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Expats from EU- or EEA-member states are able to enter Austria without a visa. Those from other countries will require a visa to enter, unless they're from a country that has a visa-free agreement with Austria.
In addition, if non-EU citizens plan on living or working in Austria, they will need to take the necessary steps to obtain either a work or residency permit.
Travel visas for Austria
Citizens of certain countries will be required to apply for a travel visa (also known as a category C visa) ahead of time, while others are able to enter visa free. Once the travel visa is granted, holders can be in Austria for up to a total of three months within any given six-month period. Holders of this visa are not granted permission to work or carry out any form of business activity.
The processing time for a travel visa is usually 15 days or less, but in busy periods the wait can be longer. Bearing this in mind, it's best to apply well ahead of time. Travellers can make their application at the Austrian embassy or consulate in their home country.
As Austria is part of the Schengen territory, once a person is granted a travel visa they can visit multiple destinations that are signatory to the agreement. Those who plan on travelling to a number of Schengen countries will find that it is best to make their application at the consulate of the country in which they plan to spend the most amount of time.
Resident visas for Austria
Resident visas (category D visas) fall somewhere between travel visas and residence permits. Expats staying in Austria for between three and six months – for example, to study or do business – should apply for this visa.
Residence permits for Austria
A residence permit is required for stays of longer than six months for work, study or family reunification. In order to obtain a residence permit, the applicant must demonstrate that they have health, travel and accident insurance as well as sufficient funds to support themselves while in Austria. It is also necessary for the applicant to submit proof to back up their proposed reason for entry.
Those intending to work in Austria should apply for a combined work-and-residence permit. There are three types of work-and-residence permits: the Red-White-Red Card, the EU Blue Card and the Red-White-Red Card Plus.
*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.
Are you an expat living in Austria?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Austria. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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