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Austria Immigration Information Work Permit

Whatever job you take in Austria, you need the relevant work permit. Depending on your qualification, the situation on the labour market and the duration of your stay there are different options.

The Austrian authorities issue three types of work permits. The type of permit you can or will get depends on your personal situation, your future plans and (unfortunately) on some other factors you might not be able to influence.

The work permits can be categorised as:

  • Restricted work permit (Beschäftigungsbewilligung for one year);
  • Work permit (Arbeitserlaubnis for two years);
  • Unrestricted work permit (Befreiungsschein for five years).

The restricted work permit is issued for a specific job and employer at a specific location. If you change your job or even if you just change site while working for the same company, you will need to apply for a new Beschäftigungsbewilligung. If you have worked (using the restricted permit) for one year, you can either get another restricted permit, or you can apply for the real work permit - Arbeitserlaubnis, valid for one specific district within Austria and allowing you to change employer. After two years, you can renew the work permit.

If you have made it so far and you have worked legally for five years, you can then apply for the unrestricted permit - Befreiungsschein. If you get it, you are free to choose any job in any district of Austria for a period of five years. If you manage to find a company which supports your application, things move quickly and smoothly.

To summarised the procedure, you must first apply for the restricted work permit. Then you need at least two periods (2 years each) of employment with the work permit. And then, after five years, you can get the unrestricted work permit.

It is a complex procedure and takes a lot of time and paperwork. If you manage to find a company which supports your application, things move quickly and smoothly.