Where can a residence title be applied for?
As a general rule, first-time applications for the issue of a residence title must be filed with the competent Austrian representation (embassy, consulate) abroad before entering Austria. Applicants must wait abroad for the decision to be issued. The territorial competence of the Austrian representation depends on the applicant’s main place of residence.
Applications filed with authorities that lack competence will be rejected by the latter without any further processing. The applicant will receive information on which authority is competent.
Applications for the issue of a residence title can only be filed with Austrian representations. The website of the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs provides information as to where Austria has representations (see information).
Representation by an authority of another Schengen state is not possible in this case.
The following groups of persons may file a first-time application also in Austria:
- Third-country nationals who are allowed to enter Austria without a visa may file an application for a residence title in Austria during their visa-waived stay in Austria;
Filing an application does not entitle the applicant to exceed the visa-waived stay if the procedure is not completed in time, i.e. before the expiry of the visa-waived stay of a maximum of 3 months within a 6-month period.
- Other groups of persons as defined in sec 21 (2) of the Settlement and Residence Act (see https://www.help.gv.at/Portal.Node/hlpd/public/content/12/Seite.120224.html).
Moreover, an application that is filed in Austria may be allowed based on a submission to this effect if there is no impediment to the application being granted (e.g. a final ban of return or stay, or a marriage, partnership or adoption of convenience)*** and the applicant can prove that it would be impossible or unreasonably difficult to exit Austria for the purpose of filing the application. This only applies to unaccompanied minors or if exiting Austria would obstruct private or family life.
Applications for extension (as well as admissible first-time applications or applications for a change of purpose) may be filed with the competent domestic settlement authority.
Competence within Austria depends on the applicant’s place of residence or intended place of residence. In general the district authority (“Bezirkshauptmannschaft”) or, in chartered towns, the municipality is responsible (in Vienna, municipal department MA 35).
***Marriages, partnerships or adoptions which are exclusively or predominantly contracted forthe purpos of obtaining a residence title ("fictitious marriage")