Austria is a beautiful landlocked country in Southern Central Europe with a population of 9 million and a GDP per capita of $50,137.66 in 2019. It is a popular destination for skilled workers from around the world, for non-EU residents, wanting to move to Austria, the process of moving there is more involved than for EU citizens.
Travelling to Austria
Non-EU citizens usually need a Schengen visa to travel to Austria, unless their country has a bilateral agreement with Austria. Visitors without a visa can stay in Austria for up to 90 days. If you plan to move to Austria as a skilled professional, you must have a work permit, which you must apply for in your home country.
Getting a Work Permit for Austria
Austria offers three types of work permits: restricted (valid for 1 year), standard (valid for 2 years), and unrestricted (valid for 5 years). To obtain a residency permit, you’ll need to get one of these work permits.
The Red-White-Red Card is a permit for qualified workers and their families to live and work in Austria. To qualify, applicants must score enough points based on their education, professional experience, age, and language skills.
Very highly qualified workers who score 70 points can get a six-month Job Seeker Visa to find work in Austria. If they receive a job offer, they can apply for the Red-White-Red Card. Skilled workers in shortage occupations who score 55 points and have a job offer can apply for a 24-month permit. Start-up founders who score 50 points and have €50,000 in funds can also apply. Graduates from Austrian universities can extend their student residence permit for 12 months to find a job or start a business but must earn at least €2,500 per month to stay long-term. Self-employed key workers and other key workers also have the opportunity to apply for residency, but specific criteria must be met.
EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is similar to the Red-White-Red Card but does not require a points system. To be eligible, applicants must have a university education, a job offer in Austria, a salary that is one and a half times the average salary, and pass a labor market test. The EU Blue Card also allows for free movement within the EU and permanent residency rights.
Studying is another way to move to Austria. The country has an excellent education system, with many degree programs taught in English. You can apply for a student residence permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Student) and pay international tuition fees. Retirees can apply for a settlement permit by showing proof of sufficient funds, health insurance, a place to live, and some understanding of the German language.
The Austrian Jobseeker visa is another way to move to Austria as a non-EU resident. This is a permit that allows you visit Austria for 6 months to search for a job if you meet the eligibility criteria.
In conclusion, moving to Austria as a non-EU resident can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. With the right skills, education, or funds, you can make your dream of living in Austria a reality.