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Seasonal Workers

By way of regulation, the Federal Minister of Labour and Economics may set quotas for the employment of seasonal workers and harvest helpers if the demand for such workers cannot be covered by the available workforce.

Regulations of this kind are regularly issued for the sectors of tourism and agriculture/forestry.

Employment permits under seasonal quotas

Your employer applies for the quota permit (Kontingentbewilligung) for you as a seasonal worker with the competent regional Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice - AMS).

The permit will be granted

  • if the AMS labour market test (Arbeitsmarktprüfung) shows that there is no Austrian worker or no non-Austrian worker (already integrated in the Austrian labour market) registered with the AMS who can be placed for the job,
  • if a quota slot is available,
  • if your employer adheres to applicable wage and working conditions, and
  • if your employer demonstrates the locally customary accommodation is available for you for the duration of your seasonal employment.

In principle, the maximum term of a quota permit is six months. Within a period of twelve months, seasonal workers may be employed under quota permits for a maximum period of nine months.

Please note:
If your permit is renewed or if you switch employers the requirement of a free quota slot within this time period is eliminated. 
Quota permits for harvest helpers may only be issued for a maximum of six weeks.
Seasonal workers who have been employed in agriculture an forestry under quotas in the past three years can obtain an employment permit with a total duration of nine months.

Employment permits for regular seasonal workers

Seasonal Workers who were employed in tourism or agriculture and forestry with a quota permit for at least four months per year between 2006 to 2010 can register with the Public Employment Service (AMS) as regular seasonal workers in the respective sector until the end of April 2012.

As of January 1, 2022, a new regular seasonal workers regulation has come into effect: Seasonal workers who have been employed under seasonal quotas in tourism or agriculture and forestry for at least three months in three of the previous five calendar years, respectively, may register at the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) for further employment in the respective economic sector.

As a registered Regular Seasonal Worker you will be issued a seasonal employment permit outside of the quota and without a labour market test. This permit is issued for a duration of up to six months.

It is possible to receive several permits per calendar year and sector. However, the total duration of all periods of employment for which a permit is granted must not exceed nine months per calendar year.

Please note:
For newly registered regular seasonal workers who have been employed in agriculture and forestry in the past three calender years, an employment permit with a total duration of nine months may be issued.

Entry and residence of seasonal workers

Depending on the planned duration of work, the visa categories applicable for all seasonal workers (from countries subject to visa requirements as well as those under a visa-free regime) are either category D visas or category C visas.

As a seasonal worker you must file your application personally with the competent Austrian representation abroad.

A visa will be granted if

  • general visa requirements are fulfilled and
  • a valid employment permit issued by the AMS is available.

If you are a seasonal worker who has repeatedly worked in this capacity in Austria while lawfully residing in federal territory ("bona fide"), you may apply for a category C visa (=visa for up to 90 days within 180 days) with an overall validity of up to five years (comprising several short seasons), nonwithstanding the maximal duration of stay of 90 days per 180 days. This applies to short-term seasonal work. You will still need an employment permit for each season.

Please note:
If you intend to stay in Austria for more than 90 days or if you have already an employment permit with a validity period of more than 90 days, you have to apply for a category D visa with the competent Austrian representation abroad, nonwithstanding the existence of a category C visa with an overall validity of up to five years.

In case your existing employment permit is renewed or you receive another employment permit, you may apply for visa renewal in Austria, provided that you are lawfully residing in federal territory on the basis of a visa for seasonal workers. You have to file the application with the locally competent State Police Directorate (Landespolizeidirektion – LPD).

Please note:
You are allowed to take up employment as a seasonal worker only after your visa has been issued. As a seasonal worker, you are not entitled to permanent settlement and family reunification.

Further information and useful links


Upon application a visa fee has to be paid.

  • category C visas: usually €60 (lower fees may be charged in individual cases under so-called "EU visa facilitation agreements")
  • category D visas: €100


Laws and provisions


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