A residence permit is an official authorization that allows foreigners to live in another country other than their current place of residence. This could be either their birth country or another country where they have a legal residence title.

Typically speaking, residence permits can either be temporary or permanent, it all depends on the type of residence which the individual qualifies for. Each country has its own specific rules and regulations when it comes to residence permits and they change depending on which country you’re applying from.

An Austria residence permit can be obtained in various ways. Though the requirements and application process may differ depending on the type of permit you’re applying for.

Types of Austrian Residence Permits

The type of permit you need will vary according to your reasons for wanting to reside in Austria. Third-country nationals can gain either a temporary residence permit or a permanent one.

Austrian Residence Permit for Employment Purposes

  • Red-White-Red Card. This type of permit is a mix between a residence permit and a work permit. You can apply for this card if you have found employment in Austria. This permit will allow you to work and live in Austria for up to two years.
  • Red-White-Red Card Plus. This permit is an upgrade from the general Red-White-Red Card that allows you to stay for two years and work with different employers.
  • EU Blue Card. This residence permit is granted to skilled individuals who have completed a degree program in Austria.

*Holders of these permits are exempt from the immigration quota. The is a  limitation for immigration set by the Austrian government for each federal state and type of immigration permit.

Limited Leave to Remain for employment purposes will also be granted to:

  • Job rotation workers. For this type of permit, you have to secure evidence as a rotation worker with an international company.
  • Self-employed persons. This permit will be granted if you can demonstrate that you need to be in Austria for more than six months.
  • Posted workers. For this permit, you need to provide a confirmation of guaranteed work as a posted worker.
  • Workers in social nonprofit organizations. This type of permit is valid for up to 12 months and there won’t be an extension.
  • The holder of this permit must demonstrate self-employed artistic work a declaration from the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS).
  • Special cases of dependent employment. This permit is issued to media correspondents, guest speakers or researchers, religious leaders, and similar profiles.

The work permit Limited Leave to Remain is usually valid for 12 months and extension is possible except for in special cases.

Austrian Residence Permit for Study Purposes

  • Resident Permit- Student. This type of permit is issued to individuals who are planning on studying in Austria. The permit is valid for up to a year. If the individual has not applied for a special work visa before applying for the permit, they won’t be allowed to work.
  • Resident Permit- Researcher. This permit is valid for nationals who are planning on residing in Austria according to a residence agreement with a research center. The holder of this permit needs to be registered as a resident for research purposes.

Austrian residence permit for personal reasons and family reunification

  • Indefinite leave to remain- excluding employment. This type of permit is issued to individuals who have no plans of gainful employment in Austria. This type of permit is usually valid for 12 months with possible extensions of up to 3 years. Evidence of financial means is obligatory.
  • Indefinite leave to remain-family reunification. Family members who are third-country nationals and have a family member with an Austrian residency or citizenship can apply for this type of permit. Holders of this permit can apply for a “Red-White-Red Card Plus” but may be qualified for the immigration quota.
  • Residence permit-family members. Family members such as a spouse, registered partner, and children can apply for the residence title ‘family member’. Holders of this permit can stay in Austria for up to a year, with a possible extension once the year is up. Free access to the labor market.

Benefits of an Austrian Residence Permit

A third-country national that holds an Austrian Residence Permit has many benefits, which include:

  • Free access to the market labor (not all permits).
  • Social security and health insurance.
  • The freedom to own a business.
  • Freedom of movement.
  • Ability to bring family members.
  • Access to free education.

How to Apply for an Austrian Residence Permit?

To apply for an Austrian residence permit, you have to:

  1. Find out the requirements.
  2. Gather all the documents.
  3. Make an appointment.
  4. Wait for an answer.
  5. Apply for an entry visa.

Find out the requirements

The application requirements will change depending on your type of residence permit. For this reason, it’s always best to check in with your local embassy/consulate to see what the requirements are. The basic requirements are:

  • Passport.
  • Application form.
  • Identity picture.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Accommodation.
  • Financial means.
  • Travel dates.

Gather all your documents

Once you know what you need, you should assemble all the required documents and submit your application. The documents will change accordingly but the basic requirements will remain the same.

Make an appointment

You must call the embassy/consulate and schedule an appointment for the submission of your application. The application for a residence permit is usually done at a local representation authority, however, in specific cases, applications can be made directly in Austria.

Wait for an answer

Your application will be forwarded to the competent office in Austria and it usually takes about 2 to 4 weeks to be processed. Once it’s all ready you will receive an answer.

Apply for a visa

Most of the time your residence permit won’t be enough to enter Austria if your country doesn’t have a visa agreement with Austria. Because of this, you have to possess a national D visa.

It’s best to apply for a permit first then the visa. Once you have your permit your visa will be issued immediately. Once you enter Austria you can register within the registration office in your Austrian city and the visa won’t be required anymore.

*Keep in mind not all permits require an entry visa. Check with your local embassy.

Integration agreement

In order to qualify for a resident permit, foreign nationals need to complete either only module 1 or both modules of the integration agreement. This agreement is an arrangement between third-country nationals and the Austrian government that makes the integration process easier.

It’s made up of two modules. Module 1 includes learning basic German; level A1 according to the Common European Framework. Module 2 includes learning German up to level B1 and basic knowledge of the Austrian government and laws.

Not all permits require fulfilling both modules. For example, In order to qualify for a residence permit- student you need to complete only module 1.

Can You Renew an Austrian Residence Permit?

A residence permit can be renewed. You can reapply for your permit three months prior to its expiration. Applications renewals can be made at your competent authority in the Austrian city you reside in.

Can You Get Permanent Residency in Austria?

Yes. Holders of a residence permit for 5 years can apply for a permanent resident title Residence permit Long-term resident – EU. In order to qualify for a permanent residency title, you must complete module 2 of the integration agreement (see above).

Where Can You Go Travel With an Austrian Residence Permit?

With an Austrian residence permit, you’ll be able to travel freely with no restriction at any country within the Schengen Area, or the EEA/EU. You’ll also be able to travel to any other country that Austria has a visa-agreement with.

How Much Does an Austrian Residence Permit Cost?

The application fee for an Austrian Residence permit is 120€ for individuals over the age of 6. For children under the age of 6 is 75€. Additional fees will be required up to the amount of 20€.

Application for a permanent residence title will be 210€ for those older than the age of six and 195€ for those under and up to the age of six.