Austria

Living and Working in Austria

Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna, AustriaAustria is a clean and beautiful country with marvelous architecture, mountains, and delicious delicacies. This country is nestled in the southern part of the Central Europe. It is made up of nine states; one of them is the capital city, Vienna. Vienna is historical and the biggest city plus populous state of this country. Vienna gives you a glimpse of the beauty of this country. Exploring the city by cycle is a better option, excepting by cabs or metro. Austria is one of the wealthiest countries in the European Union. This is a landlocked country bordered by Germany to the northwest, the Czechia to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the South, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Other major cities of Austria are Graz, Linz, Salzburg, and Innsbruck. Austria is a member state of the United Nations and European Union as well as it is a founding member of OECD and Interpol. This is a Schengen state and has adopted the currency Euro (€) in the year 1999. Austria is popular for its castles, places and monuments with other architectural creations. Many of the Castles were built during the Habsburg reign. 

Austria is one of the best countries to live as it gives a quality life for foreigners. Here you get press freedom, women’s and human rights. This country has clean alpine air, better public transport services, high quality education and has one of the best healthcare system. Many expats choose this location as it is certainly impressing its residents and gaining popularity among foreigners. It is a good place to stay and work compared to the other European countries like Poland, Czechia and Ukraine. This is a country with stunning architecture, good economy, high level of well being across the population, etc. Austria has many job opportunities also for expats as it has renowned companies, which gives a good take-home pay. There are many vacancies in the tourism and hospitality sector. People do speak and understand English as there are plenty of tourists in this country. Learning basic German will also be good in order to get a job at a better place. This is considered as the second most livable country in the whole world after Finland. However, Austria is expensive as the prices of food, alcohol, grocery products, dinning out, transportation and other expenses are costly. Still this is the country with one of the best quality of life in the world.

Traveling information

Restrictions due to Corona Virus Pandemic are lifted by the Austrian government, travel to Austria is possible. There are no travel restrictions but some safety measures still apply. After arriving there is no need to submit the proof of vaccination, recovered of tested negative. However during the stay some rules apply. For instance, FFP2 masks are no longer compulsory in shops and while using the public transport in all over Austria except Vienna. In the capital city, only FFP2 masks are mandatory in pharmacies and public transport. Children under the age of six years are exempted from this rule. Children from the age of six to thirteen years should wear a regular mask and teenagers from the age of fourteen years must wear a FFP2 mask. Also there is no need to quarantine yourself if you have tested positive, only wearing FFP2 mask is worn indoors in public areas. 

You need a valid passport and a Schengen Visa to enter in Austria, also depends on your nationality. For the latest information please contact the nearest Austrian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. To reach here you can take flight, which is the easiest way. Trains are the best and most efficient way to zip around Austria and experience the lush green scenic environment. Rains are operated by the Austrian Federal Railways. This country has well developed road network which helps you reach your destination. You can rent a car roam around with ease and comfort. Also there are convenient, cost effective and reliable coach services (buses) available, which operate to and within Austria. Detailed requirements are specified in the below mentioned website. 

For more travel advice please visit: austria.info and austria.info

How to Immigrate to Austria

Austria is offering a legal economic citizenship program, providing direct access to the citizenship or residency permit with no residency requirements for expats and their families. The only requirement is the applicant’s capability to make financial contribution to the Austrian government. There are various visas available, for instance, there is a certain type of visa for the short term stay (3 months) in Austria. The immigration and Citizenship office has the charge of immigration services in this country. These are provided through its several municipal departments. The following are the legal documents required for granting its holder temporary or permanent rights of immigration in Austria: 

  • Visa
  • Temporary residence permit
  • EU Blue Card
  • Austrian Red White Red Card

For short term visit, you must apply for a Schengen short stay visa (C-type visa). Depending on your purpose of traveling to Austria, you are required to apply for one of the following Schengen Visa types: 

  • Austrian Study Visa
  • Austrian Airport Visa
  • Austrian Tourist Visa
  • Austrian Visitor Visa
  • Austrian Business Visa
  • Austrian Visa for Official Visit
  • Austrian Medical Visa
  • Austrian Visa for Cultural, Sports and Film Crews

Expats from non-EU countries, planning to stay for more than 90 days must apply for the residence permit, called Aufenthaltsbewilligungen. 

For more information please visit: immigration-residency.eu

People 

Austrians are ethnic Germans, who are natives or inhabitants of Austria, naïve speakers of German language. They are hardworking, disciplined and efficient people. They are quite friendly and receive foreigners with warm welcome. However, Austrians live more private personal lives. Austrians enjoy artistic talents like music and craftsmanship and are humorous, but not stiff and humorless like many people think. Deep and meaningful conversations are valued rather than shallow small conversations. These people are conservative by nature and give preference in keeping their behavior moderate; once you know them closely they have are extremely polite and often happy to help kind of nature. Austrian cuisine and traditions have great impact of German, Hungarian, Czechia, Jewish, Italian and Polish culture, from which both dishes and methods of preparation have often been borrowed. Austrian pastries and sweets are world famous. People here in Austria wear stylish and dark and solid colored clothes. Also while dressing they keep the choice and occasion in mind. Cooperation, formality, happiness and warmth are considered as the cornerstone of the Austrian culture, which also can be seen in their behavior. Austrian population can be found in countries like Germany, USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Switzerland, etc. Religions followed by Austrians are Christians 68% and Atheists or irreligious 24%. 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Job offers in Austria

To get a job in the Austria is not an easy task for German speaking EU citizen and even a bit more for expats who are non-EU residents and doesn’t know German language, but no worries as there are sites available on the internet helping you to land a job. Austria is known for highly skilled workforce and has a good service and tourism and hospitality sector, plus foreign trade is a blooming industry. Energy, financial services, telecoms and real estate companies are the top employers in Austria. They are in continuous search of skilled and deserving candidates. Most of the vacancies are in construction, healthcare, tourism, vehicles and its part production, banking and insurance. There is also a high demand in the IT and engineering sector. In the capital city, Vienna, there are ample of job opportunities available. If you are from the EU or EEA country, you will get the work without a special work permit or visa in Austria. Work permit is must for others who come from non-EU and non-EEA countries. There are various companies where well qualified staff is required all year long.

If you are a citizen of an EEA/EU country, you can move in this country and start your job search. Work and study at the same time and during and after graduation apply for the EU Blue card or work permit is possible for EEA/EU citizens.

Jobs like Software developers, electronics engineers, programmers, architects, IT consultants and analysts, Nurses, Business or Account managers, etc. are highly in demand. 

How to get a job offer: 

  • Firstly look for a job.
  • Write an application.
  • Apply for a visa.
  • Get a health insurance.

For more information please visit: expatica.com

Unemployment rate

According to a survey report, Austria’s unemployment rate has gone to 6.2% in November in the year 2022 which gone to the highest 8.1% in the month of January 2022. The number fell down by 1.1% from first quarter to the third quarter of the year 2022. This rate shows unemployed persons among the number of employees available in the market. The number of people registered as unemployed declined by 31,827 to 257,513, of which 117,346 were women and 140,167 were men. The youth jobless rate is 10.30% and employment rate is 74.10%. Austria has a good economy after the pandemic, but even after a healthy economy unemployment occurs. The reason behind the increase jobless rate is considered as the lack of generating opportunities for the deserving candidates, pandemic situation, inflation, declining age, etc. The Austrian government is taking care of these matters and trying to provide employment to the deserving ones. 

For more information please visit: tradingeconomics.com

Economy of Austria

In terms of GDP per capita, Austria occupies the 14th place as one of the richest in the world. The economy of Austria is a well-developed social market economy. The economy has grown immensely and will strongly expand in the future according to the Austrian government, it is because of the innovative ideas and focus on export of high quality manufactured goods. Economy is good, also because of Austrian government’s competiveness and strong global networking. The federal government has an important role in the economy; it takes care of management and labour and regulates the relationship between the capitalist participants in the market. Economy of Austria is depended on many industries like construction, machinery, vehicles and parts, food, metals, chemicals, lumber and paper, electronics, tourism. Goods exported by Austria are machinery and equipments, motor vehicles and parts, manufactured goods, chemicals, iron and steel, foodstuffs. Imported stuffs are oil and oil products, natural gas, chemicals, machinery and equipments, etc. 

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org

Renting and buying of real estates for foreigners

Renting:

If you are planning to move to the Austria, you might rent a property rather than buying it. Renting property here is common among both locals and expats. Renting a property is expensive here and buying a house even costs much more than renting. After pandemic the prices are continuously rising, so renting actually works out cheaper in Austria. Prices for renting or buying apartments, detached or semi-detached homes, are different. There are many websites on the internet showing the view and prices at the same time. The rising of cost also depends on your lifestyle. 

Buying:

To own a property in Austria is possible for an EU citizen and a non-EU citizen, the only thing is for the non-EU citizen that they have to get a special permit from the land Transfer Authorities. After both the parties have agreed and signed the sales contract, the buyer might be asked to pay a deposit of 10% of the purchase price of the property. It is most notable in the cities like Vienna, Salzburg and Graz, where demand is far increasing day by day. People earning an average salary will usually have to turn to cheaper areas. Even people earning a good amount of salary are limited as to where they can buy a house. 

For more information please visit: expatica.com and expatica.com

Climate

Austria has temperamental climate throughout the country. Austria has four seasons; however the weather temperatures can vary depending on the season and different parts of the country. Due to its topography, the Austrian climate is cool in the mountains all year round and warm in the cities. Moreover the evenings are almost always cool. The lowland areas have cold winters and hot summers. Rainfall is throughout the year. Frost or snow for long time happens, and also it’s rainy and windy.   

Spring in the country is a mild season. Starts from the month of March and ends in June. 

Summer, have warm days and cool nights. Afternoon temperature rises till 30˚C and drops till 20˚C at night. 

Autumn is just as the spring season. Autumn also brings lot of mist and fog, especially in October. 

Winters are cold. The temperature an average is about 1˚C. Places in higher altitudes are far colder, especially in mountains. 

For more information please visit: expatica.com

Languages

German is the official and mostly spoken language of Austria.  It is most similar to the other languages like Dutch, English, the Frisian, etc. It also contains some similarities in vocabulary to some other languages like Danish, Norwegian and Swedish. German is one of the major languages in the world and most taught after English and French. Office work is mostly done in German, so understanding and speaking the language is must in this country, for education and work also. People here speak and understand English and French too.

There are plenty of straightforward rules through which learning the language is not that tough as many people may think, as English and German stem from the same language. You might be surprised when u picks up the language without even trying and most important, it is a useful one. A number of minority languages are also spoken in Austria, some have official status like Turkish 2.3%, Serbian 2.2%, Burgenland Croatian 2.5%, Bosnian, Hungarian, and Slovene. Other regional languages spoken are Polish, Czech, Romani, Italian, Slovak, Yiddish and Austrian Sign Language.   

For more information please visit: en.wikipedia.org and en.wikipedia.org

Traffic 

Austria has the dense road networks in the world. Traffic is considered safe here. Driving a vehicle in this country has a few differences from some countries in the world. It’s a law here to always drive in the right lane, even driving on the National highway system (Autobahn) and overtake on the left. It is Federal Government who sets speed limits in Austria. There are two default rules here for traffic, such as speed limit should be less than 50 kmph (31mph) within cities and less than 100 kmph (62 mph) outside the cities. Some autobahn have speed limit of less than 120-130 kmph. While some areas like rural sections have no speed limits. 

You will also come across the cyclists while driving. Riding a bicycle is very common and convenient in the country. Renting a bicycle is an affordable option. You can also travel by public transport here. Seatbelts are compulsory for driver and passengers. Children smaller than fourteen years and not fitting in seats with seatbelts, then child seats are mandatory. Telephoning is allowed only when hands free are used while driving. 

For more information visit: advantageaustria.org

Currency

Currency used in Austria is EURO (€). Since the year 2002, Austrians no longer use Austrian Schillings. Austrian Schilling notes and coins can be exchanged for Euros at the Federal Bank locations in Austria. Euro is the official currency of Austria and 19 other countries out of the 27, member states of the European Union (EU). This group of states is known as the eurozone or euro area. The euro has one of the highest combined values of banknotes and coins used in the world. Euro is sub divided into hundred cents (c). A euro note comes in denominations like €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200, €500, etc and coins in €1, €2, 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, and 50c cents. Banknotes of €200, €500 are rarely used these days; however these are legal and still in circulation these days. The currency is minted by the Eurosystem Central Bank. Much used banknotes, which have become damaged and shabby and no longer fit for use, are taken back. 

Payment Transaction

In Austria payments can be done by cash, cheque, debit/credit card or through online transaction depends on the situation and is a personal choice. Austria is one of the fragmented markets when it comes to the payment methods. Here you can see the considerable growth on the e-commerce sector, in upcoming years. This market explosion will happen by the rising local merchants, rising smart phone’s usage with mobile commerce growth, and the arrival of international digital wallet members willing to make their spot. Austrian online shopping market has popped up in recent years, as a result frequent online payments are done by the customers. Cards and open invoicing are the most used payment methods in Austria. Debit cards are more popular than credit cards among the population of Austria. Use of digital wallets is also rapidly growing. PayPal is well used option for digital wallets. Google pay is already available for the Android users and Apple Pay is for IOS (Apple) users. Non-credit card payment methods like, SEPA direct debits, EPS are the widely used methods for the online transactions. If you’ve come from a European country and want to make payments here SEPA (Single Euro Payment Area) is useful as this makes transactions easy and feels no difference between a domestic payment and a euro payment from or to the other European Country. The payment methods in Austria are similar to the neighboring country Germany. Others are Google Pay, Paypal, Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, Ewallets. 

For more information visit: jpmorgan.com and adyen.com

Cost of living in Austria

Compared to the other European Country cost of living in Austria is quite expensive. Cost of living in the Austria is cheaper than the 62% of Western European countries and cost of living in the Austria is more expensive than in 67% countries of the world. Average living cost in this nation depends upon your lifestyle or your current situation, like whether you are working or a student. Cost of living varies from city to city and also if you are staying alone or with your family. The average monthly expense for a single person is approximately €2,200. And the monthly expense will rise if you want to move along with your family of four persons, which will be €4,380.

Monthly rent will cost more in the urban areas than the cost of rent in rural areas. Expense will also rise if you need bigger accommodation, than the smaller one. The prices of food, accommodation, bills, clothes and entertainment will cost you less than the rent. The monthly rent is the biggest expense in Austria. If you are staying in a city where you can go by bicycle, walking till your university or office, or live in a city with a good public transport system, then your cost will be much lower. 

Here are some products mentioned below, so that you will get a clear idea of the cost of living: 

Product

Quantity

Amount in Euro (€)

Whole Fat Milk

1 lit

1.30

Eggs

12 (a dozen)

5.10

Tomatoes

1 Kg (2 lb.)

3.15

Chicken

500 grams (1 lb)

5.90

Dining (Lunch)

Full meal

15.00

Fast food meal

Combo

9.00

Bread

2 loaf

1.80

Internet

8 mbps (1 month)

30.00

Utilities (Heating, electricity, gas)

Per month (480 Sqft)

110.00

Cleaning help

Hourly

15.00

Gas in vehicle

1 lit

1.80

Private Doctor

Short visit

140.00

Movie Tickets

For 2

23.00

For more info visit: expatistan.com

Apartment Rent

In Austria, the main cities are  Vienna, Salzburg, Graz and Innsbruck, hence the apartment rent is more expensive here than other cities like Styria and Tyrol. In cities, one large bedroom apartment which is fully furnished and located near the city centre will cost you €750 – €800. Same apartment outside city centre will cost you around €600 – €680. In cities, two to three bedroom large apartments, fully furnishedand located near the city centre will cost you €1,300 – €1,400. Same apartment outside city centre will cost you around €1,100 – €1,200. Room in a shared apartment will cost you around €500 – €600. Prices of accommodation may vary according to individual’s choices. Apartments outside of the city of one, two or three BHK will cost you less than the amount you will be charged for the apartment in the city centre. Staying in cities like Carinthia, Linz or Burgenland is much cheaper. Rent for downtown areas are higher, therefore sharing the apartment with someone will be affordable especially for a student. 

For more info please visit: numbeo.com and internations.org

Taxes 

The Austrian law requires that you pay taxes if you earn money while staying and working in Austria, whether you are a citizen of Austria or an expat. Residents of Austria who are earning from trade business, profession, employment, investment and property are bound to pay taxes to the government. Non-residents are subject to pay taxes on income from certain sources only. Also non-residents are subject to income tax on Austrian source income at normal rates. All the Taxes are imposed by the state. Tax revenue is generated from income tax, VAT, corporate tax, social security tax and by various other ways. There is no such thing as property tax here. Tax rate starts at 42% and increases to 55%. Top rate of 55% is applicable to those people, whose earnings are very high.

Income tax is levied on all income earned. This system operates a progressive tax rate in which the tax rate increases with your income. Mostly, people pay income tax through payroll deduction by their employer. And if you are self employed or have multiple professions and taking care of your own business, then you have to submit the annual tax return by yourself to work out your income tax. 

For more information please visit: taxsummaries.pwc.com and wikipedia.org

Health Insurance

Austria has an exemplary healthcare system. This is universal for Austrians and for residents from other EU Countries. For non-residents, travelers and expats, comprehensive public healthcare good. Expats can also take additional private health insurance if are willing to do so. Austrian medical services have high standard but at the same time medical services are expensive and pose a significant challenge. To overcome the federal government has introduced modern social institutions that have reformed the Austrian healthcare system. Austrian citizens are authorized to get free medical treatment (public healthcare) which is funded by social security contributions. It covers treatments and services like immunizations, prescriptions and dental checkups. This system helps to keep average healthcare costs in Germany to a minimum and also maintains a positive reputation of the system all around the world. However they still have either state or private health insurance, covering hospital and other necessary medical treatment and pregnancy. As an expat in this country, you are entitled to public healthcare that is the result of the taxes paid by the citizens. Many expats do not feel the need to take a private health insurance because of the outstanding public healthcare facility in Austria. Even though, if you have a private health insurance as a part of your employment package, you will get several medical services and shorter waiting queues.

For more information visit: expatfinancial.com

Education

Every year hundreds of international students come to Austria for educational purpose. This nation welcomes students from all over the world. Austria provides better education and is one of the suitable destinations for students; the reason is the quality and budget friendly education. It has free and public school system and nine years of education is compulsory. This country has public, private and International Schools, with all types of vocational courses. Education system can seem complex, so before enrolling children in schools, parents need to familiarize themselves first with the education system of Austria. There are different names for Primary, junior high and secondary schools. Most expats choose international schools due to the familiar language of instruction and for their continuity of their children’s study when they return to their home country. Also here you get education with good value, low tuition fees, low cost living and different scholarships for international students. Austria offers discounts and offers given especially to full time students. There are certain conditions like they must gain passing grades for a full load of courses and finish their studies within the nominal time. 

For more information please visit: expatica.com

Important addresses

Vienna International Airport:
1300 Schwechat,
Austria
Ph: +43 1 70070

Innsbruck Airport:
Fϋrstenweg 180,
A-6020 Innsbruck,
Austria
Ph: +43 512 225250

Graz Airport:
8073 Feldkirchen bei Graz,
Austria
Ph: +43 316 29020

Linz Airport:
Airport road 1,
4063 Hörsching,
Austria
Ph: +43 7221 6000

Vienna Central Bus Station:
1040 Vienna,
Austria

Villach Bus Station:
9500 Villach,
Austria

Graz Webling Bus Stop:
8054 Graz,
Austria

British Embassy:
Jaurèsgasse 12, 1030 Vienna,
Austria
Ph: +43 1 716130

Embassy of Canada:
Laurenzerberg 2,
1010 Vienna,
Austria
Ph: +43 1 531383000

Embassy of Ireland:
Rotenturmstraẞe 16-18,
1010 Vienna,
Austria
Ph: +43 1 7154246

Embassy of Netherlands:
Opernring 5, 1010 Vienna,
Austria
Ph: +43 1 589390

Summary

Austria, a clean and high-tech country with marvelous architecture, delicious delicacies, better healthcare, and one of the best educations system in the world. This is safe and politically stable nation, a good place to live, study or work.  Austria  is expensive and you will experience a high quality lifestyle here. Austria is a developed, happy and vibrant place with a good income. People are friendly, content, warm and peace loving. It has plenty of job offers and good education system. There are many foreigners interested to work here and some are still working and leading a good life. There is low unemployment rate and high working and living standards. It has better ecosystem, the pace of life is quiet. There are different websites showing accommodation with prices and according to your comfort and need.  It is a task to find a good or high quality accommodation. Still it is worth living in Austria and a better choice for immigration. 

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