The Red-White-Red – Card

Austria’s Red-White-Red – Card (“Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte”) offers a residence permit for third-country nationals who would like to work as skilled employees in Austria and want to stay in Austria on a permanent basis. There is not only one Red-White-Red – Card but a total of six subcategories. Each subcategory is oriented to a particular target group and is based on a so-called point system. This means that you may only obtain a certain Red-White-Red – Card if you collect sufficient points.

Of the six Red-White-Red – Cards, four are for third-country nationals who have a binding job offer in a company in Austria:

  • The Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations (“Fachkräfte in Mangelberufen”) targets third-country nationals who have a job offer and training or education in a shortage occupation. For this purpose, there is a list of shortage occupations (link) which is updated on an annual basis and which is oriented to the need for skilled workers.
  • The Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates (“StudienabsolventInnen”) targets third-country nationals who completed studies at an Austrian university or university of applied sciences in the past year and have received a suitable job offer.  
  • The Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers (“Sonstige Schlüsselkräfte”) targets all skilled employees who are not encompassed in the other categories but who have still received an offer of employment as skilled workers. In this case, age-dependent minimum salaries have to be complied with.  
  • Note: The Blue Card (“Blaue Karte”) is a residence permit which also targets third-country nationals with a binding job offer. In this case, skilled employees must reach a comparatively high minimum salary, amongst other stipulations.  

The other two Red-White-Red – Cards target third-country nationals who want to establish a company in Austria:

  • The Red-White-Red – Card for Self-Employed Key Workers (“Selbstständige Schlüsselkräfte”) targets third-country nationals whose future company is required to have a positive effect on Austria’s economic development. The company must for instance must prove the transfer of investment capital to Austria of at least € 100,000.
  • The Red-White-Red – Card for Start-Up Founders (“Start-Up-GründerInnen”) is designed for third-country nationals whose future company is required to result in an innovative enhancement for the Austrian economy. For example, an investment transfer of at least € 50,000 must be demonstrated.

The other two Red-White-Red – Cards target third-country nationals who want to establish a company in Austria:

Third-country nationals who are spouses, civil partners or parents of EU nationals do not have to apply for the Red-White-Red – Card or the Blue Card. They can apply for a so-called residence card (“Aufenthaltskarte”) (link). In this way, they gain unrestricted access to the Austrian labour market. They can therefore work as either salaried employees or be self-employed and are not bound to a specific employer.

Third-country nationals who are spouses or civil partners of Austrian nationals do not have to apply for the Red-White-Red – Card or the Blue Card. They can apply for a residence permit as a family member (“Aufenthaltstitel Familienangehöriger”) (link). In this way, they gain unrestricted access to the Austrian labour market. They can therefore work as either salaried employees or be self-employed and are not bound to a specific employer.

Family reunification or immigration is possible with all these residence permits. Family members (wife/husband, civil partner, children) can apply for a Red-White-Red – Card Plus enabling them to freely access the Austrian labour market.  

Third-country nationals who are spouses, civil partners or parents of EU nationals do not have to apply for the Red-White-Red – Card or the Blue Card. They can apply for a so-called residence card (“Aufenthaltskarte”). In this way, they gain unrestricted access to the Austrian labour market. They can therefore work as either salaried employees or be self-employed and are not bound to a specific employer.

Third-country nationals who are spouses or civil partners of Austrian nationals do not have to apply for the Red-White-Red – Card or the Blue Card. They can apply for a residence permit as a family member (“Aufenthaltstitel Familienangehöriger”). In this way, they gain unrestricted access to the Austrian labour market. They can therefore work as either salaried employees or be self-employed and are not bound to a specific employer.

As a rule, skilled employees in these shortage occupations can immigrate to Austria more quickly than other skilled workers. This is particularly attributable to the fact that no labour market test is necessary.

In order to receive this Red-White-Red – Card, you have to receive a sufficient number of points in the legally stipulated point system. There are five categories of criteria in which you can collect points:

  1. Qualifications (training or education in a shortage occupation)
  2. Professional experience which you gained in your specialised area after your studies or training
  3. German language skills
  4. English language skills
  5. Age

Here you may find the entire point system applying to the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations.

Please note the following:

  • You have to achieve a score of at least 55 points.
  • Each category has a maximum number of points which you cannot exceed. For example, if you have more than ten years of relevant professional experience, you will still not receive more than 20 points for your professional experience.
  • It is not necessary to obtain points in every category. It suffices to achieve the minimum of 55 points!
  • As a rule, you will only receive points for your education or training when this fits your job offer in the shortage occupation. For example, if you have received a job offer as a software developer, studies in the field of philosophy will not be sufficiently relevant in this specific area and therefore disregarded.
  • In general, only fully completed years of professional experience are counted. Internships and self-employed work are generally not considered to comprise practical experience. Proof of professional experience must include, at a minimum, the starting date, the end date, and a description of the job position.  
  • Language certificates must not be older than one year when you apply for the Red-White-Red – Card. German certificates from the following institutions are accepted: ÖSD, Goethe-Institut, Telc GmbH, Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF). English certificates are accepted from the following institutions: Cambridge, The European Language Certificates (TELC), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • In general, the age you have to specify is your age at the time your application is submitted.

There is no special minimum salary specified for the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations. However, your employer in Austria is required to pay you according to the collective agreement.


Attention

If you have relevant education or training (e.g., university studies) in a specified shortage application but do not have a binding job offer in this shortage occupation, the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations is not the best way forward. This is also the case if you have a job offer in a shortage occupation but no relevant training. Instead, you can find out whether the Blue Card, the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers or the Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers more closely matches your situation. In particular, the Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers follows the exact same point system as the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations. For this reason, it could be an attractive alternative for you. If you concluded your studies in Austria in the past year, the Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates could turn out to be a good option for you.


In any case, you will have to submit the following documents in order to receive a Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations:

  • Application form (link to the form and completion guide)
  • Passport
  • Passport photo fulfilling EU criteria (not older than six months)
  • Work-related documents:
    • Binding job offer (signed by both parties)
    • Updated curriculum vitae
    • Proof of qualifications or education (diploma, etc.)
    • Proof of professional experience (recommendations/references, etc.)
    • Language certificates if necessary
  • Employer documents:
    • Employer’s declaration (“Arbeitgebererklärung”) 
    • Job description
  • Personal documents:
    • Birth certificate
    • Police clearance certificate (“Strafregisterbescheinigung”)
  • Fees:  160 €

Please note the following:

  • The validity of your Red-White-Red – Card depends on how long your job offer is valid as well as how long your passport is still valid. If both are valid for at least two years, then your Red-White-Red – Card is also valid for a period of two years.
  • You will have to present one or more police clearance certificates depending upon the country in which you live. Here you can see which police clearance certificates you will have to obtain.
  • Personal documents must be specially verified so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you can look to see which type of verification is necessary (link).
  • If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator (“gerichtlich beeidete Übersetzerin/ beeideter Übersetzer”). 
  • If you have to show additional personal documents or if you need a Visa D, the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 160. 

You have to fulfil the following prerequisites in order to receive this Red-White-Red – Card:

  1. You successfully completed university studies in Austria in the twelve-month period before submitting the application. Only diplomas from state-owned universities or universities of applied sciences or from accredited private universities or universities of applied sciences are recognised.  
  2. You have received a job offer from a company in Austria which matches your studies.  
  3. Your employer in Austria will pay you a minimum gross monthly salary of at least € 2,497.50 in 2021. This minimum salary is legally prescribed.

Attention

If you have not yet successfully concluded your studies in Austria or if your graduation is more than one year ago, the Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates is not the best way forward for you. Instead, you can find out whether the Blue Card, the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers, the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations for the Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers more closely matches your situation


In any case, you will have to submit the following documents in order to receive a Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates:

  • Application form (link to the form and completion guide)
  • Passport
  • Passport photo fulfilling EU criteria (not older than six months)
  • Work-related documents:
    • Binding job offer (signed by both parties)
    • Updated curriculum vitae
    • Proof of successfully concluded studies (diploma, etc.)
  • Employer documents:
    • Employer’s declaration (“Arbeitgebererklärung”) (link to the form and completion guide)
    • Job description
  • Personal documents:
    • Birth certificate
    • Police clearance certificate (“Strafregisterbescheinigung”)
  • Fees:  160 €

Please note the following:

  • The validity of your Red-White-Red – Card depends on how long your job offer is valid as well as how long your passport is still valid. If both are valid for at least two years, then your Red-White-Red – Card is also valid for a period of two years.
  • You will have to present one or more police clearance certificates depending upon the country in which you live. Here you can see which police clearance certificates you will have to obtain. You do not have to obtain a police clearance certificate if you still live in Austria.
  • Personal documents must be specially verified so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you can look to see which type of verification is necessary.
  • If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator (“gerichtlich beeidete Übersetzerin/ beeideter Übersetzer”). 
  • If you have to show additional personal documents or if you need a Visa D, the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 160. 

Did you know that after completing your studies you can extend your “Student” residence permit (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung Student”) for an additional twelve months? This extension allows you to search for a job in Austria. If you receive a job offer, you can apply for the Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates. However, you will only be granted the extended residence permit for students if you can show that you are able to financially support yourself and have health insurance. You are also allowed to work on the basis of your “Student” residence permit, but only under certain conditions and with a work permit (“Beschäftigungsbewilligung“) (link to studying in Austria).


In order to receive this Red-White-Red – Card, you have to receive a sufficient number of points in the legally stipulated point system. There are several categories of criteria in which you can collect points:

  1. Qualifications and special skills
  2. Professional experience which fits your education/training or senior management positions
  3. Language skills
  4. Age
  5. Studies (or parts of your studies) in Austria

Here (link) you can find the entire point system regulating the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers.

Please note the following:

  • As a rule, you generally have to achieve at least 70 points.  
  • Each category has a maximum number of points which you cannot exceed. For example, if you have more than ten years of relevant professional experience, you will still not receive more than 20 points for your professional experience. 
  • Each category has a maximum number of points which you cannot exceed. For example, if you have more than ten years of relevant professional experience, you will still not receive more than 20 points for your professional experience.
  • It is not necessary to obtain points in every category. It suffices to achieve the minimum of 70 points!
  • As a rule, you will only receive points for your education or training when this fits your job offer. For example, if you have received a job offer as a software developer, studies in the field of philosophy will not be sufficiently relevant in this specific area and therefore disregarded.
  • If you worked in a seniormanagement position in a publicly traded (or positively assessed) company, this can also earn you many points. The important thing is to obtain proof of your gross annual salary from a public authority (tax office, etc.).
  • Only those awards and prizes are recognised which are granted for special professional achievements and which are internationally known or are considered to be of major importance by experts.  
  • Publications are generally recognised when they appear in and are registered in international specialist or trade publications.
  • Patents have to be registered.
  • In general, only fully completed years of professional experience are counted. Internships and self-employed work are generally not considered to comprise practical experience. Proof of professional experience must include, at a minimum, the starting date, the end date, and a description of the job position. 
  • Language certificates must not be older than one year when you apply for the Red-White-Red – Card. German certificates from the following institutions are accepted: ÖSD, Goethe-Institut, Telc GmbH, Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF). English certificates are accepted from the following institutions: Cambridge, The European Language Certificates (TELC), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • In general, the age you have to specify is your age at the time your application is submitted.
  • There is no special minimum salary specified for the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers. However, your employer in Austria is required to pay you according to the collective agreement. 

Attention

If you are unable to achieve the necessary number of points, you can find out instead whether the Blue Card, the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations or the Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers more closely matches your situation. In particular, the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations could be an attractive alternative for you if you have received a job offer in one of the legally defined shortage occupations. If you concluded your studies in Austria in the past year, the Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates could turn out to be a good option for you. 


In any case, you will have to submit the following documents in order to receive a Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers:

  • Application form (link to the form and completion guide)
  • Passport
  • Passport photo fulfilling EU criteria (not older than six months)
  • Work-related documents:
    • Binding job offer (signed by both parties)
    • Updated curriculum vitae
    • Proof of qualifications or education/training (diploma, etc.)
    • Proof of professional experience (recommendations/references, etc.)
    • Language certificates if necessary
  • Employer documents:
    • Declaration of the employer (“Arbeitgebererklärung”) (link to the form and completion guide)
    • Job description
  • Personal documents:
    • Birth certificate
    • Police clearance certificate (“Strafregisterbescheinigung”)
  • Fees:  160 €

Please note the following:

  • The validity of your Red-White-Red – Card depends on how long your job offer is valid as well as how long your passport is still valid. If both are valid for at least two years, then your Red-White-Red – Card is also valid for a period of two years.
  • You will have to present one or more police clearance certificates depending upon the country in which you live. Here you can see which police clearance certificates you will have to obtain.
  • Personal documents must be specially verified so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you can look to see which type of verification is necessary.
  • If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator (“gerichtlich beeidete Übersetzerin/ beeideter Übersetzer”). 

If you have to show additional personal documents or if you need a Visa D, the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 160.


Attention

If you achieve at least 70 points, you can submit an application to the Austrian representative authority (embassy/consulate) in your country of residence for a Visa D (Job Seeker Visa, in German “Arbeitssuche-Visum”). On the basis of this visa, you are allowed to enter Austria and directly search for a job in the country for up to six months. As soon as you have a job offer, you can then apply for the Red-White-Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers. Please note that public authorities may take several months to examine your application for a Job Seeker Visa.


In order to receive this Red-White-Red – Card, you have to receive a sufficient number of points in the legally stipulated point system. There are five categories of criteria in which you can collect points:

  1. Qualifications (training or education)
  2. Professional experience which you gained in your specialised area after your studies or training
  3. German language skills
  4. English language skills
  5. Age

Here you can find the entire point system regulating the Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers.

Please note the following:

  • You have to achieve a score of at least 55 points.
  • Each category has a maximum number of points which you cannot exceed. For example, if you have more than ten years of relevant professional experience, you will still not receive more than 20 points for your professional experience.
  • It is not necessary to obtain points in every category. It suffices to achieve the minimum of 55 points!
  • As a rule, you will only receive points for your education or training when this fits your job offer. For example, if you have received an offer of employment as a nurse, your past training in the field of electrical engineering will not be sufficiently relevant in this specific area.
  • In general, only fully completed years of professional experience are counted. Internships and self-employed work are generally not considered to comprise practical experience. Proof of professional experience must include, at a minimum, the starting date, the end date and a description of the job position. 
  • Language certificates may not be older than one year when you apply for the Red-White-Red – Card. German certificates from the following institutions are accepted: ÖSD, Goethe-Institut, Telc GmbH, Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF). English certificates are accepted from the following institutions: Cambridge, The European Language Certificates (TELC), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
  • In general, the age you have to specify is your age at the time the application is submitted.

There is a specified minimum salary for the Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers. If you are under the age of 30, you will have to be paid a gross monthly salary of at least € 2,775. If you are over 30, you will have to be paid a gross monthly salary of at least € 3,330.  


Attention

If you have a binding job offer and education in a so-called shortage occupation, the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations could be an attractive alternative to you. Moreover, you can also find out whether the Blue Card or the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers more closely matches your situation. If you completed your studies in Austria in the past year, the Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates could be a good option for you.


In any case, you will have to submit the following documents in order to receive a Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers:

  • Application form
  • Passport
  • Passport photo fulfilling EU criteria (not older than six months)
  • Work-related documents:
    • Binding job offer (signed by both parties)
    • Updated curriculum vitae
    • Proof of qualifications or education (diploma, etc.)
    • Proof of professional experience (recommendations/references, etc.)
    • Language certificates if necessary
  • Employer documents:
    • Employer’s declaration (“Arbeitgebererklärung”) (link to the form and completion guide)
    • Job description
  • Personal documents:
    • Birth certificate
    • Police clearance certificate (“Strafregisterbescheinigung”)
  • Fees:  160 €

Please note the following:

  • The validity of your Red-White-Red – Card depends on how long your job offer is valid as well as how long your passport is still valid. If both are valid for at least two years, then your Red-White-Red – Card is also valid for a period of two years.
  • You will have to present one or more police clearance certificates depending upon the country in which you live. Here you can see which police clearance certificates you will have to obtain.
  • Personal documents must be specially verified so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you can look to see which type of verification is necessary (link).
  • If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator (“gerichtlich beeidete Übersetzerin/ beeideter Übersetzer”). 
  • If you have to show additional personal documents or if you need a Visa D, the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 160. 

You have to fulfil the following prerequisites:

  1. You have completed university studies which match your job offer.
  2. Your employer in Austria pays you a gross annual salary of at least € 65,579 in the year 2021. This minimum salary is legally stipulated.

Attention

If you have not pursued appropriate studies or will earn less than the prescribed minimum salary, the Blue Card is not the best way forward for you. Instead, you can find out whether the Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates (link), the Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers (link), the Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations (link) or the Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers (link) more closely matches your situation.


In any case, you will have to submit the following documents in order to receive a Blue Card:

  • Application form (link to the form and completion guide)
  • Passport
  • Passport photo fulfilling EU criteria (not older than six months)
  • Work-related documents:
    • Binding job offer (signed by both parties)
    • Updated curriculum vitae
    • Proof of successfully concluded studies (diploma, etc.)
  • Employer documents:
    • Employer’s declaration (“Arbeitgebererklärung”) (link to the form and completion guide)
    • Job description
  • Personal documents:
    • Birth certificate
    • Police clearance certificate (“Strafregisterbescheinigung”)
  • Fees:  160 €

Please note the following:

  • The validity of your Blue Card depends on how long your job offer is valid as well as how long your passport is still valid. If both are valid for at least two years, then your Red-White-Red – Card is also valid for a period of two years.
  • You will have to present one or more police clearance certificates depending upon the country in which you live. Here you can see which police clearance certificates you will have to obtain (link).
  • Personal documents must be specially verified so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you can look to see which type of verification is necessary (link).
  • If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator (“gerichtlich beeidete Übersetzerin/ beeideter Übersetzer”). 
  • If you have to show additional personal documents or if you need a Visa D, the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 160. 

 


Procedure

After you and your future employer have gathered all the necessary documents, the application must be submitted to an Austrian public authority. In this case, there are several options:

  1. Your employer submits the application on your behalf to the Immigration and Residence Authority (“Aufenthaltsbehörde“) in Austria. This applies regardless of your nationality and your country of residence. This option has the advantage that your application is submitted directly to the public authority which processes your application. Moreover, this option allows you to submit certain documents per email at a later date (for example, verifications).   
  2. You submit the application to the Austrian representative authority (embassy/consulate) in your country of residence. If you select this option, your application must be complete when submitted. As a rule, you are not permitted to send any missing documents afterwards. Your application is then sent from the representative authority to Austria via postal services. For this reason, the immigration process based on this option usually takes longer than with the first option.    

If you are allowed to travel to Austria without a visa or you have a valid Visa D, you are permitted to personally submitted your application to the Immigration and Residence Authority in Austria. This option has the advantage that the application is submitted directly to the public authority which processes it. Moreover, this option allows you to submit certain documents per email.


Attention

Please pay attention to the number of visa-free days you are entitled to! In general, you have 90 days (out of 180) in which you can stay in the Schengen Area. Once you have used up this allotment of visa-free days, you will no longer be allowed to submit the application in Austria because you are no longer legally in the country.


Attention

Before you or your employer submit the application, you must decide where you want to live in Austria. This is important because Austria does not have one single branch of the Immigration and Residence Authority but many. Which of these branches is actually responsible for you depends on your future place of residence in Austria. Once you have selected a particular place (e.g., town), any change is complicated and not recommended. Here (link) you can find out which branch of the Immigration and Residence Authority has jurisdiction over your case.


Do you want to immigrate to Austria with your family? In this case, please take the following into consideration:

  • If you apply for any Red-White-Red – Card or for a Blue Card, your family members can apply for and obtain a so-called Red-White-Red – Card Plus (link). However, your family can usually only submit the application once you have submitted your application for the Red-White-Red – Card or Blue Card.
  • In contrast to you as a skilled worker, your family is generally required to submit the application for the Red-White-Red – Card Plus to the Austrian representative authority (embassy/consulate) in their country of residence. In any case, the applications for your family must be complete. If your family is allowed to travel to Austria without a visa (link), they may also directly submit the applications to the Immigration and Residence Authority in Austria. It is important that your family has a sufficient number of visa-free days at its disposal.  

As soon as you or your employer have submitted your application, various public authorities will evaluate your application. The Immigration and Residence Authority will check to see if you fulfil all the general prerequisites, for example if your passport is valid and if all your documents have the correct verifications. The Austrian Public Employment Service (“Arbeitsmarktservice” - AMS) will review the prerequisites under valid labour regulations. Moreover, AMS may also carry out a so-called labour market test (“Ersatzkraftverfahren”) to help determine if there are other equally qualified individuals on the Austrian labour market who could potentially get your position. The entire evaluation usually takes several weeks, in which you may have to certain missing documents if required. At best, the evaluation ends with the formal approval of your application.     

All further steps depend upon whether or not you are allowed to enter Austria without a visa. Here (link) you can find this out.  

  • You live in Austria, have applied for the Red-White-Red – Card for Graduates and your application has been approved? Congratulations! You may now go directly to your Immigration and Residence Authority in order to have your fingerprints taken and to show your personal documents (passport, birth certificate, etc.). Your Red-White-Red – Card will then be printed. You are permitted to begin working as soon as you receive your card!
  • Are you allowed to enter Austria without a visa? As soon as your application for your Red-White-Red – Card or Blue Card has been approved, you may go directly to your Immigration and Residence Authority in order to have your fingerprints taken. Furthermore, you will have to show your original personal documents (passport, birth certificate, police clearance certificate, etc.). Your Red-White-Red – Card will then be printed. You are permitted to begin working as soon as you receive your card!
  • Are you not permitted to enter Austria without a visa? In this case, after your application has been approved, you will receive an invitation from the Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate) in your country of residence. In this invitation, you will be asked to apply for a so-called Visa D within the following three months and to pick up your Red-White-Red – Card or Blue Card in Austria within a period of six months. In order to receive a Visa D, you will need the following documents: 
  • Application form
  • Passport with copy
  • Invitation of the representative authority
  • Approval of the Immigration and Residence Authority
  • Travel insurance (coverage of at least € 30,000)      
  • Flight reservation

In general, it will take about two weeks until the Visa D is stamped in your passport. During this processing time, the embassy will keep your passport. As soon as you have your Visa D, you can travel to Austria and have your fingerprints taken.  Furthermore, you will have to show your personal documents (passport, birth certificate, police clearance certificate, etc.). Your card will then be printed. You are permitted to begin working as soon as you receive your card! 


Extension

If both your passport and your job offer are valid for at least two years, your Red-White-Red – Card or Blue Card is also valid for two years. You are bound to your employer during this two-year period. If you would like to or have to change employers during this time, this is only possible on the basis of a so-called change in purpose process (“Zweckänderung“).In this case, the public authorities in Austria will once again check to see if you fulfil all prerequisites. You are only permitted to begin working for a new employer once you have received your new Red-White-Red – Card or Blue Card.

You may submit an extension application (“Verlängerungsantrag“) for a so-called Red-White-Red – Card plus after 21 months of working in Austria. This card gives you unrestricted access to the Austrian labour market.  You are no longer bound to your employer. If your passport is valid for at least three years, your Red-White-Red – Card Plus will also be valid for a period of three years. Here you can find out more about the Red-White-Red – Card Plus (link).


Attention

You and your family always have to submit your extension applications before the current residence permit expires. You are only allowed to submit extension applications no earlier than three months before the expiration of the current residence permit.  


If you and your family would like to live in Austria on a permanent basis, the following approach to permanent residence would make sense for you:  

  1. You have a Red-White-Red – Card or a Blue Card for two years. Your family has a Red-White-Red – Card Plus for two years.  
  2. After these two years, you and your family extend your respective residence permits. You all apply for and receive Red-White-Red – Cards Plus, which are valid for a period of three years.
  3. Following this three-year period, i.e., after a total of five years in Austria, you and your family apply for the so-called Long-Term Resident EU permit (“Daueraufenthalt EU”). You must submit a German certificate on the level B1, amongst other prerequisites. The EU permanent residence permit is valid for five years and then only must be extended every five years.   

Legal Foundatons

  • Red-White-Red – Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers: Sect. 41 Austrian NAG, Sect. 12 AuslBG
  • Red-White-Red – Card for Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations: Sect. 41 NAG; Sect. 12a AuslBG
  • Red-White-Red – Card for Other Key Workers and Graduates: Sect. 41 NAG; Sect. 12b AuslBG
  • Blue Card: Sect. 42 NAG; Sect. 12c AuslBG
  • Red-White-Red – Card plus: Sect. 41a NAG