General Information for Third-Country Nationals

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.

The following persons require a residence permit (unless they have a right of residence according to Union law):

  • Third-country nationals who are staying or want to stay in Austria for more than six months
  • Third-country nationals who hold an "ICT" residence permit issued by another member state and are staying or want to stay in Austria
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 permits as well as detailed information about every permitGerman text can be found on the German website 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).

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 "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

Further information on residence in AustriaGerman text can be found on the German website 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 as well as stays of third-country nationals who hold an "ICT" residence permit issued by another member state.

Last update: 24.03.2021
Please note
Approved by Editorial Staff
Rate this page
Was this information useful? *: