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Austria Immigration Information Entry Visa


If you plan to come to Austria, you might need a visa, a residence permit or work permit. Do check with the nearest Austrian Embassy to see whether you require a visa for entry to Austria. Generally, US, Canadian and Australian nationals need not apply for a visa for stays of up to three months.

Austria joined the EU (European Union) in 1995 – therefore it is very easy for all EU nationals to live and work in Austria. If you are  a non-EU national, be prepared for a lot of paperwork and some bureaucratic hurdles during the process of getting a working and residence permit. The situation differs from country to country – but in general the rules and requirements have become harder and the quota for foreigners coming to Austria has been lowered every year.

If you are an EU national, you can just come to Austria and live and work here. Within three days of arrival you have to register at your local police station – a quick and easy process. This applies also for people from non-EU countries. Do note that if you are a non-EU national, all formalities have to be processed before you register with the police. This means, you will have to start and finish the process from your home country – there is no other way to do it.


Passport valid for at least three months beyond length of stay required by all nationals of countries except EU nationals holding a valid national ID card.

Note: EU nationals are only required to produce evidence of their EU nationality and identity in order to be admitted to any EU member state. This evidence can take the form of a valid national passport or national identity card. Either is acceptable. Possession of a return ticket, any length of validity on their document, sufficient funds for the length of their proposed visit should not be imposed.

Process for EU Nationals

You can come to Austria without visa or stay permit. You also don’t need a work permit. If you stay longer than three months, you have to apply for a special ID-card (EWR-Lichtbildausweis), which includes a residence permit. If you do not have a job at this time, you will be granted a 6-month residence permit; with a job, you get a 5-year permit. Your only initial obligation is to register at a local police station or the district’s registration office within three days of arrival.

Process for non-EU Nationals

The process for receiving full rights to stay and work in Austria includes several steps and depends on what you plan to do there. Please keep in mind, all visa applications have to be issued from outside Austria, before you travel.

There are several visa options for coming to Austria:

Class C visa - the Tourist Visa

This is the most common visa for visitors; it is issued for a three month stay and allows you to travel through all EU countries that are part of the Schengen Area.

The required documents for the class C visa are:

  • 1 passport - size photo;
  • Valid passport (minimum 6 months);
  • Travel ticket or booking confirmation;
  • Confirmation of hotel booking or invitation;
  • Proof of sufficient funds;
  • Proof of health insurance for the duration of your stay.

It is recommended to present a ‘visa support letter’ from an institution or company you know in Austria. Please note that you are not allowed to work in Austria with a class C or class D visa.

Class D visa

This is a visa especially for Austria. It is issued for a maximum 6-month stay. With the class D visa you can travel through other Schengen countries – but only for 5 days in order to reach Austria. You have to contact the Austrian consulate in your country of residence to acquire the visa.

The Schengen Convention

Austria is a signatory to the Schengen Convention, which includes the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Greece, Island, Italy, Luxemburg, Germany, Norway, Portugal and Spain. If you have a visa issued by one of the Schengen countries, it is automatically valid for all other Schengen countries. Even you have a class C visa (tourist visa), you can visit other Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days – which is a nice way of getting to know Europe.