‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ – Application

General information

The ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ entitles third-country nationals (persons who are not EU citizens, other EEA citizens or Swiss nationals) to settle and work (in a self-employed or employed capacity) anywhere in Austria for a limited period of time.

It may be issued in the following cases:

In the event of the renewal of a ‘Red-White-Red Card’:

Provided that the third-country national:

  • has already held a 'Red-White-Red Card' for two years and
  • the AMS has confirmed that he/she has been employed for 21 months of the last 24 months under the conditions governing the authorisation or that he/she
  • has already held a ‘Red-White-Red Card’ for start-up founders for two years and
  • a written notification has been received from the state office of the AMS (pursuant to Section 24 paragraph 4 of the AuslBG).

In the event of renewal of the ‘EU Blue Card’ (including after a transfer from an ‘EU Blue Card’ from another Member State to an Austrian ‘EU Blue Card’):

Provided that the third-country national:

  • has already held an (Austrian) ‘EU Blue Card’ for two years and
  • the AMS has confirmed that he/she has been employed for 21 months of the last 24 months under the conditions governing the authorisation.

In cases of family reunification, to third-country nationals who:

  • are family members of holders of a ’Red-White-Red Card
  • are family members of holders of a ‘Long-term resident – EU’ residence permit issued by another Member State if the third-country national reuniting the family now holds a ‘Red-White-Red Card’. In the case of a spouse or registered partner, there must be a genuine marriage or registered partnership with the person reuniting the family at the time of settlement.
    In such cases, applications must be submitted within three months of entry and the authority must give a decision within four months. However, such applications do not confer entitlement to stay in Austria for longer than three months.
  • Family members of holders of an ‘EU Blue Card’. The same applies if the current holder of a residence permit originally held an ‘EU Blue Card’. In the case of family members of holders of an ‘EU Blue Card’, the period of validity of the ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ depends on the period of validity of the residence permit of the person reuniting the family.
  • Family members of holders of an ‘EU Blue Card’ issued by another Member State who have been issued an ‘EU Blue Card’ in Austria, provided that it is demonstrated that they have already resided in the other Member State as their family members. The period of validity of the ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ depends on the period of validity of the residence permit of the person reuniting the family.
  • Family members of holders of a ‘Long-term resident – EU’ residence permit if an immigration quota space is available.
  • Family members of persons entitled to asylum, provided that certain legal provisions do not apply and an immigration quota space is available.
  • Family members of holders of a ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ under Section 41a paragaph 4 or 7, indefinite leave to remain under Section 43 paragraph 1 of the NAG, ‘Indefinite leave to remain – Special cases of employment’, where such settlement is based on an activity covered by Section 1 paragraph 2 (i) of the AuslBG, or ‘Indefinite leave to remain – Researcher’. 
  • Family members of holders of an "Article 50 TEU" residence permit, provided that the latter have obtained the residence permit solely as family members of holders of an "Article 50 TEU" residence permit
  • The following family members of EU citizens, other EEA citizens, Swiss citizens or Austrians entitled to reside under EU law who have exercised their right of residence under EU law, provided that they hold ‘indefinite leave to remain’ under Section 56 paragraph 1 of the NAG and written communication has been received from the  → competent regional office of the AMSGerman text in accordance with Section 20e pargraph 1 item 1 of the AuslBG:
    • life partners of the person reuniting the family if evidence of a long-term relationship is provided
    • Other family members who, in the country of origin, were dependants of the person reuniting the family or who have already lived in the same household as that person in the State of origin or whose serious health condition requires personal care by that person.

In other cases, e.g. to third country nationals

  • who are family members of third-country nationals, subject to the general conditions for issuing residence permits, where there is an immigration quota place and the person reuniting the family holds a residence permit (as a family member) in accordance with Article 50 TEU.
  • who are holders of ‘Indefinite leave to remain – Researcher’ if they have held such indefinite leave to remain for at least two years.
  • who held a ‘Long-term resident – EU’ residence permit which lapsed as a result of too long a stay outside the EEA or became invalid as a result of too long a stay outside Austria or through the acquisition of a ‘Long-term resident – EU’ residence permit from another Member State.
  • for whom Austrian citizenship by descent was wrongly assumed and to whom citizenship cannot be granted retroactively on account of their intention to obtain citizenship fraudulently. In such cases, the ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ must automatically be issued upon application, unless the conditions for issuing a ‘Long-term resident – EU’ residence permit are already met.
  • who are holders of a ‘Long-term resident – EU’ residence permit issued by another Member State if there is an immigration quota space available and a written notification has been received from the → regional office of the AMSGerman text in accordance with Section 20d paragraph 1 items 1,2, 3 or 4 of the AuslBG
  • In cases of a transfer of residence permit on reasonable grounds under the Asylgesetz (Law on asylum).
  • In the case of minors who are not accompanied by an adult who is their legal guardian or who are not merely temporarily in the care of foster parents or the public youth welfare organisation.

