Skilled workers in shortage occupations
- Which professions are deemed as shortage occupations?
- Where to file the application?
- Which documents to submit?
- When will a Red-White-Red Card be issued?
- When will a Red-White-Red Card plus be issued?
- Further information and useful links
Third-country citizens may apply for a Red-White-Red Card as a skilled worker in a shortage occupation valid for twelve months, if
- they are able to furnish proof of completed training in a shortage occupation under the regulation
- they have received a binding job offer in Austria and the prospective employer is willing to remunerate them with the minimum pay stipulated by law, regulation or collective agreement (in the event that overpay is customary in the respective undertaking, it must also be granted to the applicant)
- they reach a minimum of 50 points according to the following list of criteria:
Eligibility criteria for skilled workers
Maximum of allowable points: 30
Completed vocational education/training in the shortage occupation
General eligibility for admission to a university
Completion of a programme with a minimum duration of three years at an institution of tertiary education
Work experience according to qualification
Maximum of allowable points: 10
Work experience (per year)
Work experience in Austria (per year)
Maximum of allowable points: 15
German: elementary use of the language on a basic level (A1 level), or
English: independent use of the language (B1 level)
German: intensified elementary use of the language (A2 level), or
English: intensified independent use of the language (B2 level)
Maximum of allowable points: 20
Up to 30 years of age
Up to 40 years of age
Sum total of maximum allowable points:
Which professions are deemed shortage occupations?
Shortage occupations are promulgated each year in a regulation (Fachkräfteverordnung) issued by the Federal Minister of Labour in consultation with the Federal Minister of Economics. Which occupations are considered as shortage occupations depends on the development of the Austrian labour market.
For the year 2017, the following occupations are deemed shortage professions:
- 1. Milling machinists
- 2. Technicians with a higher level of training (Engineer) for mechanical engineering
- 3. Black toppers
- 4. Metal turners
- 5. Technicians with a higher level of training (Engineer) for data processing
- 6. Technicians with a higher level of training (Engineer) for power engineering technology
- 7. Graduate engineers in mechanical engineering
- 8. Roofers
- 9. (Speciality) power engineers
- 10. Graduate engineers for data processing
- 11. Graduate nurses who started with their complementary training in Austria until the end of 2016 and have completed it at the time of application. Persons who have not yet received the relevant nostrification decision by the Austrian authorities are not covered.
Where to file the application?
The application for the Red-White-Red Card can either be filed personally with the Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) for the applicant’s country of residence or by the potential employer with the competent residence authority in Austria, which can be the Provincial Governor (Landeshauptmann), the authorised Regional Administrative Authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) or the Local Administrative Authority (Magistrat). An employer’s declaration (Arbeitgebererklärung) has to be submitted along with the application.
Persons who are permitted to enter Austria under a visa-free regime or already have a valid residence title may also file their applications with the competent residence authority in Austria.
If you want to make use of a representative in your legal procedure, please make sure that your Austrian representative is legally authorized. Otherwise your representative cannot be accepted by the Austrian authorities.
Example “Skilled workers in shortage occupations”
A company wants to employ a Serbian roofer. This year roofers are
on the list of shortage occupations. The Serbian roofer has
completed appropriate professional training, has over ten years
of work experience, is 29 years old and has basic knowledge of
The roofer receives 60 points (20 points for qualifications,
a further 10 points for work experience, 10 points for German
language skills and finally, 20 points for his age)
and can apply for the Red-White-Red Card.
Image courtesy of WKÖ
Which documents to submit?
- Valid travel document (e.g. passport)
- Birth certificate or similar document
- Photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) which is not older than six months
- Evidence of locally customary accommodation (e.g. lease contracts, preliminary agreement on tenancy rights or ownership evidence)
- Evidence of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy)
- Evidence of adequate means of subsistence (payslips, pay certificates, employment contracts, insurance benefit certificates , evidence of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits, investment capital or sufficient own assets)
The following documents have to be submitted for examination of the individual criteria under the points system (see above):
- Certificate or diploma of completed vocational education/training
Proof of eligibility for admission to university (Matura, Abitur, matriculation certificate)
- Certificate furnishing proof of general eligibility for admission to university
- Document furnishing proof of successful completion of a three-year programme at a university or another institution of tertiary education
- Document reflecting the status of the university or other institution of tertiary education
2. Work experience
- Testimonials and work certificates
3. Language skills
- Language diploma or language course certificate at the A1 or A2 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages for German or the B1 or B2 levels for English.
German language diplomas and certificates may in particular be obtained from the following institutions: ÖSD, Goethe-Institut, Telc GmbH, Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF)
The following diplomas and certificates are in particular recognised as evidence of proficiency in English: Cambridge Certificate, TELC, IELTS diploma, TOEIC diploma, TOEFL diploma.
Originals and copies of the above-mentioned documents must be submitted. If the documents are not available in German or English, translations into German or English must be provided at the request of the Austrian representation or the Public Employment Service (AMS); possibly, certified versions of documents may be required.
When will a Red-White-Red Card be issued?
The Austrian representation or residence authority will send the application and supporting documents to the Public Employment service (AMS). The AMS will examine if the required number of points was reached, if vocational education/training in the shortage occupation was completed and if the worker will be paid adequately.
If all requirements are fulfilled, the AMS will send confirmation to the residence authority and the residence authority will then issue the Red-White-Red Card, provided that the other requirements under settlement and residence legislation are met (such as locally customary accommodation, health insurance coverage etc.).
The Red-White-Red Card entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and employment by a specified employer.
When will a Red-White-Red Card plus be issued?
Skilled workers in a shortage occupation who hold a Red-White-Red Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor, authorised Regional Administrative Authority or Local Administrative Authority) if they were employed in accordance with the criteria decisive for eligibility for a minimum of ten months during the preceding twelve months.
The Red-White-Red Card plus entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and unlimited labour market access.
Further information on the Red-White-Red Card plus can be found here.
Further information and useful links
- Red-White-Red Card: € 100
- Costs of personalisation (photography and signature): € 20
Laws and provisions
- Settlement and Residence Act (German)
- Act Governing the Employment of Foreign Nationals (pdf - 538 KB; English)
- Visa requirements (English)