Immigration. Travel. Living.

Austria: residence permit obtaining

Flag of Austria

Visa regime

Austria is a member of the Schengen Agreement, according to which a Schengen visa is required to enter the country. It is of three types:

  • A

It is issued to foreigners whose purpose of the visit is transit to other countries through the international airports of Austria.

  • C

It provides for a short-term stay of up to 90 days. It is issued to persons, whose purpose of the visit is tourism, transit, visiting relatives or friends, business trips. It gives the right to visit Schengen countries.

  • D (national visa)


It is valid only on the territory of the country and gives the right to stay in the country from 3 to 6 months without a temporary residence permit or residence permit in Austria. This visa entitles you to travel to the Schengen countries for up to 90 days during the validity period of the national visa.

Benefits of staying in Austria

Holders of an Austrian residence permit have the right to free movement in the EU countries, and after continuous residence for ten years, they can obtain local citizenship. At the same time, if there are other countries where this permit is not always essential for a full immersion in local life, then here you first need to get a residence permit in Austria and only then you can start solving important issues – for example, without it, a foreigner will not be able to purchase local real estate.

Grounds for obtaining a residence permit

For foreigners, there are many options for obtaining a residence permit in Austria. The main thing for the registration of any motive of them is the presence of well-documented reasons for permanent stay in the country.

Family reunification

The classic option for obtaining an Austrian residence permit is in the case when one family member has Austrian citizenship or residence, then his close relatives will also be able to issue it (spouses, parents, and children). To obtain this type of permit, you need to confirm the relationship with an apostilled marriage or birth certificate.

group of people walking on park


It is considered one of the simplest options for getting a residence permit in Austria. The foreigner must enroll in an Austrian university or be enrolled in a local school. If we are talking about secondary educational institutions, then a minor cannot live alone, so he can only move with his parents or he will have to look for a guardian among residents or citizens of Austria).

Only students of full programs can apply for a residence permit in Austria, therefore, exchange studies during one semester do not provide such an opportunity. After successfully graduating from an educational institution, you can stay in the country to look for work.

It is important to know that a student residence permit does not give the right to work – for this you need to obtain a separate permit from the Austrian Labor Exchange (AMS). And even if this condition is met, foreign students are only allowed to work 20 hours a week.

Red-White-Red Card for Austrian University Graduates

As you know, graduates of Austrian universities have the right to receive a red-white-red card and stay for one more year in the country to look for work, while it is very convenient that it is not at all necessary to use this opportunity immediately after receiving a diploma.

For example, if you had to return home for some reason after studying in Austria, you can still apply for an Austrian residence permit. The main documents confirming such a motive will be a diploma and a certificate confirming knowledge of the German language.

Nuances for self-employed

A suitable option for foreign freelancers and individual entrepreneurs, it is also suitable for those who have found remote vacancies and signed a contract with a customer for a period of at least 6 months.

Nuances for businessmen

In Austria, foreigners can only be organizers of startups with a minimum investment of 50,000 Euros. You must participate in the points program in the following categories:

  • education

It must be from 20 to 30 points.

  • work experience

Experience in years is multiplied by 2.

  • knowledge of German or English

It must be from 5 to 15 points.

  • age

If the entrepreneur is under 35, a bonus of 10 points is awarded. His company must be profitable, useful to the state, and creates jobs.

Nuances for financially independent citizens

Foreigners who have savings have the right to get a residence permit in Austria but without the right to work. Your financial independence must be confirmed by a certificate from the bank. For one person you need 966 Euros per month, for spouses – 1,472 Euros and an additional 149 Euros for each child.

Red-white-red card

This type of permit, the name of which reflects the colors of the national flag of the country, is a point-based immigration program for qualified specialists, where, ideally, you can score 100 points if the applicant has good indicators in such parameters as age, education, work experience, knowledge of the German language, etc. To obtain such a residence permit in Austria, you need at least 70 points, if it succeeds, then a foreigner does not need to look for a job in advance before applying for an official permit. 

Red-white-red card for scarce specialists

It is adjacent to the previous version of the permit, only here we are talking about specific working professions that are lacking in Austria – turners, power engineers, electricians, roofers, asphalt pavers, and carpenters. To get this type of permit, you need to score 55 points out of 100. In addition, there is a regional list of shortages, which can change every year: for example, in 2021, Salzburg and Upper Austria do not have enough accountants. The disadvantage of this program is the limitation of the number of issued permits, only for 300 foreigners.

Red-white-red plus card

This type of residence permit can be obtained by holders of an ordinary red-white-red card or an EU blue card who have already lived in Austria for two years and have been employed for 21 months, as well as scientists and researchers who have lived on a temporary permit for 2 years, and relatives holders of a red-white-red or blue card. Such a card is issued for a period of 3 years, but relatives applying for such a permit for the first time receive it for only one year, but after the expiration of the term it can be extended.

European Union Blue Card

This type of permit can only be obtained by highly qualified specialists with knowledge of German, as well as graduates of Austrian universities, but for this, it is necessary to conclude a contract with an employer in Austria. At the moment, the minimum wage should be 63 672 Euros per year or 5306 Euros per month – this is a key condition for obtaining this type of residence permit.

Nuances for work

The most traditional version of a residence permit in Austria, the conditions for obtaining which coincide with many other countries. To apply for it, it is necessary that the foreigner already has an invitation to work from an Austrian employer, while the salary that the foreigner will receive must exceed 2610 Euros or 3132 Euros if the applicant is over 30 years old.

For volunteers

For its registration, it is necessary to have an agreement with a volunteer organization, where all aspects of the work, its duration, the possibility of providing housing, the need to confirm qualifications, and other details must be prescribed. Such a type of permit does not imply immigration and cannot be extended.

person standing wearing red shirt

For a refugee

Obtaining refugee status is not an easy way, there must be a proven valid reason, and in addition, the process of issuing this type of residence permit in Austria is regulated by the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. The first time this status is issued for one year, after which it is extended for another two. During this time, you can start studying or get a work permit and find a job.

List of required documents

The exact list may vary depending on the type of residence permit, but the standard package of documents is as follows:

  • questionnaire
  • international passport
  • birth certificate
  • photograph 3.5×4.5 cm
  • apartment rental agreement in Austria
  • medical insurance with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000.
  • confirmation of solvency (bank statement for at least the last 3 months, income statement, grant)
  • certificates of marriage or divorce, death, change of name, the birth of children (if any)
  • certificate of good conduct
  • grounds for getting a residence permit in Austria (invitation to work, study, documents for your own company, marriage certificate, etc.)
  • in some cases, proof of knowledge of the German language will be required (exams ÖSD, Goethe-Institut, Telc GmbH, and Austrian Integration Fund).

The cost

The amount of costs depends on the specific lawyer. The cost of the services of such specialists in Austria is very different. You can spend on them from 3000 to 25000 per person. When applying for an Austrian residence permit, registration is required, therefore, in advance (by the time the documents are submitted to the Austrian consulate), you need to rent an apartment, purchase medical insurance (the cost also varies greatly).

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