Between the ideal ski resorts, the gorgeous mountain views, amazing lakes, and great historical cities, Austria seems like the perfect destination for a fun trip. Situated in the heart of Europe, you’ll be just a short drive away from other European countries. Not to mention, you’ll be able to enjoy the best Austrian pastries in the famous Austrian coffeehouses.
But, before you start to pack your bags and head out to Austria you should know that visiting Austria on a whim is really not that easy for everybody. Even if you have planned everything you might be missing an important element; an Austria tourist visa.
Not everyone needs to have a tourist visa, but the majority of foreigners will need one depending on several factors. The visa application process is a bit complicated, and that’s why below you’ll find all the information about whether you’ll need a visa or not, and a detailed explanation regarding the Austria tourist visa requirements.
Do I Need a Tourist Visa for Austria?
It depends. Unfortunately, there isn’t a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer to this question. You may need a visa based on where you’re from, why you’re going to Austria, and how long you’ll stay. If you’re a resident within the Schengen Area or the EEA/EU, you won’t need an Austria Tourist Visa.
In addition to this, visitors from the US., Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, the Principality of Andorra, the Republic of San Marino, or any other country that has a visa agreement with Austria can visit Austria visa-free for up to 90 days.
*Please keep in mind that right now due to COVID restrictions Austria is in lockdown, and not all embassies are issuing tourist visas. Check with your local office.
Austria Tourist Visa Requirements
When you apply for a Tourist Visa you must prepare some documents. For your visa application you’ll need:
- Passport. Please make sure your passport is valid when you apply. It’s required to have a passport that has been issued sometime during the last 10 years and it won’t expire during your visit. Your passport must also have two blank pages.
- Visa Application Form. You have to print the online form, fill it with your personal information, and sign it. Afterwards, you have to attach the form to your documents (in case of a minor, the parents/legal guardians have to sign).
- Identity Pictures. You must have two recent pictures alongside your documents. The pictures should follow the Schengen Visa photo rules.
- Schengen Travel Insurance. You need to have travel insurance in the amount of 30,000€. Schengen travel insurance must cover all medical issues or emergencies that may happen.
- Proof of Accommodation in Austria. You need to provide evidence that you’ve secured accommodation for the duration of your stay. This can be a hotel booking or rental agreement.
- Proof of Financial Stability. In order to get a visa, you need to provide evidence that you can financially support your stay in Austria.
- Letter of Purpose. You must also write a cover letter where you state your reason for visiting, how long you’ll stay, and briefly explain your travel plans.
- Civil Status Documents. For your Schengen Austria Visa, you must also attach a copy of your civil status, either a birth certificate or marriage license.
- Visa Fee. When you apply for an Austria Tourist Visa, you’ll have to pay a fee and attach the receipt to your documents. The visa fee depends on your profile and the type of visa (see below).
- A Travel Agenda. You also have to provide a detailed itinerary for your travels.
- Copies of Earlier Schengen Visa. If you’ve been issued a Schengen visa before you must also attach copies of those to your documents.
- Invitation Letter. You need to submit proof of invitation if a family member, or friend has invited you to Austria.
- Employment Contract. If you are employed you must submit your employment contract with the rest of the documents.
Remember: All your documents need to be either in English or German, if they are not you have to translate them. The translation must be done by a certified translator.
How to Apply for an Austria Tourist Visa?
When you want to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa you’ll follow a few simple steps:
- Download the visa application form. The first thing you should do is fill in the form and make sure it’s ready to go.
- Gather all your documents. Make sure all the above-mentioned documents are ready and up to date.
- Make an appointment. You can’t just submit the documents whenever you’re ready, you need to make an appointment with the embassy/consulate and submit them.
- Prepare for an interview. You’ll probably be asked to sit down for an interview where you’ll answer a few questions about yourself and about your trip.
- Wait for an answer. After you’ve submitted your application you’ll have to wait to be notified whether you’ve been given a visa or not.
Where Should You Apply?
You need to apply at your local official authority. This can be either an embassy or a consulate or an official representation of the Austrian government that can issue visas. These depend on your country, you can use the online generator to find the nearest representative authority.
Where Can I Go With an Austria Tourist Visa?
With an Austria Tourist Visa, you can visit any country within the Schengen Area as long as your visa is valid. The Schengen Area is made up of 26 countries in Europe and with a Schengen Visa, you can move freely between these countries.
*Please note that if you plan on visiting other countries besides Austria, you still have to apply for a visa at an Austrian representation authority since that is your main destination.
How Long Can I Stay in Austria With a Tourist Visa?
Schengen tourist visas are valid up to 90 days within a 180 day period. If you are planning to visit other countries within the Schengen Zone those days are counted as well.
What if I Need to Stay Longer?
In cases where you need to stay longer, you can apply for a visa extension. However, it will be very difficult to get an extension.
An extension is rarely granted unless you have a very good reason for the extension. Generally speaking, you will be granted a visa extension for these reasons:
- Strong personal reason. This could be the unexpected death of a family, or friend, or an unexpected wedding of a friend or family member.
- Humanitarian reasons. You want to stay in order to help someone, either financially, emotionally, or medically.
- Force Majeure. Something unexpected happened that stops you from going back to your country. It could be a global pandemic, a natural disaster, or a difficult political situation in your country.
- Late date entry. You can ask for an extension if you entered Austria later than when your visa was issued, for instance, if your visa has been valid for 15 days and you entered Austria on the 16th day, you can ask for an extension for the same amount of time.
In addition to this, if you are planning on staying for more than 90 days you can apply for a National D Visa. This type of visa allows you to stay in Austria for up to 6 months and apply for a residence permit, which can be valid for one to five years. The application requirements and process for the D visa are more or less the same.
How Long Does it Take to Get an Austria Tourist Visa?
Most of the time it will take up to 15 days to review your application. There are some cases when it might take longer, but you will be notified of any issues that come up.
Make sure to check your email as the embassy will let you know if you’ve been approved for a visa. Afterwards, you can go and pick up your visa or the embassy will send it to you by courier.
How Much Does a Schengen Tourist Visa for Austria Cost?
The fee for an Austria tourist visa will vary according to the profile of the individual who applies for the visa.
- Schengen Visa Fee for an adult: 80€
- Schengen Visa Fee for children between the ages of 6 and 12: 40€
- Schengen Visa Fee for children under the age of 6: free
- Schengen Visa Fee for citizens of Russian Federation, Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Moldova, and Georgia: 35€