Are you ready to embark on a new adventure in Austria, the heart of Europe? If you're a third-country national, meaning you're neither an EEA citizen nor a Swiss national, and you're planning to make Austria your home for more than six months, you'll need to secure a residence permit. Austria offers various types of residence permits, each tailored to different circumstances. In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the ins and outs of permanent immigration to Austria, helping you understand the requirements, options, and opportunities awaiting you in this picturesque country.
Visa vs. Residence Permit: Knowing the Basics
Before we dive into the specifics, it's crucial to understand the distinction between a visa and a residence permit. For short stays of up to six months, third-country nationals can enter Austria with a visa. However, for longer stays exceeding six months, a residence permit is mandatory. There are also instances where certain nationalities can stay for up to 90 days within 180 days without a visa, depending on their citizenship.
Red-White-Red Card: Your Ticket to Austria
If you're a qualified worker hailing from a third country and aspire to live and work in Austria, the Red-White-Red Card is your golden ticket. This residence permit, valid for 24 months, not only allows you to settle in Austria but also empowers you with the right to work for the employer specified in your application.
But who's eligible for the Red-White-Red Card? Here are the groups that qualify:
Very Highly Qualified Workers
Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations
Other Key Workers
Graduates of Austrian Universities and Colleges of Higher Education
Regular Workers in Tourism, Agriculture, and Forestry
Self-employed Key Workers
Whether you're a tech genius, a skilled artisan, a recent graduate, or an aspiring entrepreneur, there's a pathway for you to call Austria home.
The Essentials: General Residence Permit Requirements
Regardless of the specific residence permit you're applying for, Austrian authorities have some general requirements that you must meet:
Adequate Means of Subsistence: You need to have a regular personal income that allows you to cover your living costs without relying on local welfare assistance. The income must meet or exceed the equalisation supplement reference rate, which is as follows:
For singles: €1,110.26
For couples: €1,751.56
For each child: an additional €171.31
Importantly, social benefits that you become entitled to only after receiving your residence permit, such as welfare benefits or equalisation supplements, are not considered as part of your income.
Health Insurance Coverage: To stay in Austria, you must have health insurance that provides coverage within Austria and encompasses all potential risks. If you're already insured in Austria's public social insurance system, this coverage will suffice.
Adequate Accommodation: You must furnish evidence of legally sound accommodation, which adheres to local customs and is suitable for your family's size. A lease contract typically serves as proof. However, some residence permit categories do not require proof of accommodation, although you should still consider monthly housing costs in your financial planning.
No Threat to Public Order or Security: Your presence and stay in Austria must not pose a threat to public order, public security, or Austria's international relations.
It's worth noting that special income requirements may apply when applying for specific residence permits, so always check the relevant regulations for your chosen permit category.
Your Austrian Journey Begins Here
With these essential insights into permanent immigration to Austria, you're now better prepared to embark on your journey. Austria, with its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and economic opportunities, beckons you to make it your home. Whether you're pursuing a thriving career, furthering your education, or seeking adventure, Austria has a place for you. So, prepare your documents, follow the guidelines, and get ready to experience all that this enchanting country has to offer. Your Austrian dream awaits!