QUESTIONS & ANSWERS for private individuals and expats
Relocation & Immigration
Which forms of migration are there in Austria?
There are several forms of migration to Austria. Those forms are summarized in our Registered Area on the Homepage. Please Register and Login, go to Downloads under the header “Service”, there you’ll find a PDF-document informing about official eligibility requirements in Austria. For any remaining questions concerning migration to Austria please Contact Us.
Which countries are so called “third countries” for which the pending migration rules are valid?
Third countries are not members of the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA includes countries of the European Union (EU), as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Citizens of these countries have freedom of movement throughout the EEA (limited only by a few requirements – watch below). All citizens of other countries are covered by the underlying regulations (watch under the previous question).
I’m living in an EU country. What do I need to consider when searching for a job in Austria?
For citizens of the EU, EEA and Switzerland there is the right of free movement within this area, those citizens therefore have access to the Austrian labour market. There is no need for a visa or a specific residence or work permit. Those citizens have the right to stay in Austria for 3 months without any further obligation, for longer periods there needs to be proof of either employment or self-employment or education in an Austrian school or other educational institution, proof of sufficient means of existence, a comprehensive health insurance for the person and any family members. For any remaining questions concerning migration to Austria please Contact Us.
I’m living in a “third country”. What do I need to consider when searching for a job in Austria?
Qualified employees from third countries need to apply for a specific residence and work permit in Austria (or other EU country), if they want to stay for a period greater than 6 months. For those who want to stay for less than 6 months there is either a need for a visa permit or for specified countries not even that, if the stay does not exceed 3 months (depending on the respective agreements of the specific home country and Austria). For information about the several forms of residence and work permits you’ll find further information in the Registered Area of our Homepage. Please Register and Login, go to Downloads under the header “Service”, there you’ll find a PDF-document informing about official eligibility requirements in Austria. For any remaining questions concerning migration to Austria please Contact Us.
What is a Schengen visa?
The 26 member states of the Schengen Area do not apply any border controls between their borders (Austria is one of those countries and is surrounded by other Schengen states). All of those countries also apply a common visa policy, the visa permit gives an allowance to stay for up to 90 days within any 180 day period in any of the Schengen states (short stay visa) or transit through international transit areas of Schengen state airports (airport transit visa).
Do I need a Schengen visa?
The need for a visa permit depends on the respective agreements of the specific home country and Austria. ERVICo clarifies this question in the course of an overall migration analysis. Please Contact Us for this purpose.
Where do I have to submit my visa application?
You have to submit the application for a Schengen visa to the consulate of the country that you intend to visit, or – if you intend to visit more than one Schengen State, the consulate of the country of your primary destination (main purpose or longest stay).
Where do I have to submit my application for residence permit?
In most cases the responsible authority for submitting your application is the respective embassy or consulate in your original home country. Alternative exceptions should be clarified within an overall migration analysis. Please Contact Us for this purpose.
Do I need to have an apartment in Austria at the time of application?
Although there is no official requirement for a registered dwelling in Austria at the time of application, we highly recommend to have a formal housing agreement in place, preferably with an open start date. The fact that the cost of accommodation is already considered for the income calculation at the time of application paradoxically also implies to have such agreement already at this time. Contact Us for help.
Do I have to proove the existence of health insurance at the time of application?
Yes. You are obliged to provide the confirmation of coverage of an insurance that is covering all risks in Austria. In a bridging period travel health insurances are accepted, provided they have a coverage volume of at least EUR 30.000,- and provided the coverage includes rescue and return trip costs. As soon as there is employment in Austria, the insurance is automatically obtained in the form of social insurance. In the case of quota immigration (and proven sufficient income without employment) self-insurance at the ÖGK (social insurance) is recommended, the insurance costs are negligible in this case, however, there is a 6 months qualifying period, in other words you have to pay for 6 months before you are actually insured.
How long do I have to wait for a decision from the authorities?
The duration of an application process for third country members takes around 8 weeks from the submission of the documents, provided the application documents are complete. Depending on the individual case and the workload of the authority there might be deviations in the duration, however, the maximum application time must not exceed 6 months. Please note: don’t underestimate the preparation time before application – in total a migration process can take one year and longer – especially in the case of quota migration.
What is a labour market test?
The issue of a work permit can be subject to the execution of a labour market test (depending on the respective kind of residence title). In the case of a labour market test the Austrian institution responsible for the future employment of unemployed people (AMS) may grant a work permit only in the case there is no registered unemployed person able to carry out the job in question (with the respective educational and training background as well as the required experience).
