Austria is located within the Schengen area in Europe. This means that you can apply to the 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.
European Union / EA passport holders do not need a visa. If you have been staying for more than three months, you will need to apply for an enrolment certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung) and prove that you have sufficient livelihoods or that you go to the College of Education. After five years of continuous legal residency, you can apply for a long-term residence certificate (Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts).
All applicants from outside the European Union / European Economic Area must apply at the nearest Austrian embassy or consulate-general. Applicants will be required to provide biometrics data (such as fingerprints).
Austrian residence permit for EU citizens
Citizens of the European Union / European Economic Area do not need any special permit to enter and stay in Austria for a period of up to three months. If they wish to stay longer, they must obtain a registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung). If you do not get this, the authorities can charge a penalty of 200 euros.
If you are a citizen of the European Union seeking a registration certificate, you will need the following documents:
- Current passport or ID card
- Confirmation from your employer
- Proof of adequate means of subsistence
- Proof of acceptance from your higher education institution
Permanent residency can be requested within four months of arrival, and you can do this in a residence authority such as the state governor (Landeshauptmann) or the administrative district authority (Bezirksverwaltungsbehörde).
Austrian residence permit for citizens from outside the European Union
If you do not have the European Union / European Economic Area or Swiss citizenship, you are considered a citizen of a third country. This requires a residence permit to stay in Austria. The best option for permanent residence in Austria is to apply for the Red-White-Red Card. This facilitates the emigration of qualified workers and their families, with the prospect of a permanent settlement. Cards are issued for twelve months and entitles the holder to settlement and employment with a specific employer. The following persons are eligible:
Qualified workers with highly skilled
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 want to stay for no more than six months, you will need a Travel Visa (Visa C) (Schengenesum) for a maximum period of 90 days within six months, or a residence visa (Visa D) for stays between 91 days and six months. To apply for this visa, you must visit an Austrian embassy or consulate in your country of residence.
If you are a lecturer, scientist, or researcher who has been staying for up to six months, the visa required varies slightly. Visa C is required for work that is considered “profitable business” (Visum C – Erwerb) for stays between 90 and 180 days, or visa D for stays between 91 days and six months.