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General Information for Third-Country Nationals

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General Information

Third-country nationals are persons who are

  • neither EU citizens
  • nor citizens of other EEA countries (from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway)
  • nor Swiss.

Third-country nationals who are staying or want to stay in Austria for more than six months require a residence permit (unless they have a right of residence according to Union law).

PLEASE NOTE
EU citizens, other EEA citizens and people from Switzerland do not require a residence permit. If they are staying in Austria for more than three months, they must submit an application for a registration certificate [Anmeldebescheinigung] to the responsible authority within a four-month period starting from their arrival in Austria. As Switzerland is linked to the EEA by several bilateral treaties, Swiss citizens are legally equivalent to EEA citizens in many areas.

Residence Permits

A list of all residence permitsGerman text can be found on the German website at HELP.gv.at.

Residence permits are always granted for a specific purpose (e.g. without access to the labour market – "ausgenommen Erwerbstätigkeit"). Foreign people can only change their purpose of residence during their stay in Austria in case they meet the conditions of the residence permit they apply for and the respective quota has not been exhausted yet where required.

Residence permits are issued in the form of cards (in the size of credit cards).

TIP
Applications from which several purposes of residence result may not be submitted. Furthermore, it is inadmissible to file multiple applications at the same time or additional applications as long as proceedings under the Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz including those before the courts of public law are pending.

People who are either entering or leaving Austria must present a valid passport as well as a valid residence permit.

Validity of Residence Permits

Generally, limited residence permits are valid for a period of twelve months. However, there are following exceptions:

  • Residence permits "Blaue Karte EU" are valid for a period of two years unless the employment contract lasts for a shorter period of time (in this case the residence permit is granted for a period of time which lasts three months beyond the end of the employment contract).
  • Certain residence permits ("Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte plus", "Niederlassungsbewilligung", "Niederlassungsbewilligung – Angehöriger", "Niederlassungsbewilligung – ausgenommen Erwerbstätigkeit" and the residence permit "Familienangehöriger") are granted for a three-year period if the third-country national has fulfilled module 1 of the Integration Agreement [Integrationsvereinbarung] and has been continuously lawfully established in Austria for the last two years.
  • If a person applies for a residence permit for a shorter period than the maximum possible duration, it is granted only for the duration requested.
  • If the applicant's passport is valid for a shorter period than the maximum possible duration of the residence permit, the permit is granted only for the period of validity of the passport.
  • In cases where third-country nationals whose residence permits are valid for less than a year reunite their family the other family members' residence permits are also valid for the same shorter period of time.

Residence permits "Daueraufenthalt - EU" are valid for five years. This limitation (i.e. the limitation of the validity of the card) does not change the fact that the person's right of residence is unlimited.

The validity period of a residence permit starts with its date of issue. The validity period of a renewed residence permit starts with the day following the last day of the last residence permit, except in cases where more than six months have elapsed since then. If the request for renewal is made in sufficient time, the applicant is lawfully resident in Austria until a final decision is taken on his or her application.

Additional Information

Website on Migration to Austria (Federal Government) 

Further information on residence in AustriaGerman text can be found on the German website at HELP.gv.at.

The regulations of the Fremdenpolizeigesetz (FPG) are relevant for stays of up to six months; the regulations of the Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (NAG) apply to stays of more than six months.

Last update: 01.01.2016
Please note .
Approved by
Federal Ministry of the Interior

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