with additional reporting by Jonilda Keci
After 18 months of corona-induced standstill, we are slowly seeing movement again in Vienna’s international business scene, with the City of Vienna and the Vienna Business Agency on track to open their new Business Immigration Office (BIO) by Fall 2021.
Conceived as an independent service point for highly skilled professionals coming from abroad, its aim is to simplify and speed up the immigration process by creating a single, centrally-located office offering consultancy and aid in visa applications. In addition, they will also provide initial orientation on various services offered by the city regarding integration to companies and organizations as well as educational and research facilities – all areas where Vienna hopes to attract specialists.
Once the 1,634 m2 premises are completed, 34 employees from MA 35 (Department of Immigration and Citizenship) will be reassigned there alongside a 3-person team of multilingual experts from the Vienna Business Agency.
On July 1, Vienna’s vice mayor and City Councilor for Integration, Christoph Wiederkehr, Finance and Economic City Councilor Peter Hanke and Gerhard Hirczi, CEO of Business Agency Vienna, toured the constructions site at Zelinkagasse 9 in the 1st district.
“With this project, we want to ensure competent support, short paths and create a one stop shop in this area’’ Hanke promised. With 2019 alone seeing over 5,000 residency applications processed, authorities hope that streamlining immigration for specialists will benefit both applicants and the city, making it a more business-friendly environment.
“There are different sectors in the economy where we urgently need professional immigration. For example, in the IT sector, where we require good people. Vienna is an amazing city and with this Business Immigration Office, we are strengthening services for potential professional immigrants,” Wiederkehr told Metropole.
Hanke was also quite hopeful, praising the potential of the new facility: “The business location is attractive for international companies, but also for international specialists and managers. These often come with their companions or families and need intensive support for the start. We can perfectly support this upward trend with the opening of the BIO,” he said.