Relocate to Austria
An employment contract and rental contract for an apartment have been signed, and the situation with respect to getting one’s own residence permit and a residence permit for any family members who might also relocate to Austria has been clarified. Now there are several other things which should not be overlooked when relocating to Austria.
What must be kept in mind when moving to Austria
The following must be done after arriving in Austria:
Registering with the registration authority: In accordance with the Austrian Registration Law, an individual is required to register with the responsible registration authority within three days after moving to the new place of residence. This registration can take place personally or per mail. The required form can be downloaded from the Internet at no charge. If the place of residence is being rented, the landlord also has to sign the form. Other necessary notifications required within the context of changing one’s place of residence can be found in the Living in Austria section on this website.
Opening a bank account: In order to open up a bank account in Austria, a residence registration is required in addition to an ID card or a passport. A current account provides the greatest degree of flexibility. All major banks offer online banking. For this reason, once a bank account has been formally opened, it will be hardly be necessary to personally go to a bank branch for normal banking transactions.
Registration certificate: Due to their nationality, citizens of the EEA or Swiss nationals do not require any further residence or work permits. However, they have to register with the responsible immigration, citizenship and registration office (Vienna: Municipal Department 35) within a period of four months to get the necessary registration certificate.
Insurance: Austria’s social system encompasses several compulsory forms of insurance for people who live in Austria and take up employment here. More information on this can be found in the section Excellent health and welfare system on this website. Employees are automatically covered by health, accident and retirement insurance. The employer is responsible for registering the employee with the relevant insurance institution. Insurance protection begins on the first day the employee begins work. Insured employees automatically receive the “e-card” in the mail from their respective health insurance providers. This e-card must be presented every time the employee goes to see a doctor, goes to a hospital clinic or outpatient clinic or when she or he is accepted for inpatient care in many hospitals. The e-card contains all the personal data which is relevant to the insurance provider. Employees can also purchase additional health insurance protection by taking out a private health insurance policy.
The Austrian e-card also serves as the European Health Insurance Card and entitles the owner of this card to cost-free medical treatment in all public health care facilities throughout the EU.
Self-employed persons are also legally required to insure themselves. In the case of proprietors of a business, this takes place at the same time the business is registered. Self-employed persons do not have unemployment insurance, but this can be taken out on a voluntary basis.
- Conversion of a driving licence: As a rule, people with a driving licence from an EU member state or from the EEA do not have to exchange/convert their driving licences. However, if the driving licence expires, the validity of the licence has to be extended in the country in which the owner usually resides. Rules pertaining to the period of validity or a required medical check-up may differ from one country to the next. If the original driving licence is exchanged or converted, the legal regulations of the current country of residence apply. Non-EU nationals must convert their driving licence into an Austrian driving licence within a period of six months. As a rule, the individual will have to pass a practical driving test. The following non-EU countries are exempt from this obligation: all driving licence classes: Andorra, Guernsey, Isle of Man Japan, Jersey, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland. Class B (driving a passenger car): Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Israel, Canada, South Africa, South Korea, USA
- Registration on FinanzOnline: Every person whose principal place of residence is in Austria is subject to Austrian income tax regulations regardless of where they may be working abroad. In order to avoid double taxation, it makes sense to call upon a tax consultant for advice. Austria has concluded bilateral agreements with its neighbours and the EU member states to ensure that income tax is only paid in the country in which the taxable person has her or his primary place of residence. The employer is responsible for paying income tax and the required social security contributions on behalf of the employees. Self-employed persons are responsible for paying their taxes and social security contributions themselves.
- The amount of the income tax to be paid depends on how high the income is (more information on income tax rates). Whoever earns more than EUR 730 annually in addition to her or his main source of taxable income has to complete an income tax return. This is done by completing the form (Form E 1) and submitting it to the responsible tax office. A voluntary income tax return can also be submitted if one wants to claim tax deductions on deductible expenses, for example the fixed travel allowance, specialised literature etc. The income tax return may be submitted electronically or online.
- School enrolment: Compulsory education in Austria begins after the child’s sixth birthday. As a rule, parents receive a letter from the responsible school authority on a timely basis in which they are requested to enrol their child in a school. If a child relocates to Austria in the course of a school year, the parents must contact the school authority responsible for their place of residence in order to apply for a school place. All children of mandatory school age will definitely be given a school place. Various school counselling offices are available to support immigrants in enrolling children who are no longer subject to the compulsory education requirement.
Compulsory education in Austria ends at the age of 15.