Entry, residence, settlement
For the entry into and the exit from Austria, 3rd country nationals require a visa. Nationals from other member states of the European Union and nationals from states with bilateral agreements on visa facilitations (e.g. Albania, Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, United States) are exempt from this requirement. The Austrian Alien Police Act (“Fremdenpolizeigesetz”, short: “FPG”) distinguishes between (short-term) entry visa and residency visa. Visa valid for a maximum of six months are regularly issued by the Austrian embassies or consulates abroad.
A stay of more than 6 months requires a residence permit. The Austrian Settlement and Residence Act (“Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz”, short “NAG”) provides for a variety of permits for diverse purposes and durations.
Practically important residence permits are, e.g.
- residence permit – student,
- residence permit for self-employed professions (e.g. (z. B. performance of projects or assignments in Austria),
- residence permit for special cases of employment (e.g. non-diplomatic staff of foreign embassies and international organizations in Austria),
- red-white-red card for highly qualified professionals (e.g. college graduates),
- red-white-red card for professionals in sectors of labor shortage (e.g. slaters),
- red-white-red card for the professionals (e.g. professional athletes and trainers),
- residence permit for close family relatives (family reunification),
- settlement permit without the permission to work (e.g. high net worth individuals of independent means),
- registration for nationals from another European Union member state,
- registration of family relatives and national from another European Union member state.
For any of these residence permits, a part of the general requirements (appropriate accommodation, sufficient financial means, the sickness insurance covering all risks) specific additional requirements apply.
Most of the residence permits providing access to the Austrian labor market are only granted after consultation and positive expert opinion of the Austrian Public Employment Service.
As a well-qualified employee or self-employed entrepreneur, you may acquire a red-white-red card to settle in Austria. If you wish to work for in Austrian employer on the basis of a red-white-red card for highly qualified professionals (e.g. college graduates), you need the support of an Austrian employer ensuring adequate payment. A red-white-red card for self-employed is issued to entrepreneurs whose investment in Austria creates jobs or otherwise benefits the Austrian economy, e.g. by the transfer of know-how to Austria.
After a period of 5 years of regular and legal settlement in Austria depending on a good German language skills, the foreign might apply for the residence permit “permanent residency – EU”.
From our experience, the variety of available visa and residence permits makes it difficult for the applicant to choose the best and most appropriate residence permit for the particular situation and interests.
We advise and assist you to find most advantageous residence permit for your personal and professional situation.
Following the grant of a residence permit, we may assist you with access to the Austrian labor market (red-white-red card, work permit, professional qualifications and try to register).
(See also trade law, work permits for foreigners, cross-border services)