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Visa and residence permit

The residence of foreigners for up to six months is subject to the Aliens Police Act (Fremdenpolizeigesetz/FPG). Residences of over six months are governed by the Settlement and Residence Act (Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz/NAG), which regulates the issuance of residence permits for foreigners. Relevant information and current details (like family members, documents required and costs) along with application forms that can be downloaded are offered on the following websites:

The point of contact for residence is generally the municipal authorities in Linz, Wels and Steyr, the district authorities in rural areas or the relevant representative authorities (like embassies).

Please note that in addition to a residence card, you need to register your place of residence within three days of moving into new accommodation.

Citizens of the European Union and the European Economic Area (from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), as well as Swiss citizens, enjoy visa exemption and can reside in Austria for up to three months regardless of their employment status. According to the rules of the European Union, a residence for these citizens of over three months is possible, provided

  • they pursue work in Austria (as an employee or selfemployed)
  • they have enough funds and health insurance for themselves and their family members
  • the reason for residence is education, and the cost of living and health insurance for themselves and their family is secured.

Registration certificate
Provided these requirements are met, a registration certificate (known as Anmeldebescheinigung) must be applied for within four months of arrival in Austria. The application can be made at the municipal authorities in Linz, Wels and Steyr, or the district authorities. They also provide information about transitional and special regulations for Croatian citizens. Provided a five-year long continuous legal residence has been reached, an application for a permanent registration certificate can be made, if all other requirements are met.

People who do not come from EEA countries or Switzerland are third-country nationals, and require a residence permit for stays longer than six months, provided they do not have a right to residence under EU regulations. Generally a permanent immigration is differentiated from a temporary residence:

Permanent immigration
The aim of the Red-White-Red Card is to allow individualized and labor market oriented immigration for qualified workers from third countries and their family members. This residence card is valid for 12 months and allows a limited settlement and employment with a particular employer. The following people can apply for a Red-White-Red Card:

  • Especially highly qualified
  • Specialists in understaffed professions
  • Other key workers
  • Self-employed key workers

Temporary residence
For temporary residences with no intention of settling, a temporary residence permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung) is issued to third-country nationals. Among others, the following can apply for a temporary residence permit:

  • Workers on loan within a company
  • Company delegates
  • Self-employed
  • Special cases of gainfully employed persons
  • Pupils and Students
  • Researchers
  • Family members

The issuance of a Red-White-Red Card and temporary residence permit both have the following minimum requirements:

  • Secure livelihood
  • Health insurance
  • Entitlement to accommodation in Austria
  • No danger posed to public order or safety

Important information and definitions about the above mentioned groups and requirements along with a points calculator, documents to be provided, application forms, time scales and responsible offices can be found at www.migration.gv.at/en/types-of-immigration.

Austrian citizenship is either acquired by descent or is awarded.

Acquisition by descent
Children of married parents receive Austrian citizenship at birth, provided one parent is Austrian at that time. Children of unmarried parents only acquire citizenship automatically if the mother is an Austrian citizen. Dual citizenship is possible under certain circumstances.

Acquisition by award
Many requirements must be fulfilled in order to be awarded citizenship. Examples of these are a lawful and uninterrupted residence in Austria for a certain period of time, integrity, a secure livelihood, German language skills and basic knowledge of the democratic order.

Further details about getting Austrian citizenship as well as learning materials and online practice tests are available at www.staatsbuergerschaft.gv.at.
Additional information is provided by the provincial government of Upper Austria.

Foto: Evelyn Hetzinger

Evelyn Hetzinger

All around Upper Austria


Business Upper Austria - OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH

Mobile: +43 664 8481271
Phone: +43 732 79810-5198
Foto: Bettina Török

Bettina Török

All around Upper Austria


Business Upper Austria - OÖ Wirtschaftsagentur GmbH

Mobile: +43 664 9642517
Phone: +43 732 79810-5060