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Austria Residence Programs

Stephane Tajick

Last updated: March 21, 2019

Austria Residence Programs

Austria does not have a residence by investment program. Nevertheless, business people have 3 paths available to them to settle there. The first one is the Self-Employed Key Workers program that want to do business in Austria, and the other active possibility is offered to start-ups. Those that don’t want to be actively involved in a business can choose the Gainful Employment Excepted. All 3 programs offer temporary residence that will need to be held for 5 years to qualify for permanent residence. Naturalization to Austrian citizenship is possible after 10 years of residence.

Read also about the Czech Business Investor program

Self Employed key worker

As a third-country national you can apply for a Red-White-Red Card for Self-Employed Key Workers, if your self-employed occupation in Austria creates macroeconomic benefit going beyond its own operational benefit.

This may be the case if:

  • your intended occupation involves a sustained transfer of investment capital to Austria amounting to 100,000 EUR minimum, or
  • your intended occupation creates new jobs or secures existing jobs in Austria, or
  • your establishment involves the transfer of know-how, particularly the introduction of new technologies, or
  • your business is of considerable significance for the entire region.

For self-employed key workers, there is no points system.

Start-up Founders

As a third-country national you can apply for a Red-White-Red Card for start-up founders if you:

  • establish a company in order to develop and launch on the market innovative products, services, processing methods or technologies
  • to that end submit a consistent business plan for establishing and running that company
  • personally exert controlling influence on the management of the newly set-up company
  • prove capital for the company to be founded amounting to 50,000 EUR minimum with an equity share of at least 50%
  • can score 50 points minimum according to the following criteria

Gainful Employment Excepted

Third-country nationals wishing to settle in Austria without gainful employment (e.g., pensioners, financially independent individuals) may obtain the residence title “settlement permit – gainful employment excepted.”

This residence title may be granted to third-country nationals, if:


  • they fulfill the general requirements for granting a residence permit
  • a quota under the quota system is available (only a limited number of settlement permits can be granted each year)
  • they have a regular monthly income (e.g., Austrian or foreign pensions, profits from enterprises abroad, income from assets, savings or company shares) equaling twice the amount of the standard rates of the General Social Insurance Act (ASVG):

General Social Insurance Act – standard rates for the year 2019


Standard rate Twice the rate
Single € 933.06 € 1,866.12
Married couples or partnerships € 1,398.97 € 2,797.94
Additionally for each child € 143.97 € 287.94


For more information, you can visit the Austrian official website.

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