Indefinite leave to remain under Paragraph 56 of the NAG – Application
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The following information relates to the submission of your first application for a ‘Niederlassungsbewilligung’ (indefinite leave to remain). General information on applications for renewal of residence permits can also be found at oesterreich.gv.at.
‘Indefinite leave to remain’ under Paragraph 56(1) of the Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (Law on residence and settlement, NAG) entitles family members from third countries (States which are not members of the EEA, with the exception of Switzerland) to reside for a limited period of time and to pursue an economic activity as a self-employed person.
Family members from third countries may apply for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ under Paragraph 56(1) of the NAG if the person reuniting the family:
- is an Austrian or EEA citizen who has the right to reside in Austria under EU law or, as a Swiss national, has exercised the right to reside in Austria for more than three months under the EC-Switzerland agreement on the free movement of persons and
- is permanently resident in Austria.
In this context, family members are:
- life partners who can provide evidence of a long-term relationship or
- other family members
- who in the country of origin were already dependants of the person reuniting the family or
- who in their country of origin have already lived in the same household as the person reuniting the family or
- whose serious health condition makes personal care absolutely necessary.
If persons reuniting a family have a right to reside in Austria under EU law, particular family members from third-countries have the option to apply for an ‘Aufenthaltskarte’ (residence card) in Austria. If they have lawfully resided in Austria for five consecutive years, they acquire the right to apply for a ‘Daueraufenthaltskarte’ (permanent residence card).
‘Indefinite leave to remain’ is not is not subject to the immigration quota.
The general conditions for the issue of residence permits (with the exception of the legal right to adequate accommodation) and the specific conditions for issue (see section ‘requirements’) must be met. In addition, the person reuniting the family must also submit a declaration of liability.
Furthermore, when submitting a first application for ‘indefinite leave to remain’, third-country nationals must prove knowledge of German.
The application process is not subject to any deadlines.
For the application:
The relevant Austrian representative authority abroad (→ BMEIA) (embassy or specific consulates).
The competence of the representative authority depends on the applicant’s place of residence.
Persons applying for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ under Paragraph 56 paragraph 1 of the NAG are entitled to submit the application to the competent authority in Austria, subject to lawful entry and residence.
For issuing the residence permit:
The local settlement authority for the foreign national’s intended place of residence:
- the Governor or
- the local administrative authority authorised by the latter:
- The district authority
The foreign national must, in principle, submit his/her application for ‘indefinite leave to remain’ in person either abroad before entering Austria to the Austrian representative authority (embassy or consulate), or after lawfully entering and residing in the country to the Governor or district administrative authority.
In the case of an application from abroad, the representative authority checks that the application is complete and correct and forwards it to the competent settlement authority in Austria. The latter verifies whether the conditions for issuing the residence permit are met.
If the conditions are met and the settlement authority approves the application from abroad, it then notifies the Austrian representative authority and, where appropriate, instructs it to issue a visa at the same time. The representative authority informs the applicant accordingly. The foreign national may then enter Austria with the valid visa or, where there is no visa requirement, without a visa and collect the residence permit in person from the competent settlement authority.
Decisions on the issue of ‘indefinite leave to remain’ under Paragraph 56 of the NAG must be given by the competent settlement authority without delay and within 90 days at the latest.
For information on the duration of an individual procedure, please contact the competent Austrian settlement authority. The duration of the procedure depends in particular on whether the required documents have been submitted in full.
- Valid travel document (e.g. passport)
- Birth certificate or equivalent
- Photograph no older than half a year (size: 45 x 35 mm)
- Marriage certificate, certificate of partnership, adoption certificate, proof or certificate of family relationship
- Proof of health insurance (compulsory insurance or equivalent insurance policy) covering all risks
- Proof of a secure livelihood (in particular pay slips; pay certificates; employment contracts; confirmation of pension, retirement or other insurance benefits; proof of sufficient investment capital or own assets).
- Proof of knowledge of German
Not accepted: proof of social benefits to which entitlement would arise only in the event that the residence permit is granted, in particular welfare benefits or the equalisation supplement.
- Declaration of liability of the person reuniting the family
- In addition, if required:
- Evidence of a long-term relationship with the person reuniting the family
- Documentary evidence from a competent authority in the State of origin of maintenance payments made by the EEA citizen or of having lived together in a single household
- Proof of the severe health condition for which personal care administered by the EU citizen is urgently required
- Additional documentation may be required in individual cases.
Whether or not certified translations from other countries will be recognised depends on the relevant procedural requirements. An Apostille may be required for recognition of the documents, for example.
If an original official document in a foreign language must be submitted together with a certified translation, as a general rule the translation may only be supplied by a sworn and legally certified translator. Translators from other EEA Member States may also be registered on the list of sworn and legally certified translators in Austria.
Costs and fees
- Application fee: 120 Euro, 75 Euro for children under 6 years of age
- Issuing fee: 20 Euro, 50 Euro for children under 6 years of age
- Personalisation costs (acceptance of photo and signature): 20 Euro
Holders of ‘indefinite leave to remain’ may receive a ‘Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte plus’ (Red-White-Red Card plus) if:
- they fulfil the general conditions for the issue of a residence permit and
- written notification has been received from the regional office of the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) in accordance with Paragraph 20e(1)(1) of the AuslBG (Law on the employment of foreign nationals).
- Information brochure on the calculation of maintenance in the NAG (→ BMI)German text
- Certification (→ BMEIA)German text
- List of expert witnesses and court interpreters (→ BMJ)German text
- Section 56 of the Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (NAG)
- Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (NAG)
- Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz-Durchführungsverordnung (NAG-DV)
- Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz (AuslBG)
Link to form
- Declaration of liabilityGerman text
- Indefinite leave to remain – Family member – ApplicationGerman text
Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior