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Pupils and students

The residence permits of pupils and students do not exclude work, unless the primary purpose of stay, i.e. education, is jeopardised.

Employment permit

Pupils and students from third countries as well as from Croatia are subject to the Act Governing the Employment of Foreign Nationals and require an employment permit (Beschäftigungsbewilligung). The application for the permit has to be filed with the Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice - AMS) by the employer.

Please note:
This also applies for marginal part-timers.

Labour market test (Arbeitsmarktprüfung)

Employment permits may be granted with or without a labour market test. Permits will only be granted if the labour market test shows that there is no Austrian worker or no non-Austrian worker (already integrated in the Austrian labour market) registered with the AMS available for the job.

As from 1 July 2011, employment permits may be granted without labour market tests if students are employed

  • for up to ten hours per week or
  • for up to 20 hours per week, provided that they have completed a Bachelor’s programme or the first part of a diploma programme.

Employment permits for more than 10 or 20 hours per week respectively can only be granted after the labour market test.

Pupils and students from Croatia will be given unlimited labour market access, to be confirmed by the AMS, after twelve months of continuous employment based on an employment permit.

Please note:
After successful completion of a programme of studies in Austria, it is possible for students to switch from "Student Stay Permit" to Red-White-Red Card. Graduates may reside in Austria for a further six months to search for employment if they have obtained confirmation from the competent residence authority.

Graduates from third countries

Residence permit to seek employment

Third-country nationals who have pursued and successfully completed

  • a Diploma programme (Diplomstudium) at least from the second part onward or

  • a Master’s programme

at an Austrian public university, university of applied sciences or accredited private university, may reside in Austria for a further six months for the purpose of searching for employment, provided that they fulfil the general requirements under the Austrian settlement and residence legislation (such as sufficient means of subsistence, locally customary accommodation, health insurance coverage etc.).

Additionally, they need to obtain confirmation from the competent residence authority: Provincial Governor (Landeshauptmann), authorised Regional Administrative Authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) or Local Administrative Authority (Magistrat). Such confirmation must be applied for in due time before the residence permit expires.

Red-White-Red Card for graduates

If, within these six months, graduates are able to furnish proof of an employment offer from a specified employer under a work contract which corresponds to their level of qualifications, they will be issued a Red-White-Red Card without labour market test, provided that

  • the employer pays the locally customary gross minimum salary which comparable Austrian graduates (junior employees) would receive, but in any case a minimum of € 2.241 (2017) a month, plus special payments (holiday and Christmas pay) and
  • they fulfil the general requirements under Austrian settlement and residence legislation (such as locally customary accommodation, health insurance coverage etc.).

This rule does not apply to graduates who have only obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Austria.

Please note:
For graduates, there is no points system. The Red-White-Red Card comes with an entitlement to fixed-term settlement and work for the specified employer 

Red-White-Red Card plus for graduates

Graduates holding a Red-White-Red Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus with unlimited labour market access if they were employed in accordance with the related criteria for at least ten months within the preceding twelve months.

Further information on the Red-White-Red Card plus can be found here.

Example "Graduates"

A South Korean graduate with a technical Master’s degree from
an Austrian college wants to remain in Austria after completing
her studies and find employment here.

After three months she finds a suitable job with a salary which
significantly exceeds €2,000 gross monthly pay. As she fulfils
the requirements, she can apply for the Red-White-Red Card.

Image courtesy of WKÖ

Graduates from Croatia

Graduates from Croatia have a right of settlement, but no unlimited access to the labour market.

Instead of a Red-White-Red Card, they are issued an employment permit without labour market test if they fulfil the criteria for the Red-White-Red Card. After a year of continuous employment under an employment permit, they will be given unlimited labour market access which has to be confirmed by the AMS.

Further information and useful links


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