Do you have a job offer or would like to invest or start up a business in Lower Austria? That sounds great ‒ we are glad to have you here!
Depending on whether you are a citizen of an EU, EEA or third country,
you have to consider some formalities until you can settle down here.
But no worries, we will handle this together.
Planning is half the way to the finish line. The following documents are particularly important for your entry or first official steps. Make sure you have the originals of these documents ready. Take a look at our checklist.
at a glance
Where are you from?
Immigration as a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland
Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland are allowed to travel to, live and work in Austria without a visa or residence permit. The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the Member States of the European Union (EU) and three countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA): Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
As a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland you do not need a visa or residence permit. You only require a valid passport or other travel document. However, other certain conditions may apply. This includes, e.g. that you must not pose a threat to public order.
As an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, you can stay in Austria for up to three months without the need to provide a specific reason for this, as long as you meet certain requirements, including adequate financial means and health insurance coverage. As a citizen of the EU or EEA you have open access to the Austrian labour market.
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens must register their address within three days of moving in to their new home, just like native Austrians. You are legally required to fill in and bring your registration form (Meldezettel) to the Municipal Office or the ‘Magistrat’ within 3 days after you have moved into your flat.
1. Country of origin: The authorities in the country of origin (registration office, school, etc.) should be informed of the move as soon as possible.
2. Residence up to three months: Citizens of the EU/EEA and Switzerland are generally allowed to stay in Austria for up to three months. Under certain conditions, a longer stay is also possible (e.g. if work is taken up in Austria).
3. Residence of more than three months: If a stay of more than three months is permitted, a registration certificate must be applied for at the settlement authority within four months of entry.
You are entitled to stay for more than three months if the following conditions apply:
- You are an employee or have a job offer or are self-employed in Austria or
- you have sufficient financial resources and comprehensive health insurance cover or
- you are undergoing education, including vocational training, at a public school or a legally recognised public school or educational institution as the main purpose of your stay and have sufficient funds and comprehensive health insurance cover.
4. Permanent residence: Citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland are entitled to acquire the right of permanent residence after five years of legal and uninterrupted residence in Austria. Upon application, they are issued a “certificate of permanent residence”. If they are eligible for a certificate of permanent residence, they can also apply for a “photo ID card for EEA citizens“. This is valid as an identity document in Austria.
5. Driving license: EU and EEA driving licences are recognised in Austria. This means they do not have to be converted to an Austrian license, but you may do so voluntarily. Here you will find more information concerning EU/EEA driving licenses.
Please note: You have a deregistration obligation, before leaving Austria.
Immigration as a citizen of a third country (outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland)
As a third-country citizen you are neither an EU citizen nor any other EEA citizen (from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway) nor a Swiss citizen. Therefore, citizens from a third country who reside or intend to reside in Austria for longer than six months require a residence permit.
How long will you stay in Austria and what is the purpose of your stay?
1. Short stays (business and leisure): In this case you don’t need a residence permit if you stay in Austria less than 90 days for business and leisure purposes, but you may require a visa depending on your nationality.
Exception – short stays (taking up employment): You need a residence permit if you plan to stay and work in Austria less than 90 days. In this case, you will need to convert your visa into a residence permit.
2. Longer stay as an expat: If you plan to stay and work more than 180 days in Austria, you will need to apply for a residence permit.
Residents of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and the United States of America may enter Austria without a visa and then apply for a residence permit in Austria.
Please note: As a citizen of another country (as listed above) you will need to apply for a national visa (which functions as a provisional residence permit) at the Austrian consulate in your home country. After your arrival, you will convert the visa into a residence permit.
Types of residence permits for citizens of third countries
1. Temporary residence
Visa C (tourist visa): This visa can be issued for a total stay of up to 90 days within a period of 180 days and entitles the holder to enter and stay in the territory of the Schengen States.
Visa D (residence visa): This visa generally entitles the holder to a stay of 91 days to six months. In exceptional cases, it is also possible to issue a Visa D with a period of validity of up to 12 months.
A special visa is always required if you take up paid employment (Visa C or D with the addendum „Erwerb“).
2. Permanent residence
There are several types of permanent residence permits (usually with a fixed-term), depending on your circumstances. Here is a brief overview of some of them:
- EU Blue Card: Valid for 24 months, the EU Blue Card is issued to third-country nationals who meet very specific criteria, including employment related to your qualifications, the level of your salary and the fact that the authorities have determined there is no one else suitable for the post. It is a combined residence and work permit, bound to one employer.
- Red-White-Red Card: If you are a highly skilled person, you can apply for the RWR Card in several categories, depending on your purpose and qualifications. You generally need to have a binding job offer to apply for a RWR Card as an employee. You are bound to your employer for two years. Look into the prerequisites in order to find out, if you are eligible for the RWR Card.
- Red-White-Red Card Plus: After 24 months of carrying the RWR Card, you can apply for the RWR Card Plus, which entitles you to unlimited access to the labour market. Family members of RWR Card and EU Blue Card holders also receive an RWR Card Plus. In some cases, proof of German language skills are necessary to obtain or extend this permit.
Good to know
Once you have arrived in Austria, we suggest that you take care of following steps:
- You need to have your fingerprint taken at the authority (that was named by your consulate) after entering the country, usually at the registration authority ‘Meldebehörde or Magistrat’ or immigration department (Fremdenpolizei).
- Fill in and bring your registration form (Meldezettel) to the registration authority within 3 days after you have moved into your flat.
- After submitting your registration form, you can apply to convert your visa to a residence permit.
- As soon as you receive your registration form and residence permit, you can open a bank account and conclude a mobile phone contract.
- Before you start work, inform your HR department of all the details (the converted residence permit, registration form, information about your bank account).
- Once you start your job, you will receive your health insurance card (E-Card) per mail. Learn more about the E-Card in the Health section.
- Extension of a residence permit: If a residence permit is to be extended, an application for an extension must be submitted within three months of its expiry at the earliest and by its expiry date at the latest.
Please note: If the application for extension is submitted too late or after the expiry date, the application is considered to be an initial application and you would have to leave Austria and reapply for it in your country of origin personally at the Austrian consulate or through a similar representative.
Driving licence: Holders of a non-EEA licence who move to Austria can usually continue driving vehicles for six months. Afterwards, their licence will expire and must be converted to an Austrian licence. It is only possible to convert foreign licences if they are still valid. Expiry dates specified in the holder’s country of origin will also apply in Austria. When converting non-EU/EEA driving licences, it is usually necessary to take a practical driving test. In order to do so, holders must provide a suitable vehicle from the relevant licence category.
Please check whether a practical driving test is required in your case. This depends on your country of origin.
Here you can see a detailed overview of various work permits as well as residence permits and visas. In addition, you can also take a look at the ABA (Austrian Business Agency) Immigration Guide, which takes you through various scenarios.
Do you need help?
Not sure what might be your entry ticket?
We will help you. Contact us!
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At the heart of Europe. Open for big plans.
Lower Austria offers top infrastructure, political
stability and economic dynamism.
real GDP growth
€ 61.02 billion
Welcome to the heart of Europe.
Lower Austria is located in the centre of Europe with direct connections to the major cities of the region, including Vienna, Munich, Bratislava, Budapest and Prague. The area’s internationally recognised infrastructure offers the most modern transport routes and the Vienna Airport (VIE) is one of the most efficient international airports in Europe. The ecoplus business parks provide tailor-made operational infrastructure.
Take advantage of the economic potential of this region.
“As a location for our business, Lower Austria provides us with an extensive range of advantages. In particular, the central situation and excellent connections to the markets of Eastern Europe are of particular benefit to us. Thanks to the generous space available, we were able to extend our production facilities in accordance with our needs. ecoplus was able to act as a one-stop shop that actively provided us with all necessary support.”
Mark Bauder, CEO, Paul Bauder GmbH & Co.KG – Germany
Optimal economic conditions
Lower Austria is one of the leading industrial regions in Europe. This is only possible thanks to its exceptional infrastructure. Modern road, rail (ÖBB, Westbahn) and water connections, interconnected mobility, digital toll systems, optimised border clearance procedures and the nearby Vienna Airport ensure the success of companies located in Lower Austria, now and in the future.
But today’s infrastructure goes beyond this. Also required is a digital infrastructure that links businesses and people and provides access to national and global markets. As a region, Lower Austria is a technology pioneer in Europe. 5G and fibre optic internet will soon be available throughout the whole region.
Office space and more
Our business parks combine infrastructure with market potential and cater to the specific needs of various sectors. ecoplus, the Business Agency of Lower Austria, offers customised solutions at 18 locations in Lower Austria – more than 2451 acres of fully developed sites, ready and waiting for investment projects. The success of the business park concept is demonstrated by the fact that more than 1000 national and international business with some 22,000 employees have chosen to base themselves here.
Perhaps you’re more interested in a rental or leasing option? There are a total of 81 business properties available, while 243.000 m² of space in six technology and research centres offers a wealth of options for investment.
The autonomous management of each business park will facilitate the establishment of your business, support it over the long term and ensure it makes contact with already resident businesses and institutions.
Would you prefer to be located outside a business park? You You can obtain an overview of other top quality business locations available in the region using our interactive location finder.
Helps your business fly high
Lower Austria is home to one of Europe’s busiest airports: Vienna International Airport. This is a transport hub for Central and Eastern Europe and offers flights to more than 180 international destinations, of which more than 40 are in Eastern Europe. Just an hour away by air are major cities, including Munich, Stuttgart, Zurich, Budapest, Ljubljana, Prague, Zagreb, Belgrade and Sarajevo. And less than 3 hours flying time will bring you to London, Amsterdam, Istanbul, Moscow and Paris.
It incorporates a state-of-the-art office park with 90,000 m² office space along with high-tech logistics and cargo processing centres. Direct connections to the apron and special freight processing systems for sensitive pharmaceutical products and many other features make the Airport-City one of the highlights of Lower Austria’s business landscape.
A true high-tech hub
Lower Austria has become a well-known high-tech hub in Central Europe. The focus on cutting-edge technologies and the high level of funding for research and development make Lower Austria a future-oriented business location. Leading high-tech companies appreciate the networking through industry clusters, the multitude of innovative ecosystems, the availability of highly trained specialists and the advantages of the Technopoles. Centres that bring together companies, educational and research institutions. Be part of the success story.
Choose Lower Austria.
“We are able to fully exploit the potential for synergy at our facility in the Wiener Neustadt Technopole and benefit from the proximity to our various partners.”
Alfred Zens, CEO EBG MedAustron Austria
Lower Austria, the hub of Central Europe
It is the interplay of many factors that has made Lower Austria one of Central Europe’s hubs of high-tech. The promotion of research & development and of the cooperation between various disciplines are a top priority here. This is a concept that speaks for itself and to which we have been committed on a daily basis at our Technopole centres for more than 15 years. Our Technopoles are internationally recognized R&D hubs. The institute IST Austria was ranked No. 3 in the 2018 Nature Index.. An internationally renowned organisation due to its innovative ion beam therapy treatment for cancer, MedAustron treats up to 1000 patients annually at its centre in Lower Austria.
Lower Austria – the home of cutting-edge technology.
Become part of this trailblazing location.
Technopoles. Our Technopoles unite research and educational institutes with businesses in a single location. This means transfer of know-how, of knowledge and state-of-the-art research is facilitated while platforms are provided that promote local and international collaboration. The fact that research, training and business are able to undertake interdisciplinary projects ensures that valuable partnerships come into being and there is direct access to qualified and specialist personnel. And there are four of these centres in Lower Austria – in Krems, Tulln, Wiener Neustadt and Wieselburg.
© Daniel Hinterramskogler
International centre for health technologies.
Internationally recognised centre for research in bio-based technologies.
International centre for bioenergy systems, foodstuff and agricultural technologies.
© Daniel Hinterramskogler
Leading international Technopole in the fields of medicine and material sciences.
These four Technopoles form the pillars of technology-based site development and offer you a wide range of potential benefits:
- Clean room laboratories – over 1000 m² GMP-compliant production floor space is available for your use in the Krems Technopole
- Options for collaboration with existing educational and research organisations at all Technopole centres – generate synergies through working with leading training providers on-site
- Recruitment of employees holding doctoral degrees – find the personnel you need from of a pool of job seekers with PhDs
- An extensive range of office facilities and building sites
- Leading commercial organisations and service providers that complement Technopole specialisations are on-site – a proximity that boosts cooperation
- Ideal infrastructure links – ensuring you can stay in contact with your business partners in Austria and abroad both quickly and efficiently
- Regular events and marketing campaigns – we’ll make sure your organisation is in the spotlight
High-tech initiators & trendsetters
from Lower Austria
Lower Austria – the leader in the field of technology. An ambitious claim perhaps – but we have the know-how to ensure these are more than just empty words. We deliberately set the bar high and are convinced that we are able to achieve our objective with the help of the businesses, research and education institutes at our sites – we are trendsetters and generators of stimuli in the international arena that we have planned together and intend to continue to implement in the future. This is what high-tech represents for us. And this is why we in Lower Austria consider ourselves to be the leader in the field of technology.
Lower Austria is the land of hidden champions, home to a large number of world market leaders in their industry. These hidden champions represent success stories that could only happen in Lower Austria.
The BMW i8 is the first production vehicle in the world equipped with “laser boost”, a revolutionary high-performance laser with a high beam range of approximately 600 metres and which is exceptionally compact. This is just one of a host of examples of innovative premium solutions by the ZKW Group.
The top educational institutions in the middle of the country.
Theory and practice in harmony. That is Austria’s dual education system. There are around 200 apprenticeships that can be learned in combination with theory and practice. This is the workforce of tomorrow. With sound basic knowledge and subject-specific skills.
A few of the universities in Lower Austria.
Danube University Krems – University for Continuing Education
University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten – media & digital technologies, IT & security
University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt – economics, technology, health, sport and safety
IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems – business, digitisation & technology, health and life scienceses
I.S.T. Austria– Institute for Basic Research
Karl Landsteiner Private University of Health Sciences
Life quality matters
A coherent whole: nature, culture & security
Quality of life
in Lower Austria
©Niederösterreich Werbung/ Robert Herbst, ©Niederösterreich-Werbung/Michael Liebert, ©Mostviertel Tourismus/ weinfranz.at
Out into the world with the innovative strength of Lower Austria
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