UK Citizens in Austria – What to Expect After December 31

With negotiations still on-going between the UK and EU a fortnight before the Brexit deadline, there is still confusion among many Britons living abroad.

Remaining a Legal Resident

With 11,500 Britons living in Austria – 4,500 of whom in Vienna – the government will be issuing the Article 50 EUV card, the name referring to Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which you can apply for after the UK has officially left the EU.  There are two ‘levels’ to this card: 

  1. A permanent resident’s card, which is valid for 10 years. 
  2. For those who do not qualify for the permanent residence if you only have the Anmeldebescheinigung. It is valid for 5 years but can be renewed earlier.

Appointments to apply are available starting in January, which you can book here.  

British residents have 12 months from January 1st to December 31st, 2021 to apply for the Article 50 EUV card, but you would be well advised to book an appointment as early as possible. 

What can I do before the end of the year?

To make the application process smoother, make sure you have a valid and up to date passport and passport photo, both necessary for the application.

You don’t need to get a new passport – your old one with “European Community” on the cover – will continue to be valid if it has more than six months till expiration. Otherwise, you will need to get a new blue passport from the British Embassy or from the Post Office if you return to the UK.

If you haven’t applied for an Anmeldebescheinigung or Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts yet, best to do so.  While it may not be of much use after Brexit, it can still help smooth the application process for the Article 50 EUV card. A brief summary can be found here.

Healthcare

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), which has entitled Britons to state-provided medical treatment anywhere in the EU, is no longer valid. So, when travelling outside the UK you must now make sure you have appropriate health insurance.

The only exceptions are UK state pensioners and UK students living in the EU before December 31st, who may continue to use their EHIC, but will need to apply for new card.

If you are a legal resident in Austria, with a Daueraufenthaltsbewilligung, you will have life-long healthcare rights, same as you do now. As a legal resident you can register for healthcare here

Travelling

With a British passport you will now have to use the international and non-EU queue – no longer the EU fast-track passport control.  You should also be prepared to show your residency documents to prove you live in the country.

Due to a new mutated strain of COVID, flights have ceased between the UK and Austria until the New Year. As the UK will no longer be a non-EU country after December 31st, nations can choose to ban UK nationals from entering as has happened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employment and Money

If you are living in Austria before the January 31 deadline or are a resident, you have the right to work in Austria. If you are applying for a job you may need to provide a UK police certificate and an Austrian Criminal Records Certificate (Strafregisterbescheinigung).

The UK and Austria have a double taxation agreement, which means that you will not be taxed by both countries for the same income. This will not change with the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

You should also see no change in banking protocols, although should there be any, your bank will contact you.

Driving License and Vehicle Registration

Driving license rules will stay the same at least until the December 31st, 2020, according to the British Government Guidance page for Living in Austria. However, as a resident of Austria, you are requested to exchange your UK license for an Austrian one. 

You can register your vehicle here.

Proof of ownership and records of all the vehicles details are documented with the registration (Zulassung). Your insurance provider normally helps with the process of getting this, and some of the larger insurance offices are authorised to issue their own. Insurance companies such as Zurich, Wiener Städtische, Uniqa will often have English Speakers to questions via email or telephone. 

If you bring a UK registered vehicle into Austria, you may use your foreign number plates for one month if you are a resident. After that, you must register your car, pay a one-off fuel consumption tax called NoVA (Normverbrauchsabgabe) at your local tax office and exchange your UK number plates for Austrian plates at your nearest vehicle registration office (Kfz-Zulassungsstelle). 

More information can be found here:

Guidance for Austria British.Gov.UK https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria#driving-in-austria

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Daniel Harper
Daniel Harper is a British multimedia journalist. After graduating in International Politics and History he studied International Journalism MA at City, University of London. Writing about culture, society and human stories. Instagram: @simonpaulphotos

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