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Austria - Visas

Anyone with a passport (with an expiry date at least six months after the visit) or valid ID from a listed country can visit Austria for a maximum of three months for tourist reasons without having to apply for a visa. The listed countries include those who are members of the EEA, Switzerland, the US and Canada. The full list is as follows:

• Albania*
• Andorra
• Antigua and Barbuda
• Argentina
• Australia
• Bahamas
• Barbados
• Bosnia and Herzegovina*
• Brazil
• Brunei
• Canada
• Chile
• Colombia
• Costa Rica
• Dominica
• El Salvador
• Grenada
• Guatemala
• Holy See
• Honduras
• Hong Kong
• Israel
• Japan
• Kiribati
• Macao
• Macedonia*
• Malaysia
• Marshall Islands
• Mauritius
• Mexico
• Micronesia
• Moldova*
• Monaco
• Montenegro*
• New Zealand
• Nicaragua
• Palau
• Panama
• Paraguay
• Peru
• Samoy
• San Marino
• Seychelles
• Serbia*
• Singapore
• Solomon Islands
• South Korea
• St. Christoph and Nevis
• St. Lucia
• St. Vincent and the Grenadines
• Taiwan
• Timor-Leste
• Tonga
• Trinidad and Tobago
• Tuvalu
• United Arab Emirates
• United States (USA)
• Uruguay
• Vanuatu
• Venezuela
*The visa exemption applies only to holders of biometric passports.

Anyone entering Austria with the intention to live there must, by law, act quickly to register their presence in the country. Within the first 3 days of moving to Austria you must register your address (“Meldepflicht”) at the local registration service (“Meldeservice”). In Vienna these are located in the 23 district council offices (“Magistratische Bezirksämter”), whilst in the federal provinces they can be found in the local communal authority offices (“Gemeindeamt”).

When visiting the offices you must provide the following documentation:

• completed registration form for each person to be registered, signed by the owner (or the property management) and the tenant
• passport and birth certificate
• residence registration certificates for any other places of residence

Once you have registered your residence in Austria, your personal data will be automatically saved in the Central Residence Registry (“Zentrales Melderegister” (ZMR)) and available to the authorities.

Every person registered in Austria is assigned a Central Residence Registry Number, (“ZMR-Zahl”) which is shown on the residence registration certificate (“Meldebestätigung”).

Whilst registering your address at these offices you may also apply for a European Economic Area (EEA) identity card (“Lichtbildausweis für EWR-Bürger”), which shows that you are resident in Austria.

Austria is a member of the EEA and a signatory of the Schengen Agreement. Since 1 January 2006 those holding a valid passport from a Schengen country must apply for an “Anmeldebescheinigung” registration certificate for themselves and their dependents if they wish to stay in Austria for longer than three months, and are legally obliged to do this within four months of entering the country. Registration should take place at the district administrative authority (“Bezirkshauptmannschaft”) or the municipal authority (“Magistrat”). To obtain the certificate you will need to prove that

• You are employed or self-employed in Austria, or are being educated at an official institution
• You have adequate means to support yourself and your dependents
• You have comprehensive health insurance cover for yourself and your dependents

The documents you submit to support your application must be the originals, and must be written in German or provided with a certified translation.

Citizens of non-EEA third party countries, such as the US, who wish to stay in Austria beyond three months, or who wish to gain employment there, must apply for a visa at an Austrian Embassy or Consulate-General. In the US there are three, based in New York, Los Angeles and Washington DC. Appointments must be booked well in advance of travel since they must be accepted in person and sent to Austria for processing. All consular fees must be paid on application, and the correct original identity documentation and proof of employment must be provided at the interview.

Whether you apply for an entry permit or residence visa will depend on how long you wish to live in Austria and what your plans are while you are there. You will need to apply for an entry permit “Aufenthaltsbewilligung” if you:

• wish to pass through Austria in (airport) transit
• intend to temporarily visit Austria as a tourist or to see friends or relatives who live in Austria
• are on a short-term business trip to Austria
• wish to take part in a conference or a seminar in Austria
• wish to attend a German language course for up to six months
• are planning to study or do an internship in Austria for up to six months
• wish to work as a guest professor at an Austrian university for one semester

You will need to apply for a residence permit “Niederlassungsbewilligung” if you:

• are retiring
• are married to an Austrian citizen
• will be transferred to your company's office in Austria for more than six months
• are planning on studying at a university/college or on attending school (grade 1-12)
• are planning on staying in Austria for a period longer than six months
• will be working as a researcher (as stipulated by Austria's "Alien Employment Act") at an Austrian university for more than six months
• wish to take up a one-year-job as an au-pair in Austria

The visa for entry or residence does not give you permission to work. Even if the employment you have accepted is for temporary work, you must apply for permission for the Red-White-Red Card, which is a points based system introduced in 2011 with the aim of targeting employment based immigration to those areas where the Austrian economy had most demand:

• very highly qualified workers
• skilled workers in shortage occupations
• other key workers
• graduates of Austrian universities and colleges of higher education
• self-employed key workers

A key issue when considering your application, either for work or just to reside in Austria, is your ability to maintain yourself and your family without depending on the Austrian government for financial support. This includes a minimum monthly income, health insurance providing coverage in Austria, and secured accommodation appropriate to the needs of your household.

The EU Blue Card, which is not allocated on a points based system, allows non-EEA citizens to live and work in Austria if they:

• have completed a course of study at a university or other tertiary educational institution with a minimum duration of three years,
• have received a binding job offer for at least one year in Austria - and the employment corresponds to the applicant’s education,
• will earn a gross annual income of at least one and a half times the average gross annual income of full-time employees (in 2017 this is at least € 59.718, which is a gross monthly income of € 4.266 plus special payments).

In addition, the labour market test (“Arbeitsmarktprüfung”) must show that there is no equally qualified worker registered as a jobseeker with the Public Employment Service (AMS) available for the job that the applicant has been offered.

Settlement and unrestricted employment is allowed to holders of the Red-White-Red Card Plus. There are a number of ways applicants can be eligible for this card, usually based on their previous visa but also sometimes requiring proficient basic German language skills.

If you are the non EEA spouse or child of an EEA citizen who permanently resides in Austria, you can apply for an Aufenthaltstitel "Familienangehöriger" visa. Once you have lived lawfully in Austria under this visa you can apply for an Aufenthaltstitel "Daueraufenthalt - Familienangehöriger" visa.

Once you have lawfully lived in Austria for a continuous period of five years you can apply for the Long Term Residence Certificate. Further details can be obtained from

Municipal Department MA35
Division “EEA”
Arndtstrasse 65-67, Stiege 1, 1st floor
1120 Vienna
Telephone: 01/4000 ext. 35338
Fax: 01/4000 99 35310

Domestic and household pets brought into Austria must have an EU household pet passport. Dogs must be identifiable through a microchip, and local Austrian taxes levied on dog owners must be paid in full. See BMG for more information.

Read more about this country

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