Red-White-Red Card for permanent immigrants

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On July 1,2011 Austria introduced a new immigration scheme. Based on personal and labour-market criteria, it gives qualified third-country workers and their families a chance to get a fixed-term settlement and unlimited labour market access. They have to apply for a “Red-White-Red Card” which is issued for a period of twelve months and is exempt from the immigration quota.


  • Very highly qualified workers
  • Skilled workers in shortage occupations
  • Other key workers
  • Graduates of Austrian universities
  • Self-employed key workers


Every person needs to submit an application form in German (“Antrag auf Erteilung eines Aufenthaltstitels“), including the purpose of stay. Moreover, there are following documents to attach:

  • 1 current (no older than six months) biometric  passport photo
  • Valid passport
  • birth certificate
  • if applicable: marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate, divorce decree or certificate proving the solution of a civil partnership
  • police clearance certificate from your country of origin (no more than 3 months old)
  • proof of legal entitlement to accommodation in Austria (e.g. ownership contract, lease contract)
  • proof of a health insurance that is valid in Austria and covers all risks
  • proof of regular expenditures in Austria such as rent, operating costs, child support payments, and loan repayment (current extract from the files of an officially recognised credit reference agency)
  • proof of sufficient means of subsistence from the intended employment (employment contract, preliminary contract)
  • employed key employees: written declaration by the employer (“Arbeitgebererklärung”) and proof of qualifications
  • self-employed key employees: business plan and business outlook including a start-up balance sheet
  • proof of A1 level German language skills is NOT required

In some cases it may be necessary to submit additional documents, specific for the status of a worker.  

It is required to submit the original and a copy of all documents, and also for those that were not originally issued in German, a certified translation. Depending on the country of issue the original documents need an apostille or diplomatic certification.


  • The total costs to obtain a Red-White-Red Card is 120 euros.


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