Guidance

Living in Austria

Official information British people moving to and living in Austria need to know, including EU Exit guidance, residency, healthcare and driving.

EU Exit: what you need to know

Sign up to email alerts on living in Austria.

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.

See moving or retiring abroad.

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 or self-employed in Austria, or
  • have adequate means of subsistence to support yourself and your dependants and have sufficient health insurance coverage for yourself and your family members, or
  • attend an Austrian school or recognised educational institution as a main purpose of your stay and have sufficient means of subsistence, and have sufficient health insurance coverage.

After 5 years of continuous lawful residence, you can apply for a long-term residence certificate (Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts).

See this page for more information on the registration certificate and long-term residence certificate.

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).

The UK and EU have agreed the full legal text of the draft Withdrawal Agreement in principle. The agreement on citizens’ rights will allow UK nationals to stay in their Member State of residence after the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019.

In the event of changes to residency rules or registration processes after 29 March 2019, we will update this page as soon as information is available.

Healthcare

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.

You can find English-speaking doctors in Austria. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Austria.

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

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

Tax

See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

Austria and the UK have a double taxation convention to prevent income being taxed in both countries.

See paying income tax in Austria.

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.

Pensions

See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

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.

Benefits

See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

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

See driving abroad and road travel in Austria.

See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.

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.

Voting

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Austria, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

See what to do after someone dies.

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

UK nationals will still be able to travel to and from the UK with a pet (cat, dog or ferret) when the UK leaves the EU, but the rules will change. See pet travel to Europe after Brexit for more information.

Emergencies

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

See Austria – emergency numbers.

If you need urgent help, contact the British Embassy Vienna.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Find registered real estate agents (Immobilienmakler) throughout Austria.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.

Disclaimer

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.

Published 10 May 2013
Last updated 22 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. 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
  2. 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.
  3. Link to citizens outreach meetings
  4. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  5. Information on healthcare access updated.
  6. Update to entry and residence requirements
  7. Added links to Life Certificate witness options document
  8. Life Certificate section - updates requested by BE Vienna Consular section. Notary search website address added - update requested by BE Vienna Consular Section.
  9. First published.