing Office or a student hall of residence
  • Proof of health insurance that must be valid from the moment of entering Austria to the beginning of your studies in Austria or the beginning of your student self-insurance. If you do not have student self-insurance, you have to prove having a private health insurance covering all risks. You have to show the application for the student self-insurance with the Austrian national health insurance provider (Gebietskrankenkasse) or the private health insurance policy to the Austrian residence authority upon request.
  • Police clearance certificate (where available)

You have to submit 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.

A fee of EUR 120 is payable for the “Residence Permit – Student”. EUR 80 has to be paid when applying at the Austrian representative authority in your country of residence, plus another EUR 20 for the collection of police identification data ("Personalisierungsgebühr"). The remaining EUR 20 you have to pay when collecting your residence permit in Austria. Additional expenses may occur.

The residence permit will be issued in the shape and size of a credit card. It includes a photograph and also serves as an ID document. It should always be kept at hand.

Family members

Family member of students (spouses, unmarried minors) may each apply for for a “Residence Permit – Family” ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Familiengemeinschaft") to enter 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 intending to enter Austria. Family members who are entitled to visa-free entry do also have the possibilty to apply for the residence permit at the competent residence authority within Austria.

In addition to student’s valid “Residence Permit – Student”, all the above-mentioned documents must be submitted for each family member.

Moreover, financial means of at least the following amounts must be proven [2017]:

  • EUR 1,334.17/month for couples
  • an additional amount of EUR 137.30/month for each child

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

Family members of students need a work permit in order to be able to work (pursue gainful employment) in Austria.  The Public Employment Service Austria (“AMS”) may issue a work permit after carrying out a labour market check ("Arbeitsmarktprüfung"). In the labour market check the AMS determines whether or not the vacant position can be filled by a candidate with Austrian nationality or an integrated foreign person.

Please note

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 to work (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 even be expelled from the country. For further information see here: Working.

Before your current “Residence Permit – Student” expires you can apply for a  renewal of your residence permit.

Students who have completed at least the second stage of a traditional degree programme (Diplomstudium) or a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral/PhD programme at an Austrian university, university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or accredited private university may, under certain circumstances, also apply for a “Red-White-Red CardNationals of third countries“ after completing their studies.

During the validity period of your “Residence Permit – Student” you are entitled 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) and to stay in these countries for a maximum period of three months.


Students with entrance examination: stays for more than 6 months

Application before entry (application in your home country)

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 notification of admission" (Bedingter Zulassungsbescheid). With this conditional notification of admission and all other necessary documents (see the list below) you have to apply in person for a "Residence Permit – Student" ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender") in person at the competent Austrian representative authority.

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 about your application in your country you should apply for the residence permit at least three months before the date of the entrance examination.

If the residence authority in Austria decides to grant you the residence permit, you have to apply for a Visa D at the representative authority to be able to enter Austria. The representative authority will issue the Visa D for a validity period of four months.

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

A fee of EUR 120 is payable for the residence permit. EUR 80 has to be paid when applying at the Austrian representative authority, plus another EUR 20 for the collection of police identification data ("Personalisierungsgebühr"). The remaining EUR 20 you have to pay when you collect your residence permit in Austria. Additional expenses may occur.

Application after entry (application in Austria)

In some cases, students are entitled to apply for a “Residence Permit – Student” ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung Studierender") at the competent residence authority within Austria:

  • if you are, on the basis of your nationality, entitled to enter Austria visa-free or if you are a holder of a valid residence permit of another Schengen member country, also if you entered Austria with a visa

or

  • if you in receipt of a certain Austrian scholarship – also if you entered Austria with a visa

or

  • if you are coming to Austria within the framework of 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! Therefore you should apply for your residence permit immediately after arrival in Austria.

The following documents are necessary to apply for a “Residence Permit – Student” (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender):

  • Completed and signed application form for a residence permit for students "Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Studierender" | Completion Assistant (Ausfüllhilfe) “Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Studierender”
  • Two passport-sized photographs according to the ICAO criteria (colour photographs, size 3.5 x 4.5 cm)
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • (Conditional) Notification of admission from an Austrian university, University of Applied Sciences or other education institution (Zulassungsbescheid, Aufnahmebestätigung)
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to finance your stay [2017]:
  • Proof of accommodation: e.g. rental contract, private accomodation agreement or confirmation of reservation from the OeAD Housing Office
  • Proof of health insurance that must be valid from the moment of entering Austria to the beginning of your studies in Austria or the beginning of your student self-insurance. If you do not have student self-insurance, you have to prove having a private health insurance covering all risks. You have to show the application for the student self-insurance with the Austrian national health insurance provider (Gebietskrankenkasse) or the private health insurance policy to the Austrian residence authority upon request.
  • Police clearance certificate (where available)

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

The residence permit will be issued in the shape and size of a credit card with photograph and also serves as an ID document. The residence permit should be kept at hand at all times.

Family members

Family members (spouse, unmarried minors) of students each have to apply for a "Residence Permit – Family("Aufenthaltsbewilligung Familiengemeinschaft) to enter Austria.

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

Family members of students need a work permit to be able to work (pursue gainful employment) in Austria. The Public Employment Service Austria (“AMS”) may issue a work permit after carrying out a labour market check ("Arbeitsmarktprüfung"). In the labour market check the AMS determines whether or not the vacant position can be filled by a candidate with Austrian nationality or an integrated foreign person.

Please note

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.

Students who have completed at least the second stage of a traditional degree programme (Diplomstudium) or a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral/PhD programme at an Austrian university, university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or accredited private university may, under certain circumstances, also apply for a “Red-White-Red Card“.

Your Residence Permit – Student” entitles you during its validity period to travel through  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 persons whose intended activities are not subject to the Act Governing Employment of Foreign Nationals (Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz [AuslBG]). These are for example:

  • activities within the framework of educational, further education or research programmes of the European Union (e.g. Erasmus+)
  • exchange teachers and foreign language assistants at educational institutions and universities within the framework of international agreements and exchange programmes
  • foreign students and graduates within the framework of exchange programmes that are based on reciprocity, provided that the exchange is managed by associations in which an Austrian higher education institution is a member or that are managed in cooperation with an Austrian higher education institution

In order to enter Austria you have to apply in person for a residence visa D at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in your country of residence. If you want to start working immediately after entry, you have to apply for a residence visa D for gainful employment ("Visum D — Erwerb"). When applying for the visa you have to submit all documents that are required for a residence permit (see below: “Common provisions”). If the documents are found to be complete, a residence visa D valid for 6 months will be issued. This visa allows you to enter Austria where you can apply for a “Residence Permit — Special cases ofgainful employment” at the competent residence authority.

If you are allowed to enter Austria visa-free or with a valid residence title of another Schengen country, you can also apply for your “Residence Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” in Austria during your permitted visa-free stay.

Please note: If you enter Austria visa-free or with a travel visa C or a residence visa D that is not a “residence visa D for gainful employment” you are not allowed to work in Austria!

Please note that an application for a “Residence Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time; therefore you should apply immediately upon arrival in Austria.

Family members

Family members of holders of a “Residence Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” have to apply for a “Residence Permit — Family" (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung —Familiengemeinschaft”) to enter Austria. All the documents mentioned below must also be submitted for each family member. Funding of at least EUR 1,334.17 per month for couples and an additional amount of EUR 137.30 per month for each child [as of 2017], accommodation and adequate health insurance for each person must be proven.

Furthermore, proof has to be produced that the residence permit holder and their partner are currently related (e.g. by means of a marriage certificate) and had been living together as a family in their home country.

Family members are only allowed to work with a work permit, which the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) may grant after carrying out a labour market check.

“Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment”

Persons who are working in research and teaching in Austria in public or private institutions and companies (without hosting agreement) can apply for a “Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment”.

In order to enter Austria you have to apply in person for a residence visa D at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in their country of residence. If you want to start working immediately after entry, you have to apply for a residence visa D for gainful employment ("Visum D — Erwerb"). When applying for the visa you have to submit all documents that are required for a settlement permit. If the documents are found to be complete, a residence visa D valid for 6 months will be issued. This visa allows you to enter Austria where you can apply for a "Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment" at the competent residence authority.

If you are allowed to enter Austria visa-free or with a valid residence title of another Schengen country, you can also apply for your “Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” in Austria during your permitted visa-free stay.

As a rule the “Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” will be issued for the duration of your employment but only for a maximum period of one year. Before the settlement permit expires you can apply for a renewal. Researchers who have been in possession of such a permit for two years can apply for a “Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” for three years.

Please note: If you enter Austria without requiring a visa or with a travel visa C or a residence visa D that is not a “residence visa D for gainful employment” you are not allowed to work in Austria!

Please note that an application for a “Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time; therefore you should apply immediately upon arrival in Austria.

Family members

Family members of holders of a “Settlement Permit — Special cases of gainful employment” can apply for a Red-White-Red — Card plus or a “Settlement Permit (which is subject to quotas).

The “Red-White-Red — Card plus” grants its holder free access to the labour market and no further permissions are required for any employed activity as long as the family relationship remains upright. A “Settlement Permit” only allows self-employed work.

Applications for residence titles for family members can be submitted at the competent Austrian residence authority in Austria after having entered Austria with a visa or without requiring a visa. Family members have to prove their command of German at A1 level when applying or else may be allowed to fulfil the requirement set down in the Integration Agreement within two years.

All the documents mentioned below must also be submitted for each family member. Funding of at least EUR 1,334.17 per month for couples and an additional amount of EUR 137.30 per month for each child [as of 2017], accommodation and adequate health insurance for each person must be proven. Furthermore, proof has to be produced that the settlement permit holder and their partner are currently related (e.g. by means of a marriage certificate) and had been living together as a family in their home country.

“Settlement Permit — Researcher”

This kind of settlement permit is available to all persons whose activities for an Austrian research institution are not subject to the Act Governing Employment of Foreign Nationals (Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz (AuslBG)) and who have concluded a “Hosting agreement” with the Austrian research institution.

In order to enter Austria you have to apply in person for a residence visa D at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in your country of residence. If you want to start working immediately after entry, you have to apply for a resience visa D for gainful employment ("Visum D — Erwerb"). When applying for the visa you have to submit all documents that are required for the settlement permit (see below: “Common provisions”). If the documents are found to be complete, a visa valid for 6 months will be issued. This visa allows you to enter Austria where you can apply for a “Settlement Permit — Researcher” at the competent residence authority.

If you are allowed to enter Austria visa-free, you can also apply for your “Settlement Permit — Researcher” in Austria during your permitted visa-free stay. Depending on the duration of your employment the “Settlement Permit — Researcher” can be issued for up to two years. Before the settlement permit expires you can apply for a renewal. Researchers who have been in possession of such a permit for two years can apply for a “Settlement Permit — Researcher” for three years. It is also possible to change to a “Red-White-Red Card plus”, which can also be granted for three years after the applicant has lived in Austria with a settlement permit for two years.

Please note: If you enter Austria without requiring a visa or with a travel visa C or a residence visa D that is not a “residence visa D for gainful employment” you are not allowed to work in Austria!

Please note that an application for a “Settlement Permit — Researcher” does not entitle applicants to overstay their lawful residence time; therefore you should apply immediately upon arrival in Austria.

Family members

Family members of holders of a “Settlement permit — Researcher” can apply for a “Red-White-Red — Card plus”. The “Red-White-Red Card plus” grants its holder free access to the Austrian labour market and no further permissions are required for any employed activity as long as the family relationship remains upright.

Family members of holders of a “Settlement Permit — Researcher” can apply for the “Red-White-Red Card plus” at the competent Austrian residence authority in Austria after having entered Austria with a visa or without requiring a visa.

Family members may have to fulfil the Integration Agreement within two years.

All the above-mentioned documents must also be submitted for each family member. Funding of at least EUR 1,334.17 per month for couples and an additional amount of EUR 137.30 per month for each child [as of 2017], accommodation and adequate health insurance for each person must be proven. Furthermore, proof has to be produced that the settlement permit holder and their partner are currently related (e.g. by means of a marriage certificate) and had been living together as a family in the home country.

Common provisions

The “Residence Permit – Special cases of gainful employment”, the “Settlement Permit – Special cases of gainful employment” and the “Settlement Permit – Researcher” are issued in the shape and size of a credit card with photo and also serve as an ID document. The residence or settlement permit should be kept at hand at all times.

To apply you need:

  • fully completed and signed application form: "Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Sonderfälle unselbständiger Erwerbstätigkeit"| Ausfüllhilfe "Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Sonderfälle unselbständiger Erwerbstätigkeit"|"Niederlassungsbewilligung – Sonderfälle unselbständiger Erwerbstätigkeit"|"Niederlassungsbewilligung – Forscher"| Ausfüllhilfe "Niederlassungsbewilligung – Forscher"
  • Two passport-sized photographs according to the ICAO criteria (colour photographs, size 3.5 x 4.5 cm)
  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of employment and of sufficient funds to finance your stay in Austria [2017]: EUR 889.84/month for one year in advance, e.g. by means of an employment contract with an Austrian higher education institution/research institution, confirmation of the award of a scholarship. If the rent for accommodation is higher than EUR 284.32/month, you have to prove additional funds;
  • Proof of a legal claim to accommodation, e.g. rental contract, private accommodation agreement (Wohnrechtsvereinbarung), confirmation of reservation of accommodation with the OeAD Housing Office or a student hall of residence;
  • Proof of health insurance covering all risks, unless the employment is subject to compulsory health insurance (in this case you have to provide proof of such insurance before entry to Austria in addition to the travel health insurance, e.g. by means of a preliminary insurance contract or an insurance policy);
  • Police clearance certificate (where available).

You have to submit the original documents and provide photocopies. All foreign documents have to be legalised and documents in languages other than German have to be submitted together with a legalised German translation. A work permit or an assignment permit is not required.

A fee of EUR 120.- is payable for the residence/settlement permit. Additional expenses may occur. Before expiry of your residence/settlement permit you can apply for a renewal of the permit. During its validity period the residence/settlement permit permits you to travel through other Schengen countries and to stay in these countries for a maximum period of 3 months.

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 in Austria.

"Red-White-Red – card"

The "Red-White-Red – Card" entitles its holder to temporary settlement (no quotas apply) and employment with a specific employer. It is suitable for people who are intending to settle in Austria permanently.

The following categories of persons can get a “Red-White-Red – Card”:

  • Particularly highly qualified persons
  • Specialists in occupations in which there is a lack of qualified employees
  • Other key workers
  • Graduates of Austrian higher education institutions
  • Self-employed key workers

The "Red-White-Red – Card" can only be issued by proof of an adequate employment. The job must correspond to the applicant’s qualifications and be paid adequately and comply with the special eligibility criteria for the “Red-White-Red – Card” applied for (e.g. achievement of a minimum score, minimum gross salary).

The “Red-White-Red – Card” will be issued by the residence authority in a one-stop-shop procedure. The Public Employment Service (AMS) will provide a statement whether or not the applicant fulfils all criteria and make sure that the requirements for employment according to the Austrian employment regulations are met. Other labour market-related permits are not necessary with a “Red-White-Red – Card”.

The authority has to decide about the application within 8 weeks. The “Red-White-Red – Card” will as a rule be issued for two years. If you cannot prove having an employment contract for 24 months, the “Red-White-Red – Card” will be issued for the duration of the employment plus 3 months (but only for a maximum period of two years).

