Essential Employment Paperwork in Austria



Before moving to Austria, expats must ensure first that they have arranged all the necessary paperwork and have secured a visa. Keep in mind though that the process and fees of obtaining a visa depend on the applicant’s nationality since some countries fall under the visa exemption for Austria.

Austria is very accommodating to qualified migrants. However, if the applicant is not a European citizen or a Swiss or Liechtenstein national, he/she is required to have a work permit to seek employment in Austria. Having a valid European passport gives its citizen a free choice to work anywhere in Austria (and other European countries). However, EU nationals still need to register at the Bezirkshauptmannschaft (district administration office) or City Magistrat if they have intentions of staying in Austria for more than three months. Expats coming from non-EU states can receive full rights to live or work in Austria as long as they obtain the necessary visa which must be processed in their home country.

Work Visa Categories

The method of acquiring a work visa is more complicated than those coming from EU countries. Some types of visas are solely for entry purposes while others are tied up with a particular residence or work permit. Here are the three main types of visas that expats can choose from when planning on working in Austria:

EU Blue Card

The EU Blue Card serves both as a residence and work permit. It is granted to highly qualified non-EU citizen and allows them to work or live in Austria for a maximum of two years. It is connected to a labour contract and will only be issued if the Austrian Labour Market Service has been satisfied that there is no EU or Austrian resident that is qualified to fill the job post specified in the employment contract. The application process for the EU Blue Card lasts about eight weeks and only applicants who have achieved a university degree or at least three years are deemed eligible.


Only non-EU nationals who qualify as ‘key workers’ or those who has high qualifications, skilled employees in an occupation that experiences shortage, self-employed and graduates of an Austrian university are allowed to apply for the Red-White-Red-Card. This type of visa allows an expat to work for a specific employer for 12 months. Holders of the Red-White-Red-Card can apply for a Red-White-Red-Card Plus after ten months of working in Austria to have free access to the local labour market.

Jobseeker Visa

The Jobseeker Visa is normally issued to highly qualified non-EU nationals who has intentions of working in Austria but haven’t secured a job offer yet and therefore can not apply for the two visas mentioned above. Take note that this type of visa is only valid for six months and can only be used to seek employment. Expats who have this visa should still apply for a work permit after securing an Austrian employer.

Work Permit

It is important for expats to note that the issuance of work permits has been declining in numbers as the immigration law of Austria has become more stringent. Thus, expats will need an Austrian employer to qualify for a work permit. If a foreign company employs you, they can sponsor you to visit an Austrian client. As a prerequisite, you must be a regular employee that has worked for at least six to twelve months for the company. For up to date information about the current visa requirements and application procedures, expats can visit the Austrian Consulate or Embassy in their home country. 

Social Security

The Austrian Social Security Number (SSN) is compulsory for anyone who is working as an employee. Contributions to the social security fund are income-related and will be deducted monthly from the employee’s salary. Expats who are members of this insurance scheme will receive an E-card which will serve as their citizen’s card and must be presented at all times when availing benefits under the scheme.