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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Austria, as established by immigration laws.  Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Austrian market.  If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.

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Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hands, coordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.

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Citizens of non-EU countries require work permits for all types of employment. Exemptions apply to scientists and researchers with assignments at universities and certified research institutions.

Work permits have to be applied for by the prospective employer in Austria at Public Employment Service Austria (“AMS – Arbeitsmarktservice”). Work permits are not granted while on a visit to Austria.

Prior to the applicant’s departure for Austria a residence permit is to be obtained.

Employment in Austria is subject to both, work permit and residence permit.

Process of sponsoring a non-EEA worker

The supporting documentation needed in order to bring non-EEA nationals into Austria is quite extensive and can take some time since its translation in German is required for submission. Once the application has been lodged, processing usually takes about 6-7 weeks.

There are two possible ways for a non-EEA national to be employed with a work permit:

– As the direct employee of an Austrian company, through a Sicherungsbescheinigung (Secured work certificate) application.

– As the employee of a foreign company, providing services to an Austrian company. This is an Entsendebewilligung (Assignment permit) application.

Once the application is assembled, the application can be lodged at the local AMS (Arbeitsmarktservice), where it will be processed.

Once the work permit application is approved, the candidate will need to make a residence visa application in their usual country of residence.

It is advisable to ask employees to prepare the following documentation with the application form for a residence permit (in original and copy), as early as possible upon arrival in Austria to allow sufficient time for the process:

  • Valid travel document (e.g. passport)
  • Birth certificate (Japanese family register, with apostille) or equivalent document
  • Photograph (dimensions: 45x35mm) which is not older than six months
  • Proof of locally customary accommodation (e.g. tenancy agreement or proof of freehold property purchase)
  • Proof of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy)
  • Proof of adequate means of subsistence (payslips, pay certificates, employment contracts, evidence of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits, investment capital or sufficient own assets)
  • a no criminal record certificate (with apostille), not older than three months

All applications must be submitted abroad through an Austrian Embassy or Consulate prior to departure for Austria.

Documents in languages other than German or English are to be submitted along with a certified translation into German.

For more details and additional requirements with regards to your specific purpose of residence in Austria and application forms it is advisable to visit the website of the Ministry of Interior.

Types of visas in Austria

Category Description of Visa
The EU Blue Card This residence and work permit entitles highly qualified non-EU citizens to live and work in Austria for two years or less. It is tied to a confirmed job offer and will only be granted if the AMS (the Austrian Labor Market Service) is acknowledged that no Austrian or EU citizen is available to do the work specified in the contract.

Only applicants who have completed a university degree course of at least three years are eligible for a Blue Card. Their qualifications must match the job profile, and the salary specified in the work contract must be 1.5 times higher than the average yearly income of full-time employees in Austria.

The following documents, in particular, should be submitted for the issuance of a residence title:

•  application form;
• a valid travel document (e.g. passport);
• a birth certificate or a similar document recognised by Austria;
• a photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) of the applicant, taken recently (six months ago or less);
• if applicable:

o marriage certificate;
o divorce certificate;
o certificate of registered partnership;
o certificate of the dissolution of the registered partnership;
o adoption papers;
o evidence or certificate of the family relationship;
o death certificate.

• evidence of health insurance (compulsory insurance or a corresponding insurance policy);
• evidence of completion of a course of study at a university or other tertiary educational institution with a minimum duration of three years:

o certificate of successful graduation;
o proof of the status of the university or other tertiary educational institution.

• employer’s declaration pursuant to the Act Governing the Employment of Foreign Nationals (AuslBG)

Processing Time: Approx. 8 weeks.

Cost: € 100 + € 20 of personalization cost
The Red-White-Red Card Non-EU citizens who qualify as “key workers” can apply for a Red-White-Red Card, which allows them to work at a specified employer and live in Austria for a period of 12 months. In order to qualify as a key worker, you must be especially high qualified, a skilled worker in a shortage occupation, a self-employed key worker or a graduate of an Austrian university.

The Red-White-Red Card is a points-based immigration system. Depending on which of the above categories you belong to, you must fulfill certain criteria before you can apply. Please consult the Austrian Migration Portal for more information and a points calculator to help you determine your eligibility.  

After ten months of working and living in Austria, Red-White-Red Card holders may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus, which entitles them to free access to the Austrian labor market. Family members of Red-White-Red or of Blue Card holders are also eligible to apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus.

The following document are required for this permit:

• application form
• a valid travel document (e.g. passport)
• a birth certificate or a similar document
• a photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) of the applicant, taken recently (six months ago or less)
• if applicable:
o marriage certificate or certificate of registered same-sex partnership
o adoption papers
o evidence or certificate of the family relationship
• evidence of a legal title to locally customary accommodation (e.g. a lease contract, preliminary agreement on tenancy rights or evidence of ownership)
• evidence of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy)
• evidence of adequate means of subsistence (particularly pay slips, proof of earnings, an employment contract, evidence of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits, proof of investment capital or sufficient own assets)
Evidence of social security benefits that may only be claimed after issuance of the residence title, in particular welfare benefits or equalisation supplements, is not suitable.

Processing Time: Approx. 8 weeks.

Cost: € 100 + € 20 of personalization cost
Self-employed key workers Third-country citizens can apply for a Red-White-Red Card for self-employed key workers, if their self-employed occupation in Austria creates macroeconomic benefit going beyond its own operational benefit.

This may be the case if:
• the intended occupation involves a sustained transfer of investment capital to Austria;
• the intended occupation creates new jobs or secures existing jobs in Austria; or
• the settlement of the key worker involves the transfer of know-how respectively the introduction of new technologies; or
• the key worker’s company is of considerable significance for the entire region.

For self-employed key workers, there is no points system.

The following document are required for this permit:
• application form;
• Valid travel document (e.g. passport);
• Birth certificate or similar document acknowledged by the Austrian authorities;
• Photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) not older than six months;
• Evidence of locally customary accommodation (e.g. lease contracts, preliminary agreement on tenancy rights or ownership evidence);
• Evidence of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy);
• Evidence of adequate means of subsistence (payslips, pay certificates, employment contracts, insurance benefit certificates, evidence of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits, investment capital or sufficient own assets).

In addition to the general requirements (see above), for the evaluation of the macroeconomic benefit, the following documents must be submitted:
• Documents which allow an analysis and evaluation of the market and competitive situation and the headquarter location, including a detailed description and the objectives of the intended professional undertaking (“business plan“);
• Evidence of the transfer of investment capital to Austria and of the intended creation of new jobs or securing of existing jobs in Austria;
• Evidence of the qualification necessary for the self-employed professional activity;
• Possibly company agreements; and/or
• Craft authorisations (Gewerbeberechtigungen), where necessary.

Processing Time: Approx. 3 weeks.

Cost: € 100 + € 20 of personalization cost.
Very highly qualified workers Third-country citizens with a very high level of qualifications may apply for a six-month visa for the purpose of job search if they reach a minimum of 70 points according certain criteria.

The following document are required for this permit:
• Valid travel document (e.g. passport);
• Birth certificate or similar document;
• Photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) which is not older than six months;
• Evidence of locally customary accommodation (e.g. lease contracts, preliminary agreement on tenancy rights or ownership evidence);
• Evidence of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy);
• Evidence of adequate means of subsistence (payslips, pay certificates, employment contracts, insurance benefit certificates, evidence of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits, investment capital or sufficient own assets).

 Special qualifications and skills
Graduation
• Document furnishing proof of successful completion of a four-year programme at a university or another institution of tertiary education;
• Document reflecting the status of the university or other institution of tertiary education;
• Document furnishing proof of successful completion of a programme in a MINT subject (= mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, technology);
• Document furnishing proof of habilitation

Gross annual salary in a senior management position
• Tax assessment notice or pay certificate;
• Confirmation by the previous employer that the applicant worked in a senior management position;
• Proof that the company is listed on the stock exchange or positive report from the Austrian foreign trade office in charge about its activities or business segment;

Research and innovation activities
• Proof of scientific publications, stating titles and sources;
• Certificate issued by a university or research institution that the applicant worked in R&D or academic scientific teaching;
• Proof of patent application(s) through extracts from national or regional patent registers;

Recognised awards and prizes
• Document proving the conferral of the award or prize

2.    Work experience
• Testimonials and work certificates

3.    Language skills
• Language diploma or language course certificate at the A1 or A2 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
 
German language diplomas and certificates may in particular be obtained from the following institutions: ÖSD, Goethe-Institut, Telc GmbH, Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF).

The following diplomas and certificates are in particular recognised as evidence of proficiency in English: Cambridge Certificate, TELC, IELTS diploma, TOEIC diploma, TOEFL diploma.

4.    Studies in Austria
• Course record book and related examination certificates
• Document reflecting the successful completion of a programme of studies in Austria

Processing Time: Approx. 8 weeks.

Cost: € 100 + € 20 of personalization cost
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