As Austria is an EU member state, citizens of other EU states can travel to Austria with only their passport.
Non-EU citizens travelling to Austria for a short stay or holiday may need to apply for a Schengen visa. If non-EU citizens plan on living or working in Austria, they will need to take the necessary steps to obtain either a work or residency permit.
Tourist visas for Austria
Citizens of certain countries will be required to apply for a Schengen tourist visa before entering the country. The processing time for a tourist visa can take around 14 days and travellers can apply at the Austrian embassy or consulate in their home country. However, it is best to apply well ahead of time and it is possible to submit the application more than three months prior to the date of departure.
As Austria is part of the Schengen territory, once a person is granted a Schengen visa they can visit multiple destinations that are signatory to the agreement. Those who plan on travelling to a number of Schengen countries will find that it is best to make their application at the consulate of the country in which they plan to spend the largest amount of time.
Holders of the Schengen visa are not granted permission to work or carry out any form of business activity.
Residence permits for Austria
In order to obtain a residence permit, the applicant must demonstrate that they have health insurance and sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members in Austria.
It is also necessary for the applicant to show that they have either secured employment in Austria or that they are enrolled at an Austrian educational institution.
Family members of EU or Swiss nationals living in Austria can also apply for residence by submitting their passport, evidence of their relationship to the primary residence permit holder, and a letter of support confirming that their living costs are being covered by the primary residence permit holder.
Any expat who moves to Austria on a residence permit is required to register their address at their local police station within three days of taking up residence. Expats will need to submit a completed residence registration form (Meldezettel) signed by their landlord, as well as their passport and birth certificate. The authorities need to be kept informed of any change of address.
Work permits for Austria
Expats who are not citizens of EU-member states will need to obtain a work permit to take up employment in Austria.
Read about the requirements and different types of work permits for Austria.
Permanent residence permits for Austria
Expats who have been living in Austria for at least ten consecutive years are eligible to apply for Austrian citizenship on the grounds of residence.
In some cases, applicants will only need to prove that they have been living in Austria for six years.
Those that can show that they are making a substantial economic, cultural or scientific contribution to the country or those investing large sums of money in Austria, are able to apply for permanent residency under the fast-track Austrian economic citizenship programme.
*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.