Austria is a popular destination for foreign students all over the world. It offers affordable tuition fees and it’s home to some of the best public universities in Europe. Moreover, it offers great job prospects for students who wish to continue living and working in Austria after they finish their studies.
As a non-resident of Austria, you should know that you’ll most likely be required to apply for an Austria student visa. In this article, you’ll find all the important information regarding the student visa so that this process will be easier for you.
Do I Need a Visa to Study in Austria?
Yes, in most cases, you need a visa in order to study in Austria. However, there are a few exceptions.
You’ll be exempt from an Austria student visa if:
- You are a resident from the EU/EEA or a student living in any country within the Schengen Area.
- You are from any country that has a visa agreement with Austria.
Keep in mind that students who can enter visa-free Austria must register for a ‘Certificate of Registration’ at the local registration office. This is only applicable if you plan on staying more than 90 days for your studies.
What Kind of Austria Student Visas Are There?
Generally speaking, there are two types of Austria student visas; a short-term visa and a long-term visa. You should apply for the type of visa which suits the length of your study program:
- Visa C (short-term). This is a short-term visa that allows you to stay and study in Austria for up to three months.
- Visa D (long-term). This is a long-term visa that is valid for up to six months, and which you can then switch to a Student Resident Permit. This is the type of visa you need if you will pursue higher education or long-term studies in Austria.
Both visas, C and D, are free of charge for students.
Austria Student Visa Requirements
In order to apply for a student visa for Austria, you need::
- Valid Passport. You have to make sure your passport has two empty pages and that it was issued sometime during the last decade and it won’t expire during your stay.
- Visa Application Form. You have to print out the visa application form and fill it. Make sure it’s filled in with all the correct information and signed.
- Travel Insurance. In order to receive an Austria student visa, you must have Schengen travel insurance. Your insurance must cover any type of emergency up to the amount of 30,000€.
- Identity Pictures. You must include recent identity pictures with your application. Please make sure to follow the Schengen visa pictures guideline.
- You have to include proof of your accommodation. This could be either proof that you are situated within campus housing, student dorm, or you’ve secured a rent agreement.
- Itinerary for your travel. This includes the correct flight dates, flight number, and departure date.
- Financial Means. You have to prove that you are capable of financing yourself during your stay for the duration of your study program. The amount required depends on the student:
- For students up to 24 years old: 552.53 euros/month.
- For students 24 years old and older: 1,000.48 euros/month.
- For couples (both): 1,578.36 euros/month
- For each child: 37 euros/month.
- Proof of admission. You must provide a letter of confirmation from the Austrian University you’ve applied to that proves your status as a student.
- Proof of paid tuition fee. You must provide a copy of the receipt/bank statement that your University fee has been paid.
- University records from your previous universities (if applicable). If you’ve attended a previous university you must also provide a copy of those records.
How Do I Apply for an Austria Student Visa?
When you apply for your student visa you need to follow a few steps:
- Find a university in Austria.
- Fill in the visa application form.
- Gather all your documents.
- Make a visa appointment.
- Prepare for an interview.
Step 1: Find a university in Austria
Please make sure you’ve found the university that suits you best for your studies. You need to provide confirmation of your acceptance before you apply for your student visa. Students are encouraged to apply before the deadlines; September 5th for the winter semester and February 5th for the summer semester.
Remember: some universities have an acceptance exam. You must pass the exam in order to be enrolled at the university. Due to this, some study programs might have an earlier application deadline.
Step 2: Fill in the visa application form
The second most important step you need to complete before you apply is to download, print, and fill in the application form.
Step 3: Gather all your documents
Make sure all the required documents are in order before you submit your application. Your documents need to either in English or in German and if required they need to be legalized; check with your local representative authority beforehand.
Step 4: Make an appointment
You need to schedule an appointment to submit your application. Visas are issued by a representative authority within your country, it could be either an embassy or consulate. Once you identify your local office make an appointment, then you can submit your application.
Step 5: Prepare for an interview
You’ll probably be asked to sit down for an interview at the embassy. During the interview, you’ll be asked questions regarding your reasons for wanting to study in Austria and your possible future plans.
Where Do I Apply for an Austria Student Visa?
All visas are issued by a local embassy/consulate within your country of residence. So, you need to apply there for a student visa. Please make sure you’ve secured enrollment within an Austrian university before you send in your application for a student visa.
When Do I Apply for an Austria Student Visa?
You should apply for an Austria student visa at least three weeks before you plan your departure.
After You Arrive in Austria
Once you enter Austria you have to register at the registration office within your residence during your stay in Austria. If you have a D student visa you can apply for a residence permit- Student.
The residence permit will allow you to continue your studies as long as you need and you won’t need to apply for an entry visa if you renew your permit.
In order to qualify for this permit, you need to finish module 1 of the integration agreement. Module 1 requires you to demonstrate that you have basic knowledge of the German language.
How Long Does It Take to Get an Austria Student Visa?
An Austrian student visa is usually processed sometime between 2 and 4 weeks. Make sure you’ve provided up-to-date contact information as the embassy will let you know when your visa is ready.
Can I Work in Austria With a Student Visa?
If you want to work during your studies you must apply for a special C or D student visa that allows you to get a work permit. Without this visa, students from third-countries can’t work during the course of their studies.
If you have received a visa that lets you work you can work from 10 to up to 20 hours a week depending on your visa regulations. Keep in mind that your employer must apply for your work permit at the Public Employment Service (AMS).
Can I Extend My Austria Student Visa?
Yes, you can. You can apply for a student visa extension if you have really good reasons for wanting an extension and if you demonstrate great progress in your study program.
You may also apply for a resident permit- Student, that allows you to continue your studies in Austria.
Can I Work in Austria After I Finish My Studies?
If you’re in possession of a residence permit you can continue working in Austria after you finish your studies. If you don’t have a work permit or residence permit you need to leave Austria when your student visa expires.
You can apply for a ‘job seekers visa’ which lets you stay in Austria for up to six months as you search for employment.
If during these 6 months you find a job, you may apply for a Red-White-Red Card which lets you stay and work in Austria for up to two years.