Requirements

The general conditions for the issue of residence permit and the relevant specific conditions for issue (see section ‘requrirements’) must be met.

In principle, when submitting a first application for a ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’, third-country nationals must prove knowledge of German. That does not apply to family members of holders of a ‘Red-White-Red Card’ for ‘highly qualified individuals’, an ‘EU Blue Card’, ‘Indefinite leave to remain – Researcher’ or a ‘Long-term resident – EU’ residence permit; in the latter case, provided that the third-country national reuniting the family initially held a ‘Red-White-Red Card’ for ‘highly qualified individuals’, a ‘EU Blue Card’ or ‘Indefinite leave to remain – Researcher’.

Deadlines

In the case of an application for a change of purpose accompanied by an application for renewal, the application must be submitted in due time before the expiry of the residence permit in Austria, but no earlier than three months before expiry.

Competent authority

For the application:

First applications for a residence permit: The relevant Austrian representative authority (→ BMEIA) abroad (embassy or specific consulates)

The competence of the representative authority depends on the applicant’s place of residence.

Renewal requests (i.e. transfer from another residence permit or renewal of a ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’): The competent settlement authority in Austria, depending on the place of residence of the applicant

Advice

Particular categories of persons are generally entitled to apply in Austria.

For the admissible domestic application and issuing the residence permit:

The local settlement authority for the foreign national’s intended place of resicence:

Procedure

In the case of an application abroad:

The foreign national must submit her/his application for a residence permit in person and abroad before entering Austria to the Austrian representative authority (→ BMEIA) (embassy or consulate).

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, it then notifies the Austrian representative authority abroad and, where appropriate, instructs it to issue a visa. 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.

In the case of a domestic application:

The foreign national must apply for the ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ in person at the competent establishment authority in Austria. The latter verifies whether the applicant meets the conditions for issuing the residence permit.

If the conditions for issuing the ‘Red-White-Red Card plus’ are met, the settlement authority informs the applicant that the residence permit can be collected in person.

For information on the duration of an individual procedure, please contact the competent Austrian settlement authority. The length of the procedure depends in particular on the type of residence permit and on whether the documentation is complete.

After submitting an application for renewal, the applicant may continue to reside lawfully in federal territory and continue to engage in gainful employment until a final decision has been given on the application. On submission of a reasoned request, a one-time confirmation of the timely submission of an application, whose period of validity may not exceed three months, may be affixed to the foreign national’s travel document. That confirmation entitles the holder to enter federal territory without a visa.

For information on the duration of an individual procedure, please contact the competent Austrian settlement authority. The length of the procedure depends in particular on the type of residence permit and on whether the documentation is complete.

Required documents

  • Valid travel document (e.g. passport)
  • Birth certificate or equivalent
  • Photograph no older than half a year (size: 45 x 35 mm)
  • If required: Marriage certificate, certificate of partnership, adoption certificate, proof or certificate of family relationship
  • Proof of legal entitlement to adequate accommodation, such as letting agreements, preliminary letting agreements or title deeds
  • 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)

Not accepted: proof of social benefits to which entitlement would arise only after the issue of a residence permit, in particular welfare benefits or the equalisation supplement.

  • In cases of renewal of the ‘Red-White-Red Card’ or ‘EU Blue Card’: Confirmation from the AMS of relevant employment within the last 24 months
  • Family members: in addition
    • Proof that the third-country national reuniting the family holds an appropriate residence permit
  • If required, proof of knowledge of German
  • Additional documentation may be required in individual cases.

Advice

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.

Advice

If an original official document in a foreign language must be submitted jointly with a certified translation, as a general rule the translation may only be carried out 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, for children under 6 years of age: 75 Euro
  • Issuing fee: 20 Euro, for children under 6 years of age: 50 Euro
  • Personalisation costs (acceptance of photo and signature): 20 Euro

Further information

Further links

Legal basis

Link to form

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 January 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior