Living in Austria

Information for British citizens moving to or living in Austria, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

This guide sets out essential information for British citizens moving to or living in Austria. Read about how our embassy in Austria can help.

This information is provided as a guide only. You should get definitive information from the Austrian authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Read general guidance on moving or retiring abroad.

To stay up to date:

If you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021

Some parts of this guide only apply if you have been living in Austria since before 1 January 2021. You should read these in addition to the rest of the guidance in each section.

You should also read our Living in Europe page for detailed guidance about citizens’ rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.


Follow the advice of the Austrian Government and your local authority. You should also read the Austria travel advice.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Austria read coronavirus travel advice.

Visas and residency

You must tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check the entry requirements for Austria.

The immigration rules for third country nationals apply. A third country national is someone who does not have EU, EEA or Swiss nationality.

Visas and residency if you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021

If you applied for your new Article 50 residence card by 31 December 2021 your rights are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement, pending a decision on your application. You should continue the process to get your new residence card if you do not have it yet.

You must renew your Article 50 residence card before it expires. You will not receive an official reminder to do this, so note the expiry date. You can renew it at your regional immigration authority. In Vienna, this is the MA35, in other regions, the local ‘Magistrat’ or ‘Bezirkshauptmannschaft’.

If you have not had a decision on your Article 50 residence card application, keep the ‘Bestätigung über die Antragstellung’ letter you received when applying as evidence of your application. You should check your junk or spam email folders for an email from the authorities.

See the Austrian government’s guidance for British citizens, which includes information on working in Austria, absences from Austria, family reunification and more.

Appeal process

If your application is refused, you will be told why and receive instructions on how to appeal. If you want to appeal, you must do so promptly, before the deadline you have been given.

If you cannot pay for a lawyer, read the Austrian government’s information about legal aid (in German). Legal aid does not cover the costs of the other party (including their court and lawyer fees) if you lose the case.

If your Article 50 card application is refused, you may be able to apply for residence as a third country national.

Read guidance on third country national residency cards in Austria. If it takes more than 90 days to get an alternative residency status, you may need to leave Austria and the Schengen area while you wait for this.

If you are not eligible for another residency status, you will have to leave Austria.

Late applications

The deadline for applying for an Article 50 residence card was 31 December 2021. You can still apply if you have reasonable grounds for missing it. These include severe illness, or, for children, if their parent or guardian did not apply earlier for them. Contact your local Magistrat or Bezirkshauptmannschaft to apply as soon as possible.

Family members

Children born to beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement after 1 January 2022 are eligible for an Article 50 residence card. Parents must apply for a UK passport for their child before applying for an Article 50 card, and apply for the Article 50 card within 90 days of the child’s birth. If the passport has not yet been issued when applying for the Article 50 card, parents should provide evidence of the passport application.

Your close family members continue to be able to join you and settle in Austria at any time in the future. Find more information on who this applies to in the Living in Europe guidance. They must travel to Austria and then submit an Article 50 residence card application as your family member.

Nationals of certain non-EU countries may need a visa before travel. The Austrian authorities should issue family reunion visas free of charge.

See the Austrian government’s guidance for British citizens.

Article 50 card fees for under 16s

The cost of an Article 50 residence card for under-16s has been reduced to €26.30. This change applies retrospectively. Anyone charged €61.50 for an Article 50 residence card for a minor can now apply for a partial refund. To do this, you must write to:

Finanzamt Österreich - Dienststelle Sonderzuständigkeiten
Postfach 222
1000 Wien

And include:

  • Documents proving that the fees have been paid
  • Case number of the proceedings & date of the application
  • Competent authority that collected the fees
  • Bank details of the applicant
  • Name, address, signature of the applicant

This request must be made in writing, and not by email. Citizens’ group British in Austria have made a template letter in German.

Passports and travel

Coronavirus travel restrictions may affect travel to and from Austria.

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Austria.

Check the Austria travel advice for passport validity requirements.

Always carry your passport and residence permit when travelling within the Schengen area. If you have citizenship of an EU or European Free Trade Association (EFTA) country, in addition to your British citizenship, you should enter and leave Austria using your EU or EFTA passport.

If you stay in Austria with an Austrian residence permit or long-stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.

If you visit other Schengen area countries outside Austria, make sure you do not exceed the visa-free 90 days in any 180-day period. This applies even if you have an Austrian residence permit. You are responsible for counting how long you stay under the Schengen visa waiver, and you must comply with its conditions.

