Work Permits for Austria

Expats who are not citizens of EU-member states must obtain a work permit to legally take up employment in Austria. This is not a straightforward process, due to the fact there are a number of different types of work permits available depending on an expat's field of work and their level of skill and qualifications.

It is important to note that expats from non EU-member states must apply for the relevant entry visa or work permit at the Austrian embassy or consulate in their home country prior to travelling to Austria.

Work permits for skilled workers - EU Blue Card

This is a residence and work permit which allows highly qualified non-EU citizens to live and work in Austria for a period of up to two years. To be eligible for an EU Blue Card expats must have a confirmed job offer in Austria. Furthermore, this type of work permit will only be granted if the AMS (Austrian Labour Market Service) is satisfied that the company could not find a suitable Austrian or EU citizen to do the job specified within the contract.

Applicants for an EU Blue Card must have completed a university degree course of at least three years. Their qualifications must match the job profile and the salary specified in the contract must be at least one and half times higher than the average yearly income of full-time workers in Austria.

The processing time for an EU Blue Card in Austria is usually around eight weeks.

Work permits for key workers - Red-White-Red Card

This type of work permit is granted to foreigners who qualify as ‘key workers’ in Austria and allows the holder to live and work in the country for one year. In order to qualify for key worker status, expats must be highly qualified and skilled in a shortage occupation, a self-employed key worker or a graduate in certain fields from an Austrian university.

The Red-White-Red Card is granted according to one’s score on the points-based immigration system. Depending on which field of work an expat specialises in, they will be required to fulfil certain criteria to apply.

After ten months expats who hold a Red-White-Red Card can apply for an extension on the permit, which then entitles them to free access to the Austrian labour marker.
Card holders are also eligible to apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus.This is granted to 'key workers' after 1 year.

Jobseeker visas for Austria

This type of work permit is aimed at highly qualified non-EU citizens who want to work in Austria but have not yet secured a job and therefore cannot apply for an EU Blue Card or a Red-White-Red Card.

It is important to note that the Jobseeker Visa allows a person to visit Austria for the purpose of finding and securing a job, it does not allow them to work. Once expats have secured a suitable position, they must still apply for a relevant work permit.

As in the case of the Red-White-Red Card, the Jobseeker Visa utilises a points-based system. Applicants must satisfy certain criteria to be eligible for this visa.

*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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