Types of immigration

 

Immigration to and residence/settlement in Austria requires different procedures, depending on the various target groups: 

  • Mobility within the European Union (EU)
    Information for citizens belonging to the EU and EEA (European Economic Area) on possibilities for obtaining a residence permit in Austria.

  • Permanent immigration - Red-White-Red Card
    According to the regulations of this flexible new immigration scheme, individuals planning to live and work in Austria can apply for a Red-White-Red Card if they meet certain criteria. These criteria are translated into a points system: This points calculator helps you determine whether you meet the required criteria.

  • Temporary residence
    Information on residence permits for posted workers and hired out workers, for the self-employed, for artists, pupils, students, social service workers and researchers.

  • Fixed-term emplyoment
    Details for individuals who are planning to work in Austria for a fixed period of time, as well as undertakings hiring out or posting workers to Austria.


 Download relevant forms and information sheets here >> 



Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

What is the Red-White-Red Card?

The Red-White-Red Card is issued in the shape of a bank card and is a combination of a residence permit and employment permit. It is valid for one year and entitles its holder to settlement and employment with a certain employer. If the employer is changed within the first year, a new Red-White-Red Card must be applied for.

 

What is the Red-White-Red Card plus?

The Red-White-Red Card plus is issued in the shape of a bank card and entitles its holder to settlement and unrestricted employment. Holders of a Red-White-Red Card plus may change their employer at any time without needing to apply for a new permit.
Holders of a Red-White-Red Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus if they have been continuously employed and fulfull the requirements for admission for a minimum of ten months within the preceding 12 months.
Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders and of holders of a EU Blue Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus from the beginning.

 

What is the EU Blue Card?

The EU Blue Card is issued in the shape of a bank card and is a combination of a residence permit and employment permit. The EU Blue Card entitles its holder to temporary settlement and to employment with a certain employer, and is issued for a period of two years.
Holders of a EU Blue Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus if they have been employed for at least 21 months during the previous 24 months according to their qualifications.

 

What is the "Jobseeker Visa for very highly qualified workers?"

Workers are considered "very highly qualified" if they achieve at least 70 out of 100 points according to the points system. This visa is reserved for very highly qualified and experienced top-level personnel, such as scientists and senior top-level management.

Highly qualified workers who have not yet found an employer in Austria may apply for a Jobseeker Visa. A Jobseeker Visa entitles the holder to a six-month stay, during which he or she may look for a job. After finding a prospective employer, the next step is to apply for the Red-White-Red Card for very highly qualified workers.

 

What happens if I do not find employment within the validity period of my Jobseeker Visa?

If you are a very highly qualified worker and you do not find employment in accordance with your qualifications within the six month validity period of your Jobseeker Visa, you have to leave Austria. A new Jobseeker Visa can only be applied for after a period of 12 months.

 

I do not fall into the category of being a “very highly qualified worker” – in spite of that, is it still possible for me to receive a Jobseeker Visa?

No, this special visa is exclusively addressed to persons who fulfill the requirements for very highly qualified workers.

Who may apply for a Red-White-Red Card?

The Red-White-Red Card is a combination of a residence permit and employment permit for qualified third-country citizen workers. It is available for the following groups of applicants:

1.
Very highly qualified workers
2. Skilled workers in shortage occupations
3. Other key workers
4. Graduates of universities and universities of applied sciences in Austria
5. Self-employed key workers

 

I scored enough points on the points calculator. How do I receive the Jobseeker Visa for very highly qualified workers or a certain type of Red-White-Red Card?

The points calculator is a tool for you to estimate your eligibility. The results of this calculator are based on your personal self-assessment and may differ from the formal assessment. The actual formal evaluation of your skills and qualifications is done by the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) in the course of your application and on the basis of documents submitted by you. Please note that you also have to fulfil the general granting requirements and have a current job offer in order to apply for a RWR Card.

 

Who may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus?

1. Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders or EU Blue Card holders
2. Holders of a Red-White-Red Card after a period of 12 months (10 months of continued employment with the same employer according to their qualification)
3. Holders of an EU Blue Card, if they have been employed for at least 21 months during the previous 24 months according to their qualification
4. Persons changing from or extending the following other residence titles: Residence permit – scientist (Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Forscher), settlement permit (Niederlassungsbewilligung), or settlement permit – dependant (Niederlassungsbewilligung– Angehöriger).

Please find further information on the Red-White-Red Card plus here.

 

Who is a family member?

Family members are defined as:
1.
spouses
2.
registered partners of the same sex
3.
minor children, including adopted children and stepchildren (up to the age of 18).

At the time of filing the application, spouses and registered partners must be 21 years of age.
Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders and of holders of a EU Blue Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus with unrestricted labour market access from the beginning. The card may be renewed after one year, independently of the renewal of the Red-White-Red Card or the EU Blue Card of the original card holder, if the family members have their own income.
Family members must prove elementary German skills at the time of the first application. Family members of particularly highly qualified workers and holders of a EU Blue Card are not required to prove German skills with their application.

What happens if I want to change my employer?

If you have a Red-White-Red Card you can only change your employer if you apply for a new Red-White-Red Card and it is granted. The Public Employment Service (AMS) will also examine whether the conditions are met regarding the new employment. However, the points system check is not repeated.
If you have a EU Blue Card, you can only change your employer if you receive another EU Blue Card for the new employment. The AMS will examine whether the conditions are met regarding the new employment.
If you already have a Red-White-Red Card plus, you may change your employer at any time and you are not bound to one particular place of employment.

 

Can I apply for a Red-White-Red Card even if I do not have an employer in Austria?

