Guidance

Living in Austria

Official information for UK nationals living in and moving to Austria, including guidance on residency, healthcare and driving.

What you should do

You should:

Coronavirus

You should follow the advice of the Government of Austria and your local authority. You can also read our Austria travel advice for our latest guidance.

Stay up to date

You should:

The Withdrawal Agreement

If you were legally resident in Austria before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

You must apply for a new residence status by 31 December 2021 to secure your rights.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

If you were legally resident in Austria before 1 January 2021, you need to apply for a new ‘Article 50’ residence card.

In Vienna, you will need to make an appointment at the MA35 (local immigration office) in Arndtstrasse.

In other regions, you will need to apply at your regional authority (the “Magistrat” or “Bezirkshauptmannschaft”). Use this tool to find the responsible authority for your area (in German only).

Check in advance if coronavirus restrictions are affecting office opening times or procedures.

You must apply for the card before 31 December 2021. Read the Austrian government guidance on the residency registration process.

If you have been living in Austria for more than 5 years

If you have been living in Austria for more than 5 years consecutively, your ‘Article 50’ card will be valid for 10 years.

You can exchange the long-term residence certificate for EU/EEA nationals (Daueraufenthaltsbescheinigung) for your new ‘Article 50’ card for free.

If you have permanent residency rights in Austria but do not have a long-term residence certificate (or pre-2006 equivalent), you may be asked to bring supporting documents. These will need to show you have been living in Austria.

You may also be eligible for permanent residence before 5 years, read the EU guidance on residency rights.

If you have been living in Austria for less than 5 years

If you have been living in Austria for less than 5 years, you will be eligible for an ‘Article 50’ residence card with 5 years’ validity. You will need to provide evidence of your personal situation (as a worker, student, self-sufficient person, British family member or British spouse of an Austrian national) and proof of comprehensive health insurance.

If you have a 5 year residency permit you can then apply for permanent residency after 5 years living in Austria.

Moving to Austria

Check the entry requirements for Austria. Read the Austrian government’s guidance on residency permits for third country nationals.

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence card, as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your card, carry your certificate of application.

If you have not yet applied for a residence card, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Austria. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Austria, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Austria.

Passports

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Austria, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Renew your passport before booking your travel if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket.

Entry requirements

You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.

To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.

Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards the 90-day visa-free limit.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Travel to the UK and Ireland has not changed.

Healthcare

You must register for healthcare as a resident in Austria. Unless you have private insurance or your healthcare is paid for by the UK, you should 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.

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

If your UK employer has sent you to Austria temporarily, your access to healthcare is different. Find out how to access healthcare as a posted worker.

State healthcare: S1

If you have a registered S1 form and were living in Austria before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same if you are either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • a frontier worker who lives in Austria and commutes to work in the UK

Read our guidance on using an S1 in Austria to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Austria, you must not use your UK-issued EHIC for healthcare in Austria.

If you were living in Austria before 1 January 2021, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC if you’re:

  • a UK student in Austria
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

Apply now for a new UK EHIC.

An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

For more information read our guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe and advice on foreign travel insurance.

You should also read guidance on:

Mountain rescue is not covered by standard Austrian health insurance.

Working in Austria

If you were legally resident in Austria before 1 January 2021, you have the right to work, as long as you remain resident.

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

Frontier workers

If you live in Austria and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country before 1January 2021 you may need a permit to show that you are a frontier worker. You must also apply for a residence card in Austria.

If you live in the UK or another EU or EFTA country and regularly commuted to work in Austria before 1 January 2021 you need a certificate. You should apply for a “Bestätigung gemäß § 3 Absatz 8 Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz für “Artikel 50 EUV – Grenzgänger und Grenzgängerinnen” certificate at the regional office of the Austrian Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice).

Read the Austrian government guidance on working in Austria.

Education and professional qualifications

You will be eligible for the same tuition fees as Austrian nationals, as long as you were legally resident in Austria before 1 January 2021. You must apply for a residence card in Austria.

Read our guidance on:

Moving to Austria to study

If you are planning to study in Austria, make sure you meet all visa requirements before you arrive. 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 our guidance on studying in the European Union.

Professional qualifications

You may need to get your professional qualification recognised if you want to work in a profession that is regulated in Austria. When doing this, you will be subject to the third country regulations.

If you are offering a professional service in Austria and are unsure whether 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 whether you need to take any further action:

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

If your qualification was officially recognised by the relevant regulator in Austria before 1 January 2021, make sure you understand the terms of your recognition decision by checking with that regulator.

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.

Money and tax

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

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Austria have not changed following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

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.

Read guidance about:

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

National Insurance

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Austria.

Banking

Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes for more information on cross-border banking.

Pensions

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

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

If you retire in Austria, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on pension and retirement changes 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 need to report changes as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Benefits

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

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

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.

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

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Driving in Austria

If you are resident in Austria, you must exchange your UK licence for an Austrian one within 6 months of arriving.

For information on driving in Austria, read our guidance on:

If you are resident in Austria and your UK driving licence is lost, stolen or expires, you will not be able to renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will need to apply to the DVLA for a ‘certificate of entitlement’ in German to be able to apply for an Austrian driving licence.

Driving in the UK with an Austrian licence

You can use your Austrian licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test. We will update these pages if there are any changes to the rules, as soon as information is available.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Austria

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

If you have your main residence in Austria, you may use your car with foreign number plates for 1 month in Austria. You must register your car, pay a one-off fuel consumption tax called NoVA (Normverbrauchsabgabe) at your local tax office and exchange your UK number plates for Austrian plates at your nearest vehicle registration office (Kfz-Zulassungsstelle). Read the European Union’s guidance on car registration rules and taxes in Austria.

Third-party car insurance (Haftpflichtversicherung) is compulsory.

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.

Voting

You cannot vote in general, regional or local elections in Austria.

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

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Austria, you will need to register a birth abroad.

If someone dies in Austria you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for British nationals in Austria.

You may also need to find:

Accommodation and buying property

Read guidance on how to buy a property abroad.

Property ownership laws in Austria vary by province.

Pets

If you have a pet passport issued by Austria or another EU member state, you can use it to travel with your pet to Great Britain and elsewhere in the EU.

A GB-issued EU pet passport is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. You should speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary pet travel documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Read guidance on:

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.

Emergencies

As well as the European emergency number 112, Austria also has:

  • 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

You can find Austria – emergency numbers.

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

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Austrian authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently. To help prove you are now living in the UK, you should 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.

If you get UK State Pension or benefits payments, you must tell the International Pension Centre and your local social insurance organisation

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, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Austrian authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 10 May 2013
Last updated 14 January 2021 + show all updates
  1. Visas and residency section updated on where to apply for the new Article 50 residence card

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

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

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

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

  6. 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

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

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

  9. 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 www.facebook.com/ukinaustria.

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

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

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

  13. 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."

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

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

  16. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. Link to citizens outreach meetings

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

  28. Information on healthcare access updated.

  29. Update to entry and residence requirements

  30. Added links to Life Certificate witness options document

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

  32. First published.