Extending Your Residence Permit in Austria
Are you already living and working in Austria and your current residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”) will expire soon?
You must apply for an extension of your residence permit during the three-month period before your current residence permit becomes invalid! If you do not extend your residence permit on time, your application for extension (“Verlängerungsantrag”) is considered to be a first-time application. This means that you have to go through the entire process of getting a residence permit once again, and under certain circumstances, you even may have to leave Austria.
If you have submitted your application for an extension of your residence permit in a timely manner and have not yet received your new permit, you are still allowed to continue living and working in Austria. If you have to leave Austria for urgent reasons during the extension process, you can apply for a so-called “emergency visa” (“Notvignette”). This confirms that you applied for your extension on time and that your application is still being processed. It is printed into your passport and is valid for the Schengen Area for a maximum of 90 days.
Where must the applications for extension of the residence permit be submitted?
In Vienna, you must submit your application for extension of your residence permit to the branch of the responsible Immigration and Residence Authority for the district in which you live, namely the Municipal Department 35 (“Magistratsabteilung 35”, in short MA 35).
In all other federal provinces, you submit the application for extension as follows:
- to the competent district administrative authority (“Bezirkshauptmannschaft”, in short “BH”) for the district in which you live or,
- to the municipal authority (“Magistrat”) if you live in Eisenstadt, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Krems, Linz, Rust, Salzburg, St. Pölten, Steyr, Villach, Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Wels, Wiener Neustadt, or
- to the Office of the Styrian Provincial Government - Department 3 (“Amt der Steiermärkischen Landesregierung - Abteilung 3“) if you live in the City of Graz.
Generally speaking, you have to apply for an extension by appearing in person. The exceptions are applications for children who are under the age of six. In this case, it is sufficient if one of the parents personally applies on behalf of the child.
What requirements must be fulfilled to extend the residence permit?
When extending your residence permit, you must continue to fulfil the requirements for your residence permit. This refers to the general requirements and special requirements, which depend on your particular residence permit.
As a rule, you need these documents in order to get an extension of your residence permit:
- Application form
- Passport photo which is not older than six months and which fulfils EU criteria
- Proof of accommodations in Austria (rental agreement, last three rent payments, etc.)
- Proof of health insurance coverage (copy of Austrian e-card, etc.)
- Proof of sufficient means of subsistence (last three salary slips, etc.)
- Fees: € 160-250, depending on the type of residence permit
You may also have to pay a higher fee if you must show additional personal documents.
If you receive Austrian family allowance (“Familienbeihilfe”) for one or more children, you generally have to submit confirmation of this. You can simply get this confirmation via Finanz Online.
Many of the Immigration and Residence Authority offices demand a so-called KSV Excerpt (excerpt from the Austrian Credit Protection Association - “Kreditschutzerband - KSV”) in extending residence permits. This KSV Excerpt is an official document which shows whether you have taken out loans in Austria. If you are married, you must always show your own KSV Excerpt and that of your partner. You can easily order the KSV Excerpt for public authorities online.
If the Immigration and Residence Authority requests that you hand in missing documents afterwards, you can generally do this per e-mail. One exception is the German and Integration Certificate which, as a rule, must be presented as an original document. If you submit documents and/or information afterwards, please always include your reference number. In this way, the Immigration and Residence Authority can work more quickly.
You have to present a German language certificate to show your competence in German or an Integration Certificate for most cases of extending residence permits. Find out more here (link German) about which certificate you will need for your extension.
If you want to extend your Red-White-Red – Card (exceptions: Red-White-Red – Card for Self-Employed Key Workers and Red-White-Red – Card for Start-Up Founders) or a Blue Card for two years and are now applying for a Red-White-Red – Card Plus (“Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte Plus”) , the competent authorities will check to see if you have been employed uninterruptedly for at least 21 months. If this is true, please note that you will also have to submit so-called wage accounts (“Lohnkonten”) which your employer can provide you.
The time in which you are on leave for parental leave (“Elternkarenz”) or educational leave (“Bildungskarenz”) is also considered to be a time of employment!
As soon as you have resided uninterruptedly in Austria for five years, fulfil the general requirements and have also fulfilled Module 2 of the Integration Agreement (“Integrationsvereinbarung”) (German language competence at a level), you can apply for a Long-Term Resident EU permit (“Daueraufenthalt EU”). The Long-Term Resident EU permit allows you to extend your stay in Austria every five years in a simple procedure.
The time in which you had a Red-White-Red – Card, a Red-White-Red – Card Plus or a Settlement Permit – Researcher and lived in Austria during these five years counts. However, the time in which you only had a residence permit called “Aufenthaltsbewilligung” (e.g., your Student Residence Permit (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung Student”) only counts for half of the years.
If you only had “Aufenthaltsbewilligung” for more than ten years, you cannot receive a Long-Term Resident EU permit!
You concluded your master’s degree study programme in Austria in the period 1 October 2015 to 30 September 2017 and had a Student Residence Permit (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung Student”) during this time. Afterwards, you first work with a Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates (“Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte für Studienabsolventen”) (from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2019) and then a Red-White-Red – Card Plus (as of 1 October 2019) in an Austrian company. You can first apply for a Long-Term Resident EU after two years with the Red-White-Red – Card Plus (three months before 1 October 2021) because only one year of your time with a Student Residence Permit is taken into account.
It is also important that your right to stay in Austria was not interrupted, i.e., that there were no gaps in time between your residence permits. For example, if you submit an application for extension of your residence permit too late, and it is considered to be a first-time application, as a rule there is a time gap, and the five-year period starts anew.
After you have submitted your application to the Immigration and Residence Authority in Austria, the authorities will process your application. If you have extended your residence permit on time, the extended residence permit will ideally begin starting with the day after your current residence permit expires.
Please note the following:
- If, after two years, you apply for a residence permit which will be valid for three years (e.g., an extension of the Blue Card or a Red-White-Red – Card Plus), you can first get your new residence permit after you have been in Austria for exactly two years. As a rule, day one is considered to be the day on which you received or picked up your very first residence permit.
- If you apply for a Long-Term Resident EU permit for the very first time, you must be in Austria for exactly five years beforehand so that you can physically receive your residence permit. As a rule, day one is considered to be the day on which you received or picked up your first residence permit.
You travel to Austria on 1 February 2017. On 2 February 2017 you have an appointment with the responsible Viennese Immigration and Residence Authority, namely MA35, where you have your fingerprints taken and you show your original documents. Your Blue Card is printed and is valid from 2 February 2017 to 2 February 2019. You first pick up the Blue Card on 20 February 2017 because you were given a time slot on this day to pick it up. When you want to pick up your Red-White-Red – Card Plus in 2019, it is first possible on 21 February 2019, because then you will have had your residence permit (Blue Card) for exactly two years.
Who must extend which residence permit?
If you are prevented from extending your residence permit on time due to an unavoidable or unforeseen event (e.g., an accident with a subsequent hospital stay) which is no fault of your own, you can submit your application of extension within two weeks after the obstacle is no longer a problem and request a restitutio in integrum (“Wiedereinsetzungsantrag”), in which you justify why you were not able to submit your application for extension on time.
Sect. 24 Austrian Settlement and Residence Act (“Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz“ - NAG)