How to get a visa in Austria: application requirements
Austria falls within the Schengen Area of Europe. This means you can apply to your nearest Austrian embassy for a Schengen visa. However, visa requirements vary greatly depending on your situation. There are different visas for tourism, business, cultural activities, work and studies.
Holders of a passport from an EU/EA nation do not require a visa. If you are staying for more than three months, you will need to apply for a registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung) and prove you have adequate means of subsistence or are attending a college of education. After five continuous lawful years of residence, you can apply for a long-term residence certificate (Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts).
All applicants from outside of the EU/EEA must apply at their nearest Austrian embassy or consulate general in person. Applicants will be asked to submit biometric data (such as fingerprints).
Austrian residence permit for EU citizens
EU/EEA citizens do not require any special permit to enter and reside in Austria for up to three months. If they wish to stay for longer, they must get a certificate of registration (Anmeldebescheinigung). If you do not obtain this, then the authorities can charge a penalty fee of 200 EUR.
If you are an EU citizen seeking to obtain a certificate of registration, you will need the following documents:
- A current passport or personal ID
- Confirmation from your employer
- Proof of adequate means of subsistence
- Proof of admission from your higher education institution
Permanent residency can be sought within four months of arrival and you can do this at a residence authority such as the state governor (Landeshauptmann) or administrative district authority (Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde).
Austrian residence permit for non-EU citizens
If you do not have EU/EEA or Swiss nationality, you are considered a national of a third country. This will necessitate a residence permit to stay in Austria. The best option to obtain permanent residence in Austria is to apply for a Red-White-Red Card. This facilitates the immigration of qualified workers and their families, with the prospect of permanent settlement. Cards are issued for a period of twelve months and entitle the holder to settlement and employment with a specified employer. The following people are eligible:
- Highly skilled qualified workers
- Skilled workers in occupations that have a shortage of workers
- Graduates of Austrian universities and colleges of higher education
For shorter stays, the following should be considered:
If you wish to stay for a period of no longer than six months you will need a travel visa (Visa C) (Schengenvisum) for a maximum of 90 days within six months, or a residence visa (Visa D) for stays of between 91 days and six months. In order to apply for such visa, you must visit an Austrian embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
If you are a lecturer, scientist or researcher staying for up to six months, then the visa required is slightly different. Visa C is required for work considered ‘gainful employment’ (Visum C – Erwerb) for stays of between 90 and 180 days, or Visa D for stays of between 91 days and six months.