Requirements for third-country nationals

For a stay in Austria that will last longer than 6 months third-country nationals must apply for a residence permit. Some reasons for living in Austria require a residence permit for a shorter stay already (ICT).

Stays of up to six months are possible with a visa. Many third country nationals can stay in the Schengen area usually for 90/180 days without a visa. You can find further information on the conditions of entry here:  Fremdenpolizei und Grenzkontrollwesen  (In German only).

Residence permits are always issued for a specific purpose (for example, a "red white red card" for highly qualified workers). The most important residence purposes are residence permits for work/employment, residence permits for family reunification and residence permits for educational purposes. The residence title "long term resident – EU" is intended for third-country nationals who are long-term residents in Austria.

If the Settlement and Residence Act does not contain a suitable residence permit (purpose) for the planned stay, immigration under the Settlement and Residence Act is not possible.

The procedure for the granting of a residence permit is conducted by the competent settlement authority. A distinction must be made between the initial application and the renewal procedure. The first application for a residence permit must always be made abroad and the third-country national must wait for the procedure there as well. However, there are some exceptions (for example, for children born in Austria if the parents have a residence permit).

The renewal procedure takes place in Austria. You can find more information on the pages on the initial application procedure and the renewal procedure.

Only one application can be submitted at a time for the granting of a specific residence permit and the purpose associated with it. If more than one residence permit is possible, the applicant can choose which purpose he/she wishes to apply for. For example, a researcher is married to an Austrian. She can choose whether she applies for a "settlement permit researcher" on the basis of her research activities or a residence permit "Family Member" on the basis of her marriage.

For a residence permit to be granted, the general requirements must be fulfilled.

Special requirements must also be fulfilled for the respective residence permit. You will find the information regarding these requirements on the information page for the respective residence permit. The residence permit and the purpose associated with it can only be changed during the stay in Austria if the general and special requirements for the residence permit applied for are fulfilled. This is done within the framework of a so-called change of purpose procedure.