Hire in Austria
Here’s where you get started with human resources best practices and hiring in Austria.
The Capital of Austria
Time Zone in Austria
Important Facts About the Country of Austria
Introduction to Austria
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 indices, Austria ranks among the world’s top 20 countries for wealth by GDP, as well as high standards of living. The capital, Vienna, consistently appears in the global rankings for its high quality of life indicators.
What to Know about Austria's Geography
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 people, it covers an area of approximately 84,000 square km. Austria 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.
Climate in Austria
With nearly three-quarters of Austria dominated by the Alps, the Alpine climate is predominant. The eastern regions host a more continental climate with less rain than the Alpine regions. Austria can experience very cold severe winters. The summers can be warm, albeit cooler at higher altitudes in the country’s mountainous regions.
The Culture of Austria
Austria’s past history, particularly the 18th and 19th centuries, is one of an important European power with notable cultural influence. As the birthplace of many famous composers, the country was considered the world’s capital for musical innovation. Austria is also renowned for its winter sports opportunities, with the Alpine tourism sector serving as an important contributor to the economy.
Religions Observed in Austria
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.
Languages Spoken in Austria
Standard German is used in formal contexts but Standard Austrian German, which is mostly identical, is used in schools and education. Many local German dialects, most significantly Austro-Bavarian, are widely spoken and understood across much of the Austrian population.
Austrian Human Resources at a Glance
Employment Law Protections in Austria
A number of federal statutes govern employment relations, including the Employees Act, Contract Law Adjustment Act and the Labor Constitution Act. Labor regulations are also found in the General Civil Code.
The main sources of employment law are found in a series of statutory regulations. The following govern all features of labor and employment law in Austria:
- the white-collar workers statute (Salaried Employees Act – Angestelltengesetz),
- work statute on working time (Arbeitszeitgesetz),
- statute on paid holiday (Urlaubsgesetz),
- labour protection act (Arbeitnehmerschutzgesetz).
Employment contracts are also governed by collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), with more than 95% of all employment relationships in Austria bound by a CBA. Employees are not required to be members of a trade union in order to be covered by a CBA and it is not possible to opt out of such agreements. While all dependent workers in Austria are protected by employment law, some regulations do not apply to the management personnel of an organization.
Employment Contracts in Austria
A contract of employment may be furnished in writing, orally or implicitly. Implicit contract can be concluded through the commencement of the work activity with subsequent payment.
If no written contract of employment is furnished, employers are required by statutory law to provide workers with a written statement of the terms and conditions (Dienstzettel) of their employment. This must happen immediately upon commencement of the employment relationship. A Dienstzettel does not need to be signed by the employee but it must contain the following details:
- name and address of the employer
- name and address of the employee
- date on which the employment relationship commences
- usual place of work
- any classification in a general system
- intended assignment or job title
- basic salary
- any additional emoluments (e.g. bonuses)
- date payable
- annual leave entitlement
- contractual normal daily and weekly working hours
- the applicable CBA
- period and term of notice
- date when the employment relationship is set to end (if the employment relationship is for a fixed period).
Only abstract terms are implied in employment contracts, such as the employer’s duty of care to the employee and the employee’s duty to be faithful to the employer.
Any adjustment to a contract of employment must not be less favorable to employees than the provisions of existing legislation, collective agreements or works agreements.
Austria's Contract Terms
The conventional contract of employment in a permanent employment relationship continues to be the most common form. with all rights (leave entitlement, protection against dismissal, social insurances, etc.) and obligations in place.
Employees covered by fixed-term employment contracts are subject to the same labor legislation rules as permanent employees. They enjoy the same insurance protection, although there are no periods of notice as the employment relationship terminates at the end of the contract.
Austria's Guidelines Regarding Probation Period/Trial Period
In Austria, the probation period is one month at maximum. 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.
Regulations and Rules Regarding Working Hours in Austria
In Austrian law, the normal working schedule consists of eight hours per day and 40 hours per week. However, collective agreements in many industries have shortened the working day or working week.
When exceeding the working-hour limits stipulated in a CBA, the practice is referred to as additional hours (Mehrstunden). When exceeding the legally described limit, it is referred to as overtime (Überstunden).
Executives (persons who are assigned important managerial duties within an organization, which they must carry out at their own responsibility) are not subject to the scope of work statute on working time (Arbeitszeitgesetz).
Austrian Laws Regarding Overtime
- Maximum limits apply: 12 hours per day and 60 hours per week; there is also a limit of 48 hours per week on average over a given period of 17 weeks.
- Employers have a legal obligation to provide payment for overtime worked but individual agreements for all-in salary in general are 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 allocated for the normal working time (base salary) and which is considered as overpayment for overtime work.
- According to the Working Time Act, overtime is to be compensated with a financial bonus or time credit. This must be calculated at a 50% bonus or 1.5 hours of time credit per hour worked.
Health and Safety in the Workplace
An employer in Austria is responsible for health and safety at the workplace. Where necessary, they must appoint the services of a health and safety expert and an occupational physician. The works council must also be consulted and informed on health and safety issues. In all but the smallest workplaces, separate health and safety representatives must be engaged.
Rules Regarding Bonus and 13th Month Pay in Austria
In addition to their monthly pay, employers in Austria may also provide employees with a holiday bonus. This is known as the 13th and 14th month paycheck or holiday money. These are usually paid out in June and November, if included in the CBA or employment contract.
It is common practice in Austria to reward employees through discretionary bonus payments. Bonuses granted on a discretionary basis can be revoked at any time by the employer. It cannot be claimed by the employees. However, the employer must explicitly indicate that the payment is made at the employer’s discretion. The employer must also not indicate any target amounts or set up a bonus scheme (‘betriebliche Übung’).
In the banking sector, bonuses cannot be awarded to employees in cases where the bank has not made a profit or it has accepted government assistance.
Some CBAs allow loyalty bonuses for employees with a long period of service. This period is typically 20 years.
Generally, employers in Austria are not required to justify ordinary terminations (Kündigungen). However, they must still observe prescribed notice periods and termination dates.
If an organization employs five or more employees, these employees enjoy “general protection against dismissals.” In this case, an employee may challenge a dismissal and claim reinstatement at the labor court if the dismissal resulted in adverse effects on the individual’s personal life. If a dismissal is challenged by an employee, the employer must justify the decision for reasons related to the employee’s capabilities, conduct or operational requirements.
Certain “vulnerable” employees enjoy additional “special protection against dismissal.” These may only be dismissed for one of several specific reasons, often only after the employer has received permission by the labor court or the equal treatment commission. These protected 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 protection of employees on parental leave is suspended four weeks following the end of the leave.
Employees in Austria can also challenge discriminatory dismissals or dismissals due to “illegal reasons.”
Unless otherwise stipulated in a CBA or employment contract, dismissals do not require any particular form. However, it is recommended to provide notice in writing. Rules may differ if “special protection against dismissal” applies.
If an organization has a works council, it must be informed of any proposed dismissals at least one week in advance. Within this timeframe, the works council may object, explicitly approve or refrain from commenting on the dismissal. The termination is considered void if the employer does not comply with this requirement, either by failing to notify the works council or by failing to wait for its response within that week timeframe.
When collective dismissals (Massenkündigungen) are imminent, employers must notify the Austrian Employment Service 30 days in advance. For the sake of this notification procedure, collective dismissals are defined as terminations affecting:
- at least five workers at an establishment comprised 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 five 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 then waits one month before executing the intended dismissals. Failure to observe any of these rules will render all intended dismissals void.
Furthermore, redundancy programs must be implemented cooperatively with the respective works council.
A summary dismissal (Entlassung) does not require observance of any specific notice periods but must be issued without undue delay. Summary dismissals are possible for valid reasons only, as regulated by the law. These reasons include disloyalty, untrustworthiness or persistent refusal to carry out contractually agreed duties.
Summary dismissals are effective even when they do not meet the above requirements. However, summary dismissal may then be legally regarded as a regular dismissal. This means the respective protections against dismissal are applicable.
Austria's Requirements Regarding Notice Periods
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 CBA specifies otherwise.
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. However, 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 providing reasons.
Fixed-term contract: Employment ends automatically when the fixed-term of the contract has expired. The final day of a fixed-term contract is specified within the employment contract or in the Dienstzettel.
Termination by mutual consent: When an employee and an employer end an employment relationship mutually, no period of notice is required. The agreement may be terminated verbally or in writing. Written termination is still recommended in these cases.
For the employee
Employees who wish to terminate an employment agreement must provide one month of notice to the end of every month, if not agreed otherwise. In these cases, there is no mandatory payment in lieu of notice. Garden leave is common for senior employees. The right of an employer to place an employee on garden leave depends on contract terms.
Redundancy/Severance Pay in Austria
Every private sector employee (those with an employment contract extending to over one month) is entitled to receive severance pay upon termination of the employment relationship. This applies only after a minimum of three years’ uninterrupted work.
Provided that the employment relationship lasts longer than one month, the employer is obliged to pay a contribution amounting to 1.53% of the monthly pay into an employee provision fund (Mitarbeitervorsorgekasse). This commences from the first day of the employment relationship. However, no contributions are to be paid for the first month.
The fund must 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 except in the following circumstances:
- The termination was initiated by the demand of the worker.
- The termination came into effect by the employer due to wrongful behavior 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 must inform the fund in writing within six 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 that the entitlement becomes due.
The worker can also opt to leave the money in the fund for future use. In this case, the contribution periods of different employers will be aggregated. The same applies for cases of resignation by the employee and for employees engaged in short-term employment lasting for less than three years.
There is no additional severance payable by the employer. However, social plans may also contain special provisions for severance pay.
Post-Termination Restraints / Restrictive Covenants
Clauses to restrict activities of an employee after an employment agreement ends are allowed. Reasonable restrictions aimed at protecting the employer’s legitimate business interests can be enforced, provided that:
- The restriction directly relates to the activity of the individual within the employer’s line of business.
- The maximum term of the clause does not exceed one year following the termination of employment.
- The employee’s monthly income is above a certain amount at the termination of the employment relationship (currently set at EUR 3,580).
- The restriction does not imply an undue aggravation of the individual’s professional progress.
The employer is not required to compensate the employee for the duration of the prohibition. Contractual penalties are limited to six net monthly remunerations. This does not take the 13th and 14th annual salary into account.
Non-compete clauses are allowed for special employees with higher income levels but are limited to be in effect for no longer than 12 months. If the non-compete clause is valid and enforceable, the employer is not required to compensate the employee during the non-competition period. Validity will depend on if:
- if the employee terminates the employment.
- if the employment relationship has been terminated by the employer for good reason with immediate effect.
- 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 have to pay the salary during the non-competition period in order to make the non-competition clause enforceable.
Customer non-solicits are permissible in limited circumstances.
Employee non-solicits are permissible.
In 2019, the European Court of Justice stated companies must set up a system to record the working hours of their employees. Thus, employers are obliged to implement an objective, reliable and accessible system to record the working hours performed by each employee.
Trade Unions / Collective Agreements in Austria
Trade unions enjoy a long tradition in Austria and are politically influential. Austria has a single trade union confederation – called the Österreichischer Gewerkschaftsbund (ÖGB) – to which 27% of all employees belong. Not affiliated with a particular party, the ÖGB nonetheless has strong political ties through its network of political groupings.
Individual trade unions are affiliated to the ÖGB. There are also regional organizations. Trade unions include around 1.2 million members in Austria. A worker applies to become a member of a union. Membership of a union is determined by occupational activity and belonging to a specific industry.
Trade unions represent the political, economic and social interests of employees as they relate to companies, the government and the political parties. The tasks of the Austrian Trade Union Federation include 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, strikes and lockouts are not common. Most labor disputes, such as those relating to pay rises, are resolved around the table by bodies representing the interests of the parties. This can include entities like trade unions and chambers of commerce.
The Chambers of Labor (Arbeiterkammer) represent about three million employees and freelance contractors throughout Austria. Membership is mandatory for all employees and freelance contractors, excluding senior white-collar workers and civil servants. The contribution to the Chamber of Labor (called the Arbeiterkammerumlage) is deducted directly from the salary and amounts to 0.5% of gross income. The Chamber of Labor, like the ÖGB, represents the social, economic and political interests of employees in relation to companies, the government and the political parties.
Employees are represented in organizations by works councils. The primary role of the works council is to represent the workforce in relationship to the business owner. Employees elect the works council. A works council may be established when the size of the business consistently exceeds five employees. Works councils are consulted and provide information on matters of labour law, such as dismissals, redundancies and recruitment.
Fixed Term Contacts for Austrian Employees
In Austria, there is no limit placed on the duration of a fixed-term contract or a time limit after which the employee will be deemed a permanent employee. A series of fixed-term contracts (Kettenarbeitsverträge) will result in open-ended employment . It is easier to terminate an open-ended employment contract because, before the agreed upon term, a temporary contract can only be terminated for specific grounds.
Tax and Social Security Information for Employers in Austria
Personal Income Tax in Austria
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 11,693||0.0|
Social Security in Austria
Social insurance contributions must be paid by both employees and employers except for accident insurance, which is only paid by employers.
Austrian social insurance is mandatory and includes health insurance, pension insurance, unemployment insurance and accident insurance.
The maximum contribution basis for regular payments amounts to EUR 5,850 per month. The maximum contribution base for special payments (those not occurring on a monthly basis, such as a bonus) amounts to EUR 11,100 annually.
|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 contingencies, such as insolvency. Employees pay 0.5% of their gross earnings toward the Chamber of Labour contribution. In addition, employees may also be responsible for trade union dues and church tax. These are 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 formed from 1 January 2003 and onwards.
***The above table serves as a broad guideline. Actual rates charged by GoGlobal will differ.
Important Information for Austrian Employees
- In most cases, compensation is transferred to a salary account on the last day of the month or on the first day of the following working month.
- Salaries must 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 reduced rate (6%).
- Taxes, social insurance contributions and other deductions (e.g. union contributions) are deducted from the employee’s gross pay and are withheld by the employer. The employer then transfers these to the relevant institutions (finance office, social insurance institution, etc.).
With their payment each month, employees must receive a written statement of remuneration. This payslip contains a precise breakdown of deductions, including taxes, social insurance, legally required and voluntary contributions (such as trade union dues and church taxes).
When an employee leaves the organization, they must also receive a final statement. This will contain severance entitlements as applicable.
Under the Holidays Act, employees are entitled to enjoy a minimum five weeks of paid annual leave annually. When calculating leave according to working days (including Saturdays), employees are entitled to 30 days leave in each year of work. After 25 years of service this entitlement is enhanced to six weeks.
The working year commences on the date the employee started the job.
During the first six months of employment, holiday time accrues at a proportional share of the annual statutory holiday. This is approximately two days per month. From the start of the seventh month, employees receive the full leave entitlement. From the second year of employment, the full leave entitlement begins accruing at the start of the working year.
Employees must come to an agreement with their employer when they may take their leave. The employer must offer their consent.
If the employee falls ill for more than three calendar days while on annual leave, these days do not count as leave. However, the employee must report the illness to the employer immediately after three 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 two years from the year in which the entitlement was accrued. Any annual leave taken is offset 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. According to the Sick Pay Act (Entgeltfortzahlungsgesetz) (EFZG), employees’ sick leave entitlements are based on their length of service:
- in the first year of employment – 6 weeks
- two to 15 years – 8 weeks
- 16 to 25 years – 10 weeks
- from the 26th year – 12 weeks
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 entitled 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 receive a state-funded care leave allowance. The most important details covering the care leave are as follows:
- Care leave can only be taken to take care of close relatives (e.g. spouse or children).
- The rules only apply to establishments having more than five employees.
- Employees must be employed for at least three months before gaining eligibility 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 need for the care leave and evidence of the relationship to the person who the employee wishes to care for.
Initially, the employee can request up to two weeks of care leave or part-time care leave. This can be unilaterally extended for up to four weeks. With the consent of the employer, an employee can extend their care leave or part-time care leave up to a maximum of six 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 then be challenged on the grounds of bad motive.
Educational or study leave may be mutually agreed upon at the employer’s discretion, following six months of continuous employment. The minimum period is two months while the maximum period is one year. If education or study leave is taken in periods, each period must last at least 2 months. It is possible to take the study leave in individual periods, spread over the course of four years. Salary will not be paid during this period. However, the employee is entitled to an additional 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 training program at least 20 hours each week.
Compassionate & Bereavement Leave
Employees are entitled to take a compassionate leave period in order to care for severely ill children or to be with dying relatives. In these cases, the employee may reduce or rearrange their working hours.
Maternity & Parental Leave
- The protection period (Mutterschutz) for pregnant employees typically starts eight weeks prior to the birth and then ends eight weeks thereafter. This incurs absolute employment prohibition. During this time, the employee must not be allowed to work at all).
- Throughout the protection period, the employment relationship continues to exist. The employee is entitled to a maternity allowance (Wochengeld) of an amount equivalent to the average remuneration during the last 13 weeks before the absolute employment prohibition went into effect.
- In cases of caesarean or multiple births, the work restrictions following the delivery are extended to a period of at least 12 weeks.
- If an employee’s maternity leave was reduced prior to the delivery, the work restriction after extends according to that reduction. The maximum is 16 weeks.
Austrian law allows parents to take at least three months of unpaid parental leave between the birth of a child and the child’s second birthday. Parents may take up to one month at the same time. Either parent may take the remaining leave. Parents earning less than a certain yearly salary may be entitled to a designated childcare allowance (Kinderbetreuungsgeld) paid by the government.
