Hire in Austria
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Austria.
Key Country Facts
Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with both the Federal President (Head of State) and the Chancellor (Head of the Federal Government) being elected directly. By most indexes Austria ranks in the world top 20 for wealthiest country by GDP and highest standard of living. The capital Vienna consistently appears in the global top ranked quality of life indicators.
Austria is a landlocked country in the southern part of central Europe. It is mostly mountainous due to its East Alpine location. With a population of just under 9 million in an area of approximately 84,000 square km, it is bordered by Germany and the Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.
With nearly three-quarters of the country dominated by the Alps the Alpine climate is predominant. The eastern areas show a more continental climate with less rain than the Alpine areas. Austria can experience very cold severe winters with warm summers, albeit cooler at higher altitude in the mountainous areas.
Austria’s past, and in particular the 18th & 19th centuries, is one of an important European power with its cultural influence being particularly notable. For a long period it was considered the world capital of musical innovation, being the birthplace of many famous composers. Austria is also renowned for its winter sports opportunities and the Alpine tourism sector is an important contributor to the economy.
Just under 60% of the population are registered with the Roman Catholic church according to data collected in 2018, however less than 10% are regular church attenders. Approximately 12% declare themselves as having no religion.
Standard German is used in formal contexts although Standard Austrian German, which is mostly identical, is used in schools and education. There are many local German dialects (most significantly Austro-Bavarian) which are widely spoken and understood across much of the Austrian population.
Austria HR at a Glance
A number of federal statutes govern employment relations, including the Employees Act, Contract Law Adjustment Act, and the Labour Constitution Act. Labour regulations are also found in the General Civil Code.
The main sources of employment law are the following statutory regulations, governing all aspects of labour and employment law:
the white-collar workers statute (Salaried Employees Act – Angestelltengesetz),
work statute on working time (Arbeitszeitgesetz),
statute on paid holiday (Urlaubsgesetz),
labour protection act (Arbeitnehmerschutzgesetz).
In addition, employment contracts are governed by collective agreements with more than 95% of all employment relationships being covered by a collective agreement. It is not required for an employee to be a member of a trade union to fall under a collective agreement and it is not possible to opt out of such agreements. All dependent workers are protected by employment law; however, some rules do not apply to the management of a company.
A contract of employment may be concluded in writing, orally or implicitly (e.g. through the commencement of the activity with subsequent payment).
If no written contract of employment is concluded, employers are required by statutory law to provide their workers with a written statement of terms and conditions (Dienstzettel) of their employment immediately on commencement of the employment relationship. A Dienstzettel does not have to be signed by the employee and must contain the following information:
name and address of the employer,
name and address of the employee,
date on which the employment relationship commences,
normal place of work,
any classification in a general system,
intended assignment / job title,
any additional emoluments (e.g. bonuses),
annual leave entitlement,
contractual normal daily and weekly working hours,
the applicable collective agreement,
period and term of notice, and
date when the employment relationship is to end (if the employment relationship is for a defined period).
Only very abstract terms are implied into employment contracts, such as the employer’s duty to care for the employee and the employee’s duty to be faithful to the employer.
Changes to the contract of employment may not be less favourable to employees than the provisions of existing legislation, collective agreements or works agreements.
The conventional contract of employment in a permanent employment relationship with all its rights (leave entitlement, protection against dismissal, social insurance such as sickness, accident, unemployment and pension insurance, etc.) and obligations continues to be the most common form.
Employees with fixed-term employment contracts are subject to the same labour legislation rules as permanent employees and have the same insurance protection, although there are no periods of notice since the employment relationship ceases at the end of the contract.
Probation Period / Trial Period
In Austria, employers and employees can agree upon a probationary period for the start of the employment relationship. During this period the employment relationship can be terminated at any time without explicit reasons and without having to comply with terms or dates. The law stipulates a limit of a month for probationary periods in employment relationships.
In Austrian law the normal working hours consist of 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. However, collective agreements in many industries have shortened the working day or working week, e.g. to 38.5 hours.
Working hours in full-time employment that exceed this sum are referred to either as additional hours (Mehrstunden) when exceeding the working-hour limits stipulated in the collective agreement, or as overtime (Überstunden) when exceeding the legally stipulated limit.
Executives (persons who were ‘assigned important managerial duties within the company’) which they must carry out at their own responsibility, are not subject to the scope of work statute on working time (Arbeitszeitgesetz), or the hours of rest act.
Maximum limits of 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week and the limit of 48 hours per week on average over a given period of 17 weeks apply.
Legal obligation to provide payment for overtime worked, but individual agreements for all-in salary in general possible (depending on the individual status of the employee). For all-in salaries, the employer is obligated to declare which amount of the salary is for the normal working time (base salary) and which is deemed as overpayment for overtime work.
According to the Working Time Act, overtime is to be remunerated with a financial bonus or time credit (50% bonus or 1.5 hours of time credit per hour worked).
Health and Safety in the Workplace
The employer is responsible for health and safety at the workplace, using, where necessary, the services of a health and safety expert and an occupational physician. The works council must be consulted and informed on health and safety issues, and in all but the smallest workplaces separate health and safety representatives, with special responsibilities in this area, must also be appointed
In addition to their monthly pay, employees in Austria may also receive a holiday bonus, known as the 13th and 14th month pay cheque or holiday money (usually paid out in June & November), if this is included in the collective agreement or their employment contract.
It is common to reward employees through discretionary bonus payments. Bonuses granted on a discretionary basis can be revoked at any time by the employer and cannot be claimed by the employees. However, to ensure that it is a real discretionary bonus that cannot then be subject to a claim for damages, the employer must explicitly indicate that the payment is made at the employer’s discretion and must not indicate any target amounts or set up a bonus scheme (betriebliche Übung).
In the banking sector, bonuses cannot be awarded if the bank has not made a profit or accepts government assistance.
Loyalty bonuses – Certain collective agreements allow loyalty bonuses for employees with a long period of service (typically 20 years).
Generally, employers in Austria are not required to justify ordinary dismissals (Kündigungen). Nevertheless, they must observe prescribed notice periods and termination dates.
If an establishment employs 5 or more employees, these employees enjoy “General Protection against Dismissals”: An employee may challenge a dismissal and claim reinstatement at the labour court if the dismissal has adverse effects on the individual’s personal life. In these cases, the employer must justify the dismissal for reasons related to employee capabilities, conduct or operational requirements if challenged by the employee.
Certain “vulnerable” employees enjoy additional “Special Protection against Dismissal” and may only be dismissed for one of several specific reasons, often only after the employer has received permission by the labour court or the equal treatment commission respectively. These employee groups include women who are pregnant or who have recently given birth, parents on parental leave, works council members and employees formally classified as disabled persons. The dismissal and termination protection of employees on parental leave ends 4 weeks after the end of the leave.
Discriminatory dismissals or dismissals due to “illegal reasons” can also be challenged by employees.
Unless otherwise stipulated in a collective agreement or employment contract, dismissals do not require any particular form (collective bargaining agreements may provide different regulations). However, giving notice in writing is recommended. If “Special Protection against Dismissal” applies, rules may differ.
If a works council exists at an establishment, it must be informed of any proposed dismissals at least 1 week in advance. Within this timeframe, the works council may object, explicitly approve or refrain from commenting on the dismissal. The termination is void if the employer fails to comply with this requirement, either by failing to notify the works council or by failing to wait for its response within that week.
When collective dismissals (Massenkündigungen) are imminent, employers are required to notify the Austrian Employment Service 30 days in advance. For the sake of this notification procedure, collective dismissals are defined as employment terminations affecting:
at least five workers in an establishment of 21 to 99 employees; or
5% or more of the workforce at an establishment of 100 to 600 employees; or
at least 30 workers at an establishment of more than 600 employees; or
at least 5 workers aged 50 or over, regardless of company size.
The requirements of the notification procedure are met if the employer informs the competent agency in writing and waits one month before carrying out the intended dismissals. Any failure to observe these rules will render all pertinent dismissals void.
Furthermore, redundancy programs must be implemented together with the respective works council.
A summary dismissal (Entlassung) does not require observance of any particular notice periods but must be issued without undue delay. Summary dismissals are possible for good reasons only, as regulated by law. Disloyalty, untrustworthiness, or persistent refusal to carry out contractually agreed duties are typical reasons for a summary dismissal of an employee.
Summary dismissals are effective even if they do not meet the above requirements. However, summary dismissal may then be treated as a regular dismissal, meaning the respective protection against dismissal is applicable.
For the employer
For white collar workers deadlines and dates regarding the notice period are specified in the Employees Act (AngG § 20).
Employment contracts of white-collar workers can be terminated at the end of each quarter (31 March, 30 June, 30 September, 31 December) unless the individual work contract or a collective agreement specifies something else (possible agreement to 6 weeks to the end of every month and/or 15th of every month, which is common).
The notice period for white-collar workers is:
six weeks, if the employment lasted for up to two years;
two months, if the employment lasted two to five years;
three months, if the employment lasted five to 15 years;
four months, if the employment lasted 15 to 25 years; and,
five months, if the employment lasted more than 25 years.
These terms may be modified, although no notice period may exceed six months.
Probation Period – During the probation period a contract of employment may be terminated verbally by the company or by the employee without giving reasons.
Fixed-term contract – Employment ends automatically when the term of the contract has expired. The last day of a fixed-term contract is indicated in the employment contract or in the Dienstzettel.
Termination by mutual consent – When an employee and an employer end an employment relationship by mutual consent, no period of notice is required. It may be terminated orally or in writing. Written termination is recommended.
For the employee
1 month to the end of every month (if not agreed otherwise).
There is no payment in lieu of notice. Garden leave is common for senior employees. The right to place an employee on garden leave depends on contract terms.
Redundancy / Severance Pay
Every private sector employee (with an employment contract extending to over one month) is entitled to severance pay upon termination of the employment relationship, after a minimum of three years’ uninterrupted work.
Provided that the employment relationship lasts longer than one month, from the first day of the employment relationship the employer is obliged to pay a contribution amounting to 1.53% of the monthly pay into an employee provision fund (Mitarbeitervorsorgekasse). No contributions are to be paid for the first month, however.
The fund has to be selected in due time on the basis of a company agreement between the employer and the works council.
Upon termination of the employment contract, the worker is entitled to severance payment from the fund, unless:
the termination came into effect on demand of the worker;
the termination came into effect by the employer because of wrongful behaviour of the worker;
contributions have been paid into the fund for less than three years.
If the worker wants to draw on the payment, they have to inform the fund in writing within 6 months following the termination of the employment contract. The amount of severance payment is calculated based on the accumulated contributions by the end of the month when the entitlement becomes due.
The worker can also opt for leaving the money in the fund for later use. In the latter case, contribution periods of different employers will be aggregated. The same applies for cases of resignation by the employee, as well as for employees in short-term employment (less than three years).
There is no additional severance payable by the employer, but social plans may also contain special severance pay agreements.
Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants
Clauses which restrict the activities of an employee after the employment ends are allowed, and those that protect the employer’s legitimate business interests can be enforced if reasonable, provided that:
The restriction relates to the activity of the individual in the employer’s line of business.
The maximum term of the clause does not exceed one year after the termination of employment.
The employee’s monthly income is above a certain threshold at the end of the employment relationship (EUR 3,580).
The restriction does not imply an undue aggravation of the individual’s progress.
The employer does not have to pay compensation to the employee for the duration of the prohibition for the contractual prohibition to be binding on the employee. Contractual penalties are limited by law to 6 net monthly remunerations (without taking into account the 13th and 14th annual salary).
For special employees with a higher income permitted, but not longer than 12 months. If the non-competition clause is valid and enforceable, there is no requirement for payment during the non-competition period. This is depending on:
if the employee terminates the employment, or
if the employment relationship has been terminated by the employer for good reason with immediate effect, or
if the employee has terminated the employment with immediate effect without good reason.
If it is not enforceable (e.g. if the employer terminates the employment without good reason), the employer may pay the salary during the non-competition period in order to make the non-competition clause enforceable.
Customer non-solicits – Permissible in narrow circumstances.
Employee non-solicits – Permissible.
In 2019, the European Court of Justice stated that companies must set up a system to record the working time of their employees. Thus, employers are obliged to implement an objective, reliable and accessible system that allows recording of the daily workday performed by each employee.
Trade Unions / Collective Agreements
In 2019, the European Court of Justice stated that companies must set up a system to record the working time of their employees. Thus, employers are obliged to implement an objective, reliable and accessible system that allows recording of the daily workday performed by each employee.
In Austria trade unions have a long tradition and are politically influential. Austria has a single trade union confederation, the ÖGB (Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund), to which 27% of all employees belong. Not affiliated to a particular party, the ÖGB nevertheless has strong political ties through its system of political groupings.
The individual trade unions are affiliated to the (ÖGB), the Austrian Trade Union Federation. There are also regional organizations. Trade unions have around 1.2 million members. A worker becomes a member of a union on application. Membership of a union arises from occupational activity and the fact of belonging to an industry. Trade unions represent the political, economic and social interests of employees towards companies, the government and the political parties. The tasks of the Austrian Trade Union Federation include, for example, negotiating collective agreements, engaging in industry-wide co-determination in the context of the economic and social partnership, implementing social improvements, safeguarding social standards, safeguarding real wages and consulting members as required by law.
In Austria there is no great tradition of strikes and lockouts. Most labour disputes, such as those relating to pay rises, are resolved around the table by bodies representing the interests of the parties (trade union, Chamber of Commerce, etc.).
The Chambers of Labour (Arbeiterkammer) represent some 3 million employees and freelance contractors throughout Austria. Membership is compulsory for all employees and freelance contractors except senior white-collar workers and civil servants. The contribution to the Chamber of Labour (Arbeiterkammerumlage) is deducted directly from the salary and amounts to 0.5% of gross income. The Chamber of Labour, like the ÖGB, represents the social, economic and political interests of employees towards companies, the government and the political parties.
Employees are, in principle, represented in the firm by works councils. The primary role of the works council is to represent the work force towards the business owner. The works council is elected by the employees of a business. A works council may be established where the size of the business consistently exceeds 5 employees. Works councils are consulted, e.g. on dismissals or redundancies and recruitment and provide information on matters of labour law.
Fixed Term Contracts
There is no limit on the duration of a fixed-term contract or a time limit after which the employee is deemed to be a permanent employee. Only in cases of concluding several temporary contracts (chain contracts of employment – Kettenarbeitsverträge) without justification on the grounds of economic or social reasons is a temporary contract classified as an open-ended employment contract.
It is easier to terminate an open-ended employment contract because temporary contracts can only be terminated before the agreed term for specific grounds, or by agreement between the parties.
Tax and Social Security
Personal Income Tax
The Income Tax Act (Einkommenssteuergesetz) applies in Austria. There is a multi-level progressive scale of income tax (from 0 to 55%) on earnings from employment (wage tax – Lohnsteuer). The level of income tax depends on the taxable income received in a calendar year. The calendar year is the same as the business year and comprises a period of 12 months.
Wage tax is deducted from salaries at source (Quellensteuer) together with social insurance contributions and is transferred by the employer to the competent offices. The tax withheld is a prepayment on the annual tax due, which is only finally settled with the annual tax assessment (Arbeitnehmerveranlagung) for employed persons. To provide relief, various deductible amounts can be offset against income tax, depending on circumstances, e.g. sole breadwinner’s allowance, single parent’s allowance and lump sums, allowances and special expenses, for example family bonus, commuter allowance, and extraordinary expenses such as hospital charges.
|Income Band (EUR)||Tax Rate %|
|Up to 11,000||0.0|
*The second and third tax levels are to be reduced from 35% to 30% and 42% to 40%. Effective July 1st 2022, the second level of wage tax will be reduced to 30%. The third level will be reduced to 40% in 2023. For this reason, a mixed value of 32.5% is used for the second tax bracket for 2022 and a mixed value of 41% for the third tax bracket for 2023. From 2024, the full reduction from 35 to 30% and from 42 to 40% will apply.
Social insurance contributions have to be paid by both employees and employers, except for accident insurance, which is only paid by employers.
Austrian social insurance is compulsory and comprises of health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance, and accident insurance.
The maximum contribution basis for regular payments amount to EUR 5,670 per month. The maximum contribution base for special payments (those that do not occur on a monthly basis, such as a bonus) amounts to EUR 11,100 per year.
|Type of Insurance||Paid by Employer (%)||Paid by Employee (%)||Total|
|Family burden compensation fund||3.9||0.00||3.9|
* The other (minor) contributions payable are for housing purposes (employees pay an additional 1% housing subsidy share), to a special fund intended to safeguard wages and salaries against such contingencies as insolvency, and employees pay 0.5% of their gross earnings for the Chamber of Labour contribution. In addition, for employees there may also be trade union dues and church tax (contribution to a religious community, which is deducted directly from pay).
** The employer contribution of 1.53% is payable on the gross salary to a severance payment fund (Mitarbeitervorsorgekasse). This obligatory contribution applies to all private law employment contracts entered into from 1 January 2003, onwards.
***The above table serves as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged will differ.
In most cases remuneration is transferred to a salary account on the last day of the month or on the first day of the following working month.
Salaries have to be paid by law 14 times a year. Normally the 13th salary is paid at the end of June (“holiday bonus”) and the 14th at the end of November “Christmas bonus”. For the employees the 13th and the 14th salary are taxed at a very low rate (6%).
Taxes, social insurance contributions and other deductions (e.g. union contributions) are deducted from gross pay and withheld by the employer, who then transfers them to the relevant institutions (finance office, social insurance institution, etc.).
With their pay each month, employees receive a written statement of remuneration (payslip), which contains a precise breakdown of deductions (taxes, social insurance, legally required and voluntary contributions, e.g. trade union dues).
If an employee leaves the firm, they also receive a final statement, which, for example, also contains severance entitlements as applicable.
Under the Holidays Act, employees are entitled to:
have a minimum entitlement to paid annual leave of 5 weeks in each year of work,
when calculating leave according to working days (incl. Saturdays) employees are entitled to 30 days leave in each year of work,
after 25 years of service this entitlement increases to 6 weeks,
the working year commences on the date the employee started to work in the job.
During the first 6 months of employment, holiday accrues in a proportional share of the annual statutory holiday (approximately 2 days per month). From the start of the 7th month, employees receive the full leave entitlement. From the 2nd year of employment, the full leave entitlement accrues from the beginning of the working year.
Employees must come to an agreement with their employer when they may take their leave; the employer must give their consent.
If the employee falls ill for more than 3 calendar days whilst on annual leave, these days do not count as leave. However, the employee must report the illness to the employer immediately after 3 days absence and provide a medical certificate.
Carry Over Rules
Unused leave can be carried over, but the leave is forfeited if not used within 2 years from the year in which the entitlement arose. Any annual leave taken is off-set from the employee’s oldest entitlement.
The principle of continued remuneration ensures that in the event of sickness, industrial accident and occupational illness and during rest cure and convalescence leave, employees’ remuneration will continue to be paid. The Sick Pay Act (Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz) (EFZG), entitles employees to the full wage for up to 6 weeks. Entitlement to full remuneration increases to:
Eight weeks if the employee has been employed for one year without interruption.
Ten weeks, if the employee has been employed for 15 years without interruption.
12 weeks if the employee has been employed for 25 years without interruption.
After the period of paid sick leave expires, the employee is entitled to a further four weeks on half-pay.
When paid sick leave from the employer is exhausted, the Health Insurance System provides partial pay for a maximum of 52 weeks. The amount of sick pay depends on the earnings in the last month before the illness and the amount of continued remuneration paid. The employee is obliged to inform the employer as soon as they become incapacitated for work.
Other Rights for Leave of Absence
Employees are able to take unpaid time off or work part-time to care for their sick relatives without needing the consent of their employer. During care leave, employees are entitled to a state-funded care leave allowance. The most important details about the care leave, are as follows:
Care leave can only be taken to care for close relatives, e.g. spouse or children.
The rules only apply to businesses with more than 5 employees.
Employees must have been employed for at least 3 months before they become eligible for care leave.
An employee must notify their employer when they want to start their care leave, once they know the start date of the intended care leave. No formal notification requirements are stipulated by the law. An employer can request proof of the necessity of the care leave and evidence of the relationship to the person who the employee wants to take care of.
Initially, the employee can request up to 2 weeks of care leave/part-time care leave. This can be unilaterally extended to up to 4 weeks. With the consent of the employer, care leave and part-time care leave can be extended up to a maximum of 6 months.
Care leave or part-time care leave does not give the employee special protection against termination. However, if an employee can credibly show that they were given notice of dismissal because of their request for care leave, the dismissal may be challenged on the grounds of bad motive.
Educational or study leave may be agreed upon with the employer at the employer’s discretion, after 6 months of uninterrupted employment. The minimum period is 2 months, the maximum period is 1 year. If education or study leave is taken in parts, each part has to last at least 2 months. It is possible to take study leave in individual periods spread over up to 4 years. Salary will not be paid during this period, but the employee will receive a further training allowance (Weiterbildungsgeld) from the Employment Service (AMS) equivalent to the level of unemployment benefit to which they are entitled. The employee must participate in a further training measure of at least 20 hours per week.
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
Employees may take compassionate leave in order to care for severely ill children or to be with dying relatives or may reduce or rearrange their working hours in such cases.
Maternity & Parental Leave
The protection period (Mutterschutz) for pregnant employees normally begins 8 weeks before birth and ends 8 weeks thereafter (absolute employment prohibition: during this time the employee must not be allowed to work at all).
During the protection period the employment relationship continues to exist, and the employee receives a maternity allowance (Wochengeld) of an amount equivalent to the average remuneration during the last 13 weeks before the absolute employment prohibition took effect.
In the case of caesarean or multiple births, the work restrictions after delivery are extended to at least 12 weeks.
If maternity leave was reduced before delivery, the work restriction after work extends according to that reduction after delivery (16 weeks at the longest).
Austrian law allows parents to take at least 3 months of unpaid parental leave between the birth of a child and the child’s second birthday. Parents may take up to 1 month at the same time, and either parent may take the remaining leave. Parents who earn less than a certain yearly salary may receive a childcare allowance (Kinderbetreuungsgeld) paid by the government.
As per the Paternity Leave Act, fathers will be granted 1 month leave for the birth of their child. This right is called the “Daddy Month” (Papa Monat).
An employee shall, at his request, be granted 1 month of leave in the period between the birth of his child to the end of the mother’s prohibition on employment after the birth, if he lives in the same household as the child.
The employee need not complete any minimum years of service to avail paternity leave and the employer is not liable for payment during such leave.
The leave starts at the earliest on the day after the child’s birth.
An employee who takes the paternity leave can move directly to parental leave if the mother is not able to take care of the child.
Parental leave is also granted to adoptive parents.
The right to general paternity leave also applies to adopted and foster children under two years of age.
Mothers may reduce their working hours from full-time to part-time until their child’s seventh birthday or until the child starts school, whichever is later, as long as they have been continuously employed by a business with more than 20 employees for at least 3 years.
Austria has 13 statutory public holidays, for which employees are entitled to paid leave. Public holiday rest shall mean a rest period of 24 consecutive hours beginning at 0.00 a.m. of the public holiday at the earliest and at 6.00 a.m. of the public holiday at the latest.
Benefits to the Employee in Austria
The Austrian social security system covers:
incapacity for work/invalidity
death of a person liable to provide maintenance
As an employee with an employment contract and a statement of terms and conditions (Dienstzettel), employees are automatically covered by social insurance. The employer takes care of the registration with the insurance institutions. The insurance contributions to be paid by employees are deducted every month from their gross salary/gross wages by their employer.
No benefits required above those covered under social insurance contributions. Supplementary Employee Benefits are typically paid at senior / executive level, such as:
Additional pension benefits for managers
Additional healthcare for managers
Company car / Transportation allowance for managers
Visas and Foreign Workers
EU/EEA citizens and Swiss nationals and their families do not require a visa to enter Austria or a residence permit to take up residence:
They may stay in Austria for up to 3 months without any further formalities.
If they wish to stay longer in Austria, however, they must have health insurance and sufficient funds to support themselves and their relatives and be able to demonstrate that they are in employment, are self-employed or are undergoing training in Austria.
They must register with the competent authorities (Aufenthaltsbehörde) within 4 months of arriving in Austria and the authority issues a ‘right of residence document’ (Anmeldebescheinigung).
Citizens of EU/EEA countries may in addition apply for an official identification with photo for EEA citizens (Lichtbildausweis für EWR-Bürger) from the authorities. The issuing authority is the competent district authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) or the competent department of the town or city authority (Magistratsabteilung).
Special arrangements apply to ‘privileged third-country nationals’, i.e. dependents of nationals of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland who do not themselves possess EU/EEA/Swiss citizenship.
Third country nationals (persons who are not EEA citizens or Swiss nationals) need a Visa:
Red-White-Red Card – issued for a period of 24 months and entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and employment by the employer specified in their application. Individuals are eligible for a Red-White-Red Card if they belong to one of the following groups:
Very Highly Qualified Workers
Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations
Other Key Workers
Graduates of Austrian Universities and Colleges of Higher Education
Self-employed Key Workers
Six-month residence visa – is required for stays of more than 90 days, up to a maximum of 6 months (temporary residence permit). This visa allows its holder to engage in gainful employment during their stay. In exceptional cases, these visas can be valid for stays of up to it 12 months (for example on the basis of an international agreement). This visa can be extended if new facts have arisen since the visa was issued. Applications to extend a visa must be duly substantiated by force majeure, humanitarian grounds or serious occupational or personal reasons.
Schengen visa – is required for all short-term stays for business reasons. It authorizes one or more successive stays that must not exceed the overall total of 90 days within any 180-day period.
EU Blue Card – gives highly-qualified workers from outside the EU the right to live and work in an EU country, provided they have higher professional qualifications, such as a university degree, and an employment contract or a binding job offer with a high salary compared to the average in the EU country where the job is.
For stays up to 90 days within 180 days a visa is not required for some third country nationals (depending on their citizenship).
General Requirements for Issuing Residence Permits – The authorities may only grant a residence title if individuals meet the following requirements:
Adequate means of subsistence.
Health Insurance Coverage (being insured in the public social insurance system through being employed in Austria, is deemed sufficient coverage).
No threat to public order or security.
Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland have a right to work in Austria (with exceptions for Croatia). For other non-Austrian nationals an immigration permission and a work permit is required.
The general rule is that employers must apply for work permits for every foreign national they want to employ according to section 4 of the Employment of Aliens Act (Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz) (AuslBG). However, there are many exceptions to this rule and work permits are not required, for example:
for persons with permanent residence permits (e.g. third-country nationals who have been legally and permanently resident in Austria for the past 5 years can be granted a “Long-term resident-EU” (Daueraufenthalt-EU) residence permit);
for EEA nationals;
for spouses of Austrian citizens; or
if intergovernmental agreements exist.
Getting a Tax Number
As is the case with most EU countries, all individual residents in Austria who are liable to be taxed receive a tax identification number, commonly known as TINs. These are nine-digit numbers that are required to process income tax. TINs can be obtained via the local tax office.
Public Holidays in 2022
|1||New Year’s Day||January 1st|
|3||Easter Monday||April 18th|
|4||Labour Day||May 1st|
|5||Ascension Day||May 26th|
|6||Whit Monday||June 6th|
|7||Corpus Christi Day||June 16th|
|8||Assumption Day||August 15th|
|9||National Day||October 26th|
|10||All Saints’ Day||November 1st|
|11||Immaculate Conception Day||December 8th|
|12||Christmas Day||December 25th|
|13||Saint Stephen’s Day||December 26th|