General requirements for a residence permit - artist

The following requirements must be met for a “residence permit – artist” to be granted: 

1. Accommodation

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.

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

2. Health insurance

Applicants must submit proof of having taken out comprehensive all-risk health insurance that is liable to pay benefits in Austria before the residence title is granted. Applicants are free to select the health insurance provide except in cases where mandatory statutory insurance applies.

In cases where mandatory statutory health insurance will exist only upon or directly after the issue of a residence title (statutory health insurance for gainfully employed persons), travel health insurance which does not cover all risks with a coverage of at least EUR 30,000 and which guarantees the payment of repatriation costs (returning the injured or sick person to their home country) may be accepted. However, travel health insurance in first-application procedures in which there will be no statutory insurance coverage may only be accepted on condition that an all-risk health insurance (e.g. voluntary self-insurance with a regional health insurer or a private health insurer) is been taken out immediately after entry. In such cases, proof of all-risk health insurance having been taken out is to be submitted prior to the granting of the residence title at the latest.

Document suitable as evidence: submission of the insurance policy, especially private health insurance.

3. Secure livelihood
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 2020 is 

  • EUR 966.65 per month for single persons
  • EUR 1,472 per month for married couples
  • EUR 149.15 per month for every additional child.

 If the monthly fixed costs, for e.g. rent, loan instalments or support payments exceed EUR 299.95 per month (data as of 2020) 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” (2020: EUR 533.85 per month). Students older than 24 years must provide evidence of EUR 966.65 (for 2020) as means of subsistence.

Documents suitable as evidence: wage slip, wage confirmation, service contracts, preliminary employment contracts, contracts 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 on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior (status January 2018) informs about how to calculate the required means of subsistence which need to be proven. (See the folder here)

Option: Declaration of Liability (“Haftungserklärung“)
FFor the “residence permit – artist” there is the option to submit a Declaration of Liability when filing the application instead of evidence of secure livelihood. The Declaration of Liability must be issued by a third person before an Austrian notary or an Austrian court (notarized or court certified) and state that the person will bear all expenses incurred by the applicant in Austria, in particular for accommodation and subsistence, and all costs which may arise to public bodies for the applicant (e.g. for enforcing a decision to return, a ban on residence, expulsion, deportation or enforcing custody pending deportation). The 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:

4. Knowledge of German: 

In general terms, third-country nationals must prove a basic knowledge of German (requirement of German before migrating to Austria) when submitting their first-time application for certain residence titles. 

Knowledge of German needs not be proven for a “residence permit – artist“ to be granted upon application if the residence permit is sought for exercising an artistic activity in one of the fields of art listed in sec 2 (2) subparas (1) to (3) of the Art Promotion Act (Kunstförderungsgesetz).

Grounds of refusal

 The applicant’s stay must not be 

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

 A residence title will be refused if e.g. a valid ban on entering Austria pursuant to sec 53 Aliens Police Act (FPG), or a valid ban on staying in Austria pursuant to sec 67 FPG, has been issued, or a return decision has been rendered by another EEA state or Switzerland. 

Equally, a residence title will be refused if the duration of a permitted visa-waived stay or a stay requiring a visa was exceeded in the course of a permitted filing of an application in Austria, or if the person was punished with final effect in the past 12 months for having bypassed border controls or having entered Austria unlawfully.   

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