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Case Studies

Residence permit in Austria: how to relocate to Europe in 3 months

When we first visited Austria, our daughter Alison got excited about moving there. And for several years, she has not given up the idea. She has chosen German as a foreign language to study at school and plans to enter an Austrian university.

My wife and I disapproved of the idea at first but then got used to it and even liked it. We do not want Alison to go there alone, so we have decided on moving together right after she finishes school.

investor with a residence permit from Austria
Mark
A businessman from Australia
Residence Permit in Austria: How to Relocate to Europe in Just 3 Months

Mark’s aunt moved to Austria ten years ago. Since then, the investor and his family have sometimes come to Austria to visit her. Mark’s daughter got enchanted with the country and persuaded her parents to move there together.

To move to Austria, the investor needs to obtain an official status in the country: a residency permit or citizenship. Without it, Australians may spend no more than 90 days in a row in Austria. Looking for a solution, Mark came across our article “Residence permit in Austria: how to become a resident of a European country”. 

The investor got interested in obtaining an Austrian residence permit for financially independent persons, so he contacted Immigrant Invest. Mark wanted to know under what conditions he could get the status. He also wondered how to rent a property in Austria for the long term: not all landlords are ready to enter lease agreements with foreigners.

Austria residency by investment: Austrian nature

Austria is a land of mountains and lakes. 98% of bathing waters in Austria are of excellent quality

Austria citizenship by investment: recreation in Austria

Sailing, surfing, diving, and water skiing are popular among holidaymakers. On the banks, there are hotels and campsites with equipment rentals

Austria permanent residency: studying at an Austrian university

The University of Vienna is the largest and most high-ranked university in Austria. The best program is considered to be Arts & Humanities

Who can obtain a residence permit in Austria for financially independent persons

To get Austria residency for financially independent persons, one needs to meet all the following requirements.

RequirementHow our clients met it
1Gainful employment in Austria is banned for holders of Austrian residency cards for financially independent persons. A residence permit can be obtained by foreigners who want to live in Austria but not work thereMark and Zoe own shares in a shopping centre, and their business is based on renting out the premises. So, they earn passive income and do not need to have a job in Austria
2Only a spouse and underage children can be included in the application together with the main applicant. If children are 18 or older, they have to apply separately. The same is true for other relatives: siblings, parents, etcMark and Zoe are officially married, and their daughter is 17 years old. So, the family may submit one application for the three of them
3The minimum monthly income is €2,060.98 per applicant. If a spouse is included, the rate increases up to €3,251.42. For each child, you must provide another €318. Applicants must prove they have enough money to be granted an Austrian residence permitHousehold expenses such as property rental, health insurance and car maintenance should also be taken into consideration. So actually, the income for a family of three-four must be from €7,000 per month. 

At the time of application, we recommend showing the presence of €80,000—100,000 in the bank account. Mark and Zoe found it easy to arrange.
4Renting or buying a property in Austria is a must to become an Austrian resident. Accommodation must be adequate for their family size according to local standards. For example, a house or flat area should be 80m2 or more for a family of fourMark and Zoe dreamed of a life in a quiet small town, while Alison wanted to live and study in Vienna. As a compromise, they decided to settle in Vienna’s suburbs and rented a house.
5Health insurance is mandatory for foreigners who live in Austria. It must cover all risks and 100% of treatment costsWe organised a meeting with the insurance broker, and the family decided on the type of insurance during their first visit to Austria
6Basic knowledge of German is required for adults and children from 14 years old. Applicants need to take an exam of at least A1 level and provide a certificateAlison speaks German pretty well as she has studied it for six years at school. Mark also used to learn German, so he just needed to do some revision. They both passed the exam easily.

Zoe had never studied German before, so she had to finish a crash course. She studied hard and passed her exam. She even became grateful for this requirement when the family moved to Austria. Knowledge of German helps feel part of society
7The absence of a criminal record has to be proved for all applicants older than 14Certificates of no criminal record are valid for three months. Thus, Mark, Zoe, and Alison got them a month before applying — at the end of November.
8At least 183 days a year one needs to spend in the country to maintain the status of an Austrian resident. If you spend less time, your card will be annulledFor Mark’s family, it was not a problem. They were eager to move and live in Austria. Mark and Zoe’s business does not require a permanent residence in Australia: they can manage it from Austria or elsewhere.

To meet all the requirements is not enough, as Austrian residence permits are issued according to the annual quotas. The risks are quite high: if you do not manage to get the quota, you have to wait for a year to try again.

When Mark applied to get the quota

1
End of April 2021
Mark turned to Immigrant Invest
2
November 26th 2021
Online registration on Mark’s behalf
3
January 3d 2022
Mark submitted the application

Only 450 residence cards for financially independent persons are issued each year in Austria. Yet, many more people would like to get the status. The quota is allocated to a person but not a family, so Mark needed to get three.

If there is a single mistake or uncertainty in the application, the applicant will most likely get rejected. To improve the odds of success, applicants seek the assistance of lawyers.

For those who wanted to get a residence permit in Austria in 2022, we started accepting applications on February 15th, 2021, almost a year in advance. The preparation process is thorough and complicated. Our lawyers spend at least two months preparing all the necessary documents for an Austrian residence permit. 

We help formalise the status of no more than 50 families per year. Having got the 50th application, we stop accepting them. Usually, it happens somewhere in June, so the earlier you consult us, the better.

