Moving to Austria: Your ultimate relocation checklist


Aug 10 • 6 minute read

Relocating to Austria is an exciting adventure, but it comes with several tasks you’ll need to take care of. From managing visa applications to finding housing, there's a lot to consider when moving to Austria. To make your relocation process smoother, we've compiled a comprehensive checklist covering everything you need to do before and after your arrival.

Your relocation checklist for moving to Austria

To turn your dream of living in Austria into reality, knowing where to begin is crucial. This is where a checklist comes in handy!

Here's what you need to do before and after moving to Austria:

  1. Decide where in Austria you want to live
  2. Look for work or study opportunities
  3. Plan your budget
  4. Find out the visa and residency requirements
  5. Translate and legalize your documents
  6. Search for housing in Austria
  7. Wrap up and get your tickets to Austria
  8. Register your place of residence
  9. Arrange utilities
  10. Apply for health insurance
  11. Open an Austrian bank account
  12. Get a local SIM card
  13. Exchange your driving license
  14. Prepare for your pet's relocation to Austria

1. Decide where in Austria you want to live

If you’ve yet to decide on a specific destination, take a moment to research the best cities to live in Austria and determine which city best aligns with your needs and preferences.

For example, Innsbruck offers a tranquil lifestyle in a small town with easy access to all major places within walking distance. Vienna is ideal for those seeking an active cultural life and vibrant nightlife. For a mix of both worlds, Graz is the perfect choice.

2. Look for work or study opportunities

Unless you have sufficient funds, anyone moving to Austria for more than 3 months either needs to have a job or educational course lined up. So before deciding to relocate to Austria, explore career or study opportunities relevant to your field of interest.

If you have plans to pursue a university degree in Austria, look into the best Austrian universities that offer English courses, check if you’re eligible for a scholarship, and find out if and how many hours you can work next to your studies.

If you’re planning to relocate to Austria for employment purposes, look for jobs online, such as on the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS), check the requirements for working abroad, and gain an understanding of average salary in Austria.

This step is especially important for non-EU citizens who need to have a job or university acceptance letter to apply for a visa and residence permit.

3. Plan your budget

Building a robust budget is a must as you plan your move to Austria. It guarantees you're financially prepared for a life of comfort. This budget covers your day-to-day costs, such as food and transportation, which average around €928 per month without rent.

Remember, rental prices fluctuate significantly, depending on the city. Are you moving to the capital and want to find houses for rent in Vienna? Then budget approximately €1,181 monthly for an apartment. You might be looking at around €550 for a room, and a studio could run about €900 per month.

And don’t forget about extra expenditures like moving services or potential visa fees if they come into play.

4. Find out the visa and residency requirements

To live in Austria for more than 6 months, non-EU citizens need to apply for a visa and an Austrian residence permit that suits their purpose of stay.

You’ll need to start preparing months in advance as each visa has specific requirements. For instance, you’ll need a signed work contract or a university acceptance letter to be eligible for an Austrian student visa or work visa. Other common documents you’ll need include a passport, proof of accommodation, health insurance, and proof of financial means.

If you’re a EU citizen, you can freely move to Austria. But to stay for more than 3 months, you’ll need to apply for a registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung) within 4 months of your arrival. You must also be employed or enrolled at an educational institute, and/or have sufficient finances and healthcare coverage.

5. Translate and legalize your documents

All necessary documents, such as a birth certificate or higher education degree, need to be translated into German or English and then legalized. Even if your documents are in English, you may need to legalize your documents if their authenticity is not recognised in Austria. You can find this out on the local Austrian embassy or consulate’s website.

You’ll need translated and legalized documents for your visa application and tasks such as registering your address, which is a legal requirement.

Translations often take time, so make sure you translate the necessary documents well in advance.

6. Search for housing in Austria

If you need a visa to move to Austria, you must be able to prove you’ve found suitable accommodation. Booking temporary hotel stays is not useful as you also need to register your address within 3 days of your arrival. So, how do you book a rental apartment or a room in Austria, especially from abroad?

To make this process easy and worry-free, you can rely on trusted online rental platforms like HousingAnywhere. With HousingAnywhere's 48-hour safeguard, your first month's rent is secured until you move in, and it's paid to the landlord only 48 hours after settling in, giving you added peace of mind.

When choosing your new home, consider important factors such as the location, accessibility to major places via public transport, and the monthly rent.

7. Wrap up and get your tickets to Austria

Three months before your departure, apply for your visa and residence permit, if applicable, and book your plane or train tickets. A month before your departure, make sure you terminate your rental contract and cancel utilities and any local subscriptions. And if you’re moving your things over to Austria, look into relocation companies.

8. Register your place of residence

All residents in Austria are legally required to register their address and obtain a residence registration certificate (Meldezettel) within 3 days of arrival.

The process is free of charge and can be done in person at a Residence Registration Service Centre or Meldeservice office. You’ll need a filled-in application form (usually in German), your passport, and a signed document from your landlord or main tenant to confirm you live there. As such, you can only do this step after you have moved in.

Registration certification will also be needed for various necessities, such as opening a bank account in Austria. So do not lose the original certificate!

9. Arrange utilities

Unless you’ve rented an apartment with bills included, you’ll need to arrange utilities in Austria. This includes electricity, heating, and the internet. You’ll also need to register your TV/radio (GIS) and pay for it if your device is capable of receiving broadcasting signals. This applies even if you don’t use cable TV or radio.

10. Apply for Austrian health insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for everyone working and living in Austria.

If you're employed, your new employer will sign you up for social security as soon as you arrive in Austria. This will cover health, accident, unemployment, and pension insurance. The costs for these insurances will be deducted from your Austrian salary every month (usually 7.65% of your gross salary).

EU/EEA students can use their European Health Insurance Card, while non-EU students need to apply for private health insurance from the Austrian Social Insurance Institution (Österreichische Gebietskrankenkasse).

11. Open an Austrian bank account

While not mandatory, opening an Austrian bank account is strongly recommended. With an Austrian bank account, you’ll benefit from convenient bill payments, timely payment of your salary, and the ability to make transactions or cash withdrawals with minimal or no additional fees.

While some banks, like Erste Bank, allow non-residents to become their customers, it’s important to note that the sign-up process can only be done in-person.

To open a bank account in Austria, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Proof of identity (passport or national ID card)
  • Residency registration certificate
  • Proof of employment/student certificate

After submitting the documentation in person, you can expect to receive your bank account information by post within 4 working days.

12. Get a local SIM card

Obtain an Austrian SIM card for local calls and roaming-free internet within the EU. We recommend choosing from popular mobile operators like A1, Magenta, and Drei.

13. Exchange your driving license

Austria recognizes and accepts EU and EEA driving licenses, so no mandatory conversion is required.

If you hold a non-EU driver's license, you must convert your license within 6 months of moving to Austria. Converting non-EU/EEA licenses usually involves a practical driving test, where you must provide a suitable vehicle from the corresponding license category.

Citizens from some countries are exempt from the practical driving test, such as those from Australia, Switzerland, UK, Japan, South Korea, etc.

14. Prepare for your pet’s relocation to Austria

When bringing your pet to Austria, ensure your pet has the following:

  • Pet passport
  • Microchip registration
  • Original rabies vaccination certificate

Ready to move to Austria?

You can confidently navigate your relocation to Austria with proper planning and organization. Customize the checklist according to your specific requirements and keep it handy to stay on track and avoid overlooking any important details.

Please reach out to if you have any suggestions or inquiries about the content on this page.

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