Visa Types

Tourist Visa

Austria’s picturesque scenery, history, museums, beautiful cities, and cuisine, are just some of the reasons that attract millions of people each year. Citizens who wish to travel to Austria for a maximum period of 90 days must apply for a visa.

EU citizens can travel to Austria without a visa. However, all third-country nationals are required to apply for a tourist visa. The type of visa, documents and requirements needed to apply depend on nationality. Travelers may apply for an ETIAS Visa Waiver or a Schengen Visa.

To apply for a tourist visa, applicants must complete and sign the relevant form, pay the processing fees, and in some cases schedule an interview at the nearest Austrian Embassy. They must also have a passport, valid for at least three months from the date of arrival.

austria visa types

Electronic Travel Information and Authorisation System

The EU Parliament decided to create and implement the ETIAS travel authorization due to terrorist attacks they have suffered in recent years, as well as the worst immigration crisis they have faced. The ETIAS visa waiver, is an electronic authorization that pre-screens travelers to make sure they do not pose a risk to the safety of the Schengen Area.

The ETIAS is a multi-entry, electronic authorization, valid for five years, that allows its holder to travel within the Schengen Area for a maximum period of 90 days.

Applicants are required to fill out the form with personal details, answer a few security questions, and pay the processing fees. Once they submit the application, it is checked in the ETIAS system, which cross-checks all major local law enforcement agencies as well as Interpol. Once approved, the ETIAS authorization will be sent to the applicant via email.

If the visa is denied, the applicant will also receive justification for the refusal and will be given the opportunity to appeal.

Schengen agreement

In 1985, five European countries signed the Schengen Agreement abolishing the internal borders between them. Currently, a total of 26 countries have signed the agreement and three micro-states.

Citizens from Schengen countries can travel, live, study, and work in any of the countries in the Zone, without border controls or the need for a visa.

Today, the Schengen Area is comprised of 26 countries, most of which are EU states. European countries that have not joined the Schengen Area include the United Kingdom, Ireland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, and Cyprus. However, Bulgaria and Romania are currently in the process of joining the Schengen Area. The non-EU States that have signed the Schengen Agreement include Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The EU has established a common visa policy which facilitates the entry of travelers into the EU, while strengthening internal security. Travelers who wish to transit through or enter the Schengen Zone must apply for a Schengen Visa.

The Schengen Visa is common to all member-states. However, the requirements to request it may differ depending on applicant’s nationality. The duration of stay and validity of the Schengen Visa is determined by the Embassy that processed the visa application.

Residence Permit

All third-country nationals that wish to stay in Austria for a period exceeding 180 days must apply for a residence permit.

Residence permits are granted based on a specific purpose, like to work or study. Residence permits must be requested at an Austrian Embassy prior to arriving in Austria. However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Family members of Austrian, EEA and Swiss citizens
  • Visa D holders
  • Non-EU citizens applying for a research permit may apply for a residence permit in Austria

To apply for a Residence Permit, applicants must provide:

  • Passport
  • Visa application form
  • Two recent passport-size photographs
  • Copy of birth certificate and Apostille
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient financial means
  • Proof of accomodation in Austria

Education Permit

Austria is world-renowned for its education system, that is why it attracts thousands of foreign students each year. Individuals intending to study in Austria for a period longer than six months, or conduct research at an Austrian educational institute must apply for an education permit or Student Visa, which allows its holder to remain in 12 months in Austria, or for the duration of the course, depending on education programme. However, if the intended course is less than 6 months, prospect students only need an Austrian National Visa D.

Applicants are required to meet the eligibility criteria by presenting an enrollment certificate, or providing an acceptance letter issued by an Austrian University or educational institute.

They must also provide proof of accomodation, and proof of financial subsistence, which may include scholarships.

How to bring your family to Austria

Non-Eu citizens who intend to settle in Austria for a period that exceed six months, require a residence visa, and can sponsor their family members, provided they meet the general requirements. Third-country nationals can petition to bring their spouses, registered partners, and unmarried children under the age of 18.