- As per the Paternity Leave Act, fathers will be granted one month of leave for the birth of their child. This entitlement is called the “Daddy Month” (Papa Monat).
- At his request, the employee may be granted one month of leave in the period between the birth of his child to the end of the mother’s prohibition on employment following the birth. This applies only if he resides in the same household as the child.
- The employee does not need to have completed any minimum years of service to be entitled to paternity leave.
- The employer is not responsible for remuneration during the paternity leave.
- The earliest the paternity leave can start is the day after the child’s birth.
- An employee who takes a paternity leave can transition directly to a parental leave if the mother is unable to care for the child.
- Adoptive parents are also entitled to parental leave in Austria.
- General paternity leave is also afforded to fathers of 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 7th birthday or until the child starts school, whichever is later. This is allowed as long as they have been continuously employed by a business with more than 20 employees for at least three years.
Austria has 13 statutory public holidays, for which employees are entitled to paid leave. Public holiday rest means a rest period of 24 consecutive hours. This period starts at midnight of the public holiday at the earliest and finishes at 6.00 a.m. of the public holiday at the latest.
Benefits to the Employee in Austria
Austrian Statutory Benefits
The Austrian social security system covers:
- incapacity for work/invalidity
- old age
- death of a person responsible for providing maintenance
- survivors’ pensions
- nursing care
- social assistance
Employees with an employment contract and a statement of terms and conditions (Dienstzettel) are automatically covered by social insurance. The employer is responsible for managing the employee’s registration with the insurance institutions. The employer must also deduct the employee’s insurance contributions every month from the employee’s gross wages.
Supplementary employee benefits are typically offered at senior and executive level, such as:
- Additional pension benefits for managers
- Additional healthcare for managers
- Company car and transportation allowances for managers
Rules Regarding Visas and Foreign Workers in Austria
EU/EEA citizens and Swiss nationals and their families are not required to obtain a visa to enter Austria or a residence permit to take up residence:
- They may stay in Austria for up to three months without any further formalities.
- If they wish to stay longer in Austria, they must provide they have health insurance and sufficient funds to support themselves and their relatives. They must also demonstrate they are in employment, are self-employed or are undergoing training in Austria.
- They must register with the competent authorities (Aufenthaltsbehörde) within four months of arriving in Austria and the authority issues a ‘right of residence document’ (Anmeldebescheinigung).
- Citizens of EU/EEA countries may additionally apply for an official identification with photo for EEA citizens (Lichtbildausweis für EWR-Bürger). 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.’ This includes 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:
- The Red-White-Red Card is 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
- Startup founders
A temporary residence visa is required for stays of more than 90 days, up to a maximum of six months. This visa enables its holder to participate in gainful employment during their stay. In exceptional cases, these visas can remain valid for stays of up to 12 months. Sometimes this happens on the basis of an international agreement. This visa can also be extended if new circumstances 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.
A Schengen visa is required for all short-term stays for business reasons. This authorizes one or more successive stays that must not exceed the overall total of 90 days within any 180-day period.
The EU Blue Card offers highly-qualified workers from outside the EU the right to live and work in an EU country, provided they have higher professional qualifications. These include a university degree, 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 visits up to 90 days within 180 days, a visa may not be required for some third country nationals. This will depend on the individual’s 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 as an employee in Austria is deemed sufficient coverage)
- Adequate accommodation
- No threat to public order or security
Nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland have a right to work in Austria. Croatia is an exception. For other non-Austrian nationals, an immigration permission and a work permit are required.
The general rule is that employers must apply for work permits for every foreign national they want to employ, as per section four of the Employment of Aliens Act (Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz) (AuslBG). However, there are many exceptions to this rule. For example, work permits are not required for:
- persons with permanent residence permits (e.g. third-country nationals who have been legally and permanently resident in Austria for the past five years can be granted a “Long-term resident-EU” (Daueraufenthalt-EU) residence permit);
- EEA nationals
- spouses of Austrian citizens
- individuals from countries where intergovernmental agreements exist.
Getting a Tax Number
As is the case with most EU countries, a tax identification number is assigned to all individual residents in Austria who are liable to pay taxes. This is commonly known as a TIN. This is a nine-digit number that is required to process income tax. TINs can be obtained via the local tax office.
Public Holidays Recognized by Austria in 2023
|1||New Year’s Day||01.Jan.2023|
|10||All Saint´s Day||01.Nov.2023|
|13||St. Stephen´s Day||26.Dec.2023|