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Austria is renowned for its snow-capped peaks, tranquil mountain valleys, and historic cities — but it’s equally known for its thriving economic success. Companies like Red Bull and Swarovski have put Austria on the map as an economic powerhouse in central Europe.
Here we set out the rules that apply for businesses that wish to sponsor an applicant from outside Austria for employment, as well as explaining the rules for applicants themselves.
There are several types of work visa available in Austria, each with its own specific requirements, as set out by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior:
The process for applying for a work visa in Austria varies depending on the specific type of work visa you are applying for and your individual circumstances. However, generally speaking, the process typically includes the following steps:
Generally speaking, those without an existing right to work in Austria will need to have a high demand skillset to be eligible for a work visa in Austria. And in most cases, work visas in Austria require that both the employer and the prospective employee take certain steps (the employer acts as sponsor, and the prospective employee acts as applicant).
For further information on businesses that support relocation, whether in Austria or other European countries, check out our guide to employee relocation companies.
The processing time for a work visa in Austria can vary depending on the specific type of visa and the specifics of the applicant. However, it generally takes around 2-3 months for a decision to be made on your application.
Note that processing time may also be affected by the workload of the immigration authorities and the Embassy or Consulate where an applicant applied.
It's always best to consult with the Austrian immigration authorities or a lawyer for the most up-to-date information.
In Austria, you typically need sponsorship from an employer to apply for a work visa. Your employer must also have obtained a positive employment decision from the Austrian immigration authorities: This is confirmation that the position you will be filling is a qualified position and that no suitable candidates were found among EU/EEA citizens.
Your employer will also be responsible for submitting the necessary paperwork and paying the fee for the employment permit.
Note, however, that some specific types of work visa, such as the Red-White-Red plus card do not require sponsorship.