Official information British people moving to and living in Austria need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.
Brexit: what you need to know
There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Austria while the UK remains in the EU.
While the government continues to negotiate Brexit, you should:
Before you go
See our travel advice for Austria and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.
Visas and residency
See entry requirements for Austria in our travel advice.
If you’re staying for more than 3 months, you need to apply for a registration certificate (Anmeldebescheinigung) within 4 months of arriving in Austria. You’ll need to prove that you:
- are employed, self-employed or studying
- can support yourself and your dependants
- have comprehensive health insurance for yourself and your family
After 5 years of continuous lawful residence, you can apply for a Long-term Residence Certificate – see indefinite leave to remain for how to apply.
You must register your address (Meldepflicht) within 3 days of moving into your new home. This is done at your local registration service (Meldeservice). In Vienna, these are in the district council offices (Magistratische Bezirksämter), and in the federal provinces in your local communal authority offices (Gemeindeamt). See Help Service for Foreign Citizens – registration.
You can also apply for a European Economic Area (EEA) identity card (EWR Lichtbildausweis) at your local district police station (Bezirkskommissariat) or nearest district administration office (Bezirkshauptmannschaft).
See our travel advice for Austria.
The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Austria.
You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.
Once you’re resident in Austria, you have to pay contributions for medical care to a local social insurance organisation (Sozialversicherungsträger). Your employer will normally deduct health insurance contributions from your salary and make the payments on your behalf.
S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK
You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Austria and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.
You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pension Centre. You should register the S1 form with your local state office before you register with your GP surgery and get a medical card.
Working in Austria
Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).
Austria and the UK have a double taxation convention to prevent income being taxed in both countries.
We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Austria. You can find a tax adviser or accountant at Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder.
You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.
If you have worked in Austria, see old-age pensions.
If you haven’t worked in Austria, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.
If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.
Life certificates for UK state pensions
If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.
Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.
Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.
You may be eligible to claim some Austrian social security benefits.
Driving in Austria
You need to register your car and pay a one-off tax called NoVA (Normverbrauchsabgabe) at your local tax office.
Once you’re registered as resident in Austria, you must exchange your UK licence plates for Austrian plates at your nearest vehicle registration office (Kfz-Zulassungsstelle) – see car registration and taxes – Austria.
Third-party car insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) is compulsory. You can arrange this through an insurance broker (Versicherungsmakler) or insurance company (Versicherungsunternehmen) – you can find them listed in the Austrian telephone directory.
You need proof of insurance before you can be issued with your car licence plates (Autokennzeichen) and car registration document (Zulassungsschein). Your insurer will tell you what you how to get these.
If you’re resident in Austria, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.
See travelling with pets.
As well as the European emergency number 112, Austria also has:
- 122 – fire brigade
- 128 – gas-related emergency
- 133 – police
- 140 – mountain rescue
- 141 – doctors
- 142 – telephone counselling
- 144 – rescue/ambulance
- 147 – emergency services for children and young people
If you need urgent help, contact the British Embassy Vienna.
Accommodation and buying property
Find registered real estate agents (Immobilienmakler) throughout Austria.
Other useful information
- English-speaking lawyers in Austria
- Translators and interpreters in Austria
- Notary services for Austria
Returning to the UK
To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.
Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Austrian authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.