All about Austrian work visas – What you need to know

Austrian work visas

Austria is considered a great place to live and work overseas and is well-preferred by students, workers, and investors across the world. The country may seem to have complex rules that govern work visas and residence visas. But, with the right understanding and professional guidance, obtaining a work visa is not a challenge as it may otherwise seem to be.

The first thing you need to know is that not all foreigners entering Austria need a work visa. Those who needn’t have a work visa include nationals from EU and EEA regions. Others can access the nearest Austrian embassy and apply for a Schengen visa, as Austria falls within the Schengen area of Europe.

Austrian work visas can be classified into the following:

  • Red-White-Red Card: This visa has a 24-month validity. The visa allows applicants to reside in Austria. But it has to be noted that employees can only work for a specified employer who is named in the application. They must also fall into a specific category.
  • Six-month residence visa: This type of work visa is for those who want to move to Austria temporarily to find a job.
  • Students’ residence permit: Once a student completes studies or relevant training in Austria, the student residence permit can be renewed for 12 more months to job hunt or start a business.
  • Jobseeker visa: Very highly qualified workers are the ones this work visa is intended for.
  • EU Blue Card: This is an alternative to the Red-White-Red Card. It allows applicants to get work rights equal to Austrian citizens.
  • Business visa: Those visiting Austria for business activities for a period of under 6 months can apply for a business visa. Countries having agreements with Austria for visits up to 90 days don’t need a Business visa.

Austria uses a points-based system for immigration. The system clearly assigns points that define the category each applicant falls under. These categories go like:

  • Skilled workers skilled enough to fill shortages
  • Highly qualified workers
  • Start-up founders
  • Self-employed key workers
  • Graduates of local higher educational institutions
  • Other key workers

The type of visa needed will be determined by the category a person will fall into. Immigrants under any category are eligible for a Red-White-Red Card. This is the work visa that most foreigners choose to apply to work in Austria.

Coming to the documents required for procuring the work visa, it must be kept in mind that different categories of workers need different documents to be submitted.

For a very highly qualified worker, the following documents are required:

  • A passport
  • Proof of health insurance
  • A birth certificate or a document of equal validity
  • Biometric data
  • A photo not older than 6 months
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Proof of financial ability to support self

The other documents of proof asked for by under the points-based system include:

  • The gross annual salary for a senior management position
  • A university or higher education degree
  • Awards and prizes
  • Language skills
  • Research and innovation activities
  • Studies in Austria
  • Testimonials and work certificates

After 5 years of stay in Austria, anybody can apply for a permanent residence.

Once the documents as mentioned above are submitted to the local Austrian embassy, applicants must remit the fees. The website of Austria’s immigration authorities details the different ways in which an Austrian work visa can be procured. A professional immigration consultant can also guide you in this matter.

An important fact that has to be kept in mind is that an Austrian work permit does not include a residence permit. It has to be obtained separately. For that, the applicant must produce the following:

  • Work permit
  • Letter from the employer
  • Statement of salary or income

The temporary residence thus obtained can be used to later apply for a permanent residency.

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Anshul Singhal

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