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Red-White-Red Card plus

The Red-White-Red Card plus entitles you as a third-country national to fixed-term settlement and unlimited labour market access (as a self-employed or an employed person, not limited to a specific employer).

Who is eligible for a Red-White-Red Card plus?

Renewal of the Red-White-Red Card or the EU Blue Card

  • as the holder of a Red-White-Red Card, if you were employed in accordance with the eligibility requirements for the Red-White-Red Card for at least 21 months  during the preceding 24 months
  • as the holder of an EU Blue Card, if you were employed in accordance with the eligibility requirements for the EU Blue Card for at least 21 months during the preceding 24 months

Family members

  • family members of Red-White-Red Card holders or EU Blue Card holders
  • family members of foreign citizens permanently settled in Austria
  • in certain cases family members of holders of a Red-White-Red Card plus, who previously held a Red-White-Red Card or a "Settlement Permit - Researcher" ("Niederlassungsbewilligung - Forscher")
  • family members of holders of a Settlement Permit ("Niederlassungsbewilligung")
  • in certain cases family members of holders of a "Settlement Permit - Special Cases of Gainful Employment" ("Niederlassungsbewilligung - Sonderfälle unselbstständiger Erwerbstätigkeit") or of a "Settlement Permit - Researcher ("Niederlassungsbewilligung - Forscher")

The following persons are considered family members:

  • spouses
  • registered same-sex partners
  • unmarried minor children, including adoptive and stepchildren (up to the age of 18)

At the time of application, spouses and registered partners must be at least 21 years of age.

Please note:
You can find more information in the chapter on family reunification.

Other cases

  • as a scientist or a researcher if you held the residence title “Settlement Permit - Researcher” (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung - Forscher”) for at least two years.
  • as the holder of a “Settlement Permit” or a “Settlement Permit – Dependant” (“Niederlassungsbewilligung – Angehöriger”), provided that
    • you have been lawfully settled in Austria for two years and are progressively integrated (if you have previously been lawfully employed or when – under certain circumstances –  admission to employment is necessary due to your particularly close social and family ties to Austria), or
    • you hold a valid work permit or a valid exemption certificate, or
    • you are a family member of a third-country national who falls within the scope of item 1. or 2., provided you have been lawfully settled in Austria for twelve months. 
  • if you previously held the residence title “Permanent Residence – EU”, which expired because of your prolonged residence outside of the EEA.
  • if you are the holder of a residence title based on grounds meriting consideration under the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz), you may be allowed to switch to the Red-White-Red Card plus in certain cases.

Where to file the application?

In case of a first-time application for a residence title (e.g. family members), you have to personally file your application before entering Austria with the competent Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) abroad.

If you are allowed to enter Austria under a visa-free regime or if you already hold a valid residence title you may also file the application directly with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor /Landeshauptmann/Landeshauptfrau, authorised Regional Administrative Authority/Bezirkshauptmannschaft or Local Administrative Authority/Magistrat).

If you want to renew your residence title, you have to make sure to file the application on time (before your current residence title expires, but at the earliest three months before that date).

Which documents to submit?

  • a valid travel document (e.g. passport)
  • a birth certificate or a similar document
  • a photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) of the applicant, taken recently (six months ago or less)
  • if applicable:
    • marriage certificate or certificate of registered same-sex partnership
    • adoption papers
    • proof or certificate of the family relationship
  • proof of a legal title to locally customary accommodation (e.g. a lease contract, preliminary agreement on tenancy rights or proof of ownership)
  • proof of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy)
  • proof of adequate means of subsistence (particularly pay slips, proof of earnings, an employment contract, proof of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits, proof of investment capital or sufficient own assets)

Proof of social benefits which you are entitled to only after your residence permit has been granted (welfare benefits or equalisation supplements in particular) does not count.

  • family members: proof that the sponsor holds the required residence title
  • if applicable: proof of German language skills

In individual cases, you may have to submit additional documents.

Family Members Please note:
You have to submit originals and copies of the abovementioned documents. The authorities may request that German or English translations or certified versions of the documents be provided for a thorough examination.

When will a Red-White-Red Card plus be issued?

You have to meet the general requirements for residence titles as well as the respective title-specific requirements.

If you are a family member applying for the first time, you have to furnish proof of German language skills on A1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.

Please note:
If you are a family member of a holder of a Red-White-Red Card for Very Highly Qualified Workers an EU Blue Card, or a "Settlement Permit - Researcher", you do not have to provide proof of German language skills before immigrating to Austria.

How long is the Red-White-Red Card plus valid?

The Red-White-Red Card plus is valid for one year. If you have lawfully settled in Austria for at least two years and you fulfil module 1 of the Integration Agreement, you can obtain a Red-White-Red Card plus valid for three years.

Further information and useful links

Fees

  • Issuance fee: € 100 (€ 80 at the time of application, additional € 20 at issuance)
  • Costs of personalisation (acceptance of photo and signature): € 20

Forms

Switching from a residence title based on grounds meriting consideration according to the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz)

Laws and provisions

Links

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