Austria Work Visa and Permit Complete guide For 2023

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Austria is one of the most economically developed countries in Europe. As such it provides its workers with a variety of opportunities to work and succeed. Great work conditions, benefits, and high salaries attract foreign nationals to migrate for work purposes in Austria.

But, in order to do so, the majority of people are required to have an Austria work permit as well as a visa. An Austria work visa varies in terms of length and in terms of employment mobility. The most common type of work visa in Austria is a Red-White-Red Card.

Below you’ll find details regarding who is eligible for a work permit in Austria, what types of work visas are there, and how to apply for one.

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Do I Need a Visa to Work in Austria?

Yes, you do. In order to work in Austria, you must first apply for a work permit. The only exception to this rule are residents from within the EU or EEA.

However, citizens from EU/EEA countries are able to live and work in Austria only for up to 90 days, afterwards, they must apply for a certificate of registration in order to continue their stay.

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What Is a Red-White-Red Card?

A Red-White-Red Card is a work permit and residence permit that allows its holder to stay and work in Austria for a period of up to 2 years. Not everyone is eligible for this type of visa since it’s issued to highly skilled individuals from other countries who wish to work in Austria. The eligibility criteria for this permit are measured with a points system. Within the system personal attributes such as language skills, professional achievements, age, and work experience are all scored accordingly.

You will qualify for a Red-White-Red Card if you fall in any one of these categories:

  • Very highly qualified workers.
  • Skilled workers in shortage occupations.
  • Other key workers.
  • Graduates of universities and colleges of higher education in Austria.

The permit is issued in the form of a card with a picture and it serves as an ID. For this reason, it’s important to keep it in person in cases where you need to prove your residence status.

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Requirements for an Austria Work Visa

In addition to the basic Austria visa requirements, you’ll need some specific documents for a work permit, including:

  • Statement of the Employer. Your employer must provide you with a statement according to the Act Governing Employment of Foreign Nationals (AuslBG).
  • Proof of Professional Qualifications. These include references and employment verification.
  • Evidence of Language Skills. You must provide proof of German or English language skills with an internationally verified diploma.
  • Research Activities. You also need to submit any research publication or declaration from a University that you worked as a researcher or at a research center.
  • Patent Registration. A patent registration by an excerpt from the national/regional register of patents (if applicable).

  • Proof of Last Year’s Annual Gross Salary. These include tax statements proving your salary.
  • Proof of Your Previous Position. You must provide a declaration from your previous employer that you worked in a leadership position.
  • Proof of Your Previous Company’s Status. You must also provide documentation that the company you worked at is listed on the stock exchange.
  • Proof that You Studied In Austria. These include confirmation by means of your record of studies (Studienbuch) and relevant exam certificates.
  • Proof the Habilitation. This is a postdoctoral lecturing qualification that recognizes you as a qualified individual to do research or teach within a scientific field.
  • Employment Contract. You need to provide a copy of your contract from your current employer in Austria that states your annual gross salary.

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How to Apply for an Austrian Work Visa?

In order to apply for a Red-White-Red Card, there are a few steps you need to follow.

  1. Secure a job.
  2. Apply for the work permit.
  3. Apply for a work visa.
  4. Travel to Austria.

Step 1: Secure a job in Austria

You must have a job ready for you in Austria before you apply for the work permit. If you do not have evidence of work (work contract), you are not allowed to apply for the Red-White-Red Card visa.

Step 2: Apply for the work permit

Once you are employed by someone in Austria you are eligible to apply for a work permit. Your employer can apply for the permit for you in their local residence authority or you can apply personally at a representative authority within your residence country.

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