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Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and Switzerland do not need a visa to visit, live or work in Austria. Whereas, citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and a number of other countries do not require a visa for visits of up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
Residents of all other countries must have a valid visa to enter Austria for any purpose. If you wish to live in Austria for longer than 90 days or to work there, and you are not a citizen of the EU, the EEA, or Switzerland, you will need a work permit and a residence permit. In order to obtain the permits, you will need to submit all the necessary documents in either German or English.
Work permits and employment-based visas
Work permits and employment visas in Austria come in several different forms. Some of the main work permits non-EU citizens may need in Austria are the “restricted work permit” (valid for one year), the standard “work permit” (valid for two years), and the “unrestricted work permit” (valid for five years).
What documents do you need?
Your application must be supported by:
- A valid passport
- Two identical colors, full-face passport-size photographs of yourself
- Copies of any previous Schengen visas, if relevant
- A cover letter explaining the purpose of your visit and your itinerary
- Proof of Schengen Area health insurance
- Details of your flights, with dates and flight numbers
- Proof of accommodation in Austria
If you are with a minor child you need to provide the following documents:
- the minor’s birth certificates (signed by both parents)
- both parents’ passports or I.D
- a family court order in case you are divorced and have full custody.
Requirements for a work permit in Austria
Nationals of developing countries planning to work in Austria can apply for a Red-White-Red Card. The card has a duration of 24 months and allows you to live in Austria. During this time, you can only work for the employer specified in your application.
Do you need a residence permit in Austria?
Nationals of developing countries who stay or intend to stay in Austria for more than six months require a residence permit.
EEA, EU, or Swiss citizens have to request a “confirmation of registration of Right of Residence under EU law” from the competent authority if they want to stay longer than 3 months in Austria. If you intend to work in Austria, you may apply for a job seeker visa, a Red-White-Red Card, or a European Blue Card.
Long-term visa for Austria
Visa D, a national visa, is subject to national legislation and entitles the holder to stay in Austria for a period of 91 days up to six months. They can be issued for single or multiple entries.
A Visa D also entitles the holder to move to the territory of the other Schengen member states for up to 90 days per period of 180 days.
Long-term visa application
The purpose for the issuance of a Visa D:
- Specific long-term stay (up to 6 months)
- Entry Visa D with regard to collection of a residence permit granted by the relevant Austrian authorities
Work visa requirements in Austria
Not every foreigner who enters Austria needs a visa. For example, European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) nationals do not need a visa. However, all applicants from outside these areas must apply at the closest Austrian embassy or consulate general in person.
Austria uses a points-based system to help determine which category applicants fall under. These categories then help determine what type of visa the applicant is eligible for.
All of these categories are eligible for a Red-White-Red Card, which is what most foreigners apply for when working in Austria. For example, to be considered a very highly qualified worker, individuals will need:
- A passport
- A birth certificate or equivalent document
- A photo was taken within the last six months
- Proof of accommodation