General information on the first application for residence permits for Austria

Applying from abroad

As a rule, applications for a residence permit must be submitted from abroad to the Austrian representative authorietes (→ BMEIA) (embassy, consulate) before entry into Austria. The competence of the representative authority depends on the applicant’s place of residence. Applications must be submitted in person.

The Austrian 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 for issue are met, the Austrian representative authority will be notified. Where applicable (i.e. for applicants subject to a visa requirement), an order to issue a visa is given. The Austrian representative authority abroad informs the applicant accordingly. He/she 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.

Applying in Austria

The following categories of persons may submit their first application for a residence permit in Austria:

  • Family members of Austrians, EU citizens, other EEA citizens (from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway) or Swiss citizens who are permanently resident in Austria and who have not exercised their right of residence under EU law or the right of residence of more than three months conferred on them under the EC-Switzerland Agreement on Free Movement of Persons and who have entered and been residing in Austria lawfully

‘Family members’ (family nucleus) include the following persons:

  • Spouses aged 21 or over at the time of submission of the application
  • Registered partners aged 21 or over at the time of submission of the application
  • Unmarried minor children (including adopted children and stepchildren)

Caution

Application does not confer entitlement to exceed the duration of the authorised stay, whether subject to or exempt from a visa.

The following other categories of persons may submit their first application in Austria, although
applications in these cases also do not confer entitlement to exceed the duration of the authorised stay, whether subject to or exempt from a visa:

In addition, the following are entitled to apply in Austria:

  • Foreign nationals no later than six months after the end of their lawful settlement in Austria, if they have not required authorisation or documentation under the Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (Establishment and Residence Act, NAG) for that settlement
  • Foreign nationals not later than six months after the loss of Austrian citizenship or of Swiss nationality or that of an EEA State 

In addition: If it is demonstrably not possible or reasonable to leave for the purpose of making a required application abroad and there is no compelling obstacle to granting it, the settlement authority may, on submission of a reasoned request, authorise a domestic application in the following cases:

  • In the case of unaccompanied minors, in order to safeguard the best interests of the child
  • For the purpose of preserving private and family life within the meaning of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)
  • If the applicant invokes a COVID-19-related impossibility or unreasonableness of departure, he or she must establish the impossibility or unreasonableness of departure credibly

General conditions for the issue of residence permits

Detailed information on the general conditions for the issue of residence permits can also be found at oesterreich.gv.at.

Further links

List of visa requirements(→ BMI)

Legal basis

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 27 January 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior