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Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations

As a third-country citizen, you may apply for a Red-White-Red Card as a Skilled Worker in a Shortage Occupation valid for 24 months, if

  • you are able to provide proof of completed training in a shortage occupation under the regulation
  • you have received a binding job offer in Austria and the prospective employer is willing to remunerate you with the minimum pay stipulated by law, regulation or collective agreement (in the event that overpay is customary in the respective company, it must also be granted to you)
  • you reach a minimum of 55 points according to the following list of criteria:

Eligibility criteria for skilled workers



Maximum allowable points: 30

Completed vocational education/training in the shortage occupation


Work experience matching one's qualification

Maximum allowable points: 20

Work experience (per half-year)


Work experience in Austria (per half-year)2

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)15
English language skills for the intensified elementary use of the language (A2 level)5
English language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)10
French language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)5
Spanish language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)5
Bosnian, Kroatian or Serbian language skills for the independent use of the language (B1 level)5


Maximum allowable points: 15

Up to 30 years of age


Up to 40 years of age10
Up to 50 years of age5

Sum total of maximum allowable points:


Additional points for English language skills, when English is the predominant language of the respective company5

Required minimum:


Which professions are deemed shortage occupations?

Shortage occupations are promulgated each year in a regulation (Fachkräfteverordnung) issued by the Federal Minister of Labour and Economics (Arbeits- und Wirschaftsminister). Which occupations are considered shortage occupations depends on the development of the Austrian labour market.

Here you can find the list of Austria-wide shortage occupations and regional shortage occupations for 2024:

Please note:
The AMS Profession Information System (Berufsinformationssystem - BIS) offers detailed information on each profession (e.g. job description, salary, training).

Where to file the application?

Either you can personally file the application for the Red-White-Red Card with the Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) of your home country or your country of residence, or your potential employer can do so with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor/Landeshauptmann/Landeshauptfrau, authorised Regional Administrative Authority/Bezirkshauptmannschaft or Local Administrative Authority /Magistrat). An employer’s declaration (Arbeitgebererklärung) with the 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 file your application directly with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor, authorised Regional Administrative Authority, Local Administrative Authority).

Please Note:
If you want to make use of a 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

  • For German: Language diploma or language course certificate (at least A1 levels) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
  • For English: Language diploma or language course certificate (at least A2) 
    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.
  • The certificate should not be older than five years.
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 Public Employment service (AMS), which will then examine if you reached the required number of points, if you completed vocational training in the shortage occupation and if you will be paid adequately. 

If you meet all requirements, the AMS will send confirmation to the residence authority, which will then issue the Red-White-Red Card, provided that the other requirements under Austrian settlement and residence law are met as well (health insurance coverage). The residence authority will notify you if your application is approved. If you are subject to visa requirements you have to apply for a category D visa for the purpose of entering and collecting your residence title. 

As a holder of a Red-White-Red Card, you are entitled to fixed-term settlement and employment by the employer specificied in your 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. 

As a holder of a Red-White-Red Card plus, you are entitled to fixed-term settlement and unlimited labour market access. You can find more information here.

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 70 points (30 points for qualifications,
a further 20 points for work experience, 5 points for German
language skills and finally, 15 points for his age)
and 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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