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A Comprehensive Guide on Moving to Austria

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  • Fernando Achutegui

    InterNations events and forums have provided me with an extensive network of business and personal contacts in Vienna.

In this guide, we tell you everything you need to know about how to move to Austria, like how to ship your household goods and how to relocate with pets. We also discuss how hard or easy it can be to start a new life in Austria, depending on your situation. For example, if you want to live in a city like Vienna, it will be more expensive than most other towns and cities.

Through this guide, you will get a better idea of why relocating to Austria could be the right, or wrong, choice for you. We will discuss the benefits of moving to Austria, including how easy it can be for foreigners to buy property in the country. For example, if you come from a non-EU country, certain Austrian provinces will not let you purchase property in your name, however, you can register it with a legal entity.

For expats, there are lots of interesting and important things to know when emigrating to Austria. For example, if want to make the most of your time there, some ability in German, or its variants, will help.

However, be aware that the German used in Austria can be difficult to understand even for native speakers of standard German. Austro-Bavarian is the most-used language in Austria outside Vorarlberg. If you are wondering, “What do you need to move to Austria?” you are in luck, because we have more on Austrian culture and everything else in our comprehensive guide.

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All You Need to Know About Relocating Your Household Goods and Pets

The process of moving to Austria is much easier if you are an EU or EEA citizen, primarily because you do not need a visa to live there, nor a residence or work permit. Those from a non-EU/EEA country will need to apply for a visa. This can be a restricted work permit, which lasts for just a year; a work permit, which lasts for two years; or an unrestricted work permit, which lasts for five years. Find out more about how to apply for these permits in our Visas & Work Permits in Austria section.

The many reasons to relocate to Austria include generally high levels of well-being across the population, excellent transportation links, and affordable childcare and education. Also, Austria ranks high for levels of satisfaction. In the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Better Life Index, some 82% of Austrians said they feel more positive experiences, such as success and enjoyment, than negative ones, like pain and unhappiness.

Read our relocating section to learn essential tips about moving, shipping, and storing your household goods when you head to Austria. You will find useful information about short and long-term storage options in the country, so you can decide what is best for you.

We also talk about relocating to Austria with pets, including the guidelines around microchipping. And we have information on vaccinations required for your pets before moving them to Austria.

However, it is not just your pets who will need jabs and injections. There are certain vaccinations you will also need before your move to the Alpine country, and we will go through all of these in this section. Luckily, Austria is a fairly healthy country and you will be glad to know that outbreaks of illness from food are declining. In 2018, there were only 52 cases, compared with 69 in 2017 and 368 in 2008.

Read our complete guide on relocating to Austria

The Guide to Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements

If you are from a country outside of the EU and EEA, you will need to know how to get an Austrian visa or work permit. You will need the visa just to live in the country long-term and the work permit will enable you to earn a living.

The Austrian visa application process should be straightforward, but please note that if you plan to stay in Austria for more than six months, you must apply for a residence permit before you move to Austria. You can do this at any Austrian embassy or consulate. If you are planning to stay for less the six months, you should apply for an entry permit instead.

Austria visa requirements include providing biometric data, so you will need to make an appointment at an application center to have finger prints taken. Once your biometric data and information in your application form are stored in the visa information system (VIS), they can be used for five years. In this section of our Moving to Austria guide, we also cover visa costs and visa types so you will have everything you need to know before you move to this country full of natural wonder and opportunities for adventure.

Read our complete guide on visas & work permits in Austria

Everything You Need to Know About Finding a New Home

Accommodation in Austria’s capital city Vienna is expensive, but still quite affordable compared with other popular European cities. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Vienna’s city center is 846 EUR (935 USD) while you would pay 963 EUR (1,064 USD) per square meter in Barcelona and 1,194 EUR (1,319 USD) per square meter in Paris.

You can find special types of houses in Austria, such as the Maierhof housing estate in a town called Bludenz, surrounded by mountainous scenery. All of the houses in this particular estate are made from timber and were designed by Feld72.

However, most housing in Austria is detached houses and apartments (about 45% live in these forms of housing) while about 7% of people live in apartments. In this section of our guide, we cover how to rent a house in Austria, how to buy a house in Austria for foreigners, plus average rent and house prices.

Read our complete guide on housing in Austria

Health Insurance and the Healthcare System of Austria Explained

In this section, we cover the healthcare system and health insurance in Austria. Austria’s healthcare system, ranked in the top ten healthcare systems by the World Health Organization, is split into two tiers: public health insurance and private health insurance. However, almost everyone is covered by the public system.

Residents also have the choice of additional private health insurance. If you opt for private health insurance you might enjoy extras like flexible visiting hours, private hospital rooms, and the luxury of choosing your doctor.

Health insurance in Austria is mandatory if: you are in paid employment, self-employed, claiming unemployment benefits, a pensioner, or dependent on someone from one of these groups. When you start a job, school, or university in Austria, you will be automatically covered by health insurance. You should be issued with an e-card which you can use to prove you have health insurance cover, and which you will be required to show this if you see a doctor.

This guide will also cover how to find a doctor and giving birth in Austria. If you plan to live in Vienna, you can use Praxisplan to search for doctors in the city, using a range of criteria, such as name, area of expertise, foreign language spoken, and disabled access.

Read our complete guide on insurance & healthcare in Austria

Connect with like-minded expatriates

Discover our welcoming community of expats! You’ll find many ways to network, socialize, and make new friends. Attend online and in-person events that bring global minds together.

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Dear IN fellows, Please join us in the restaurant Cubus wintergarden for our May Community celebration. Best regards,

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  • Fernando Achutegui

    InterNations events and forums have provided me with an extensive network of business and personal contacts in Vienna.

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