Relatives of EU citizens and Swiss nationals who are third country nationals – General information on residence in Austria
table of content
* The term ‘EU citizen’ as used in this text always refers not just to EU citizens but also other citizens of the European Economic Area (from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway) and Swiss nationals.
The following third country nationals, who are relatives of EU citizens with a right of residence under EU law or of Austrian nationals who have exercised this right, are entitled to stay in Austria for more than three months:
- spouses or registered partners
- relatives of the EU citizen or their spouse or registered partner who are direct descendants (children, grandchildren, great‑grandchildren) and who have not yet reached 21 years of age, and over this age if their maintenance is actually being provided by this person
- relatives of the EU citizen or their spouse or registered partner who are direct ancestors (parents, grandparents, great‑grandparents) if their maintenance is actually being provided by this person
These relatives will receive a "residence card" upon request as a record of their right of residence. This request must be made within four months of arriving in Austria.
They will then have free access to the Austrian employment market, for which they may request the issue of a certificate by the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) (application form: Certificate of exemption in accordance with Section 3(8) of the (AusIBG)German text).
After five years’ of lawful and continuous residence in Austria , they will receive a "permanent residence card" upon request.
The ‘residence card’ and ‘permanent residence card’ may serve as proof of identity and are issued in the form of a card (size of a credit card).
All persons who take up accommodation in Austria are required to register with the authorities in accordance with the Austrian Registration Act (Meldegesetz). Anyone who takes up or leaves accommodation in Austria is therefore required to register and de‑register with the competent registration authority.
For relatives with a right of residence under EU law who already settled legally in Austria prior to 1 January 2006 and registered in accordance with the Austrian Registration Act, the valid registration is regarded as the registration certificate.
There is no general obligation to carry a travel document (passport or identification card) at all times. However, carrying proof of identity is recommended because public safety bodies (police) are empowered to check identity in certain circumstances (for example, in connection with possible criminal and administrative offences, or if they strongly suspect that a person does not have a right to reside in the country). They may also detain a person for an identity check if the person is apprehended in the act of committing an offence. This involves the exercise of a coercive or restraint power which could be contested by filing an action before the relevant Regional Administrative Court within six weeks.
- Fremdenpolizeigesetz (FPG)
- Sections 54, 54a and 57 of the Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (NAG)
Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior