Extending your residence permit in Austria
Do you already live and work in Austria and your current residence permit will expire soon? Find out here how you can extend your residence permit and be able to remain in Austria on a sound legal foundation.
What requirements must be fulfilled to extend the residence permit
When extending your residence permit, you must continue to fulfil the requirements. 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 (residence registration confirmation ("Meldebestätigung"), rental agreement, last three rental 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 have to pay a higher fee if you must present additional personal documents.
Note: 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 vignette” (“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.
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.
Where must the application 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 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”) 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 6. In this case, it is sufficient if one of the parents personally applies on behalf of the child.
- 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 vignette” (“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.
- 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 Authority offices demand an excerpt from the Austrian Credit Protection Association (“KSV Excerpt”) when extending residence permits. This 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 online.
If the Immigration Authority requests that you hand in missing documents afterwards, you can generally do this via e-mail. One exception is the German and Integration Certificates 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. That way, the Immigration 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 about which German certificate you will need for your extension.
If you want to extend your Red-White-Red – Card or a Blue Card for two years as an employee and are now applying for a Red-White-Red – Card 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 B1, among others), 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 period during which you have had e.g. a Red-White-Red – Card, a Red-White-Red – Card Plus or a Settlement Permit – Researcher and have lived in Austria will count entirely when it comes to these 5 years. However, periods during which you may have had a residence permit called “Aufenthaltsbewilligung” (e.g., a Student Residence Permit (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung Student”)) only count for half of the years. Information on further special provisions when it comes to the calculation of this five-year period, prior to obtaining the Long-Term Resident EU permit, can be found here.
- 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.
Once you have submitted your application to the Immigration and Residence Authority in Austria, the authorities will process your application. If you apply for an extension of your residence permit on time, its validity ideally starts the day after your current residence permit expires.
Please note the following:
- If, after 2 years, you apply for a residence permit which will be valid for 3 years (e.g., an extension of the EU Blue Card or a Red-White-Red – Card Plus), you can only receive your new residence permit after you have been in Austria for exactly 2 years. As a rule, day 1 is considered the day you received, respectively collected, your very first residence permit.
- If you apply for a Long-Term Resident EU permit for the very first time, you must have been in Austria for exactly 5 years beforehand so that you can receive your residence permit. As a rule, day 1 is considered the day you received, respectively collected, 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 EU Blue Card is printed and is valid from 2 February 2017 to 2 February 2019. You first pick up the EU 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 that day you will have held your residence permit (Blue Card) for exactly 2 years.
What happens if an extension is not possible?
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.
What is a change of purpose procedure due to a change of employer?
Do you have a Red-White-Red – Card or an EU Blue Card and would like to change jobs (e.g., because you have been made redundant or have received a more attractive job offer)?
Then you must apply for a new Red-White-Red – Card or a new EU Blue Card in a so-called change of purpose procedure for employment with the new employer.
This is essentially a completely new application for a Red-White-Red – Card or an EU Blue Card, for which a new application form must be completed and basically the same documents as for the first application for a Red-White-Red – Card/EU Blue Card must be submitted (e.g., university diploma, work certificates, etc.).
However, in contrast to the initial application for a Red-White-Red – Card/EU Blue Card, no criminal record certificate must be submitted.
The following documents must also be submitted by the new employer:
- Employer’s Declaration (“Arbeitgebererklärung”)
- Job description, detailed (either as a separate document or in the Employer's Declaration)
- Information on the skilled worker’s classification according to the applicable collective bargaining agreement (details may be included in the Employer’s Declaration; alternatively: submission of the work contract)
Special rules when changing employer for holders of an EU Blue Card
If you were employed in Austria for twelve months with an EU Blue Card, the following rules apply: After you have submitted the application for the new EU Blue Card, you can already start working provisionally for your new employer and the labour authority AMS is not going to carry out any labour market check.
If you have not been employed by your current or former employer for twelve months with an EU Blue Card yet, AMS may carry out a labour market check ("Arbeitsmarktprüfung") and you may only start working provisionally for your new employer 30 days after submitting your application. This period can be suspended by AMS.
Switching to a Red-White-Red Card Plus after changing employer
The new Red-White-Red – Card or EU Blue Card will – like your first Red-White-Red – Card or EU Blue Card – be issued for 24 months if your passport is valid for that long.
You have now two options:
- You keep this new Red-White-Red – Card/EU Blue Card, apply for a regular extension before it expires and then get a Red-White-Red – Card Plus.
- You apply for a Red-White-Red – Card Plus as soon as you can prove 21 months of employment out of 24 months.
You currently have an EU Blue Card valid from 1.1.2023 to 1.1.2025. You have been employed by company A since 2.1.2023, your EU Blue Card is linked to this company. You have received a more attractive job offer from company B and apply for another EU Blue Card for this new job. This new EU Blue Card is valid from 5.12.2023 to 5.12.2025 and is linked to company B. The employment relationships merge seamlessly. Therefore, the 21 months of employment are counted from the 1st day of your employment with company A and are therefore complete on 2.10.2024, which in turn means that you can apply for the Red-White-Red – Card Plus from this date.
- Sect. 24 Austrian Settlement and Residence Act (“Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz“ - NAG)
The ABA makes it easy
WORK in AUSTRIA is the contact point for skilled workers who would like to work in Austria and for companies looking for suitable skilled personnel. We advise you free of charge.