Entry restrictions determine who can travel to Austria and the documents they require to cross the border.
Austria welcomes visitors from across the world provided they have the relevant paperwork. A visa for Austria is issued to travellers from non-EU citizens who meet the Schengen visa requirements. Other non-EU nationals can apply for an ETIAS visa waiver.
Visa suspensions and bans on foreigners entering Austria from overseas are used to keep Austria safe. Entry restrictions can be introduced at short notice to respond to current events, such as the recent coronavirus pandemic.
Foreign citizens should check the latest information before planning a trip to Austria.
COVID-19 entry restrictions in Austria
Austria is part of the European Union, their response to the coronavirus pandemic has been in line with recommendations by the EU.
Entry bans were introduced in March, external Schengen borders were closed to all non-essential travellers and internal checkpoints were also reintroduced.
Fortunately, as the situation improves across many areas of Europe, entry restrictions are being gradually eased and foreigners can once again visit Austria.
Can I travel to Austria from outside the EU?
Third-country nationals can currently not enter Austria for non-essential purposes.
Exemptions to the ban apply to individuals belonging to certain international organisations, healthcare providers, and seasonal workers in the agricultural, forestry and tourism sectors.
People in these countries can enter Austria with a negative PCR test carried out no more than 72 hours before departure.
External borders will reopen as soon as it is considered safe to do so.
Quarantine on arrival
Third-country visitors must quarantine for 10 days on arrival in Austria. The quarantine period may be reduced if a negative PCR test is presented in the meantime.
Travelling to Austria from an EU country
Entry restrictions have been lifted for European countries with a stable COVID-19 situation.
People who have only been in one of the following EU countries in the past 10 days may visit Austria without presenting a medical certificate:
Andorra, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, San Marino, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain (the Canary Islands only), Czech Republic, Hungary, Vatican, United Kingdom and Cyprus.
Individuals who have spent time in other countries in addition to one listed above must either present a negative test result or quarantine at home for 10 days.
General Austria travel restrictions
Whether or not foreign citizens require a visa or other documentation depends on nationality. Travel restrictions differ depending on whether an individual is:
- An EU citizen
- A third-country citizen from a visa-exempt nation
- A third-country citizen from a non-visa-exempt nation
Travelling to Austria with a European passport
Austria is part of the EU and the Schengen Area. As there are no internal borders in the Schengen zone, people can travel unrestricted from one Member State to another.
Citizens of EU countries do not need a visa for Austria but should carry their passport or another form of documentation with them as they cross the border.
Entry restrictions for visa-exempt non-EU citizens
Citizens of visa-exempt countries can visit Austria with few restrictions. Thanks to the visa liberalisation policy of the EU, many non-Europeans do not need a visa to stay in Austria short term.
From 2022, with the launch of the European Travel Information and Authorisation System, an ETIAS visa waiver for Austria will also be necessary to cross an external Schengen Area.
To stay longer than 90 days, a visa or residence permit for Austria is required.
Passport holders from visa-exempt countries will need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver once the system is launched.
Applicants need a biometric passport, email address, and debit or credit card. Most requests will be approved in minutes however entry will not be granted to any individual considered to pose a health or security risk.
Crossing an internal EU border
Once a third-country national has crossed the external Schengen border they can also enjoy freedom of movement.
Travellers with passports issued by a non-European nation can go to Austria from a Schengen country provided they have the relevant visa from an Austrian embassy or, from 2022, ETIAS visa waiver which is obtained online.
Austria visas for non-EU citizens
The final category is the non-EU citizen from non-visa-exempt third countries. Additional travel restrictions apply to visitors from these territories.
Passport holders require one of the different types of Austrian visa. The Schengen visa is valid for short stays in Austria.
Schengen visa requirements
In addition to a valid passport, various supporting documents are required to obtain the visa such as proof of:
- Medical insurance
- Sufficient funds for the trip
- Onwards travel
Austria customs and import restrictions
Restrictions apply to certain items when entering Austria from a non-EU country.
- Tobacco products: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars/100 cigarillos/250g tobacco
- 4 litres of wine
- 1 litre of spirits with over 22% alcohol content
- 2 litres of spirits with under 22% alcohol content
- 2 litres of champagne/sparkling wine
There is a limit of approximately €430 per person on other duty-free items.
Cash or other means of payment, such as gold and travellers’ cheques, over €10,000 must be declared at Austrian customs.