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Other Key Workers

If you are a third-country citizen who is to take up employment with a company in Austria as a key worker you may apply for a Red-White-Red -Card valid for 24 months if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your prospective employer will pay the statutory minimum of € 3,030 (2024) gross monthly payments 
  • no equally qualified person registered as a jobseeker at the Public Employment Service (AMS) can be placed (labour market test/Arbeitsmarktprüfung) and
  • you reach a minimum of 55 points according to the following list of criteria:

Eligibility criteria for key workers



Maximum allowable points: 30

Completed vocational education/training or special know-how or skills* in the prospective occupation


General eligibility for university admission


Completion of a programme of studies with a minimum duration of three years at an institution of tertiary education


Work experience

Maximum allowable points: 20

Work experience (per half-year)


Work experience in Austria (per half-year)


Language skills

Maximum allowable points: 25

Elementary use of the German language on a basic level (A1 level)


German language skills for the intensified elementary use of the language (A2 level)


German language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)


English language skills for the intensified elementary use of the language (A2 level)


English language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)


French language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)


Spanish language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)


Bosnian, Kroatian or Serbian language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)



Maximum allowable points: 15

Up to 30 years of age


Up to 40 years of age


Sum total of maximum allowable points:


Additional points for English language skills, if English is zhe predominant language of the respective company


Bonus points for professional athletes and professional sports coaches


Required minimum:


* Key workers with special know-how or skills do not have to furnish proof that they have completed formal training (e.g. musicians, designers or professional athletes).

Where to file the application?

Either you can file the application for the Red-White-Red Card personally with the Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) of your country of residence or your potential employer may file it with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor/Landeshauptmann/Landeshauptfrau), authorised Regional Administrative Authority/Bezirkshauptmannschaft or the Local Administrative Authority/Magistrat). An employer’s declaration (Arbeitgebererklärung) with specific details concerning your future place of employment has to be submitted along with the application.

After legal entry and during legal stay you may also file your application directly with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor, authorised Regional Administrative Authority or Local Administrative Authority).

Please note:
If you want to make use of legal representation in your legal procedure, please make sure that your Austrian representative is licensed to do so. Otherwise your representative cannot be accepted by the Austrian authorities.

Which documents to submit?

  • Valid travel document (e.g. passport)
  • Photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) which is not older than six months
  • Evidence of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy)

The authority may also require you to submit other documents on a case by case basis.

For example, many authorities require the submission of an extract from police records (or a certificate of good standing) in case of first time applications. If this is submitted with the application it can help to speed up the application procedure.

You have to submit the following documents for examination of the individual criteria under the points system (see above):

1.  Qualification

Vocational education/training

  • 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, A2 or B1 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages for German or the A2 or B1 levels for English. The certificate should not be older than five years. 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 in particular are recognised as evidence of proficiency in English: Cambridge Certificate, TELC, IELTS diploma, TOEIC diploma, TOEFL diploma.

4.   Professional athletes or professional sports coaches

  • Testimonials and work certificates
Please note:
You have to submit originals and copies of the above-mentioned documents. If the documents are not available in German or English, translations into German or English must be provided. For review purposes, the authority may eventually require legalized versions of the documents.

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

The Austrian representation or residence authority will send your application and supporting documents to the AMS. The AMS will examine

  • if you have reached the required number of points,
  • if your prospective salary conforms with the statutory minimum (see above) and
  • if no equally qualified person registered as a jobseeker can be placed.

If all requirements are met, the AMS will send confirmation to the residence authority which will then issue the Red-White-Red Card, provided that the general requirements under Austrian settlement and residence law are met (health insurance coverage). If your application is approved, you will be notified by the Austrian representative authorities.

If you are subject to visa requirements, you have to apply for a category D visa for the purpose of entering Austria to collect your residence title.

As a holder of the Red-White-Red Card you are entitled to fixed-term settlement and employment by the employer specified in the application. The Red-White-Red Card is generally issued for a period of 24 months. You can also work self-employed, if this employment is subsidiary and all other legal requirements are fulfilled.

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

You 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 you were employed in accordance with the eligibility criteria for a minimum of 21 months during the preceding 24 months, to be assessed by the AMS.

If you are a holder of the Red-White-Red Card plus you are entitled fixed-term settlement and unlimited labour market access. 

You can find more information on the Red-White-Red Card plus here.

Example “Other Key Workers”

A company wants to employ a Director of Sales and has found no
suitable person for this specific job in the Austrian labour
market. The Canadian applicant for this position is 43 years
old, a university graduate and has over 9 years of work
experience in Canada. His native language is English.
He receives 30 points for completing his studies,
18 points for work experience and 10 points
for his language skills.

Since he would receive 58 points and therefore
exceed the minimum number of points, which is
55 points, he can apply for the Red-White-Red Card.

Image courtesy of WKÖ

Further information and useful links


  • Application: € 120
  • Granting: € 20
  • Costs of personalisation (fingerprints, scan of photography and signature): € 20


Laws and provisions


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