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Visa Requirements for Vienna

Moving to Vienna is a big step — and a wise one, too. As Austria’s capital offers various cultural and economic incentives for expats, moving there has long been a popular choice. In this article, we’ll provide you with important facts on neighborhoods, visas, housing, and more.
Many important Austrian political and administrative entities are located in Vienna.

Which Permit Applies to You?

Austria deals with immigrants’ affairs based on two acts of law. The Aliens Police Act refers to short-term stays of up to six months. Expats planning to move to Vienna for a longer period are subject to the Settlement and Residence Act.

Before moving to Vienna, please familiarize yourself with the different residency and work permits of Austria. A simple visa will not enable you to move to Vienna or start working there. Depending on your line of work or the duration of your stay, there may be a different permit for your particular case.

The Process of Getting a Residence Permit

You have to apply for certain permits from your country of origin before moving to Vienna. If you are an EU citizen or are permanently settled within the EU, you enjoy freedom of movement and do not have to apply for a residency permit. Please keep in mind, however, that you are still required to register locally with the municipal district office after moving to Vienna (see below).

When it comes to long-term residency, permits are closely tied to employment and passing a language test as part of the “Integration Agreement”. The most important permits are the Red-White-Red Card, which is valid for twelve months and requires you to pass language module 1, the EU Blue Card, which is valid for 24 months and requires no language test, and finally the long-term work permit, which is valid for five years and requires you to pass language module 2. A settlement permit is issued e.g. for “dependents” (relatives) of Red-White-Red Card holders or for self-employed key workers which have already had the Red-White-Red Card for one year. After two years living in Austria, the settlement permit can be extended for another three years. For further information on work permits, please see our articles on working in Vienna and working in Austria.

The Austrian Federal Government offers information on the many different types of  work and residency permits. Information is offered in both German and English. Please visit the site before you plan to move to Vienna. The Austrian diplomatic mission in your home country can also provide you with valuable information on living in and moving to Vienna. For a list of embassies and consulates, please refer to this list offered by the Austrian Foreign Ministry.

Register Your New Austrian Address

You are required to register with your municipal district office within three days of moving to Vienna. This also applies if you change your address within the city. This is generally a very easy task and should not take a lot of time, you just need to state your new address.

After you have decided to which borough you are going to move to, you can find out the address and opening hours of your district office (Meldeservice) quite easily on the official website of the municipal administration.


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