General requirements for a residence permit

The following requirements must be met for a residence permit to be issued:

Upon application, a legal title to accommodation that is customary for local conditions for families of a comparable size must be proven.

Documents suitable as evidence: lease, sub-lease, preliminary lease agreement, or title of ownership.

Accommodation which can be annulled at any time does not qualify as legal title and is therefore not suitable as evidence of accommodation.

Health insurance
Evidence must be submitted of a comprehensive all-risk health insurance that is liable to provide benefits in Austria. Applicants are free to select the health insurance provider.

In cases where a statutory health insurance in Austria is conditional on the issue of a residence title (e.g. statutory mandatory insurance for gainfully employed persons), a travel health insurance which guarantees the payment of repatriation costs (returning the injured or sick person to his or her home country) may be accepted in the first-time application procedure. A travel health insurance will not be accepted, if it is possible to take out statutory health insurance in Austria before the residence title is issued.

Document suitable as evidence: insurance policy.

Secure livelihood
A residence permit will only be issued if the applicant can provide evidence of sufficient and regular own income during his or her stay, which allows him or her to finance his or her livelihood without relying on governmental (federal, provincial, municipal) welfare benefits.

Income is considered as sufficient if the amount equals at least the applicable standard supplementary benefit rate.

The standard supplementary benefit rate as at 1 January 2016 is

  • for single persons EUR 882.78 per month
  • for married couples EUR 1,323.58 per month
  • for every additional child EUR 136.21 per month.

If the monthly fixed costs, for e.g. rent, loan installments or support payments exceed EUR 282.06 (status 2016), the amount of income to be evidenced increases accordingly.

A lower monthly subsistence level applies to unmarried students up to the age of 24 applying for a residence permit – student (2016: EUR 487.53 per month).

Documents suitable as evidence: wage slip, wage confirmation, service contracts, preliminary employment contracts, contract for works and services, confirmations on pension, annuity or other insurance benefits; income tax notice, study grant; statement of capital investments or of a sufficient amount of own assets, e.g. by statement of accounts, savings book or, if a residence permit – artist is applied for, also a declaration of liability (see below).

Evidence of social benefits to which an entitlement would arise only by the issue of the residence title, such as welfare benefits or the standard supplementary benefit (“Ausgleichszulage”), do NOT qualify as suitable evidence of income.

A folder available on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (status March 2016) informs about how to calculate the required means of subsistence which need to be proven. (See the folder here )

Option: Declaration of liability (“Haftungserklärung“)
For the residence permit – artist there is an option to submit, on application, a declaration of liability instead of evidence of secure livelihood. This declaration of liability must be given by a third person before an Austrian notary or court (notarized or court certified) stating that this person assumes liability for all costs arising from the applicant’s stay in Austria, in particular for his or her upkeep, accommodation and an all-risk health insurance, as well as for the reimbursement of costs caused by the applicant which may arise for the authorities (enforcement of a decision to return, a ban of stay, deportation, refoulement or detention pending deportation). This declaration of liability must be valid for at least 5 years. The declarant must submit proof of sufficient income or assets.

The website of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior contains a sample declaration of liability:

Other impediments
The applicant’s stay must not be

  • Counter the public interest, or
  • Significantly impair Austria’s relations with other states.

A residence title is refused if e.g. there is a valid ban of stay or return to Austria or in another EEA state (for instance, because of a final conviction for certain crimes) or the person was validly expelled within the past 12 months, or was punished with final effect for evading border controls or of unlawful entry to Austria.

For an overview of the documents required to apply for a residence permit, please refer to Which documents are needed to apply for a residence title?