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Right of residence for EU/EEA Nationals in Austria

Visa exemption and the right of residence for EU citizens in Austria for up to three months

The principle of visa-free travel to another EU member state and the right to stay there applies to all EU nationals for a period of up to three months. This right is encompassed in the principle of freedom of movement within the EU.

For family members (wife/husband, civil partner, children, parents) of EU nationals, visa exemption or visa requirement depends on which nationality they have. However, family members do have the right to enter the country. This means that in principle, it is not allowed to deny them the option to enter Austria (with a visa, if necessary).  

For life partners (unmarried partners in a permanent relationship) of EU nationals who are third-country nationals, visa exemption or visa requirement depends on which nationality they have.

Residence of EU nationals in Austria for more than three months (EU right of residence)

The following EU nationals are permitted to remain in Austria for longer than three months:

  1. Employees or self-employed individuals and their family members who want to live in Austria. People who are seriously and permanently looking for work in Austria also belong to this category. However, this only applies if the search for a job is not considered to be objectively hopeless.
     
  2. Individuals who do not work but have sufficient financial means (means of subsistence) and comprehensive health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members.
     
  3. Individuals who are residing in Austria for purposes of an education (studies, etc.), have sufficient financial means and health insurance coverage for themselves and their family members.

Registration Certificate (“Anmeldebescheinigung”)

The so-called Registration Certificate (“Anmeldebescheinigung”) provides proof of the right of residence under EU law, i.e., that EU nationals are permitted to live in Austria for longer than three months. The application for the Registration Certificate must be submitted within four months after entering Austria.

The application for the Registration Certificate must be submitted in person to the responsible  branch of the Austrian Immigration and Residence Authority, the location of which depends on your place of residence.

In Vienna, the responsible authority is the Municipal Department 35 (“Magistratsabteilung 35”, in short MA 35). 

Fees: € 15.  

The following documents must be presented to the competent Immigration and Residence Authority when applying for the Registration Certificate (“Anmeldebescheinigung”):

  • Application form
  • Valid EU passport or identity card
  • Residence registration (“Meldezettel”) as proof of your place of residence in Austria
  • Proof of why you are residing in Austria (employment contract, trade register excerpt (“Gewerberegisterauszug”), student record sheet (“Studienblatt”) providing proof of enrolment, etc.)
  • If necessary: Proof of sufficient means of subsistence (salary slips, bank account statements, etc.)
  • If necessary: Proof of health insurance coverage (Austrian e-card, European Health Insurance Card, social insurance data sheet (“Versicherungsdatenauszug”), etc.)
  • If necessary: Relevant documents on your family status (marriage certificate, partnership document, birth certificate of children etc.

Attention and Notes

  • Some personal documents (family status, etc.) must have special verifications so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you may find out which type of verification is necessary for your documents. Documents from EU countries do not require any verification.
  • If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator.
  • If you have to show additional personal documents (family status etc.), the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 15.
  • You may be fined if you fail to apply for the Registration Certificate or submit your application too late.
  • After residing in Austria for five years, you have the right to permanent residence (“Daueraufenthalt”). You can submit an application to your Immigration and Residence Authority for a document certifying permanent residence (“Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts”). For this purpose, you will have to be prove that you actually lived in Austria for at least five years and have had health insurance coverage during this time.
  • A legal representative (e.g., one of the parents) must personally submit an application to the Immigration and Residence Authority in the case of applications submitted on behalf of children who are under the age of 14.
  • The Registration Certificate does not have an expiration date. You are not required to extend the validity of the certificate as long as you continue to fulfil the requirements.
  • The Registration Certificate is needed for various purposes, for example if you want to apply for Austrian family allowance (“Familienbeihilfe”), childcare allowance (“Kinderbetreuungsgeld”) or other social welfare benefits.
  • The Registration Certificate does not come in a credit card size. It does not look like a driver’s license or an identity card but is an A4 sized document.
  • If you have the Registration Certificate or the document certifying permanent residence, you can also apply for the photo ID for EEA nationals (“Lichtbildausweis für EWR-Bürger”) at any time. It comes in a credit card format and can be used as an identity card. However, you are not required to apply for this type of identification. This identification is valid for a period of five years.