Tatiana Muntean Investment Programs Expert
Tatiana Muntean
Investment programs expert

To receive the quota, you need to apply as early as possible at the beginning of the year. Applications can be submitted either in Austrian consulates around the world or in the integration departments in Austria. Mark’s family decided to apply in Australia not to spend much time on a trip to Austria.

To be admitted, applicants need to make an online appointment in advance. Registration opens on a certain day and time, which is announced on the websites of the Austrian consulates. It usually opens somewhere in November, and dates vary from consulate to consulate.

On November 26th, 2021, the Immigrant Invest’s lawyer registered Mark’s family for January 3, 2022.

Step-by-step procedure: how Mark’s family obtained Austrian residence permit cards

1
End of April 2021
Consultation and the preliminary check
2
September
Language exam
3
October
Trip to Austria
4
November
Collection of documents
5
November 26th
Online registration
6
January 3d
Submission of an application
7
+ 2.5 months
Approval of the application
8
+ 2 weeks
D visas obtainment
9
April 2022
Receipt of the residence permit cards. Moving to Austria

1. Consultation and the preliminary check. Mark turned to Immigrant Invest on April 25, 2021. Our Compliance Anti Money Laundering Officer conducted the preliminary check to make sure there were no reasons for Mark’s application to get rejected. After the check, Mark signed a contract.

2. Language exam. From May to August, Zoe attended a crash course on German. In September, the family took their German language exams at Sydney’s examination centre of the Goethe-Institut and got the certificates. Certificates issued by the TELC GmbH and ÖIF are also acceptable.

3. Trip to Austria. Mark and Zoe visited Austria to choose a place of residence. Our managers showed the most suitable properties matching their requirements. Mark decided to rent a small house in Perhtolstdorfe, a very quiet and beautiful village near Vienna. On this very trip, Mark took out the necessary insurance.

4. Collection of documents. By November, the package of documents was ready. Mark had the following documents collected, translated into German and certified:

  • Fully completed application form.
  • Proof of payment of the requisite fee.
  • Australian passports of Mark, Zoe and Alison.
  • Birth certificates of Mark, Zoe and Alison.
  • Two recent passport photographs of Mark, Zoe and Alison.
  • Marriage certificate.
  • Proof of possession of accommodation in Austria: copy of the lease contract.
  • Copy of the insurance policy.
  • Proof of adequate financial resources and the source of origin of funds.
  • German language certificates of Mark, Zoe and Alison.
  • Criminal records issued by the local police station in the family’s hometown in Australia for Mark, Zoe and Alison.

5. Submission, consideration and approval of the application. The application for Austrian residency must be submitted in person, and all the family members included have to attend the meeting. The fee for processing an application is €120 for each person, and another €20 is required for being fingerprinted.

On November 26th, 2021, the Immigrant Invest’s lawyer made an online appointment for the first working day in 2022 on Mark’s behalf. On January 3d, Mark’s family visited the Austrian consulate and submitted the application. 

In two-and-a-half months, Mark’s application was approved. Then, the department sent an official invitation to the Austrian Consulate in Australia that stated that Mark’s family was then eligible for a short-stay visa D.

6. D visas obtainment. The family needed to obtain a special visa — Entry Visa D — and enter Austria on it to collect residence permit cards. The fee for issuing such a visa is €150 per person. Mark’s family visas were ready in two weeks.

7. Moving to Austria. In April, the family entered Austria with their D visas. Before receiving residence permit cards, Mark needed to get registered in the house he rented and opened an account in an Austrian bank. To this account, Mark transferred €80,000, an amount of money required for the family maintenance during the year.

Finally, the family received their residence permit cards and stayed for permanent residence. The cost for issuing residence cards is €20 per person.

€930 — Mark’s expenses on government fees to obtain Austrian residency for a family of three

€360
Submission of the application
€450
D visas obtainment
€60
Fingerprinting
€60
Residence cards issuance

Alison’s educational and career prospects

Alison finished school in December 2021: that is the way they do it in Australia. She graduated after the tenth grade when she was 17. The graduate is planning to enter the University of Vienna. 

To study in Austria, Alison needs to prove she knows German at a B2—C1 level, but her knowledge is not good enough. She will also have to take additional exams because Australian school leaving certificates are not equivalent to Austrian ones.

So, Alison started studying at university courses specially designed for foreign applicants to improve her German and prepare for exams. You do not need to take any exams to sign up for these courses. As for their duration, studies may take 1 or 2 semesters. Everything depends on the student’s initial knowledge.

I want to get a quality European education and work in a prestigious company. I am pleased with Austrian universities as they are among the top European universities. I would prefer to study at the University of Vienna: it is the oldest, the largest and the most high-ranked university in Austria.

Residence permit in Austria by investment
Alison
Mark’s daughter, a school graduate

Is it possible for Mark’s family to get Austrian citizenship?

Austrian citizenship can be obtained after 10 to 30 years of living in the country. Furthermore, foreigners have to renounce their first citizenship to do it. The more attractive option is obtaining the status of a permanent resident. 

Permanent residency in Austria can be acquired after five years of holding residence permit cards. Applicants are required to permanently live in Austria and not be absent for more than ten months for the entire period.

My wife and I are not going to get Austrian citizenship as we do not want to lose an Australian one. But our daughter will choose for herself. If she decided to tie her life to Austria tightly and become a citizen, so be it.

investor with a residence permit from Austria
Mark
A businessman from Australia

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the European Union and the Caribbean.

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Head of the Sales Department
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