Travel & Residence

For stays of up to 90 days per 180 days these individuals require a Schengen visa, given that they do not take up employment. Visa D are national visa, which entitle the holder of the visa to stay for a period from 91 days up to six months in Austria. It can be issued for single or multiple entry. Nevertheless, a visa does not entitle you to take up employment.   

Schengen visas have to be applied for at the relevant Austrian Representation (embassy, consulate) which is competent for the residency of the applicant.

Due to bi- and multilateral agreements, nationals of certain states (e.g. United States, Australia, Canada, Japan) are visa-exempt, if they stay in Austria for a maximum period of 90 days and do not take up employment. Find a list of visa-exempt states and further information at the website of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs.

Residence permit

Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not require a residence permit for staying in the Republic of Austria for a period of three months. This right is independent from any economic activity in Austria.

Nationals of the EEA and Switzerland may reside in Austria for more than three months by applying for a registration certificate [Anmeldebescheinigung] at the settlement authority (locally competent provincial governor (Landeshauptmann) or authorized district administrative authority). After a five-year period of continuous legal residence in Austria, you gain the right of permanent residence and may apply for a document certifying permanent residence [Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts].

Third country nationals who want to reside in Austria for longer than six months within one year require a residence permit. Residence permits are residence titles issued for temporary residence without intent to settle in Austria. In contrast, the Red-White-Red Card is a flexible system enabling the long-term immigration of qualified employees from third countries and their family members to Austria.

Residence permits usually have to be applied for in person at the relevant Austrian Representation which is competent for the residency of the applicant before entering Austria. Certain groups may also apply for a residence permit in Austria (inter alia nationals of visa-exempt states and artists). The settlement authority (locally competent provincial governor (Landeshauptmann) or authorized district administrative authority) makes the decision on residence permit applications.     

Work permit

EEA nationals (with the exception of Croatia) have free and unrestricted access to the Austrian labor market. They can freely move about in Austria within the context of the freedom of movement of workers and freedom of establishment. Accordingly, they are generally entitled to seek gainful employment as an employee or self-employed individual, given they are in possession of a valid travel document. Please note: transitional provisions and periods are in place with Romania and Bulgaria. 

Aside from a valid residence title, third country nationals require an official permit by the competent regional office of the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) to take up legal employment in Austria.

Work permits have to be applied for by the prospective employer. The permit must be issued before employment commences. Moreover, the employer is obliged to report the beginning and end of any employment to AMS within three days. Illegal employment is strictly controlled by the financial police, a national anti-fraud unit of the Federal Ministry of Finance, and subject to substantial fines.    

An exception provision applies to certain groups of artists for limited stays due to an artistic production or performance. This group of artists also includes filmmakers. Therefore, they may be employed without work permit for one day or four weeks within an overall artistic production to ensure an ongoing film production. Such employment shall be notified by the producer on the day of work take-up to the competent regional AMS office.

AMS may issue a conditional assurance (Sicherungsbescheinigung) to such an employer that the artist (who is required to obtain a visa) will receive a work permit after having received the respective residence permit/visa. The conditional assurance’s period of validity shall be 26 weeks at most, provided that the artist is employed for a maximum of six months. The conditional assurance for artists also applies to technical and administrative personnel.  

Employers who are not EEA nationals and whose companies do not have registered offices in the EEA shall also file a conditional assurance for their non-EEA employees. In these cases, it is advised to delegate power-of-attorney to an Austrian person or company who files the applications in the Austrian company‘s name.

An employer with EEA headquarters does not require a permit to post an EEA national (except Croatia) to Austria. The foreign employer shall report such performance of work or rendering of a service at the latest one week prior to commencement of work to the Central Coordination Office at the Federal Ministry of Finance (ZKO).

An employer without EEA headquarters requires a posting permit to post a non-EEA or Croatian national to Austria to work on a project lasting no longer than six months. Applications for posting permits shall be filed by the domestic employer with AMS for a period of up to four months. A work or posting permit is not required in the context of such short-term work performance or rendering of services (for up to four months) where the domestic workforce is not employed, such as business meetings or attending trade fairs and congresses.   

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