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Moving to Austria

A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to Austria

Welcome to our guide which covers all the steps to move to Austria. Learn about the requirements for relocating to Austria, such as how to register your new address or buy a property. Austria is a rich country in terms of its monetary wealth, but it is also rich for its cultural offering and natural beauty.

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

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.

relocating

Relocating

Whether you are moving abroad for the first time or relocated multiple times before, the process raises many questions. Our complete guide to relocation will ease your doubts along the way, from the initial preparations to how to negotiate a relocation package, we help you GO! prepared with the key answers.

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.

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Visas & Work Permits

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.

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housing

Housing

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.

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healthcare

Healthcare

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.

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Banks & Taxes

Opening a bank account in Austria should be easy as long as you have the required documents, such as your passport or equivalent identification. Read our Banks & Taxes in Austria section for more detail about the documents you might need.

Where expats could struggle is with the language. You might find you will need some ability to communicate in German to open your account in Austria. If you have little or no German language skills, consider enlisting the help of a friend or colleague who speaks the language. It is also worth contacting the bank in advance to ask if they have staff who speak your language and who can help you get what you need.

Our Banks & Taxes section also covers the best banks and non-resident bank accounts in Austria. And we provide an overview of other financial issues, such as how much the tax is in Austria.

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education

Education

Our Education in Austria section covers all the important topics you need to know, such as international schools in Austria. We tell you which are the best schools, and the best universities in the country, based on official reports. Plus, we go into detail about the Austrian education system, which is seen as one of the best in Europe and free to all.

The school system in Austria might seem strange depending on where you are from. Our Education in Austria section will give you more information about kinderkrippen, kindergarten, Tagesmütter, and the way students are separated at the secondary school level to help them focus on their preferred career or vocation. As well as all that, we will tell you the best regular schools and the best international schools to give you some ideas about where to send your children.

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working

Working

If you are thinking about working in Austria, you can find out everything you need to know in our Working in Austria section. In this section, you will discover how to get a job in Austria and what are the best industries in which to get a job. For example, the services sector in Vienna is very important to the capital’s economy and workforce, as are research and IT.

In this section, we also cover average salaries in Austria, social security, and business culture. And if you are planning to work for yourself, we have helpful information on self-employment.

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living

Living

Is it expensive to live in Austria? While the cost of living in Austria is relatively high, it is reasonable compared to the rest of Europe. However, be aware that living costs will vary depending on where you decide to settle down. For example, the cities of Vienna and Salzburg could present an expensive life, while the state of Burgenland is more affordable.

Driving in Austria can be enjoyable because of the excellent infrastructure and beautiful scenery. If you are moving to Austria from another country, and your license is not in German, you will need an international driving permit as well as your original license. Public transportation in Austria is also very safe and affordable, and it includes buses, trams, metro, and taxis.

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Updated on: November 27, 2019
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