No, you need an employer in Austria for the application.
Only highly qualified workers do not need an employer before applying. In this case you will be granted a six month visa for the purpose of looking for employment ("Jobseeker Visa"). If - within the validity period of this visa - you find an employer in Austria offering you employment according to your qualification (a valid work contract must be submitted), you may apply for a Red-White-Red Card.

 

Can I apply for a Red-White-Red Card if I will be employed with several employers?

No, a Red-White-Red Card is only issued for employment with one specific employer.

Do I have to provide evidence of adequate accommodation according to local standards at the time of application?

Yes, at the time of application, you have to provide evidence of a legal title to an accommodation in Austria that is considered adequate according to local standards. This legal title may be, for example, a rental contract for an apartment, a sublease, a (legally binding) preliminary contract, or even property. A mere statement of intent, for example by a friend stating, “he or she may live at my place”, is not sufficient. 

 

Do I have to provide evidence of health insurance coverage at the time of application?

Yes, at the time of application, you have to provide evidence of health insurance coverage that provides benefits in Austria and covers all risks. In addition to an insurance policy, the authorities also accept travel health insurance, but only if it includes a guarantee covering potential rescue and return costs.
If you receive a Red-White-Red Card and start your employment, you will be covered by statutory insurance.

 

What are the fees?

Jobseeker Visa: The fee is €100.
Red-White-Red Card: The fee is €100 (€80 for application, €20 for grant).
Red-White-Red Card plus: The fee is €100 (€80 for application, €20 for grant).
EU Blue Card: The fee is €100 (€80 for application, €20 for grant).
In addition:Costs of personalization (taking your photograph and signature): €20

 

Which documents do I need for the application?

Please download the information sheet Documents required for the Jobseeker Visa and the Red-White-Red Card (pdf - 377 KB).

 

Where can I file the application?

You can file an application for a Red-White-Red Card or an EU Blue Card personally with the competent Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) for your country of residence. Alternatively, your prospective employer may file an application with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor, regional administrative authority, or local administrative authority). Please submit a written employer’s declaration (Arbeitgebererklärung), which confirms that you shall be employed on conditions in accordance with your education.

The following persons may file an application personally with the competent residence authority in Austria: persons permitted to enter Austria without a visa, persons holding a valid residence title, persons holding a valid Jobseeker Visa for very highly qualified workers, and graduates from Austrian universities who have obtained a confirmation from the competent residence authority to extend their stay for six months after graduation for job seeking. However, filing an application in Austria does not entitle you to stay longer than already permitted in these circumstances. This means that after your visa-free stay or stay permitted by a certain title, you have to leave Austria and await the further proceedings abroad, even if the application process is ongoing.

The application for the Jobseeker Visa for very highly qualified workers must be filed with the competent Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) abroad.

 

Where do I find the application forms?

Application for Red-White-Red Card (pdf - 98 KB) and employer's declaration (German) (pdf - 615 KB)
EU Blue Card (pdf - 81 KB) and employer's declaration (German) (pdf - 615 KB)
Application for RWR Card plus (pdf - 92 KB)
Application forms for Jobseeker Visa (pdf - 169 KB) - criteria data sheet for Jobseeker Visa (pdf - 133 KB)

Who is a third-country citizen?

Citizens of countries which are not members of the European Economic Area (EEA) are considered third-country citizens. The EEA comprises all member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Swiss citizens are not considered third country citizens.

Can I get a Red-White-Red Card as a student in Austria?

No, students cannot be granted a Red-White-Red Card.

However, third-country students and students from Croatia may be granted employment permits without the need for a labour market test, as long as the employment is:

  • up to ten hours per week, respectively
  • up to 20 hours per week after successfully completing the first part of their course (1. Studienabschnitt Diplomstudium) or their Bachelor’s degree when continuing the course

The employment permit must be applied for by the intended employer with the Labour Market Service (AMS).

What is a shortage occupation?

Shortage occupations are annouced every year in a Regulation issued by the Federal Minister for Labour. The question as to which occupations will be considered shortage occupations will depend on the development of the Austrian labour market.

 

My profession is not listed as a shortage occupation – in spite of that, is it still possible for me to receive a Red-White-Red Card?

In this case, you cannot be issued a Red-White-Red Card for skilled workers in shortage occupations. You may however, read up about the requirements for a Red-White-Red Card for other key workers, for very highly qualified workers, or for graduates from Austrian universities, respectively, and may apply for one of these other Red-White-Red Cards if you fulfil the specific requirements.

Which degrees are recognized for the points system?

Programs with four years minimum duration (very highly qualified workers) and with three years minimum duration (skilled workers, okey workers and applicants for an EU Blue Card) are recognized. Formal recognition (nostrification) of the foreign degree in Austria is not required. However, some occupations, such as those in the medical field, may need to apply for recognition for their degree.

You can check the status of your university online at www.anabin.de. This website gives an overview of all recognized universities. Universities which have the status H+ on this website are recognized; if the university is not categorized under H+, or if it is not listed at all, you have to file for a confirmation of status with your application. This is issued locally by the competent authority (e.g. the competent Ministry of Education for this university).

Please find more information in the information leaflet on "Recognized degrees for the application for Jobseeker Visa and the Red-White-Red Card" (pdf -194 KB).

 

I did not complete my professional training in Austria – do I have to apply for formal recognition in order to receive a Red-White-Red Card or an EU Blue Card?

For most jobs, formal recognition is not necessary.

Formal recognition is only necessary in so-called regulated professions. These professions are regulated by law, and working in these professions is only allowed after formal proof of certain qualifications. This is the case, for example, for all health professions or teachers at public schools.

The website “Professional Recognition” can assist you in finding out whether your profession is regulated in Austria and which office is in charge of the recognition.

Source: Sozialministerium/BM.I (August 17, 2015)