Different rules apply if you are travelling to other EU and Schengen countries as a resident of Austria. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

If you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021

When you travel, carry your Article 50 residence card or frontier worker permit issued under the Withdrawal Agreement, in addition to your valid passport.

You must proactively show your Article 50 residence card if you are asked to show your passport at border control. If you have applied for, but not yet received, your Article 50 residence card, show your certificate of application.

If you cannot prove that you are a resident in Austria, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the EU. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in the country or countries where you live or work. If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence. Read EU guidance for UK nationals on entering and leaving the Schengen area.

If you have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, you can enter and exit Austria with a valid passport. You do not need any additional validity on the passport beyond the dates on which you are travelling.


Read our guidance on healthcare in Austria and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Travel insurance is not intended to cover healthcare costs if you live overseas.

You should also read our guidance on:

Mountain rescue is not covered by standard Austrian health insurance.

Working in Austria

If you are planning to come to Austria and work, you may need a visa. Read the Austrian government’s guidance on work visas and migration to Austria.

To apply for a job you may need to provide:


If you work in Austria, even if you work for a UK-based company, this may affect where you pay National Insurance-type contributions. Read the National insurance and social security contributions section of this guide for more information.

If you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021

You have the right to work under the Withdrawal Agreement if you have an Article 50 residence card, or have applied for one.

If you live in Austria and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1 January 2021, read our guidance for frontier workers.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Austria.

If you are offering a professional service in Austria check your qualification or professional status is currently recognised. It may not be if you are not currently an active, fee-paying member of the relevant business chamber. Find out if you need to take any further action:

If you are unsure which is the relevant organisation, contact the National Contact Point in Austria.

Read guidance on:

If you’re a UK-qualified lawyer working in Austria, using either an Austrian or UK professional title, you should contact the local Bar Association in the region in which you are working or the Austrian Federal Bar Association for specific advice.

If you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021

If the relevant regulator in Austria officially recognised your professional qualification before 1 January 2021, or you started the recognition process by this date, make sure you understand the terms of your decision. You should get advice from the relevant regulator.

Studying in Austria

If you plan to study in Austria, you must meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in Austria to check what fees you may have to pay.

Read the Austrian Agency for International cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) website for more information on entry and admission requirements.

Read guidance on:

If you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021

The studying in the European Union guidance includes information if you were already living in Austria before 1 January 2021.


The UK has a double taxation agreement with Austria so that you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

As an Austrian resident, you must declare your global income to the Austrian authorities, no matter which country it came from. You can ask the relevant tax authority about double taxation relief.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Austria. You can find a tax adviser (Steuerberater) or accountant at Kammer der Wirtschaftstreuhänder (in German) or find an English-speaking lawyer in Austria.

Read guidance on:

Church Tax (Kirchenbeitrag)

All adult Roman Catholics who live in Austria are subject to Church Tax contributions. Similar rules also apply to members of the Austrian Protestant and Old Catholic Churches. This tax does not apply to members of the Church of England living in Austria.

Religious data is provided by municipalities based on your registration data (your Meldezettel/Meldebestätigung).

Students and people receiving social payments, such as unemployment benefit or childcare allowance, do not need to pay the Church Tax.

National insurance and social security contributions

National Insurance-type contributions (NIC) are called ‘social security contributions’ (SSC) in Austria. Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Austria.

If you plan to move to Austria and work, even if you continue working for a UK-based company, you and your employer may need to pay social security contributions in Austria. These social security contributions would entitle you to certain benefits, such as healthcare, in Austria.

Read guidance on National Insurance for workers from the UK working in the EEA or Switzerland.

You can check your UK National Insurance record.


UK benefits

Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Austria.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as pension credit and housing benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

Austrian benefits

You may be eligible to claim some Austrian social security benefits.

If you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021

If you have your Article 50 residence card or applied for one before 31 December 2021 and have not yet received a decision, you have the same access to Austrian benefits as EU nationals. You may be eligible to claim some Austrian social security benefits.


Read guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Austria.

Read State Pension guidance if you have lived in Australia, Canada or New Zealand and you are claiming or waiting to claim your UK State Pension.

If you retire in Austria, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service Moneyhelper’s guidance on pension and retirement for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you must respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you do not.

Money and banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA depends on local laws and regulation. Read the Money and Pension Service’s MoneyHelper guidance on banking, insurance and financial services for more information on cross-border banking.