Rights of family members who are third-country nationals

Family members (wife/husband, registered partner, children, parents) of EU citizens are also entitled to freedom of movement within the EU.

For this reason, they enjoy the right to reside in Austria, and are principally allowed to work in Austria. Please note that family members of EU nationals, depending on their specific nationality, may have to apply for a visa in order to enter Austria. 

People who are third-country nationals and family members of EU citizens must apply for a so-called Residence Card (“Aufenthaltskarte”).


Residence Card (“Aufenthaltskarte”)

The Residence Card is proof of the right to reside in Austria in accordance with the right of residence under EU law. The application for the Residence Card must be submitted within four months after entering the country. It is valid for a period of five years.

The application for the Residence Card must be submitted in person to the responsible branch of the Austrian Immigration and Residence Authority, the location of which depends on your place of residence.

In Vienna, the responsible authority is the Municipal Department 35 (“Magistratsabteilung 35”, in short MA 35). 

Fee: € 56

The following documents must be presented when applying for the Residence Card:

  • Application form
  • Valid passport
  • Passport photo which is not older than six months and fulfils EU criteria
  • Residence registration (“Meldezettel”) as proof of your place of residence in Austria
  • Proof that you are a family member of an EU national (marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, birth certificate of children, etc.)
  • Registration Certificate (“Anmeldebescheinigung”) of the EU national in your family
  • If necessary: Proof of sufficient means of subsistence (salary slips, bank account statements, etc.)
  • If necessary: Proof of health insurance coverage (Austrian e-card, European Health Insurance Card, social insurance data sheet (“Versicherungsdatenauszug”) etc.) for the whole family
  • If necessary: Other relevant documents on your family status (birth certificate, etc.)

Notes and Attention

  • You are permitted to remain in Austria after submitting an application for a Residence Card. Third-country nationals who are allowed to travel to Austria without a visa still have to pay attention to the number of allowed visa-exempt days. It is no longer necessary to take this into consideration once the application has been submitted for the Residence Card.
  • Other third-country nationals require a visa in order to be allowed to enter Austria at all. However, if you have submitted an application for a Residence Card and your visa expires during this time, you are still permitted to remain in Austria if the EU national in your family is entitled to reside in Austria as well. 
  • After five years of residence in Austria, you are entitled to a so-called Permanent Residence Card (“Daueraufenthaltskarte“), for which you can submit an application to your Immigration and Residence Authority. For this purpose, you will have to prove that you have actually lived in Austria for a period of at least five years and that you have had health insurance coverage during this time.  
  • A legal representative (e.g., one of the parents) must personally submit an application to the responsible Immigration and Residence Authority in the case of applications submitted on behalf of children who are under the age of 14. 
  • The Residence Card comes in a credit card size. It looks like a driver’s license or an identity card.
  • If personal documents are not available in German or English, they must be translated by a court-certified translator.
  • If you have to show personal documents (family status etc.), the fee to be paid may actually be higher than € 56.

Attention

Some personal documents (family status, etc.) must have special verifications so that these documents are officially recognised. This depends upon the country in which the documents were issued. Here you may find out which type of verification is necessary for your documents . Documents from EU countries do not require any verification.


Settlement permit (“Niederlassungsbewilligung”)

The residence permit called Settlement Permit (“Niederlassungsbewilligung”) allows a third-country national (who is the life partner of an EU national living in Austria) to reside in Austria and to work as a self-employed person.

This individual is not entitled to work as a salaried employee.

In the initial application for the Settlement Permit, the individual has to fulfil certain prerequisites, for example proof of adequate means of subsistence and health insurance covering all risks. In addition, the individual must present a German certificate on the level A1, or an equivalent.

EU nationals have to submit a declaration of liability (“Haftungserklärung“).

Fee: € 160

More about the settlement permit

 

 


Legal foundations: 

  • Visa-exemption/Visa requirement for EU nationals and their family members: Sections 15a and 15 b Aliens’ Police Act (“Fremdenpolizeigesetz” -FPG) / EU Visa Policy - Regulation (EU) 2018/1806 
  • Right of residence for EU nationals and their family members: Sections 51 ff Austrian Residence and Settlement Act (“Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz” - NAG)
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