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Moving to Austria: All You Need to Know

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Moving to Austria: Your Relocation Checklist

Bryony

Updated on Mar 07 • 8 minute read

Making a big move to an entirely different country may initially feel a little overwhelming, and what appears to be an endless stream of paperwork may have you worried that you’ll miss something important, or perhaps not meet an important deadline. However, if you’re moving to Austria, you’ll quickly discover that it was one of the best decisions you’ve ever made. If you’re relocating to attend a world-class university, take on an internship at a trendy, young company or begin your professional career, Austria is an inviting country, full of other expats to make you feel right at home!

Austria visa requirements are fairly straightforward, so as long as you follow the tips and information outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your time in Vienna or a number of other thrilling cities. You’ll just need to locate housing, be sure that you have your important documents together, check on health insurance requirements and secure all of your placements. Really — it’s that simple!

Plus, thousands of students and young professionals move abroad every year, so you’ll be surrounded by other expats who know exactly what you’re going through as you acclimatise to the culture, the weather and your new work or university schedules. Moreover, this beneficial guide will easily explain exactly what you need to do, when you need to do it by and what will come next. You’ll understand all of the deadlines, as well as learn about practical living information in Austria.

Can’t wait to get started? Read on to learn more!

Confirm Your University Acceptance, Internship or Employment

You’d be surprised by how many people begin negotiating a lease and making travel arrangements to move to Austria before they receive confirmation that ensures a university place or have been officially notified of an employment or internship offer.

This is not just bad form, it could seriously impact your ability to actually move to Austria. Many steps in the Austrian visa application require written proof of enrollment at a university or of secure local employment. So, before you start packing your bags, always double-check that all of your placements are confirmed.

Search for Housing

As with the rest of Europe, housing for expats (whether short- or long-term) in Austria is in very high demand. Therefore, it’s always a great idea to begin your search for accommodation as soon as you have received your final verification placements. Plus, you’ll need your new local address for numerous documents that you’ll be required to complete as part of your Austria visa requirements.

You’ll learn that finding housing in Austria, especially in its capital city of Vienna, offers unique aspects not always seen in other locales. For example, rent is regulated by the Austrian government. Therefore, no one will pay more than 20 to 25 percent of their salary or income on rental payments. While the cost of living in Austria is not considered cheap, this does help to mitigate housing costs and overall expense, as well as helping you stick to your budget for moving abroad.

Some internationals work with a real estate agent, but fees are very high. Plus, even with the assistance of a real estate agent, you may not receive the most up-to-date listing information in time to act. Affordable apartments and rooms don’t hang around for long in Austria, which also makes the solo searches on Facebook groups and local listings a even trickier. Utilizing an online housing platform such as HousingAnywhere is likely to be your best option; there are no surprise fees, and you’ll be notified as soon as a property matching your preference is listed.

Depending on your situation, your options for housing typically include:

  • Rooms in a student dormitory, if you’re enrolled at a university
  • Private rooms in a rental property
  • Shared apartments

When you’re trying to get an estimated figure of what you should expect when it comes to rental prices in Vienna, things are a bit different from neighborhoods in Rotterdam or other European cities. The general rule is that an unfurnished apartment will be €10 per square meter each month. It is typical to have a deposit that is equal to three months’ worth of rent, even though some commercial organizations may require between four and six months of your agreed rental price. In summary, you can expect to pay somewhere between €350 and €700 per month for an unfurnished apartment in Vienna. Of course, this price will primarily depend on the location of the property. Generally, the spaces closest to the city center will be at a premium. However, the good news about Austria is that it offers a phenomenal public transportation system. So, in big cities like Vienna, you can easily get from one area to the opposite in minutes. Be sure to take this into account when searching for your new home-away-from-home.

Residence Permits for Austria

Even if you already live in Europe and think that you know what the requirements will be for Austria, it’s essential that you always check the fine print for your intended destination. You’ll want to make sure that you’re reading the most up-to-date information, as well as following the tips in this informative guide.

When you secure your housing in Austria, you need to keep in mind that you’ll be required to register this address within three business days of moving to Austria at a local Registration Service Center. You will also need to update the local authorities if you change your address, name or citizenship status.

If you come from a country in the EU/EEA, or are from Switzerland, you will also need to apply for a confirmation of registration (Anmeldebescheinigung) after you have lived in Austria for over three months.

You will need to have the following documents:

  • A completed residence registration form, including your landlord’s signature, if you are renting a room or apartment in Austria
  • Your birth certificate.
  • If you hold dual citizenship, have documents proving your identity, place of birth and nationality
  • A passport or asylum certificate (asylausweis) for all international citizens

Once you complete the registration process successfully, you will receive a Residence Registration Certificate. As a plus, registration is absolutely free of charge!

Important Tip: Before you move to Austria, ensure that you have all of the documents that are required. If you find that a document is missing or has been lost, it is often simpler to get a replacement in your own home country. Additionally, this can sometimes take weeks. Throughout the rest of this guide, you’ll find even more listings of important documents that you’ll need for your convenience.

