Immigration in Austria

 

Immigration programme for highly skilled specialists
 

Austria labour market is interested in attracting highly skilled specialists from countries outside EU. Employment of these specialists in Austria is conditioned on their compliance with particular pre-set legal requirements.

On 1st July 2011, a new law came into effect substantially relaxing the rules of work placement in Austria for highly qualified migrants from countries outside EU. When granted with so-called Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte (Red-White-Red Card), job seekers are entitled to a long-term residence and employment.

Eligibility criteria

  • Very highly qualified workers
  • Workers in professions that are currently in high demand (the occupation shortage list is revised on annual basis)
  • Other sought after workers/highly-skilled key workers
  • Self-employed key workers
  • Other members of the job seeker’s family

 

Requirements necessary to obtain RWR-Card
 

Very highly qualified workers
 

  • Are obliged to score a minimum of 70 points out of maximum 100 on the basis of a complex list of pre-requisites (such as level of education, qualification, work experience, age, knowledge of German language, salary level etc.)
  • Graduation from an institution of higher education

Having satisfied all the above-mentioned criteria, job seekers are granted a six/month ‘employment-seeking visa,’ enabling them to actively seek employment directly in Austria.

  • Job seekers are entitled to find employment within their area of expertise and receive a legally-binding work contract attesting to the legality of their employment
  • The salary level, as stated in the work contract, must correspond to a national minimum wage, prescribed by law or collective agreement.

Having fulfilled all these additional requirements, job seekers receive their RWR-Card. The card is issued for 12 months and entitles its holder to a place of residence and employment with one specific employer. After one year or a minimum of ten months, RWR-Card holder may upgrade his status and obtain RWR-Card plus, entitling him to a long-term residence and unhindered access to Austrian labour market.
 

Skilled workers in shortage occupations
 

  • Are obliged to score a minimum of 50 points out of maximum 75 on the basis of a complex list of requirements (such as level of education, qualification, work experience, age, knowledge of German language, salary level etc.)
  • Must possess qualification or training in one of the shortage occupations they are applying for
  • Must submit binding job offer from Austrian employer
  • The salary level, as stated in the work contract, must correspond to a national minimum wage, prescribed by law or collective agreement 
     

Other key workers
 

Criteria applied to these specialists are identical to those of shortage occupations with the only notable difference being the fact, that prior to issuing these candidates with work permit; a thorough examination of labour market is carried out in search for equivalent Austrian candidate for this vacancy. The existence or non-existence of such already registered job seeker will determine whether RWR-Card is issued or not.
 

Self-employed key workers
 

In order to receive their RWR-Card applicants are obliged to prove, that the business activity they intend to pursue on the territory of Austria will be beneficial to the Austrian Republic and its economy (i.e. – creation of new jobs, investments etc.)

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