Companies in Austria which would like to employ people who are not Austrian nationals must comply with the rules regulating the employment of foreigners.
The Act Governing the Employment of Foreign Nationals (“Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz” – AuslBG) contains these rules in conjunction with the Austrian Settlement and Residence Act (“Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz” – NAG).
These laws are important for companies in Austria, especially when international skilled workers are to be hired. So-called third-country nationals require at least some type of work permit in order to be employed. They also need a residence permit if they are in Austria for longer than six months.
In principle, two public authorities are involved when it comes to the employment of third-country nationals in Austria. The Austrian Public Employment Service (“Arbeitsmarktservice” – AMS) is responsible for all matters relating to labour and employment laws, whereas the Immigration Authority (“Aufenthaltsbehörde”) is responsible for all matters relating to the right of residence.
Do you have any general questions on the employment of foreigners or is there a specific situation in which you need support?
The ABA Immigration and Residence Services is your government-mandated point of contact and advises you and your international employees on all issues free of charge!
Ways to employ foreigners
Austria offers a large number of options on how companies can employ international workers. In this case, the first important thing is to distinguish among the various possibilities, depending on the nationality of your skilled worker:
Is your skilled worker an EU, EEA or Swiss national?
In this case, there is no hurdle for you to hire this person because the free movement of persons applies. Your skilled worker must apply for or possess a so-called Registration Certificate (“Anmeldebescheinigung”). However, it is not your task as an employer to check if this is the case.
Is your skilled worker not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen (and thus a third-country national) but is married to or in a civil partnership (“in eingetragener Partnerschaft”) with an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who will also immigrate to Austria or already lives in Austria? In this case, the free movement of persons also applies to your skilled worker. A residence permit is not necessary, but he or she will need a so-called Residence Card (“Aufenthaltskarte”). You are permitted to employ your skilled worker before he or she receives the Residence Card.
Is your skilled worker a third-country national, which means he or she is neither an Austrian citizen nor an EU, EEA or Swiss national?
In this case, your skilled worker needs a residence permit in order to stay in Austria for more than six months. At the same time, most residence permits also serve as work permits for your skilled worker. The following illustration shows you at a glance what applies to your skilled worker.
If your skilled worker from a third country immigrates to Austria for the very first time and would like to stay in Austria in the long term, the various Red-White-Red – Cards and the EU Blue Card are interesting options.
Do you want to employ a researcher? Here you can find out more about what to do.
If you want to employ an artist, you can find out all the necessary details here.
If you would like to employ a student for up to 20 hours per week, you can do this with a special work permit. In principle, it would also be possible to employ a student for more than 20 hours per week. In this case, the Austrian Public Employment Service can carry out a labour market test (“Ersatzkraftverfahren”). This means that AMS checks to see if other skilled workers in Austria are already registered for a specific position.
Do you want to find out more about whether or not your skilled worker is permitted to immigrate to Austria with his or her family? Here you can find out more about immigration with one’s family.
Do you plan to employ your skilled worker in Austria for a limited amount of time within the context of an intra-corporate transfer (ICT)? Here, you can learn more about the Residence Permit – ICT (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung ICT”).
Must your skilled worker extend his or her residence permit? Here, you can learn more about the extension (“Verlängerung”) of residence permits.
Furthermore, you can get an overview of all limited and short-term residence permits which Austria offers here
Also feel free to make use of our Immigration Guide Austria to find out which residence permit best suits you and your skilled worker.
Obligations of the employer
As an employer, you are responsible for ensuring compliance with all regulations relating to the employment of foreigners.
For you, this means the following:
- You are required to report the beginning and end of the employment of the international skilled worker to the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) within three days (unless this skilled worker has a Long-Term Resident EU permit) and
- You must keep a copy of all approvals, certificates and confirmations as well as residence permits available in the company for review in case of an inspection.
An administrative penalty can be imposed if you do not fulfil the reporting requirements or obligation to have relevant documentation available.
For the extension of a residence permit, your skilled worker also needs pay slips and payroll account information which you should make readily available.
As a rule, you are only permitted to employ skilled workers from third countries if they have a valid work permit or a residence permit allowing them to work. Otherwise, you are guilty of illegal employment, which could lead to high fines.
If the skilled worker is not directly employed in your company in Austria but continues to be employed abroad and should only be in Austria for a limited period of time in order to carry out a certain project, this could involve a so-called employee secondment (“Entsendung”) or the hiring out of workers (“Arbeitskräfteüberlassung”) for which special rules apply.
- Austrian Act Governing the Employment of Foreign Nationals (“Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz” - AuslBG)
- Austrian Settlement and Residence Act (“Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz” - NAG)