Austria RWR Card FAQ
Types of immigration
What is the Red-White-Red Card?
The Red-White-Red Card is issued in the shape of a bank card and is a combination of residence permit and employment permit. It is valid for one year and entitles its holder to settlement and to employment with a certain employer. If the employer is changed within the first year, a new Red-White-Red Card must be applied for.
What is the Red-White-Red Card plus?
The Red-White-Red Card plus is issued in the shape of a bank card and entitles its holder to settlement and unrestricted employment. Holders of a Red-White-Red Card plus may change their employer at any time without needing to apply for a new permit.
Holders of a Red-White-Red Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus if they have been continuously employed in accordance with the requirements decisive for admission for a minimum of ten months within the preceding 12 months.
Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders and of holders of a EU Blue Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus from the beginning.
What is the EU Blue Card
The EU Blue Card is issued in the shape of a bank card and is a combination of residence permit and employment permit. The EU Blue Card entitles its holder to temporary settlement and to employment with a certain employer and is issued for a validity period of two years.
Holders of a EU Blue Card may apply for an Red-White-Red Card plus if they have been employed for at least 21 months during the previous 24 months according to their qualification.
What is the Jobseeker Visa for Very Highly Qualified Workers?
Workers are considered very highly qualified if they achieve at least 70 out of 100 points according to the points system. This category is addressing very highly qualified and experienced top-level personnel, such as scientists and senior top-level management.
Who may apply for a Red-White-Red Card?
The Red-White-Red Card is a combination of residence permit and employment permit for qualified third-country citizen workers. It is available for the following groups of applicants:
1. Very highly qualified workers
2. Skilled workers in shortage occupations
3. Other key workers
4. Graduates of universities and colleges of higher education in Austria
Who may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus?
1. Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders or EU Blue Card holders
2. Holders of a Red-White-Red Card after a period of 12 months (10 months of continued employment with the same employer according to their qualification)
3. Holders of a EU Blue Card, if they have been employed for at least 21 months during the previous 24 months according to their qualification
Who is a family member?
Family members are defined as:
2. Registered partners of the same sex
3. Minor children, including adopted children and stepchildren (up to the age of 18).
At the time of filing the application, spouses and registered partners must be 21 years of age.
Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders and of holders of a EU Blue Card may apply for an Red-White-Red Card plus with unrestricted labour market access from the beginning. The card may be renewed after one year, independently of the renewal of the Red-White-Red Card or the EU Blue Card of the original card holder, if the family members have their own income.
Family members must prove elementary German skills at the time of the first application. Family members of particularly highly qualified workers and holders of a EU Blue Card are not required to prove German skills with their application.
What happens if I want to change my employer?
If you have a Red-White-Red Card you can only change your employer if you apply for a new Red-White-Red Card and it is granted. The Public Employment Service (AMS) will examine whether the conditions are met also regarding the new employment. However, the points system check is not repeated.
If you have a EU Blue Card, you can only change your employer if you receive another EU Blue Card for the new employment. The AMS will examine whether the conditions are met also regarding the new employment.
If you already have a Red-White-Red Card plus, you may change your employer any time and you are not bound to one particular employment.
Can I apply for a Red-White-Red Card even if I do not have an employer in Austria?
No, you do need an employer in Austria for the application.
Only as a particularly highly qualified worker you do not need an employer at first. In this case you will be granted a six months visa for the purpose of looking for employment (“Jobseeker Visa”). If – within the validity period of this visa – you find an employer in Austria offering you employment according to your qualification (a valid work contract must be submitted), you may apply for aRed-White-Red Card.
What are the fees?
Jobseeker Visa: The fee is €100.
Red-White-Red Card: The fee is €100 (€80 for application, €20 for grant).
Red-White-Red Card plus: The fee is €100 (€80 for application, €20 for grant).
EU Blue Card: The fee is €100 (€80 for application, €20 for grant).
In addition: Costs of personalisation (taking your photograph and signature): €20
Which documents do I need for the application?
Please download the information sheet „Documents required for the jobseeker visa and the Red-White-Red Card” (pdf – 377 KB).
Where can I file the application?
Visas for the purpose of job search have to be applied for personally at the competent Austrian representation (embassy, consulate) for the applicant’s country of residence.
The application for the Red-White-Red Card can either be filed personally with the Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) for the applicant’s country of residence; in the case of skilled workers in shortage occupations and other keyworkers, the application can also be filed by the potential employer with the competent residence authority in Austria, which can be the Provincial Governor (Landeshauptmann), the authorised Regional Administrative Authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) or the Local Administrative Authority (Magistrat). Together with the application for a Red-White-Red Card, a declaration by the intended employer (Arbeitgebererklärung) must be submitted.
Applicants permitted to enter Austria under a visa-free regime and non-Austrian graduates of universities in Austria holding a valid confirmation of residence (Aufenthaltsbestätigung) may directly submit their application to the competent residence authority in Austria.
Here you can find the application form.
Where do I find the application forms?
Application for Red-White-Red Card (pdf – 98 KB)
Application for RWR Card plus (pdf – 92 KB)
Application forms for Jobseeker Visa (pdf – 169 KB)
Criteria Data Sheet for Jobseeker Visa (pdf – 133 KB)
EU Blue Card (pdf – 81 KB)
Employer’s Declaration (German) (pdf – 615 KB)
How do I find a job in Austria?
You can find job advertisements in newspapers and job services’ websites on the internet, for example:
Oberösterreichische Nachrichten: http://www.nachrichten.at
Salzburger Nachrichten: http://www.salzburg.com
Kronen Zeitung: http://www.krone.at
Kleine Zeitung: http://www.kleinezeitung.at
Die Presse: http://diepresse.com
Der Standard: http://derstandard.at/
Tiroler Tageszeitung: http://www.tirol.com/
Wiener Zeitung: http://www.wienerzeitung.at/amtsblatt/jobs
What happens if I do not find employment within the validity period of my Jobseeker Visa?
If you are a particularly highly qualified worker and you do not find employment according to your qualification within the six months validity period of your Jobseeker Visa, you have to leave Austria. A new Jobseeker Visa can only be applied for after a period of 12 months.
Who is a third-country citizen?
All citizens of countries which are not members of the European Economic Area (EEA). The EEA comprises all member states of the European Union, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Swiss citizens are not considered third country citizens.
Can I get a Red-White-Red Card as a student in Austria?
No, students cannot be granted a Red-White-Red Card.
However, third country students and students from Croatia may be granted employment permits for an employment of
- Up to ten hours per week, respectively
- Up to 20 hours per week after successfully completing the first part of their course (1. Studienabschnitt Diplomstudium) or their Bachelor’s degree when continuing the course
without labour market test. The employment permit must be applied for by the intended employer with the Labour Market Service (AMS).
What is a shortage occupation?
Shortage occupations are promulgated every year in a Regulation issued by the Federal Minister for Labour. The question as to which occupations will be considered shortage occupations will depend on the development of the Austrian labour market.
Which degrees are recognized for the points system?
Programmes with four years minimum duration (Very Highly Qualified Workers) and with three years minimum duration (Skilled Workers, Other Key Workers and applicants for an EU Blue Card) are recognized. Formal recognition (nostrification) of the foreign degree in Austria is not required.
You can check the status of your university online on www.anabin.de. This website gives an overview of all recognized universities. Universities which have the status H+ on this website are recognized; if the university is not categorized under H+ or if it is not listed at all, you have to file a confirmation of status with your application, issued by the locally competent authority (e.g. the competent Ministry of Education for this university).
Please find more information in the information leaflet on “Recognized degrees for the application for Jobseeker Visa and the Red-White-Red Card” (pdf -194 KB).
What can I do if I am not treated correctly at my place of work?
Employment protection is of high significance in Austria. A number of institutions offer help and support, depending on the problem: