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Other forms of settlement

Third-country nationals are individuals who are neither EEA- nor Swiss citizens. If they intend to reside or settle in Austria for a period of more than six months they require a residence title (permission to stay for more than six months) corresponding to their residence purpose.
For stays of up to six months no residence title shall be granted. Instead, a visa must be applied for if necessary.

"Settlement Permit - Gainful Employment Excepted"

Third-country nationals wishing to settle in Austria without gainful employment (e.g. pensioners, financially independent individuals) may obtain a residence title “Settlement Permit – Gainful Employment Excepted“.

This residence title may be granted to third-country nationals, if:

  • They fulfil the general requirements for granting such an entitlement.
  • A quota under the quota system is available (only a limited number of settlement permits can be granted each year).
  • They have a regular monthly income (e.g. Austrian or foreign pensions, profits from enterprises abroad, income from assets, savings or company shares) equalling twice the amount of the standard rates of the General Social Insurance Act (ASVG):
  • General Social Insurance Act - standard rates for the year 2016

 

Standard rate

Twice the rate

Single

€ 882.78

€ 1,765.56

Married couples or partnerships

€ 1,323.58

€ 2,647.16

additionally for each child

€ 136.21

€ 272.42


General requirements for granting a residence title

The following requirements must be met for any residence title to be granted:

  • Adequate means of subsistence:
    The third-country national must have a fixed and regular own income enabling him/her to meet his/her livelihood without resorting to welfare aid from local authorities (see standard rates above)
  • Health insurance coverage:
    The third-country national must have health insurance coverage, providing benefits in Austria and covering all risks.
  • Adequate accommodation according to local standards:
    The third-country national must provide evidence of a legal title to an accommodation (e.g. by presenting a lease contract) considered adequate for his/her family size according to local standards.

Providing evidence of German language skills (“German prior to immigration”)

Third-country nationals have to provide evidence of German language skills at A1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, when first applying for a residence title “Settlement permit – gainful employment excluded”. Only basic German language skills at beginner level are required.

Evidence of German language skills may be provided by:

  • A generally acknowledged language diploma or a course certificate from one of the following institutions:

    • Austrian Language Diploma German
    • Goethe-Institut e.V.
    • Telc GmbH
    • Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF)

    Further institutions may be announced by way of publication on the official notice board of the competent Austrian representation (embassy, consulate) abroad.

      • The fulfilment of the requirements of Modules 1 or 2 of the Integration Agreement (i.e. German language skills at A2 or B1 level) also rates as evidence of adequate German language skills.
      Please note:
      The language diploma or course certificate must not be older than one year when being submitted.

      Evidence of adequate German language skills does not need to be provided by

      • Persons who have not completed 14 years of age when applying
      • Persons who cannot reasonably be expected to provide such evidence on grounds of their physical or mental health condition; in such a case, the third-country national must provide a medical report issued by a public health officer or by a doctor appointed by an Austrian consular representation.
      Please note:
      Persons whose proceedings for obtaining a residence title started on or before 30 June 2011 do not need to provide evidence of German language skills before immigration.

      Scope of residence titles and validity

      The residence title “Settlement Permit – Gainful Employment Excepted” allows time-limited settlement without access to the labour market and shall be issued for the duration of one year.

      The residence title shall be issued for a duration of three years if

      • the third-country national has completed Module 1 of the Integration Agreement (i.e. German language skills at A2 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and
      • has lawfully resided in Austria without interruption during the previous two years.

      After five years of lawful residence without interruption, a residence title “Long-term Residence – EU” may be applied for

      Competent authority

      Competent first instance authorities shall be the local Provincial Governor’s Office or the duly authorised district administration bodies (District or Municipal Administrative Authorities). Local competence is governed by the (intended) domicile of the third-country national concerned.

      Any complaints against decisions by the competent first instance authorities shall be handled by the locally competent Provincial Administrative Court. The authority shall decide on applications without undue delay, but not later than within six months after receipt.

      Filing an application

      As a matter of principle, first applications for a residence title shall be filed with the competent Austrian consular representation (embassy or specific consulates) abroad. Local competence of the consular representation depends on the applicant’s domicile.

      The consular representation abroad shall examine the application for completeness and correctness and then forward it to the competent authorities in Austria.

      Persons entitled to enter without a visa may file their application in Austria during their permitted stay without a visa.

      Please note:
      An application filed in Austria shall not grant a right of residence to the applicant beyond the time he/she is allowed to stay with or without a visa. When the time allowed to stay with or without a visa has expired he/she is required to depart and must await proceedings abroad.

