Working in the EU area

Austrian nationals are entitled to work as EU citizens in any member-state of the European Union either for an employer or as a self-employed person.

Gainful employment

This right is a fundamental element of European Union citizenship and covers:

  • the right to seek work locally in another Member State,
  • the right to work in another Member State,
  • the right to reside there for that purpose,
  • the right to equal treatment in respect of access to employment, working conditions and all other advantages which could help to facilitate the worker’s integration in the host Member State.

Tip

If you are unable to find the information that you need on the ‘Your Europe’ portal (‘Working Abroad’ section), you can put your question to Europe Direct using the free telephone number  0800/67 89 10 11 or online to the Citizens Signpost Service. The experts of the Citizens Signpost Service answer questions in connection with your personal problem in your preferred language free of charge within 1 week.

Gainful self-employment

In order to engage in gainful self-employment, you must meet the conditions and qualification requirements applicable under national law of the country of residence.

Right to equal treatment in relation to employment

Any Austrian national, as an EU citizen, has the right to take up gainful employment in another Member State under the same conditions as apply to its own nationals. There cannot be a requirement for a work permit. There is an exception for language skills:  A certain level of proficiency may be required for a job if language skills are needed for the activity concerned.

Equal treatment applies not only to general working conditions (such as pay or dismissal), but also to training.

Tip

The transition period agreed between the EU and the United Kingdom in the course of the 'Brexit' withdrawal agreement expired on 31 December 2020. The United Kingdom has thus left the EU Single Market and the Customs Union. More information on the topic of  ‘Brexit and its consequences (→ BKA)German text’ can be found on the pages of the Federal Chancellery.

Family members

If an Austrian national works in another EU member state, his/her family members, irrespective of their nationality, also have the right to reside and work in the same state. This means that they do not need a work permit, even if they are non-EU citizens. Due to the right to equal treatment, they are also entitled to all social and tax advantages.
The children, regardless of their nationality, have the right to education in this state. They may not be discriminated against in the awarding of scholarships and educational grants.

Further links

Certified translation
Last update: 3 March 2022

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