The reasons why emigration to Austria becomes a realistic goal can be very different. But the most important thing is the desire to live in a stable and beautiful European country with a rich history, cultural traditions, a high standard of living and excellent conditions for professional activities.
Those wishing to immigrate to Austria have a rather difficult path ahead. This country has a small territory with an already established way of life and is only interested in those foreigners who are of some value to it:
- top management specialists;
- high-class professionals;
- entrepreneurs who have their own business in an industry that is interesting for Austria;
- wealthy people investing in the economy;
- outstanding personalities (scientists, athletes, artists).
Despite the strict rules, migration to Austria is very active. There are many ways to obtain official residence status in the country, and, subject to certain conditions, subsequently become an Austrian citizen. The easiest way to immigrate to this country is for refugees and financially independent foreigners.
Obtaining refugee status in Austria
Austria has always favorably treated people who are persecuted in their homeland, but obtaining refugee status is problematic. The desire to obtain asylum can be declared immediately at the border when entering the country. This method of obtaining status is preferable to claiming persecution after having been on Austrian territory for some time. You will have to spend 2-3 days in custody while waiting for an interview, after which the documents will be sent for consideration, and the status applicant will be provided with free housing and food.
The issue of asylum can be considered for a long time and in great detail. Therefore, if a tourist visa was used to enter the country, the information provided for its processing may be considered false and the status assignment may be denied. It is better to contact the embassy in your own country and take part in a special program to help refugees.
After 4 years of being in this status, you can apply for citizenship and apply for permanent residence. During this time, one cannot be held criminally liable, have an open trial, violate the visa regime and public order, and have contacts with unfriendly states.
Marriage to an Austrian citizen
Marriage to an Austrian citizen is a very good reason to move to Austria for permanent residence. An official marriage greatly facilitates the procedure for obtaining a residence permit, which is issued in addition to the issued annual quotas. Such issues are dealt with by a special body, which considers all documents on an individual basis.
Conditions for obtaining the status of a permanent resident of Austria by marriage:
- living together for at least 1 year with a spouse living in the country for at least 3 years;
- living together for at least 2 years with a spouse residing in the country for at least 4 years;
- cohabitation for at least 5 years.
Reunion of relatives
For the reunification of relatives, the government annually sets quotas that apply to both Austrian citizens and persons with a residence permit. At this point, Austrian immigration laws are much stricter than in other EU countries. In Austria, only spouses and children under 20 are eligible for the reunification program.
On the other hand, the spouse does not have to have citizenship in that country. You can also take your family with you with the status of a residence permit. A prerequisite is the presence of a steady income and real estate, which will serve as a guarantee that the state will not have to pay social benefits. The written consent of the host is required for the reception of each new family member who decides to leave for Austria.
Initially, a residence permit is issued for a period of 1 year, which then will need to be renewed annually. After five years of residence, an immigrant becomes eligible for an indefinite residence permit (permanent residence). A child born to an immigrant family in Austria acquires the right to citizenship after 4-6 years of residence in the country.
Higher education in Austria
The easiest way for young people to immigrate to Austria is to enroll in an Austrian university. Students are issued a visa with a residence permit, which will need to be renewed annually for the entire period of study. After successful completion of studies, 6 months are provided for job search and employment.
More than 160 thousand students study in this country every year, most of which are representatives of other countries. Studying in Austria gives you the opportunity to travel visa-free to the countries of the Schengen zone and internships in European companies. After receiving a prestigious diploma, you can find work both in Austria itself and in the EU countries.
When entering an educational institution in Austria, there are no entrance exams (except for creative professions) and age restrictions. You can enter immediately after graduation, but this is a rather complicated procedure. Therefore, it would be better to leave for Austria after 2 years of full-time or 4 years of distance learning in your home country.
Students have the right to work, provided that the main purpose of the stay will be study, and the work itself will not interfere with the educational process. First-year students are allowed to work 10 hours a week, for senior students – 20 hours a week. After the end of the 6-month residence permit, when concluding an employment contract, you can draw up a red-white-red card that gives you the right to a long-term stay.
Work in Austria and prospects for staying in the country
Thanks to high social standards, labor migration to Austria is a constant occurrence. There are several special immigration programs in the country, which in the future make it possible to obtain permanent residence. The reason for staying in Austria may be:
- business trip;
- conclusion of an employment contract;
- obtaining a work permit linked to an employer within a specific federal state (after 52 weeks, you can choose your own place of work);
- seasonal work.
Official employment entitles you to all social and tax benefits, including unemployment benefits.
Labor immigration to Austria is not an easy process. This country has a stable economy and practically does not need an influx of foreign personnel. Only those who have an employment contract with enterprises or firms in Austria can immigrate. There are no private employment agencies in the country, and the entire recruitment process takes place under the control of the state. Getting a permanent job gives the right to a long-term residence permit and the opportunity to stay in the country for a long time.
Business immigration to Austria
This way to go to Austria provides great opportunities for obtaining a residence permit and a number of tax benefits. A feature of Austria’s policy in this regard is that tax benefits are canceled upon obtaining citizenship. The main determining factor is the usefulness of the business for the country’s economy and its successful conduct. You must have start-up capital, guaranteed job creation and an income of at least 5,000 euros per month.
Large investors who are able to invest 8 million euros in a special state fund have very good conditions for obtaining a residence permit. You can invest a more significant amount, but it is limited to 15 million euros. Large investors can have dual citizenship in Austria, which is not allowed for other categories of immigrants other than refugees. The immigration to Austria of wealthy foreigners living on income from deposits is also welcome .
In addition to a bank account (in Austria or the EU), immigrants are required to purchase real estate in Austria and insurance that covers possible risks. Such a residence permit does not give the right to work and is issued for 1 year. The minimum amount of financial security is 85 thousand euros for each adult family member and 45 thousand euros for a minor child.