Austria is one of the most interesting European countries to study in. Many of its universities rank highly internationally, such as the University of Vienna — the oldest university in the German-speaking world.
Around 15% of students in Austria come from abroad. For prospective international students, it is essential to know the student visa and residence requirements to study in Austria.
What Are the Requirements to Study in Austria?
In order to study in Austria, international students must meet certain requirements and have the correct documentation. These vary from country to country.
Studying in Austria for non-EU International Students
Students from non-EU countries can study in Austria for up to 6 months with a student visa. There are 2 types of student visa for Austria:
- Visa C — allows the holder to stay for up to 90 days
- Visa D — allows the holder to stay for 91 days to 6 months
Non-EU students who plan to study in Austria for more than 6 months must apply for a “Residence Permit — Student”. Once this is approved, they must also apply for a Visa D to enter the country and then collect their residence permit in Austria from the relevant authority.
If the university or institution has entry requirements of its own or an entrance examination, the results of these must be obtained first and the offer of admission presented as part of the student visa and/or residence permit application.
How Long Does it Take to Get an Austrian Student Visa?
It can take up to 6 weeks to get an interview appointment at an Austrian embassy, depending on the demand for appointments. It can then take a further 1-4 weeks to process the visa application.
Will I Be Able to Study in Austria with ETIAS?
The ETIAS visa waiver will be introduced for visitors of certain nationalities in late 2022. It will allow these travelers to visit any and all countries in the Schengen Area (an organization of European countries, including Austria, with no land border checks between member states) for a maximum of 90 days.
ETIAS is primarily for touristic and business purposes. Visitors may use their ETIAS to enter Austria to attend conferences, seminars, or even short courses in Austria. However, students wishing to study at a university or other institution must apply for a student visa.
Studying in Austria as an EU Citizen
As a member of the European Union, Austria allows citizens of fellow EU countries to come and study without a visa. A valid travel document (ID card or passport) is required to enter the country.
No further paperwork is required for students staying up to 3 months. Those studying for longer than 3 months will have to register with the competent municipal authority in person.
EU students should not be charged higher admission fees and should be eligible for a residence permit in order to receive financial support, the same as Austrian students.
Can I Work in Austria with a Student Visa?
International students can work in Austria while studying. Terms and requirements vary depending on the student’s nationality.
Students from EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein can work freely in Austria with no need for a work permit. However, the university may prefer work hours to be limited in favor of studying.
International students from outside the EU and the aforementioned countries will have to obtain a work permit in addition to their residence permit. In most cases, the prospective employer will make the application on their behalf. There are usually limitations on employment hours for student work permits.
However, unpaid internships and placements do not require permits and do not count towards the hours worked for students with work permits.
Employment Opportunities For Graduates in Austria
Austria has a thriving industry base and high levels of employment. There are many opportunities for international graduates — especially those that have gained their degree at an Austrian university.