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 information about the registration certificate and long-term residence

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.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, your access to healthcare is likely to change. The NHS has more information about healthcare for UK nationals living in and visiting Austria.

The UK government has or is seeking agreements with countries on healthcare arrangements for UK nationals after 29 March 2019.

Up to 29 March 2019, you should get 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.

If you plan to visit on or after 29 March 2019, you should continue to buy travel insurance for the health treatment you may need, as you would for a non-EU country. If you have a UK-issued EHIC, it will still be valid until 29 March 2019.

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).

Money and tax

If you intend to use a bank card, or other financial service from a UK-based firm in the EU after exit, this may be affected. Read more about using a bank card, insurance or other financial service in the EU.

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. The UK’s exit from the European Union will not change existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Austria. Individual taxpayer queries regarding double taxation relief should be directed to the relevant tax authority.

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.

The UK Government will continue to pay state pension, child benefits, and disability benefits to eligible UK nationals in the EU after the UK’s exit from the EU. Find guidance on benefits and pensions in a no deal scenario.

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.

Holders of UK driving licences who are resident in an EU country should exchange their UK licences for a driving licence from the EU country you are living in before 29 March 2019. For more information see driving abroad.

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.

Passports

Check your passport here

The rules for travel to most countries in Europe change if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. If your adult passport was issued over 9 years ago, you may be affected. You should use this tool to check your passport is still valid for your trip before booking travel.

Adult and child passports should have at least 6 months remaining from your date of travel. If you renewed your passport early, extra months would have been added to your new passport. These extra months will not count towards this so some passport holders will need to have more than 6 months remaining in order to travel.

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 February 2019 + show all updates
  1. Updated information on passports: you must use the checker tool to see if your passport is still valid for your trip
  2. EU Exit update: New English language website link to the Austrian Federal Chancellery Brexit page
  3. EU Exit update: updated information on access to healthcare
  4. EU Exit update: Added new Brexit Q&A event dates in Salzburg, Styria, Lower Austria, Vienna, Upper Austria, Tyrol, Vorarlberg, Carinthia and Burgenland
  5. EU Exit update: updated information on pensions and driving
  6. EU Exit update: added web link to new Austrian government page about Brexit preparations in EU Exit section
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. Link to citizens outreach meetings
  10. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  11. Information on healthcare access updated.
  12. Update to entry and residence requirements
  13. Added links to Life Certificate witness options document
  14. Life Certificate section - updates requested by BE Vienna Consular section. Notary search website address added - update requested by BE Vienna Consular Section.
  15. First published.