Third-country nationals - General information on residence in Austria

General information

Third-country nationals are defined as individuals wh

  • are not citizens of the EU or
  • citizens of another EEA country (from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway)
  • and are not Swiss citizens.

Third-country nationals residing (or wishing to reside) in Austria for longer than six months, or as an intra-corporate transferee or on the basis of an "ICT" (Intra-Corporate Transfer) residence permit from another EU member state residing (or wish to reside) for longer than 90 days, must obtain an Austrian residence permit. However, if you are entitled to remain in Austria under European Union law, you do not require a residence permit.


EU citizens, citizens of other EEA member states and Swiss citizens do not require a residence permit. However, their right to remain in Austria is subject to the conditions set out in European Union law. This means that if they stay in Austria for more than three months, they must apply for a confirmation of  registration of residence from the relevant authority within four months of the date on which they entered the country. Additional information on settlement permit for dependants who are third-country nationals is available on

As Switzerland is bound to the EEA by a series of bilateral treaties, Swiss citizens are treated as EEA citizens for a wide variety of administrative purposes.

Residence permits

For full details on "Austrian residence permits", go to

Residence permits are always issued for a specific purpose (e.g. they may be marked "except gainful employment"). Foreigners can only change the purpose associated with their residence permit if they meet the requirements for the new permit, and provided there are sufficient numbers of residence permits available under any quota that may be in force.

Residence permits are issued as separate credit card-sized ID cards.


Applications for residence permits in connection with multiple purposes are not permitted. Similarly, it is not permitted to submit multiple applications simultaneously, or to submit additional applications while proceedings are pending under the Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz (NAG), including any proceedings before Austrian High Courts.

For additional information on the  continued validity of previously issued residence permits go to

Validity periods for residency permits

Temporary residence permits are usually issued for a period of twelve months. However, there are the following exceptions, among others:

  • The EU "blue card" residence permit is issued for a period of two years, unless the holder's contract of employment is valid for a shorter period of time. In such cases, residence permits are issued for three months beyond the term of the employment contract.
  • The Austrian "red-white-red – card"  is also issued for a period of two years, unless the holder's contract of employment is valid for a shorter period of time. In such cases, the residence permit is issued for a period of three months beyond the term of the contract of employment.
  • The "residence permits – researcher" are issued for a period of up to two years.
  • Certain types of residence permits, including the "red-white-red – card plus", "settlement permit", "settlement permit - relative", "settlement permit except gainful employment", "„settlement permit – artist“, "„residence permit – researcher“, "settlement permit – special cases of gainful employment“)“ and the family member's residence permit ("relative"), are issued for a period of three years, provided that the third-country national concerned has fulfilled the requirements of Module 1 of the integration agreement and has been continuously and legally resident in Austria for the two years prior to the residence permit being issued. 
  • The "researcher' s residence permit– mobility" is issued to researchers normally resident in another EU member state for the duration of the holder's research activities on Austrian territory, up to the expiry date of their residence permit in the other EU member state concerned.
  • If you apply for a permit with a period of validity shorter than the maximum permitted limit, any permit issued will be for the requested period of time only.
  • If the remaining validity of your passport is shorter than the maximum period of validity for the residence permit, the permit will be issued for the remaining validity of your passport.
  • If a residence permit is applied for in order to reunite a family in Austria, and if the Austrian resident reuniting their family has less than one year left on their residence permit, any residence permit(s) issued to other family members will only be valid for the remaining validity of the Austrian resident's residence permit.

"Long-term EU residence permits" are issued for a period of five years. The fact that your physical residence permit is issued for a limited period does not affect your settlement permit in Austria, if this leave has been granted to you.

The period of validity of a residence permit begins on the day on which it is issued. The validity of any extended residence permit begins on the day after the last day on which the previous permit was valid, unless more than six months have elapsed since that date. If the application to extend the residence permit is submitted on time, the applicant has the right to remain in Austria until such time as a final, legally binding decision has been made regarding their application.

Further information

Further links

Legal basis

Certified Translation
Last update: 16 May 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior