Career | Jobseeker – In Austria, There’s a Visa for That

If you are committed to moving to Austria but don’t have an employment contract yet, one may be eligible to apply for a six-month, “job-seeker” visa

Apart from being Austria’s cultural center, Vienna is also an economic powerhouse offering diverse career opportunities. If you are a highly skilled professional, you might consider applying for a “job-seeker visa” (Arbeitssuche Visum). The six-month permit is intended only for those who meet certain strict criteria; foreign students who have studied in Austria may have an advantage. If granted the special Category D visa for joba seekers, the applicant would be eligible to search for a job in Austria, while temporarily residing in the country for up to a year, and for those who have studied elsewhere, six months.

Generally, foreign nationals need to secure a job and apply for permanent immigration, the so-called red-white-red card and meet certain other requirements before being permitted to take up residence in Austria. In 2011, the Austrian government made it easier for highly skilled, non-European Union foreign nationals to seek employment in the country, introducing the job-seeker visa. However, it is only eligible during the job search; holders of a job-seeker visa who secure a job offer within the six months must immediately apply for permanent immigration. Failing to find a job within the six months requires the job-seeker visa holder to leave Austria and wait 12 months before applying anew for a job-seeker visa.

If you are a non-EU national living outside of Austria, you must apply through the Austrian Embassy or consulate in your country for the Category D visa. In addition to fulfilling the general requirements for the issuance of visas, applicants must provide documentation regarding their special qualifications.

If you are a non-EU national studying at an Austrian university, you can apply for a change of status from your student visa to a sixmonth-stay job-seeker visa at the Municipal Department 35 for Immigration and Citizenship (Magistrat der Stadt Wien, MA35) and stay in Austia to search for employment after graduation.

In addition to providing proof of your qualifications, you must show that you are eligible for at least 70 of 100 points on a scale used by the Austrian authorities to determine if you qualify to apply for a job-seeker visa. All documents must include a German translation.

The points are allocated for a range of qualifications, including your level of education, work experience, years worked, German proficiency, particular specialties and other criteria. These criteria are broken down into categories that limit the number of points one can claim in each. A points calculator is available here:

Below are some websites where you can find additional information (almost all are in German): FAQs about eligibility: migration.

General information on settlement and residence permits, including job-seeker visas can be found on the websites of the Federal Ministry of the Interior:

Contact information for the Austrian Embassy or consulate in your country can be found here: und_Grenzkontrolle/Einreise/start.aspx#visumkategorien

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