Requirements for the granting of residence permits to third-country nationals

The authority can only grant a residence permit if all general and special conditions are met and there are no obstacles to granting it.

You can find out here, which documents you must enclose with every application for a residence permit to prove these requirements.



General granting requirements

The following conditions must be fulfilled for the granting of each residence permit:

  • Sufficient income (sustenance):
    Third-country nationals must have stable and regular income. It must be possible to lead a life without recourse to public social welfare benefits. The level of income must be in line with the reference rates laid down in law, taking into account running costs such as rent, loans or similar.
    The reference rates are for the year 2021:
    • For Singles: € 1.000,48
    • For married couples/couples in a registered partnership: € 1.578,36
    • Additionally for each child: € 154,37

This sum must be available per month (after taxes and running costs are deducted).

More detailed information on the calculation of income can be found in the Unterhaltsbroschüre zum NAG (481,1 KB) (available in German only).

  • Health insurance
    Third-country nationals must have health insurance that covers all risks in Austria. If compulsory insurance in the Austrian social insurance system applies (e.g. due to gainful employment in Austria) the insurance is sufficient in any case. Voluntary insurance in the Austrian social security system is also sufficient, if benefits can be obtained immediately after the start of the insurance (for example, when spouses are co-insured or when students are voluntarily insured). Also a private insurance, which corresponds to or has a higher level of care than the Austrian social insurance scheme in all instances, is sufficient. The presentation of a travel health insurance is not sufficient.

However, the costs of accommodation must be taken into account when calculating the available income.

If expressly provided for in the law, a declaration of liability (Haftungserklärung) by a by a third party can be presented as proof of sufficient income and the entitlement to locally customary accommodation.

A declaration of liability is a declaration by a third person that he/she will pay for the requirements of accommodation and the corresponding means of subsistence (income). This person is liable for the reimbursement of those costs incurred by a local authority due to legal measures against the third-country national (e.g. costs arising from the enforcement of a return decision).
Austrian notary public or a domestic court must certify the declaration of liability and it must be valid for at least 5 years.

  • Knowledge of German
    For certain residence permits, proof of basic knowledge of the German language is required, when the permit is issued for the first time (Deutsch vor Zuzug). As a rule, holders of such a residence permit must then prove that they have fulfilled the Integration Agreement within two years. Further information on required German language skills can be found here.
  • public interest considerations
    A residence permit may not be issued, if the stay of the applicant would endanger public order or public security. As a rule, this requires the presentation of a criminal record certificate from the country of origin or the country of last residence before moving to Austria. The authorities also make inquiries in the relevant police databases. It is also contrary to public interests if a residence permit would be granted to a third-country national who supports or advertises for terrorist organizations.
  • international law considerations
    A residence permit may not be granted if the stay of the third-country national would significantly affect the relations of the Republic of Austria with another state or another subject of international law. This would be the case, for example, if a third-country national against whom sanctions of the United Nations or the European Union applies, requests a residence permit.
  • quota place (if applicable)
    The existence of a quota place is a prerequisite for the granting of certain residence permits. The quota limits the maximum number of residence permits to be granted annually. In agreement with Parliament, the Federal Government decides how many residence permits may be granted for specific purposes for each calendar year. This is announced in the Settlement Ordinance (Niederlassungsverordnung).
    A residence permit subject to quotas is, for example, the "Settlement permit except gainful employment". Information on whether a particular residence permit requires a quota can be found in the respective purpose of residence.

Information on the special requirements can be found on the pages on the individual residence titles.

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Obstacles for a residence permit

Residence permits may not be granted to third-country nationals, when

  • an entry ban according to § 53 FPG or a residence ban according to § 67 FPG has been issued
  • a return decision of another EEA state or Switzerland has been issued
  • an enforceable return decision has been issued and eighteen months have not passed since the departure of the applicant from Austria, unless the applicant left voluntarily and is now making the initial application from abroad
  • a sham marriage, sham partnership or adoption for the purpose of obtaining a residence permit was entered into
  • the third-country national was entitled to submit an application for the first residence permit in Austria, but then exceeded the permitted visa-free stay or his stay on the basis of a visa
  • the third-country national has been finally sentenced for circumventing border controls or entering Austria illegally in the last 12 months.

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Absence of necessary requirements or existence of an obstacle

Despite the absence of one or more of the above-mentioned requirements a residence permit must nevertheless be granted, if this is necessary to maintain private or family life.

Likewise, in certain cases a residence permit can be granted despite the existence of an obstacle to granting the permit, if this is necessary for the reasons mentioned above. In the case of an upright entry ban (from Austria or another Schengen Member State) as well as a sham marriage, sham partnership or adoption, the residence permit cannot be granted under any circumstances (compelling reasons for refusal).

In this way, Austria fulfils its obligations under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

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Special requirements for granting residence permits to third-country nationals

A residence permit can only be granted if all general and special requirements for granting are met and no obstacles exist.

Information on the general requirements for granting a residence permit can be found above.

Information on the special requirements can be found in the application forms for the individual residence permits.

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