Immigration Categories

A brief description of corporate immigration categories by assignment type follows. The appropriate immigration category or status for your employees will depend on their specific details and on your company. The most common category for corporate transfers in our experience is the intra-company transfer process. For details on non-typical categories not listed below (investors, special programs), please contact your representative.

  • New Hires (Red White Red Card)
  • Intra Company Transfers (Rotation)
  • Highly Skilled Migrants
  • Short Term Work Assignments

Typical Process Overview

The following process overview is applicable to the intra-company transfer process for nationals of visa-exempt countries. Approximate overall processing time from the time the first step is submitted to the time the employee is legal to work in Austria is approximately three (3) to six (6) months. However, note that lead time for document gathering at the start of the process should be factored in, as should processing time for completion of post arrival formalities. In Austria, the document gathering stage of the process is particularly labor intensive, as many documents, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, and police clearance certificates, must be legalized and translated into German. We can assist with this if required. See the “Application Materials” section below for further details. Average processing time for each individual step is noted below.

Step One: Pre-Work Permit Application
Processing Time:
Approximately four (4) to six (6) weeks

We can file a pre-work permit application with the Austrian Labor Office on the assignee’s behalf. At this time, corporate and personal documentation is needed.

Step Two: Residence Permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung) Application
Processing Time: Approximately four (4) to five (5) weeks when applying in Austria (visa exempt nationals only)

Visa-exempt nationals may either file a residence permit application at the embassy or consul in the applicant’s country of residence or in Austria. The personal appearance of the assignee is necessary. Corporate and personal documentation is needed. All documents must be translated into German and legalized. Applications filed in the assignee’s country of residence will be referred to Austria. Upon receiving approval from Austria, the embassy or consul will issue an Entry Visa to allow assignee to travel to Austria. Due to shorter processing times, we recommend that assignees file in Austria whenever possible.

For applicants who require visas to enter Austria, can submit their Residence permit / D visa applications to the Austrian embassy / consulate in their home country or country of legal residence. Once the D visa is issued, the assignee can then enter Austria and attend the authorities to submit his/her fingerprints to the authorities to allow their Residence permit card to process.

It is also possible for the assignee to apply for a Schengen visa while the pre-work permit is processing in step 1 so that they can enter Austria to complete the Residence Permit step in Austria.

Step Three: Address Registration
Processing Time: Same day

Before the Residence Permit can be collected, the Address Registration must be obtained from the local town hall.

Step Four: Residence Permit Collection
Processing Time: Varies by location; usually same day

Once the Residence Permit has been processed, our representative can accompany the assignee to the Immigration Office to collect their Residence Permit. The assignee’s personal appearance is mandatory; only personal documents are required.

Step Five: Work Permit (Beschaftigungsbewilligung) Application
Processing Time: Approximately one (1) to two (2) weeks

After the Residence Permit has been issued, we can apply for a Work Permit on the assignee’s behalf. The assignee’s Residence Permit card is required; however, the assignee does not have to be personally present. Once the Work Permit has been issued, the assignee may legally commence work.

Typical Documents Obtained

Following the Intra-Company Transfer (known as Rotation in Austria) application process described above will result in the obtention of the following immigration documents. Typical validity is noted next to each document name. For details on the renewal process, please see the next section, “Renewal.”

  • Work Permit (Beschaftigungsbewilligung): Duration is typically one (1) year.
  • Residence Permit (Aufenthaltsbewilligung): Duration is typically one (1) year.


Renewal is possible. Renewal processes take approximately two (2) to three (3) months; please allow at least four (4) weeks of lead time for document gathering.


The government of Austria requires all foreign workers and their dependents to cancel their address registration upon departing the country. This should be done as close as possible to the date of departure from Austria or straight after the foreign worker has moved out of his/her apartment. Only the original signed form is required.


Dependent immigration status approval depends on the immigration status of the principal applicant. Where the principal applicant is in Austria under the Intra-Company Transfer process, the following rules apply for dependents:

  • Minimum age (spouses): Not applicable
  • Maximum age (children): Eighteen (18)
  • Unmarried/Cohabiting partners: Yes
  • Same sex partners: Yes
  • Non-traditional dependents (e.g. parents): No
  • Work authorization granted? Yes, for spouses of red white red card holders.

