Travelling to Austria during the pandemic

Who is allowed to enter Austria and who must go into quarantine?

In most cases you are allowed to enter Austria despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but you must have a valid proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19 and a negative PCR test. If you do not have a negative PCR test with you, you have to register and immediately go into quarantine for ten days. The quarantine can be ended with a negative PCR test.

Attention: You do not need an additional negative test result if you have a “booster vaccination”. You have a “booster vaccination” if you have received a booster vaccination after four months or 14 days in addition to the vaccination dose intended for your vaccination. A recovery certificate is equated with the "booster vaccination" if you are also full immunized (i.e. had both necessary vaccination doses in the most cases). In the following, the "booster vaccination" therefore generally counts as an alternative to the additional negative PCR test result.

If you enter Austria without proof of vaccination or recovery, you have to register and quarantine immediately after entering the country. The quarantine can only be ended from the fifth day with a negative PCR test. The day of entry is considered day zero, not day one.

Who must register online?

You do not need to register online if you have a certificate of vaccination or a certificate of recovery and a negative PCR test result. If you do not have these two documents with you, you have to register online ("pre-travel-clearance”). You do not need a negative PCR test result, when you received a booster vaccination.

What requirements does the negative test result have to meet? Do I always have to show a negative PCR test result?

PCR test results are valid for 72 hours from sampling. Antigen tests are not accepted.

You do not need an additional negative test result if you have a “booster vaccination”. You have a “booster vaccination” if you have received a booster vaccination for four months or 14 days in addition to the vaccination dose intended for your vaccination.

A medical certificate can also be presented (form Appendix B), which confirms that there is a negative test result in accordance with the specifications.

When is your vaccination valid as "proof of vaccination" for entry?

The following requirements must be met for entry with proof of vaccination / vaccination certificate:

  • An approved vaccine must have been used (from BioNtech / Pfizer, from AstraZeneca, from Johnson & Johnson, from Moderna, Sinopharm, Sinovac, Covaxin by Bharat Biotech International, Covovax from Serum Institute of India or Nuvaxovid from Novavax).

  • The second vaccination must have already been received and at least 14 days must have elapsed between the first vaccination and the second vaccination. For vaccines that are only intended for one dose (currently Johnson & Johnson only), the vaccination must have been at least 21 days ago. A vaccination is sufficient as proof of vaccination only if there was already a COVID infection (at least 21 days before the vaccination) or before the vaccination.

  • The vaccination must not be more than nine months (270 days) ago.

  • Booster vaccination: If a third vaccination (for vaccines for which two vaccine doses are provided) or a second vaccination (for vaccines for which only one vaccine dose is provided), then this must also only be given for 270 days (applies from 6. December 2021) and at least 120 days must have elapsed between the last and this vaccination dose or at least 14 days for vaccines for which only one vaccination dose is required.

  • A vaccination certificate or a medical certificate can be presented (form Appendix B) that confirms that a vaccination or vaccinations according to the specifications have been made.

You have recovered. What evidence is accepted about this?

An infection that has been overcome in the last six months is confirmed in a medical or official recovery certificate.

 

How long do these regulations apply?

The regulations described on this page apply starting on the 24th of Jannuary and lasting until the 28th of February 2022, but changes can be made on an ongoing basis. We try to keep the site up-to-date, but we cannot guarantee that it is up-to-date and correct. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the ABA Immigration and Residence Service.

Entering Austria for professional purposes

Which rules apply if you come to Austria for professional reasons?

You are allowed to enter the country for a professional purpose from anywhere. However, you are required to present a vaccination or recovery certificate and a negative test result. 

Entry for professional purposes generally includes, for example, 24-hour supervisors and trips for professional training. Entry for a personal interview, if it is absolutely necessary in a physical presence, can also be considered a professional purpose. However, it is not expressly or conclusively regulated what counts as a professional purpose.

Entry for professional purposes exists if the entry is directly related to the professional activity. Even if you have left Austria for professional purposes, re-entry is an entry for professional purposes. However, there must be a temporal connection with the professional appointment (e.g. if an appointment is only set for three days, there is no stay of several weeks for professional purposes).

You must always make your entry "credible" for professional purposes, for example by submitting a company letter, delivery note, order confirmation, confirmation of the date of an interview, etc.

Are you allowed to take your family with you on business trips?

Your family can travel with you, if they have a vaccination or convalescence certificate and a negative PCR test. Without a negative test, you have to be in quarantine until a negative test result is obtained.

Immigration of skilled workers (“Fachkräfte”)

You are an EU or Swiss national but do not live in Austria yet. You have got a job in Austria. Are you allowed to enter the country at all? If yes, what must you take into consideration?

Yes, you can enter Austria - regardless of the country in which you currently live. Whether you have to be in quarantine or not depends on where you are coming from and whether you have already been vaccinated / recovered (see above).

Your family, who lives with you in the same household, can also travel with you - regardless of your family's nationality. Whether or not your family has to go into quarantine depends – as in your own case – on whether (and when) they have already been vaccinated or have recovered and whether they have a negative PCR test result:

  • If your family has a vaccination or recovery certificate and a negative test result, they don't need to be in quarantine or register. Unvaccinated children under the age of 12 who are also entering the country are then exempt from the quarantine and registration requirements.
  • If your family has a vaccination or recovery certificate but no negative test result, then they must register and be in quarantine until a negative PCR test result is obtained.

  • If your family does not have a certificate of vaccination or recovery, they must be quarantined for at least five days. The quarantine can only be ended from the fifth day with a negative PCR. The day of entry is considered day zero, not day one.

 

Example

The German Max Mustermann lives in Germany. He got a job in Austria. He is traveling to Austria from Germany to start his work. He has a valid vaccination certificate and a negative PCR test result with him and therefore does not have to be in quarantine. If he does not have a negative PCR test, he must register online and enter quarantine until he has a negative test result.

You are a third-country national, live in a third country and would like to be physically present in Austria to search for a job. Is this possible?

If you are coming for an interview, you can generally do so if you meet the requirements (vaccination or recovery certificate and negative PCR test result).

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the ABA Immigration and Residence Services (“ABA Servicestelle für Einwanderung und Aufenthalt”).

You are a third-country national, live in a third country and can actually travel to Austria and the Schengen Area without a visa. You applied for an Austrian residence permit (“Aufenthaltstitel”) and the process has now been concluded.

You have received an invitation from the Immigration and Residence Authority (“Aufenthaltsbehörde”) to pick up your residence permit. What must you keep in mind when entering the country?

You can only enter with a valid certificate of vaccination or recovery and a negative PCR test result. No matter where you are coming from: If you show your letter of invitation to collect your residence permit, you do not have to be in quarantine.

 

Example

The American Philipp Jones lives in the USA and has applied for a red-white-red card. He has received a notification from the Austrian residence authority stating that he only has to enter Austria and hand in his fingerprints to the authority and show his original documents. As a US citizen, he is generally allowed to enter Austria without a visa. He does not have to be in quarantine upon entry, as he has a valid vaccination certificate for a third “booster vaccination”.

You are a third-country national and live in an EU member state or in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican.

If you are coming from your country of residence and have stayed there in the last ten days, you do not have to be in quarantine if you have a valid vaccination certifcate or certficate of recovery and a negative test result.

Example

The Russian Irina Tolkova lives in Belgium and has applied for a red-white-red card. She has received a notification from the Austrian residence authority, which states that she only has to enter Austria and hand in her fingerprints to the authority and show her original documents. Because Irina Tolkova has a valid residence permit for Belgium, she is allowed to enter Austria without a special visa. As she is entering from Belgium and has only stayed in Belgium in the last ten days, she does not have to be in mandatory quarantine. She must have a certificate of vaccination or recovery and a negative test result upon entry. She can also travel from Belgium without a negative test result, but then has to be in quarantine until a negative test is obtained. If she does not have a vaccination or recovery certificate, she can also enter, but then has to be in quarantine for at least five days.

Commuters

Special rules exist for you if you regularly commute (“pendeln”) to Austria for professional or business purposes: 

  • You are permitted to come to Austria with a medical certificate, negative test results (antigen or PCR test) or if you can show a vaccination or recovery certificate.  
  • This test may be a maximum of 72 hours old, the Antigen test only 24 hours (starting at the time the sample was taken).
  • Registration for “pre-travel clearance“ must be done every 28 days. In addition, you also have to do the registration for “pre-travel clearance“ every time you change your place of residence (home address) or the place you are temporarily staying in.

Free services for skilled workers

The ABA Immigration and Residence Services offer free consulting with an official mandate by the Austrian Government.