Family members are required to complete the Integration agreement, which is comprised of two modules. Certain residence permits will only be issued to those who comply with module 1, which includes A2 knowledge of the German language, and basic understanding of Austrian fundamental values, and of the legal and social systems.

Family Members are required to comply to module 1 of the integration agreement when applying to one of the following residence titles:

  • Red-White-Red Card plus
  • Family Member
  • Settlement Permit – Dependant
  • Settlement Permit
  • Settlement Permit – Gainful employment excepted

Family members applying for a Long-term Resident visa must have completed Module 2 of the Integration Agreement before filling the application.

Residence permit for executives

Executives who are to work temporarily an Austrian branch of their company, may obtain a residence permit. The Residence permit for executives allows its holder to reside and work in Austria.

To be eligible for a residence permit for executives, or intra-corporate transferees, applicants must provide proof of employment in the company, work contract, necessity of temporary transfer, and proof of a genuine economic activity of the company. The residence permit for executives applies to managers, specialists, and trainee employees.

Applicants must apply prior to entering Austria, at their local embassy, and are required to provide:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Photo
  • Evidence of health insurance
  • Evidence of sufficient funds
  • Work contract

Employment Permit

Austria offers one of the steadiest and most prominent economies in the world. That is why each year more and more people wish to work there.

Employment permits in Austria are given based on a points system, which is in turn based by the applicants skills, and the shortages in the Austrian labour market.

The application requirements vary according to the specific visa. Applicants are required to prove they meet the criteria by supplying evidence such as diplomas, certificates, proof of language skills, and recommendations. Applicants must also provide.

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Passport-size photo
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of sufficient funds

Red-White-Red-Card

Austria is one of the highest ranking countries in terms of GDP per capita. Austria offers one of Europe’s highest standards of living, and education, which attracts more and more immigrants each year.

Austria, has created a high-skilled immigration programme called the Red-White-Red Card. Highly skilled non-EU workers may apply for a Red-White-Red Card, which allows them to work for a specific employer. In order to meet the requirements, applicants must be a highly skilled worker, a self-employed skilled worker, or a graduate of an Austrian university.

The Red-White-Red Card works on a points-based system. Depending on the applicants category, the eligibility criteria differs. It is valid for a year, after which time can br renewed, or the worker may request a Red-White-Red Card Plus, which will allow its holder to work for any company in Austria.

To qualify as a very highly qualified worker, you must score more than 70 points on the points based scheme described on the immigration authorities website. Under this system you score different amounts of points for things like your professional qualifications, work experience, language ability and the salary levels you have previously earned.

EU Blue Card

Like the Red-White-Red Card, the EU Blue Card, allows highly qualified non-EU citizens to live and work in Austria for a period of two years. Prospect employees may only apply once they have a job offer, since the permit will be linked to a specific job at a specific company.

The EU Blue Card is issued by the Austrian Labor Market Service, or AMS, and is only given to non-eu citizens that have a confirmed job offer. To apply for a EU Blue Card, applicants must have a university degree of at least three years, and their qualifications must match the job profile to AMS’s satisfaction.

The AMS will only issue a EU Blue Cards if the applicant passes the labour market test that shows that there is no equally qualified Austrian or EU-citizen workers available for the job.

The Blue Card application process is fast tracked by member states, meaning it’s typically quicker than other forms of work visa application. However, it may still take up to three months.

Jobseeker Visa

The Jobseeker visa is issued to highly qualified non-EU citizens who do not have a confirmed job offer, or who are looking for a job in Austria. Therefore, cannot apply for a Red-White-Red Card or EU Blue Card.

The Jobseeker Visa is valid for six months and allows its holder to remain in Austria legally, and look for a job. This Visa is not a work permit, once its holder secures a job offer, he/she will need to apply for a work permit.

The Jobseeker Visa is also points based system. Applicants must meet the requirements to apply, which include providing evidence of their qualifications. The issuing of a Jobseeker Visa is also managed by the Austrian Labor Market Service.

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