      Required documents

      • Valid travel document (This requirement is waived in the case of a first application of a child within six months after birth, if the child does not yet have a valid travel document)
      • Birth certificate or similar document (only with first applications)
      • Current photo of applicant
      • If applicable

        • Marriage certificate
        • Divorce certificate
        • Certificate of registered partnership
        • Certificate of dissolution of registered partnership
        • Adoption papers
        • Evidence or certificate concerning the family relationship
        • Death certificate

      • Evidence of a legal title to an accommodation according to local standards, including lease or sublease contracts, preliminary property contracts or ownership evidence
      • Evidence of health insurance protection covering all risks and providing benefits in Austria, including submission of the corresponding insurance policy, unless compulsory insurance coverage exists or will exist
      • Evidence of means of secure subsistence (pay slip, pay certificate, employment contracts, certificates of state pension, pension insurance or other insurance benefits, evidence of adequate amounts of invested capital or owned assets)
        Please note
        : Evidence of social benefits which are only due when the residence title is granted, including welfare aid and differential allowance, are not permissible.
      • Evidence of German language skills

      Fees

      • Granting fee: €100 (€80 upon application, additional €20 when granted)
      • Costs of personalisation (photography and signature): €20
        » read more

        "Long-term Resident - EU"

        The residence title “Long-term Resident – EU” may be granted to third-country nationals, if they

        General granting requirements

        The following requirements must be met for a residence title “Long-term Resident – EC” to be granted:

        • Adequate means of subsistence:
          The third-country national must have a fixed and regular income enabling him/her to meet his/her livelihood without resorting to welfare aid from local authorities.
          The income needs to be equal to or exceed the standard income rate. In 2014, this standard income rate amounts to €857.73 for singles, €1,286.03 for married couples and an additional €132.34 for each child.
        • Health insurance coverage:
          The third-country national must have health insurance coverage, providing benefits in Austria and covering all risks.
        • Adequate accommodation according to local standards:
          The third-country national must provide evidence of a legal title to an accommodation (e.g. by providing a lease contract), considered adequate for his/her family size according to local standards.

        Module 2 of the Integration Agreement

        Module 2 of the Integration Agreement is intended to provide German language skills for in-depth autonomous language use (i.e. German language skills at B1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

        Module 2 is deemed to be completed if one of the following conditions has been fulfilled:

        • Generally acknowledged evidence of adequate German language skills provided by certificates upon successfully passing a B1 level test according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, in particular from one of the following institutions:

          • Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF)
          • Austrian Language Diploma German
          • Goethe-Institut e.V.
          • Telc GmbH

        • Being a minor and attending primary school (Volksschule) within the scope of compulsory education;
        • Being a minor attending secondary school (e.g. Hauptschule, AHS) and having successfully completed German classes;
        • Evidence of having attended a compulsory school in Austria for a minimum of five years and having successfully completed German classes or having successfully completed German classes on a 9th grade level;
        • Evidence of having successfully completed German classes at a school abroad, where German is taught at least at a 9th grade level of an Austrian compulsory school;
          or
        • Passing a final apprenticeship examination according to the Vocational Training Act.

        The following persons do not need to complete Module 2 of the Integration Agreement to be able to obtain a residence title “Long-term resident – EU”:

        • Third-country minors who are not yet subject to compulsory education when applying. Compulsory general education starts on 1 September of the year following the applicant’s 6th birthday.
        • Third-country nationals in a permanently bad physical or mental health condition; when claiming a permanently bad health condition, a medical report issued by a public health officer has to be provided.

        Scope of residence title and validity

        The residence title “Long-term Resident - EU” allows long-term settlement and free access to the labour market and shall be issued for the duration of five years.

        Competent authority

        Competent first instance authorities shall be the local Provincial Governor’s Office or the duly authorised district administration bodies (District or Municipal Administrative Authorities). Local competence is governed by the (intended) domicile of the third-country national concerned.

        Any complaints against decisions by the competent first instance authorities shall be handled by the locally competent Provincial Administrative Court.

        The authority shall decide on applications without undue delay, but not later than six months after receipt.

        Required documents

        • Valid travel document (this requirement shall be waived in the case of a first application of a child within six months of birth, if the child does not yet have a valid travel document)
        • Birth certificate or similar document (only with first applications);
        • Current photo of applicant;
        • if applicable

          • Marriage certificate
          • Divorce certificate
          • Certificate of registered partnership
          • Certificate of dissolution of a registered partnership
          • Adoption papers
          • Evidence or certificate concerning the family relationship
          • Death certificate

        • Evidence of a legal title to an accommodation according to local standards, including lease or sublease contracts, preliminary property contracts or ownership evidence;
        • Evidence of health insurance protection covering all risks and providing benefits in Austria, including submission of the corresponding insurance policy, unless compulsory insurance coverage exists or will exist;
        • Evidence of means of secure subsistence (pay slips, pay certificates, employment contracts, certificates of state pension, pension insurance or other insurance benefits, evidence of adequate amounts of invested capital or owned assets);
          Please note
          : Evidence of social benefits which are only due when the residence title is granted, including welfare aid and differential allowance, are not permissible.
        • Evidence of completion of Module 2 of the Integration Agreement and
        • Evidence of lawful residence in Austria during the last five years without interruption.

        Fees

        • Granting fee: €150 (€80 upon application, additional €70 when granted)
        • Costs of personalisation (photography and signature): €20
        » read more

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