To carry out self-employment in Austria, you must obtain the necessary residence title (or visa in case of short term activities).
In general, you can apply for the various residence titles that are available in Austria and engage in self-employed work.
To obtain a residence title, you must meet the specific conditions of the title and prove that you meet the general conditions for residence titles in Austria, namely:
- adequate accommodation corresponding to Austrian standards;
- full medical insurance;
- adequate means of subsistence.
Self-employed Key Workers:
A specific scheme for self-employed workers is provided within the system of the Red-White-Red – Card (Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte).
You can apply as a self-employed key worker for a Red-White-Red – Card, if your occupation in Austria creates macroeconomic benefits going beyond operational benefits.
This may be the case if:
- the intended occupation involves a sustained transfer of investment capital to Austria amounting to € 100.000 minimum;
- the intended occupation creates new jobs or secures existing jobs in Austria;
- the settlement of the key worker involves the transfer of know-how respectively the introduction of new technologies;
- the key worker’s company is of considerable significance for the entire region.
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 minimum with an equity share of at least 50 %;
- can score 50 points minimum according to the criteria determined in the Aliens Employment Act.
In addition to the Red-White-Red – Card, you can be issued a Temporary Residence Permit – self-employed worker (Aufenthaltsbewilligung – Selbständiger) if you can prove a contractual obligation for self-employed work for a period exceeding six months.
For information on admission procedures for highly-skilled self-employed workers, please visit the section on highly-skilled workers in Austria.
Where and how to apply
You must, in general, apply for your residence title and visa in your home country before entering Austria. You should submit your application to the competent representation authority in your country and wait for the decision.
In specific cases, you can apply in Austria after legal entry and during your legal stay (e.g. if you do not need a visa to enter Austria during your visa free stay).
In order to prolong your residence title or change its purpose in time, you must make an in-country application. Such applications are submitted to the regional administrative authority or magistrate (e.g. in Vienna) before expiry of the most recent residence title. You may be able to wait for the decision while in Austria.
All applications must be submitted in person.
Your documents must prove that you meet the specific and general conditions for the residence title.
Duration of validity of permits
Permits are basically granted for one year, the Red White Red Card is granted for two years.
Applications submitted from outside Austria can be refused by the competent Austrian representation authority abroad for formal reasons.
You can appeal against decisions of the representation authority at the Federal Administrative Court.
Appeals against decisions of the regional administrative authority or magistrate can be filed at the Provincial Administrative Court.
Decisions of the regional Public Employment Service can be appealed before the Federal Administrative Court.
Further appeals can be filed at the Administrative High Court, or the Constitutional Court if the decision was based on unlawful grounds or violated constitutional rights.
Change of employment
Change of status
Changing the status/residence title may be possible if you meet the requirements of the new residence title.
To obtain a long-term residence title you must prove settlement in Austria for the past five years and must fulfil Module 2 of the Integration Agreement.
No information available at the moment.