Accommodation and buying property

Property ownership laws in Austria vary by province. If you have an Article 50 card, you should be treated the same as an Austrian national when purchasing property.

Read guidance on how to buy a property abroad.

Driving in Austria

Read the guidance on what you must do to drive legally in Austria:

Third-party car insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) is compulsory in Austria.

You cannot renew or replace your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence if you live in Austria. If you lose your licence you need a ‘certificate of entitlement’ to apply for an Austrian licence.

A ‘certificate of entitlement’ sets out the categories of vehicles you are entitled to drive. You should obtain this from the authority which issued your licence. You need to have the certificate translated into German.

Exchanging your UK, Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man licence

If you live in Austria, you must exchange your licence for an Austrian one within 6 months of arriving. After 6 months you can no longer use your licence to drive in Austria, but can still exchange it for an Austrian one, for as long as it is valid. You do not need to take a driving test to exchange your licence. You cannot use an International Driving Permit (IDP) instead of exchanging your licence.

Disabled drivers

If you have a UK Blue Badge and live in Austria, you must return it to the original UK issuing authority in the UK. You can apply for a new Austrian disabled parking card. Read the EU guidance on the EU parking card for people with disabilities.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Austria

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

If you bring your personal vehicle with you from the UK when moving to Austria, you have to apply for an exemption (Abgabenbefreieung) to not pay any import duty.

If you import a vehicle from the UK after moving to Austria, you will have to pay import duties based on the value of your car, and potentially tariffs, depending on the origin of the vehicle.

Read the Austrian government’s guidance on taxes when moving to Austria.

If your primary residence is in Austria, you may use your vehicle with foreign number plates for 1 month in Austria. You must then:

  • register your vehicle
  • pay a one-off fuel consumption tax (NoVA - Normverbrauchsabgabe) at your local tax office
  • exchange your UK number plates for Austrian plates at your nearest vehicle registration office (Kfz-Zulassungsstelle)

You need proof of insurance before you can get your number plates (Autokennzeichen) and car registration document (Zulassungsschein). Your insurer can advise you how to get these.

Driving outside Austria with an Austrian licence

You can use your Austrian licence when visiting the UK. Keep up-to-date with the UK Highway Code.

If you go to live in the UK, you can exchange your Austrian licence for a UK one without taking a test.

To drive in another country, in addition to your Austrian licence, you may need to apply for an IDP.

Read the EU guidance on:


You cannot vote in elections in Austria.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths, marriage and civil partnerships

If your child is born in Austria, you can register the birth with the UK authorities in addition to registering locally. If your child has British nationality, you do not need to register the birth with the UK authorities to apply for a British passport.

If someone dies in Austria you can read our guidance on:

Find out how you can get married or a civil partnership abroad.

You may also need:


If you’re moving to Austria with your pet, read the guidance and ensure you comply with the regulations:

To visit other countries with your pet, check the rules for the country you’re travelling to. Contact your vet to get the travel documents your pet needs.

Read guidance on:


Dial the European emergency number 112 in Austria for the police, ambulance or fire brigade, or dial:

  • 122 for the fire brigade
  • 128 for gas-related emergencies
  • 133 for police
  • 140 for mountain rescue
  • 141 for doctors
  • 142 for telephone counselling
  • 144 for rescue/ambulance
  • 147 for emergency services for children and young people

Dial the EU 116 000 hotline to report a missing child in the EU country where you live or in another EU country.

If you need guidance on child abduction, read the guidance on international parental child abduction; the EU guidance on child abduction and EU guidance on child abduction to another EU country.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis, contact the British Embassy Vienna.

Returning to the UK

Check the COVID-19 travel guidance for entering the UK.

Tell the Austrian and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

To help prove you are now living in the UK, de-register with your:

  • local registration office (Gemeindeamt or Magistrat)
  • health insurance provider (Krankenkasse)
  • bank and local service providers

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre and your local social insurance organisation (in German).

If you get healthcare in Austria through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 and your local social insurance organisation to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, bringing family members, tax and access to services.

Useful information

Support for British nationals abroad: a guide sets out how to stay safe abroad, and explains how the FCDO can support you if you get into difficulty.

Published 10 May 2013
Last updated 19 December 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added information on Church Tax

  2. Added information about reduced Article 50 card fees for under 16s (now €26.30) and how to apply for a partial refund if you have paid the full adult fee. The reduced fee applies retrospectively from 1 Jan 2021.

  3. Added line on property purchase for Article 50 card holders: "If you have an Article 50 card, you should be treated the same as an Austrian national when purchasing property."

  4. Added information for Article 50 residency card holders who become parents after 1 January 2022.

  5. Added information on Article 50 card eligibility for parents of children born on or after 1 January 2022.

  6. Updated information on passport stamping at borders.

  7. Important information in the Working in Austria, and National insurance sections if you work in Austria, even it if it is for an employer based in the UK.

  8. Visas and residency guidance updated, following the 31 December 2021 residency deadline for people with rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

  9. Added information on applying for an Article 50 card during lockdown. UK nationals living in Austria before 1 January 2021 have until 31 December 2021 to apply for an Article 50 card and secure their residency rights.

  10. Guidance reviewed for Passports and travel, Healthcare, Working in Austria, Professional qualifications, Studying in Austria, Money, tax and banking, Benefits, Births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships, Emergencies, Returning to the UK and Useful information sections.

  11. Professional qualifications section updated for British citizens who are moving or moved to Austria after 1 January 2021 and those living there since before 1 January 2021.

  12. Working in Austria section updated: new guidance for frontier workers

  13. Visas and residency section updated with information for holders of legitimation cards.

  14. Link added to new embassy online Q&A session on Wed 21 April; Healthcare section updated including guidance on the S1 form and applying for EHIC and GHIC cards; Education section updated with information on funding eligibility for students and link to Department for International Trade (DIT) guidance on recognition of professional qualifications; Working in Austria section updated with link to DIT guidance on working or providing services.

  15. Driving section update: additional information on importing vehicles from the UK

  16. Benefits section updated on access to Austrian benefits.

  17. Coronavirus section updated with a link to guidance on vaccines.

  18. Visas and residency section updated on where to apply for the new Article 50 residence card

  19. Updated as the transition period ends with new information on pet travel and moving to Austria

  20. Driving in Austria section updated - date by which residents need to exchange licence

  21. Passports and travel section updated on carrying proof of residence when travelling.

  22. Residency section updated to explain the new ‘Article 50’ residence card.

  23. Healthcare section updated on how to apply for a new UK EHIC as a student or S1 holder. Working section updated with information on frontier workers

  24. Visas and Residency section updated with further information on the new residency system

  25. Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021

  26. Added a link to embassy Q&A events, before an online Q&A on Monday 6 July 2020. You can ask questions from midday - 2pm Austrian time on the embassy's facebook page

  27. Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

  28. Brexit update: healthcare section updated to reflect transitional arrangements announcement

  29. Brexit update: Pensions section updated to include further details on State Pension uprating.

  30. Brexit update: Added guidance to "Passports and travel after Brexit" section for UK nationals travelling from Austria before Brexit and returning afterwards. Added information to the Visas & Residency section: "If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, British nationals must apply for a new residence permit within 6 months of Brexit."

  31. EU Exit update: updated "Passports and Travel after the UK leaves the EU" and "Returning to the UK" sections

  32. Added guidance under "Passports and travel after EU Exit" for recommended travel documentation if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

  33. Updated information on residency, visas, healthcare, driving, education and professional qualifications, pensions and passports to reflect latest information on the UK's departure from the EU.

  34. We have updated the contact details you need to apply for an S1 form.

  35. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip

  36. EU Exit update: New English language website link to the Austrian Federal Chancellery Brexit page

  37. EU Exit update: updated information on access to healthcare

  38. EU Exit update: Added new Brexit Q&A event dates in Salzburg, Styria, Lower Austria, Vienna, Upper Austria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Carinthia and Burgenland

  39. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving

  40. EU Exit update: added web link to new Austrian government page about Brexit preparations in EU Exit section

  41. EU Exit update: New information in residency and visa section on draft withdrawal agreement in principle between the UK and EU. Plus information on travelling with pets in Europe in pet section

  42. Brexit update: "Visas and Residency" section updated to reflect the wording from the Austrian Government about requirements for the registration certificate and long-term residency certificate.

  43. Link to citizens outreach meetings

  44. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.

  45. Information on healthcare access updated.

  46. Update to entry and residence requirements

  47. Added links to Life Certificate witness options document

  48. Life Certificate section - updates requested by BE Vienna Consular section. Notary search website address added - update requested by BE Vienna Consular Section.

  49. First published.