Relocating your employees to Austria

Austria is a very attractive country for expats to move to. The great nature, clean air, good health care facilities and of course the beautiful cities, make Austria popular. It is not without reason that Austria was in the top 3 best countries in 2019 when it comes to quality of life. The central location in Europe also makes it attractive for companies to open a branch here. Are you relocating (one of your) employees to Austria? We tell you the most important information that you need to take into account.

Immigration requirements

When it comes to residence permits and work permits, Austria distinguishes between EU citizens and non-EU citizens.

EEA, Swiss and Austrian citizens

It is simpler for EEA citizens and Swiss or Austrian citizens to enter and remain in Austria compared to people of third-country nations. This entails that you are permitted to visit Austria without a visa and to stay there for a maximum of three months. Employment is mandatory in order to stay longer than three months in Austria.

Third-country nationals

For stays of more than six months, citizens of third countries – those who are not from the EEA or Switzerland – require a residence visa. Residence permits come in a variety of forms.

Third-country nationals do not require a residence permit for stays up to six months. A visa is required. Some nationals of third countries are exempt from the need for a visa for stays up to 90 days within 180 days (depending on their citizenship).

Red-White-Red Card

Is the employee a qualified worker and citizen of a third country (a country outside the EU)? Then they’ll need to apply for a Red-White-Red Card. This card is issued for a period of 2 years (24 months) and enables its possessor to a fixed-term residence permit and work with the employer listed on the application.

This card can be issued for highly qualified workers, skilled workers in shortage occupations, self-employed key workers and others. You can find more information here.

Can the spouse reside in Austria as well?

Spouses and registered partners of the employee who are an EEA or Swiss citizen themselves, are allowed to reside in Austria for more than three months. In case the spouse is not an EEA or Swiss citizen, they have to apply for a residence card (Aufenthaltskarte). A permanent residency card (“Daueraufenthaltskarte”), which also functions as an identification certificate, can be granted after five years of continuous lawful residence in Austria.


Relocation management

Austria scores extremely high in terms of quality of life and was therefore in the top 3 best countries in 2019. The many facilities and good arrangements for residents contribute to this. The capital of the country, Austria, has ranked as best city in the world to live in.


In many cases it is useful to accommodate an employee in a rental home during the first period. In this way, the employee can get used to his stay in the country and quietly look for a place that suits them well.

The amount of the rent depends on the region where you live. In a big city you will spend more on rent than in a small village outside the city. In addition, there is also a difference between a private rental home and social housing. Austria has a great social housing system in the country, but as a non-Austrian citizen you can only use it if you have five years legal residency in the country.

Minimum wage

Austria technically has no federal minimum wage. However, the Austrian government has agreed a minimum salary with social partners that applies to all industries. As a result, Austria now essentially has a minimum salary of €1,500 per month. This is higher than in other countries in Europe.

Schooling & childcare

State education in Austria is free from the age of five. However, consider that classes are mainly taught in the Austrian language. If the employee and their family do not speak Austrian, it may be more attractive to enroll the children at an international school where English is spoken.

Kindergarten is also free for children aged five and above. The government offers a childcare allowance to assist parents with the cost of childcare. In addition, as a parent you can make use of flexible working arrangements, including the right to work part-time.


Austria is known for the high-quality health care they offer. The facilities can be used by all legal residents in the country. Residents pay for health care by a percentage that is withheld from their wages. People with a low or no income can use the facilities for free.

Other points of attention

Although it is always useful to speak the local language of a country, in Austria you can get along very well with English. About 73% of the population is able to speak English.


Costs of relocating employees to Austria

Visa costs

The price of the residence and work permit application differs per program. EU and EEA citizens are free of charge since they do not require any permits to start living and working in Austria.

The costs for applying for a Red-White-Red card are €120. There are also €20 granting costs and €20 for personalization (such as fingerprints). If you outsource the visa applications to another organization, keep in mind that you also pay extra costs for their service. This costs more, but often has the result that things are arranged faster and you have less work on this yourself.

Shipment costs

Austria is very centrally located in Europe, which makes it an easy destination. However, it has no direct connection to the sea, so the household goods have to be transported by air or road. This often makes the amount for transport higher than in other cases. The total costs depend on:

  • The country of origin
  • The amount of goods and furniture
  • The value of the items and therefore also the insurance
  • If packing of unpacking must be an additional service
  • Transportation during high or low season
  • And more…

Flight tickets

Austria has several airports in the country. It will probably be desirable for your employee to arrive in the country of destination by air travel. Of course, it is also possible to travel to Austria by car, if the employee comes from one of the neighboring countries.

In many cases, employers reimburse the costs of the employee and their family’s travel. However, we recommend that you make clear agreements about this to avoid confusion.

Costs of living in Austria

The quality of life in Austria is high, but that also has consequences for the cost of living. Especially in the big cities, such as Vienna or Salzburg, the costs of living are higher than in other regions of the country.

There are also facilities that have a very positive impact on the cost of living in Austria. For example, pre-schools, public primary and secondary school and universities are freely accessible. Public universities even offer free entry for EU students.

Find your company a professional relocator

As an employer, you want your employee to be able to start his new job abroad in a positive and well-rested way. A relocation manager will help you arrange all the requirements needed for the immigration process and help your employee settle in.

Discover our relocation services and read more about how Voerman can help your organization relocate employees.

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