Migration to Austria

Austria is offering residence permit for qualified workers, students and pupils.

Here the link to the Africa’s Business Community:

Here is the  Transcript pdf

Welcome to our masterclass “Migration to Austria”. It’s great to see your interest in our topic.

My name is Ursula Prinzinger and I am a native Austrian, I am living in Vienna, I am a Digital Marketer and Web Developer and I am helping Africans in Africa and Austria

Right from the start, I would like to invite you to join our Africa’s Business Community using the provided link if you haven’t done so already. Our community is free and accessible on both computers and mobile devices.

Let’s begin by taking a look at where Austria is located. On the map to the left, you can see the continent of Africa and an arrow pointing to Nigeria. From there, we need to travel quite a distance north to find Austria, located in the centre of Europe.

On the map to the right, we see that Austria doesn’t have direct access to the sea. The German language is spoken in Austria, as well as in Germany and Switzerland.

Many people often confuse Austria with Australia. However, as shown on this map, Australia is located on the other side of the Earth and English is spoken there.

Here are some impressions of Austria. It’s a country with beautiful nature. The western regions thrive on tourism both in summer and winter. In summer, people enjoy hiking, while in winter, skiing is popular. We have small and large cities and many cultural events. In the bottom right, you can see Wiener Schnitzel, one of our national dishes.

To begin, I’d like to briefly mention how you should not come to Austria, namely as a refugee. Austria, with a population of 9.1 million, consists of 7.1 million Austrian citizens and 2 million non-Austrian citizens.

Generally, 60% of asylum applications are rejected. For some countries, such as Nigeria, the situation is even worse. Last year, there were 97 Nigerians who applied for asylum. Of the asylum decisions made in 2023, only 19 Nigerians were granted asylum, 103 were denied, and 23 were allowed to stay in Austria for other reasons, despite their asylum applications being rejected. One reason for this could be having a child with an EU citizen, which prevents expulsion from the country. Additionally, the residence permit of many granted asylum seekers specifies “only self-employed activity”, meaning they are not allowed to be employed but must earn income as self-employed individuals. All in all, risking one’s life for this purpose doesn’t pay off, as there are other options available.

Austria is seeking qualified individuals for permanent immigration. A residence permit for up to 6 months is called a visa, and one for longer than 6 months is called a residence permit. It must be issued for Austria specifically. A residence permit for another country, such as Italy or Germany, is not valid in Austria. There are several groups of qualified individuals who may have a chance of immigration:

  • Very Highly Qualified Workers
  • Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations
  • Other Key Workers
  • Graduates of Austrian Universities and Colleges of Higher Education
  • Regular Workers in Tourism, Agriculture, and Forestry
  • Self-employed Key Workers
  • Start-up Founders

Four criteria are crucial for obtaining a residence permit:

Firstly, proof of adequate means of subsistence to not depend on welfare aid. This is at least € 1217.46 in 2024, approximately $1316.72. This amount increases for couples and for each child.

Secondly, health insurance covering all risks is required. If you already have a job offer, you are covered by the Austrian social insurance system and are adequately insured.

Thirdly, proof of a legal title for a locally customary accommodation. The possibility of staying with a friend for free is not considered proof. However, if your friend helps you to find your own accommodation, they could sign a liability declaration.

Fourthly, you must not pose a threat to public order or security.

Lastly, several documents must be submitted, some of which need to be translated, legalised, and verified.

If you have completed a four-year degree in the so-called MINT subjects, i.e., Mathematics, Informatics, Natural Sciences, or Technology, you have the opportunity to apply for a Red-White-Red Card, as shown here (named after the Austrian flag, which is red-white-red). You can initially apply for a Job Seeker Visa to come to Austria and search for a job, or directly for the Red-White-Red Card if you have already received a job offer from an Austrian company in your home country. There is a points system with a maximum of 100 points, of which you must achieve at least 70 points. Points are awarded for language skills, work experience, and age.

If you have not completed a MINT degree but have completed vocational training in certain shortage occupations, have a binding job offer in Austria, and score at least 55 points for language skills, work experience, and age, you can also apply for the Red-White-Red Card. The shortage occupations are listed and updated annually. For 2024, the following categories are on the list. Please don’t feel overwhelmed, as we will now look at several listings of these jobs.

Shortage occupations include, for example, specialists in high-voltage technology, roofers, millers, registered nurses, electricians, welders, tinsmiths, pipefitters, locksmiths, locomotive engineers, painters, carpenters, payroll accountants, building carpenters, pavers, midwives, butchers, plastics processors, accountants, chefs, tilers, floor layers, chimney sweeps, florists, confectioners, forwarding specialists, electric professions, bricklayers, bakers, childcare-workers, non-graduate nurse practitioners, and related occupations, 

glaziers, track builders, hairdressers, painters, cosmeticians, insurance agents, stonemasons, bus drivers, professional truck drivers, tram drivers. A total of 110 occupational categories searching for skilled workers nationwide. But that’s not all.

There are additional occupational categories that are not in demand nationwide but are looking for skilled workers in individual federal states, such as waiters, tourism professionals, advertising professionals, upholsterers, tailors, stucco plasterers, gardeners, insulators, sign painters, precision mechanics, telecommunication technicians, chemists, veterinarians, teachers, weavers, elementary school teachers. A total of 48 occupational categories.

Here is a map of the federal states of Austria. In the east, we have the capital Vienna, and in the west, the federal states that thrive on tourism.

As a key worker, you can apply for the Red-White-Red Card if your Austrian employer pays you at least €3030 gross monthly and the AMS (Public Employment Service Austria) cannot find a similarly qualified replacement among the more than half a million registered unemployed. Furthermore, you must score at least 55 points for language skills, work experience, and age.

To apply for the Red-White-Red Card as a regular worker in tourism, agriculture, and forestry, you must have been employed for at least 7 months in the last 2 years as a registered regular seasonal worker in the same industry. In addition to language skills at A1 level, you must provide a binding job offer from an Austrian employer.

Self-employed Key Workers can only apply for the Red-White-Red Card if they create macroeconomic benefits going beyond its own operational benefit. This can be the case if you transfer investment capital of at least €100,000 to Austria, create new jobs or maintain existing ones in Austria, transfer know-how or new technologies to Austria, or if the company is significantly beneficial for the entire region.

Start-up Founders can apply for the Red-White-Red Card if the company brings innovative products, services, processing methods, or technologies to the market, has a consistent business plan, you have controlling influence on the management of the company, can demonstrate at least €30,000 in starting capital with an equity share of at least 50%, and if you achieve at least 50 points for language skills, work experience, and age.

Temporary residence is available for regular and extraordinary studies which have at least 40 ECTS credits. It’s also available for students who have successfully graduated and are now undergoing job training required by law. The residence permit depends on successfully completing the exams and adhering to a maximum working time of 20 hours per week. After completing the studies, this residence permit can be changed once to a residence permit for 12 months to find a job or establish a company. Those who succeed can stay in Austria after the 12 months.

Extremely interesting is the temporary residence permit for students (generally from 6 years old), as this group also includes all “students” from schools for healthcare and nursing, and “students” from courses for nursing assistance. Since these professions represent shortage occupations in Austria, graduates are in high demand and earn €600 per month during their training.

Here’s another invitation to our Africa’s Business Community, where you can also find our M2A Community (Migration to Austria Community).

Therefore, here’s another impression of Austria in summer and winter.

In the M2A Community, you will find groups for different requirements such as Very Highly Qualified Workers or Health Industry Workers. You will also find the list of shortage occupations. We provide you with relevant information and answers. Finally, we discuss ways to raise the necessary funds for migration. Additional paid offers include additional support, such as assistance with job applications or finding the right university, as well as German courses that we offer online with native speakers.

In the Africa’s Business Community, click on “M2A Community” …

… and then on “Unlock Now”. After paying a one-time fee of $12, the group will be unlocked for you.

Finally, some information about the German language. Since it is the official language in Austria and is also taught at universities, knowledge at the highest level possible is necessary. The English word “German” is translated as “Deutsch” and should not be confused with “Dutch,” which means “Holländisch” and describes the language in the Netherlands, another country here in Europe. We are starting our A1 German course on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, so that you can begin the migration process to Austria quickly. One last note – always verify all information you receive for accuracy and use your common sense when someone recommends something that could jeopardise your visa or residence permit. For example, if someone recommends engaging in certain additional activities, such as doing hair or nails privately to earn additional income, this could cost you your residence permit if it becomes known! And if your long-term goal is to apply for Austrian citizenship with all its benefits, then you must be particularly careful with such matters so that nothing can be used against you!

Hopefully, the information was interesting for you and you are now considering whether migration to Austria is an option for you. If so, we look forward to seeing you in our M2A Community and in the online German course. Please ask us any further questions in the community.