Application Materials

Application materials vary depending on the immigration category being applied for and on the specifics of the case. We can advise you in detail regarding your specific case; however, general application materials for the intra-company transfer application process are noted below.

  • General application materials include current resume (C.V.), degree qualification, birth and marriage certificates (legalized/apostilled), police clearance certificates (legalized/apostilled), corporate registration certificates, a copy of the applicant’s passport ID page, medical insurance, job description, salary, and proof of accommodation. Please note that even if the assignee’s spouse is not accompanying him/her to Austria, their marriage certificate must still be apostilled and translated into German and submitted to the Austrian authorities.
  • All documentation must be submitted in German with a certified translation and must be legalized. We can assist with the legalization requirements.

Business Visitors

  • Name of visa granted: Schengen type C
  • Duration of stay: Ninety (90) out of one hundred eighty (180) days in the whole Schengen area
  • General activities permitted: “business only”, generally defined as attending business meetings and seminars. If you are unsure whether your assignment may be considered business or not, please contact your representative.

Change of Status

It is possible for some, non-restricted nationalities to convert their status from visitor to work without leaving the country. For nationalities requiring visas, it is not possible to change status from a Type C (short term) business visa to a Type D long term visa.

Salary and Payroll

Salary and payroll requirements vary depending on the immigration category and on the specifics of the case. In Austria, there are minimum salary requirements in place. Additionally, payroll location will affect the immigration process. Please refer to your representative for more details for your specific situation.


Qualification requirements will vary from case to case and will depend on the immigration category under which the application is made. However, in general, the immigration authorities do expect to see a university level degree. In some situations, a strong case may be made for applicants without a degree provided their level of experience and industry specific qualification is high. Please contact your representative for more details.

Red Flags

In our experience, the following points are important to note at the start of the process. If any of the below situations apply to you, contact your representative immediately for further detailed advice.

  • Absence of degree
  • All documents need to be presented in original and copy
  • Marriage certificate must be apostilled and translated and submitted to the authorities even if the assignee’s spouse is not accompanying him/her to Austria.
  • Insufficient compensation
  • Visa nationals experience lengthier processing times
  • Nationalities of certain countries such as Pakistan, India, Yemen or Saudi Arabia will experience a lengthier process due to additional background checks
  • European Union (EU) nationals with restrictions, such as Croatia, will require a Work Permit and EU registration.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The government of Austria takes immigration non-compliance very seriously. Penalties for non-compliance may include fines, deportation, and imprisonment. For more details, please contact your representative.

Bilateral Agreements

  • European Union: Austria is a member of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), and European Free Trade Area (EFTA). Many EU, EEA, and EFTA member countries maintain agreements that allow individuals from member states to travel and work freely within the region without prior authorization. Nationals of new EU member countries that are within the two (2) to seven (7) year transition period following accession may still be subject to work permit or other additional requirements. For detailed information on process and requirements for nationals of EU/EEA/EFTA countries traveling to Austria, please contact Emigra Worldwide.
  • Schengen Area: Austria is a member of the Schengen agreement. Short term (type C) visas, long term (type D) visas, and residence permits for Austria will allow travel in the rest of the Schengen zone.


The material in this document is confidential and a protected trade secret of Emigra Worldwide. In the course of delivering service to our clients and channel partners, our organization may elect to share this material in accordance with confidentiality terms of its service agreements or other contracts with said clients and partners, or in accordance with general intellectual property laws of the nation in which the material is received. All rights are reserved. The reproduction, redistribution or any other promulgation of this material, in whole or in part, without the written permission of an authorized officer of Emigra Worldwide is prohibited. All copies of this material must be returned upon request. The information contained in this document is correct as of the date of issue noted above. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and completeness throughout this document, we cannot and will not be held responsible for damage caused by errors, and/or omissions or otherwise caused by using and/or relying solely on the information contained herein. Please note that immigration regulations and requirements can change without advance notice and as such we cannot guarantee that the information contained within this document is 100% error free.


Last review: April 2015