What are the total costs of migration to Austria?
Although quite frequently asked, the answer to the question depends heavily on the individual case, the range is vast! Let us try to give you at least an idea of the most important upcoming expenditures: flight costs and transportation costs for transported goods: both very individual (depending where you come from), accommodation: for real estate purchase you can count with side costs of around 10%, for rental agreements usually 2 months commission for the real estate broker, insurance: included social insurance in case of employment, bridging travel or other private insurance: very individual (especially depending on age), self-insurance at ÖGK: watch above, migration fees at authorities: which are negligible. For general price levels in Austria (compared to other countries) you find detailed information under the header: Info, Statistics. The quotation for the services of ERVICo is equally individual, we will create an optimized scenario together (advising on necessary and suitable services), followed by a subsequent quotation. Please Contact Us for this purpose.
What has to be done for establishing a company in Austria?
The following minimum actions need to be undertaken for establishing a company:
- Application for business licenses and business registration at Chamber of Commerce (with free or conditioned access depending on the commercial field)
- Entry into the commercial register at the responsible court including registration of company name and business line
- Registration at social insurance and tax authority
- Estimation of future income and eventual adaption of company status vis-à-vis social insurance and tax authority
- Consideration of possible state subsidies
- For Public Limited Companies: establishment of a partnership agreement, provision of a minimum capital contribution, opening of a business bank account and appointment of a commercial director (responsible for the compliance with trade law)
ERVICo is offering support services for the foundation of a company, in the case of a Public Limited company together with external partners. You will find additional information in our Registered Area on the Homepage. Please Register and Login and go to “Packages” under the header “Service”, you will find an overview over possible services for the “Enterprise Package” as well as possible Add-on Services below. Alternatively just Contact Us for further information.
What are the costs of establishing a sole proprietorship in Austria?
In contrast to establishing a Public Limited company, there are just a few governmental fees for establishing the sole proprietorship company which are negligible. However, the price for the lower costs is the unlimited personal liability of the proprietor for any losses of the company. By the way: sole proprietorship is not equivalent to a one-man-business, in fact the number of employees is unlimited.
What are the costs of establishing a Public Limited company in Austria?
The share capital for a Public Limited company is EUR 35.000,-. 50% of this capital has to be provided in the course of establishing the company. Recently the first establishment of a Public Limited company is supported with a reduced capital requirement of EUR 10.000,-, 50% (EUR 5.000,-) which has to be available at the time of establishment. The rest of the required capital may be added within a period of 10 years. The liability for any losses of the company is limited with the amount of the shared company capital.
What are the income tax requirements of a sole proprietorship in Austria?
The income tax of the sole proprietorship is corresponding to the tax requirement of private individuals:
- Incomes up to 11.000,- tax free
- 11.000,- – 18.000,- à tax rate of 20%
- 18.000,- – 31.000,- à tax rate of 35%
- 31.000,- – 60.000,- à tax rate of 42%
- 60.000,- 90.000,- à tax rate of 48%
- 90.000,- – 1.000.000,- à tax rate of 50%
- incomes over 1.000.000,- à tax rate of 55%
What are the income tax requirements of a Public Limited company in Austria?
The income tax for Public Limited companies is 25% on the profits of the company, with reference to the minimum tax amount the first 5 (respectively 10) years are privileged: minimum EUR 500,- for the first 5 years, minimum EUR 1.000,- for the years 6-10. Afterwards the minimum income tax amount per year is EUR 1.750,- (irrespective of profits and losses). The commercial director (and usually co-owner) is awarded with a salary (alternatively profit withdrawals), for which another tax is to be paid, namely, income tax for private individuals. The appointment of a tax advisor is highly recommended.
What are the advantages for establishing a sole proprietorship?
- Quick and simple establishment by registration of the company
- Simple book keeping
- Possibility of exception from compulsory insurance at the beginning – e.g. in combination with income from unemployment institution or other minor incomes
- Lower tax requirements in initial loss phases
What are the advantages for establishing a Public Limited company?
- Liability limited to the shared capital of the company
- Universal applicability for diverse business lines
- Starting from a certain level of income respectively profit the overall income tax amount is lower
- Shareholders have opportunity to work as employees for their own company (rewarded with a salary)
- Staff costs reduce the taxable profit of the company