General requirements for permanent immigration

Third country nationals, i.e. persons, who are not EEA citziens or Swiss nationals, need a residence permit for Austria, when they plan to stay longer than six months. There are different types of residence permits. You can read about it on the following pages.

For stays up to six months third country nationals do not need a residence permit. They need a visa. For stays up to 90 days within 180 days a visa is not required for some third country nationals (depending on their citizenship).

Criteria-based Immigration to Austria – Red-White-Red Card

You are a qualified worker and citizen of a third country (a country outside the EU) seeking to live and work in Austria? In this case you need the Red-White-Red Card. Your family members can apply for the Red-White-Red Card plus (please refer to the chapter on family reunification).

The Red-White-Red Card is issued for a period of 24 months and entitles you as the holder to fixed-term settlement and employment by the employer specified in your application.

You are eligible for a Red-White-Red Card if you 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
  • Regular Workers in Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry
  • Self-employed Key Workers
  • Start-up Founders

General Requirements for Issuing Residence Permits

The authorities may only grant you a residence title if you meet the following requirements:

Adequate means of subsistence

You have to have a fixed and regular personal income enabling you to cover your living costs without resorting to welfare aid from local authorities. At the time of application the regular monthly income must be equal to the equalisation supplement reference rate (Ausgleichszulagenrichtsatz) of the General Social Insurance Act (Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz – ASVG).

Equalisation supplement reference rate since 1st of January 2023:

  • For singles: € 1,110.26
  • For couples: € 1,751.56
  • For each child additionally € 171.31

Proof of social benefits which you are entitled to only after your residence permit has been granted (welfare benefits or equalisation supplements in particular) is not factored in.

More information in german language can be found there: Informationsbroschüre über die Unterhaltsberechnung. 


When applying for a Red-White-Red Card or a Blue Card EU, make sure to take note of the special requirements concerning your income according to “Act Governing the Employment of Foreign Nations”. There is no proof of income necessary according to Settlement and Residence Act” 

Health Insurance Coverage

For your stay in Austria, you must have health insurance coverage which provides benefits in Austria and covers all risks. If you are insured in the public social insurance system (e.g. you are employed in Austria), this coverage is sufficient.

Adequate Accommodation

You have to provide evidence of a legal title to locally customary accommodation (e.g. by providing a lease contract), considered adequate for your family size.

In applications for the following residence permits no proof of adequate accommodation is required (but the monthly costs for the accommodation have to be taken into account in calculating adequate means of subsistence where those are required).

  • Red-White-Red Card
  • Blue Card
  • Settlement permit Researcher and Researcher-Mobility
  • Settlement permit for extended family members of EEA nationals or Swiss nationals
  • Student
  • ICT and mobile ICT
  • Volunteers


An accommodation free of charge, which can be revoked at any time without a notice period, does not meet this requirement, since no legal title to accommodation is constituted.

Proof of secure means of subsistence and the right to accommodation can be provided by a third party’s liability declaration, as far as this option is expressly provided for. 

No threat to public order or security

Your stay must not be contrary to public order or public security or substantially affect Austria’s relations with other countries.