Relatives of EU citizens and Swiss nationals who are themselves EU citizens or Swiss nationals – General information on residence in Austria

table of content

General information

* 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.

Relatives of EU citizens who are themselves EU citizens do not need a visa and have the right to reside in Austria for a period of three months (regardless of any economic activity).

The following relatives of EU citizens with a right of residence under EU law or Austrian nationals who have exercised that right, who are themselves EU citizens but who themselves do not fulfil the general requirements for a stay of more than three months, are entitled under EU law 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
  • life partners who are able to prove the existence of a long‑term relationship
  • other relatives
    • who have actually already received maintenance from the EU citizen in the country of origin;
    • who have already been co‑habiting with the EU citizen in the country of origin; or
    • whose serious health condition makes personal care provided by the EU citizen absolutely necessary.

The relative must notify the competent settlement authority of a stay of more than three months within four months of the arrival in Austria. If the conditions are fulfilled, a ‘registration certificate’ is issued upon request. After five years’ of lawful and continuous residence in Austria, they will receive a ‘certificate of permanent residence’ upon request. An application may also be made for the issue of a  photo ID card for EEA citizens (which also serves as an identity document).

Advice

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.

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 11 March 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior