Austria was rated as one of the 14 richest countries in the world in relation to GDP, making it one of the most sought out countries to conduct business in. However, you might need an Austria Business Visa in order to go to Austria.
Do I Need a Business Visa for Austria?
Residents from EEA/EU and Schengen countries as well as countries that have a visa-free agreement (U.S.A, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, etc.) won’t need a business visa for Austria, provided that they stay for 90 days within a six-month period.
You need an Austrian business visa only if you typically need a visa to visit Austria as a tourist.
Keep in mind: Currently, Austria is in lockdown and most embassies are not issuing Schengen visas, you have to contact a local embassy/consulate to get a correct answer.
Austria Business Visa Requirements
If you want to conduct business in Austria and you’re from a country that doesn’t have a visa agreement with Austria then you need to get ready to apply for a business visa. You will need several documents which include:
- Visa Application Form. You have to print this form and fill it in with your personal info and then you attach the form to the rest of your papers.
- Passport. You must have a valid traveling document. Your passport can’t be expired and it must be valid even during your stay in Austria. Make sure it won’t expire during your visit otherwise you won’t be issued a visa. Additionally, it must have two empty pages.
- Identity Pictures. You have to have two recent identity pictures, conform to the Schengen photo rules. The pictures must be:
- 35x40mm size.
- Taken within the last 6 months.
- Taken with a white background.
- Taken with ears and eyebrows must visible.
- Taken with a neutral facial expression.
- Previous Passports. If you have any previous passports that were issued sometime during the last 7 years you must provide copies of those too.
- Proof of Professional Status. You must provide a copy of one of these documents depending on your current status:
- If employed: employment contract
- If a student: school records
- If self-employed: a copy of your business license.
- If retired: proof of pension fund.
- Letter of Invitation. You must provide a letter of invitation from the business company you’ll be doing business in Austria.
- Bank Statements. Please make sure that your recent bank statements must also be a part of the documents. They shouldn’t be older than 6 months.
- Visa Fee. Before you apply for your visa you must pay a fee, and attach the receipt to your application. The fee changes accordingly:
- Schengen Visa Fee for an adult: 80€
- Schengen Visa Fee for citizens of Russian Federation, Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Moldova, and Georgia: 35€
- Detailed Itinerary. Alongside your other items, you must have a detailed agenda for your trip. It’s important to include information such as:
- Departure dates.
- Return dates.
- Flight number.
- Visit plan.
- Other countries you’ll visit in the Schengen Area (if applicable).
- Confirmed Accommodation. Please make sure you have proof that you’ve secured lodging during your stay. This could be either hotel bookings, Airbnb agreements, private housing, or any other type of accommodation as long as you can provide evidence that you have a place to stay.
- Schengen Travel Insurance. You won’t get a visa without having travel insurance. Please make sure that your insurance covers any type of emergencies up to 30,000€.
- Copies of Previous Schengen Visa. This is obligatory only if you’ve had a Schengen visa before (no matter what country).
- Cover Letter. You must provide a letter stating your reason for visiting.
- Marriage Certificate/ Family Card. Applicable only in cases when a spouse/partner accompanies their spouse/partner for the business trip.
*Please note that all documents must be in English or German, if they are not you must have them translated by a certified translator.
How to Apply for an Austria Business Visa?
Even though the business visa application process may seem a little daunting, it’s actually really easy as long as you’ve prepared all of your required documents:
- Print Out the Visa Application Form. It’s really important you fill in the form as soon as you can when you want to apply for a visa. In the form, you’ll be asked to fill in some of the most important information that the embassy needs, and because of that it’s essential you fill it with the most up-to-date information.
- Get All Your Other Documents Ready. Assemble every official document that you need for your business visa (see above). Please make sure to check with a local embassy/consulate to see if they might require anything else.
- Schedule an Appointment. After you’ve assembled everything you have to contact the embassy/consulate and make a reservation to hand in your application. Please note that you must have a previous date set up for the hand-in otherwise simply walking in without a scheduled meeting won’t work.
- Prepare for an Interview. You should get ready for an interview at the embassy. Don’t be nervous; they will ask you questions more about yourself and the nature of your trip.
- Patiently Wait for News. After you’ve applied you will be notified by the embassy regarding your visa status. Make sure to check your email.
Where Do I Apply for an Austria Business Visa?
You have to apply at either an embassy, consulate, or an official representative authority of the Austrian government in your country. The embassies are in charge of issuing any type of Schengen visas. Check here to find your local office.
When Do I Apply for an Austria Business Visa?
It’s always best to apply for a business visa at least three weeks before your planned visit. Don’t apply three months prior as you will more likely not receive a positive answer.
Can I Go to Other Schengen Countries With an Austria Business Visa?
Yes, you can. The Schengen states have abolished their borders and their residents can move freely within those states. A person who possesses a valid Schengen visa may enter any country in the Schengen Area they wish.
But, please make sure to state within your application which countries you’re planning on visiting. You still have to apply at an Austrian representative authority no matter where you plan on going since Austria is your main destination.
How Long Can I Stay in Austria With a Business Visa?
A business visa is valid for 90 days within a six-month period. That means you can enter the Schengen Area within those six months and stay for a maximum of 90 days. When your 90 days period is over you must go back to your country.
What If I Need to Stay Longer?
You can apply for a visa extension if you need to stay longer. But, you should be aware that you probably won’t get a visa extension without a very good justification.
A Schengen Business Visa can be extended if:
- The visitor is facing a force majeure. A force majeure could be anything that prevents you from going back to your country, it could be either a natural disaster or a political situation in your state.
- The visitor has strong personal reasons. These reasons could be related to any type of unexpected personal situation that requires you to stay longer than 90 days.
- The visitor entered Austria late. If you entered the country after your visa was valid you may ask for an extension for the same amount of time you missed.
- The visitor has humanitarian reasons. You have to stay in order to help someone for various reasons.
Besides asking for an extension if you want to stay longer than 3 months you can apply for a long-term D visa. This national visa lets you stay for six months and in special cases up to a year. Moreover, with a D visa, you can also apply for a residence permit that lets you stay up to 5 years in Austria.
Can I Use a Tourist Visa for Business Purposes?
Schengen visas are uniform and with a Schengen Visa, you can stay for the same amount of time either for business purposes or as a tourist within any country in the Schengen Zone. However, you won’t be able to use a tourist visa for business.
This is due to the fact that the requirements differ when you apply for your visa based on the specific reason why you’re visiting.