"Red-White-Red – Card" for particularly highly qualified persons

Particularly highly qualified persons who do not yet have a job in Austria can apply, provided that they achieve the minimum score (at least 70 out of 100 points), with the competent Austrian representative authority for a job-seeking visa, which is valid for six months and which will enable them to search for a job in Austria.

If they find a job that corresponds to their qualifications during the validity period of this visa, they can get a “Red-White-Red – Card” without labour market check. If they already have a job offer (employment contract), they can also apply immediately for a “Red-White-Red – Card” (either in person or through their employer).

Particularly highly qualified persons who are entitled to enter Austria visa-free do not need a job-seeking visa. They can apply for a “Red-White-Red – Card” in Austria during their permitted visa-free stay if they are able to find a job according to their qualifications within this period of time.

Eligibility criteria for very highly qualified persons

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

Applicants from third countries wishing to take up employment as key workers on the basis of their qualifications can obtain 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 (AMS) is not able to recruit equally qualified workers who are registered as unemployedand able to fill the position (Labour Market Check)
  • minimum score of 50 points

Eligibilty criteria for key workers

"Red-White-Red – Card" for University Graduates

Nationals of third countries who have successfully completed

  • at least the second stage of a traditional diploma degree programme or a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral/PhD programme

at an Austrian university, university of applied sciences (Fachhochschule) or accredited private university can apply for a “Red-White-Red – Card” for University Graduates before expiry of their “Residence Permit – Student” provided that they have found a job according to their qualifications and can prove that the following criteria are fulfilled:

  • They receive a minimum gross salary of EUR 2,241 per month [2017] plus bonus payments and
  • They fulfil the general requirements (e.g. accommodation according to the local standards, adequate health insurance, etc.)

Graduates of Austrian higher education institutions need not achieve a minimum score.

If they do not have an adequate job offer at the time of expiry of the“Residence Permit – Student, they can apply at the competent residence authority once for a renewal of their “Residence Permit – Student” for another 12 months for job-seeking. The general requirements for a residence title need to be fulfilled. You also have to provide written proof of the successful completion of your degree programme.

Holders of a “Residence Permit – Student” for job-seeking may also apply for a “Red-White-Red – Card” for University Graduates (or other type of “Red-White-Red – Card”) instead.

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 21 months within the last 24 months. The Public Employment Service  (AMS) will perform the check.

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/registered partners and an additional EUR 137.30 for each child,
  • Health insurance: proof of a valid health insurance liable to pay for medical treatment in Austria and covering all risks; family members of "Red-White-Red – Card" holders can usually be covered by the "Red-White-Red – Card" holder’s 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. This means that 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” is issued in the shape and size of a credit card with photo and also serves as an ID document. The “Red-White-Red – Card” should be kept at hand at all times. The “Red-White-Red – Card” will be issued for the duration of your employment plus three months but only for a maximum period of two years.

A “Red-White-Red Card” allows its holder during its validity period to travel through other Schengen countries (Belgium, Latvia, Portugal, Denmark, Liechtenstein, Sweden, Germany, Lithuania, Switzerland, Estonia, Luxemburg, Slovakia, Finland, Malta, Slovenia, France, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Norway, Czech Republic, Iceland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, and Poland) and to stay in these countries for a maximum period of three months.

"Red-White-Red – Card plus"

The “Red-White-Red – Card plus” entitles nationals of third countries to temporary settlement in Austria and grants them unlimited access to the labour market. It is not limited to any specific employer

The following categories of persons can receive a “Red-White-Red – Card plus”:

Checklist "Red-White-Red – Card plus"

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

The "Red-White-Red – Card plus" as a rule is issued for a duration of twelve months. 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" with a validity period of 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/registered partners and an additional EUR 136.21 for each child.
  • Health insurance: Proof of health insurance liable to pay for medical treatment 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.

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