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Austria Red-White-Red Card

Austria has introduced a new criteria based immigration scheme: the Red-White-Red Card (RWR Card)

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The RWR Card model aims at a more efficient immigration system to qualified third-country work force and their families who wish to settle permanently in Austria according to personal and labour market criteria.

The most important requirements are qualification, work experience, age, language skills, offer of employment according to the qualification and minimum remuneration.

The new regulations came into force on 1st July 2011.

RWR Card

RWR Card is available for following groups of applicants:

  • Very highly qualified workers
  • Skilled workers in shortage professions
  • Other key workers
  • Graduates of universities and colleges of higher education in Austria

Types of RWR Card

The RWR Card is available for people who meet the requirements in two different versions:

  • RWR Card: entitles to residence and employment only with a certain employer
  • RWR Card plus: entitles to residence and unlimited labour market access

Application and Assessment

  • Very highly qualified workers

Very highly qualified workers, without an employer in Austria may apply for a visa for the purpose of searching for employment with the competent Austrian representation (embassy, consulate) of their country of residence. This visa is issued under  the  condition  that  the  Labour  Market  Service  for  Vienna  (AMS  Wien)  confirms  to  the representation that the applicant achieves minimum amount of points required for the grant.

  • Highly qualified worker

Highly qualified worker, holding a visa for the purpose of searching for employment may apply for a RWR Card with the competent residence authority in Austria, if during the validity period of this visa they submit a legally binding offer of employment (valid work contract). The intended employment must be in accordance with the qualification of the applicant and must be adequately remunerated. The Labour Market Service examines and confirms whether these criteria are fulfilled. 

  • Skilled workers in shortage professions

Skilled workers in shortage professions and other key workers may apply for a RWR Card with the competent Austrian representation abroad (embassy, consulate). A declaration by the prospective employer, on compliance with the employment conditions, must be submitted together with the application. Applicants who are entitled to entry without a visa and foreign graduates of universities in Austria, holding a confirmation by the competent residence authority may submit their application directly with the competent residence authority, who will forward the application for examination and confirmation of the admission criteria.

Note:Skilled workers in shortage professions can only apply for a RWR Card starting from 1st May 2012 at the earliest.

  • Family members

Family membersof highly qualified workers, skilled workers and key workers may apply for a RWR Card plus with the competent Austrian representation abroad (embassy, consulate) respectively after lawful entry without a visa with the competent residence authority in Austria (Bezirkshauptmannschaft/BH, Magistrat, in Vienna MA 35).

The RWR Card is issued by the residence authority, if all general and special requirements according to the Act on Settlement and Residence (Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz, NAG) are fulfilled.

The ‘red-white-red card’ has been fashioned along the lines of the US Green Card and named after colors in the national flag of Austria. The card gives points to the migrants on the basis of their age, previous pay scales, education, and work experience and language proficiency in German.

The Interior Ministry intends to offer 8,000 Red-White-Red cards annually; however, the overall immigration limit will remain unchanged.

Around 35,000 migrants come to Austria each year to live here permanently out of which one-third come to live with their family members who are already living in Austria.

Visa Requirements & Features for Austria RWR for other Key Workers

Third-country national who want to take up employment in undertakings as key workers as per their qualifications, may apply for a Red-White-Red Card. The validity would be for twelve months if they fulfill the following requirements:

1. Prospective employer will pay the statutory minimum salary:

a)      for key workers over 30 years of age: € 2,664 (2013) gross monthly pay plus special payments (holiday and Christmas pay),

b)      for key workers under 30 years of age: € 2,220 (2013) gross monthly pay plus special payments (holiday and Christmas pay)

2. No equally qualified person registered as a jobseeker at the Public Employment Service (AMS) can be placed (labour market test/Arbeitsmarktprüfung).

3. The key workers obtain the required points for qualifying.

Documents required are:

  • Valid passport
  • Proof of birth date
  • Accommodation arrangement document
  • Health insurance

Family members can accompany the main card holder with a Red-White-Red Card Plus. Family members are:

  1. Spouses
  2. Registered partners
  3. Unmarried minors including adoptive and step children

Note: Spouses and registered partners must 21 years of age or older when applying.

Documents required for RWR Card Plus for dependents are:

  1. Financial statement
  2. Health insurance coverage
  3. Accommodation arrangement
  4. Document to prove the relationship with the dependent

RWR Card Plus

RWR Card plus is available for the following groups of applicants:

  • Family members of applicant groups 1 to 4 and holders of an EU Blue Card
  • Family members of foreign citizens permanently settled in Austria

Austria Permanent Residency

  • Austrian Permanent Residence can be obtained after staying in Austria for 5 years
  • Time spent in Austria for study purposes is not counted towards residency requirement of Permanent Residence

Austria Citizenship

  • Austrian Citizenship can be obtained after staying in Austria for 5 years on a Permanent Residence. Since initial entry to Austria, it takes 10 years to attain citizenship
  • The applicant must have permanent resident status in Austria to be eligible for citizenship
  • The applicant must also have sufficient knowledge of the Austrian language and no criminal record
  • The applicant will be required to renounce his/her current nationality when becoming a citizen of Austria.

To know more about the visa fee and documents required, contact us!

Visa Fee

Austrian Embassy charges visa application fee for Austria Red-White-Red (RWR) Card

Application Fee – Euro 100


Disclaimer: Embassy charges are subjected to change without prior notice. Please confirm before submitting the application.

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