Student Visas and Work or Internship Permits

It’s important to pay very close to attention as to whether or not you’ll be required to apply for a visa or other permits, beyond the resident permit mentioned above. Typically, your intended length of stay and the country from which you originate will be the primary factors in determining your application to study or work in Austria. However, if you will be staying in Austria for more than three months, then you will have to apply for what is known as a "Lichtbildausweis für EWR-Bürger/innen," which confirms registration with the immigration office within three months of entry into Austria.

Students

If you come from Switzerland or a country that is part of either the EU or EEA, then you will not need to obtain a visa. However, you will still need to apply for a residence permit, as explained in the previous section. If you are moving to Austria to study at a university, and you are from a country not listed above, then you will have a couple of options to meet the Austria visa requirements for students. The following are those best-suited for students who will be staying in Austria between three and six months.

Schengen Visa

Schengen is an area within the European Union, and it is set up to allow residents within that region to travel easily from one country to another — all without the hassle of a passport. So, if you have a visa from the Schengen area, you can stay for a short term (up to three months) without any additional visa requirements.

The 26 countries that belong to the Schengen area include:

The documents that you will need to apply for a Schengen visa include:

  • Two visa application forms - Be sure to sign both forms at the bottom.
  • Valid passport - Must be valid and issued within the past 10 years, allowing for three months before the expiration date.
  • Two copies of a passport-sized photo - Must be a recent photo (not older than three months).
  • Copy of passport data - Includes your passport’s biometric data.
  • Previous passports - You will need to present passports from any previous years.
  • Roundtrip transportation reservations - Submit the dates and numbers of transportation bookings.
  • Proof of residency - Supply proof that you are a resident of your home country.
  • Insurance - Show that you are covered by travel medical insurance of up to €30,000.
  • Proof of payment - Fee is €60.
  • Financial verification - Proof of a scholarship of at least €631 monthly, three months’ of bank statements or external financial sponsorship.
  • Proof of housing - Must have a contract detailing your housing arrangements.
  • Acceptance letter from a university within the EU - Must include your name and information regarding your intended study program.
  • Academic qualifications - Submit academic records or a recent diploma that meets the requirements of the study program.

C Visa (Travel Visa)

This visa is primarily used for travel, but it can also permit study at a university for up to three months. The documents needed to apply include:

  • Valid passport with three months left until expiration Current passport photo
  • Travel booking confirmation
  • Accommodation booking confirmation
  • Proof of financial support
  • Proof of health insurance

D Visa (Austrian National Visa)

This visa is basically a longer version of the C visa, which allows for travel and study in Austria for up to six months. This can be utilized for short-term employment in some cases.

  • Valid passport with three months before expiration
  • Current passport photo
  • Travel booking confirmation
  • Accommodation booking confirmation
  • Proof of financial support
  • Proof of health insurance

Work or Paid Internship Permits

Austria is one of the most financially secure countries in all of Europe, so it is constantly seeing a steady influx of young internationals hoping to start their professional lives or take on a career-building internship. The good news is that if your home country is Switzerland or a part of the EU or EEA, then you will not need to obtain a work permit. If you do live in another country, then you may qualify for a few options for work permits. The documentation required will include:

  • Birth certificate
  • Passport photo
  • Valid travel booking
  • Proof of accommodation booking
  • Valid health insurance
  • Proof of financial support

Red-White-Red Card

If you qualify as a key worker, then you may work for a specified employer for up to one year. This includes being a skilled worker in an occupation that is considered to be in shortage, a graduate of an Austrian university or a self-employed free worker. You may also need to fulfill certain criteria within these categories. After 10 months, workers can apply for the Red-White-Red Card Plus, which offers additional advantages within the Austrian work community.

EU Blue Card

This visa is much more difficult to receive, as there must be a confirmed job offer from an employer who can show that no other Austrian or EU citizen is able to complete the tasks outlined in the job description. Applicants must have a three-year university degree and receive a salary that is 1.5 times higher than the average full-time income for Austrians.

Set Up Health Insurance

Health insurance in Austria is a legal requirement in Austria. However, if your home country is Switzerland or another locale in the EU or EEA, then you simply need to bring your valid European Health Insurance Card and present it as always.

If you aren’t from these regions, then you will be required to purchase private health insurance, also known as self-insurance. Policies start from around €55 monthly.

Documents you’ll need as a student include:

  • Application form
  • University documents
  • Passport or Personal ID
  • Confirmation of registration from your municipal authority.

Now that you completely understand the Austria visa requirements and know exactly what to expect, you can begin to dream about the stunning landmarks that you’ll visit, the people that you’ll befriend and the exciting culture that awaits you! Work your way through this helpful guide for expats who are moving to Austria, and you’ll be ready to begin your new life as a student, an intern or a young professional. You’re going to absolutely love your new home!

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