Immigration to Austria
- All workpermit.com Immigration and Naturalization Services forms
- Use the General immigration enquiry form for Austria
This guide is aimed at employers. We apologise for lack of any Austrian guides optimised for employees, agents, or investors – if you fall into one of these categories, please feel free to contact us for advice (although you may find that this guide answers many of your questions).
Employers with inquiries for our services may contact us at our Riga, Latvia office for assistance.
Recent political developments in Austria have many companies wary of bringing non-EEA nationals into Austria. However, for all the political hot air, there hasn't been any actual change in immigration law or procedure. Properly formatted and documented applications will still be approved irrespective of the nationality of the candidate.
How long will it take to get an employee on site with an Austrian work permit?
The supporting documentation needed is quite extensive and can take some time to collect, it must be submitted in German, so translations should be taken into both time and financial budgets. Once the application has been lodged, processing usually takes about 7 weeks.
When the work permit is approved the candidate must apply for a residence visa to travel to Austria and start work.
Can my company obtain Austrian work permits?
There are two possible ways for the candidate to be employed with a work permit:
- As the direct employee of an Austrian company, this is a Sicherungsbescheinigung (Secured work certificate) application.
- As the employee of a foreign company that is providing services to an Austrian company. This foreign company may not be a recruitment agency and must produce a service contract as part of the application. In this scenario, an Austrian accountant must administer the payrolling of the candidate to ensure that all tax and social security is duly paid. This is an Entsendebewilligung (Assignment permit) application.
Does the candidate qualify for an Austrian work permit?
The candidate must be shown to have sufficient experience to fill the position.
If the application is for an assignment permit then the candidate should have at least 6-12 months experience with the service provider, to justify the claim that they have experience with the company's systems.
How do I apply for an Austrian work permit?
Once the application is assembled – which can take some time – The application can be lodged at the local AMS (Arbeitsmarktservice), where it will be processed.
Once the work permit application is approved, the candidate will need to make a residence visa application in their usual country of residence. The candidate will probably need to present a police clearance certificate and an original birth certificate to be granted this visa, so it is worthwhile assembling these documents in advance.
Austrian work permit FAQs
What is the difference between a work permit and a visa?
A work permit is permission for a company to employ a foreign worker given by the labour authorities. It does not allow the candidate to travel to or reside in Austria. Once the work permit has been approved the candidate should apply for a residence visa (type D), a scengen (type C) visa is not sufficient to take up employment with a work permit.
What is the difference between "body shopping" and providing a service?
It is not possible to obtain a work permit for a candidate who is being body shopped, but it is possible for a candidate under a contract to provide services. The key differences are:
- The sponsor may not be a recruitment agency.
- The staff remain on the payroll and line management of the service provider.
- The services are above and beyond that of just a contractor – e.g. consultants assisting in the installation of a propriety product sold to a client.
- The services provided must be shown to be in the normal run of operations for the service provider.
What elements should be included in a service contract to ensure that it is suitable for a work permit application?
A provision of service contract should include the following elements:
- The day to day line management of the consultants remains with the service provider
- It should include warranted deliverables.
- It should cover the entire period for which the permit is required.
It should be signed by both parties, and on the client headed paper.