If you have married or registered as a couple with an Austrian citizen, you can apply for a residence visa as a “family member” for you and also for your children -as long as they are minors and unmarried- (Familienangehöriger). This visa will allow you to have free access to work full time, study, and live freely in Austria.

Always remember to check the necessary documents again on the website of the corresponding authority (Magistrat, Landeshauptmann, or Bezirkshauptmannschaft), as the requirements are constantly updated.

Before submitting the documentation, it is very important that you take into account that absolutely all documents must be translated into German with an official translator and apostilled before the corresponding authority in your country (the apostille is necessary only for non-EU countries). Remember to scan or make a copy of everything before always delivering it, for safety and precaution.

Make sure that all your documents are as recent as possible, even when it is not a requirement, this can help you so that the process is not obstructed.

The most important thing: you must take into account that EACH CASE IS DIFFERENT. Although the requirements are the same for everyone, your specific situation may be handled differently by the authorities or may require extra documents. It is very important to be patient and persistent. This process is not easy and it has cost many of us sleepless nights. That is why you must start it with time and be prepared to be patient and face the immigration authorities.

In a context without COVID-19

  • You usually go without an appointment to the magistrate with all the necessary documents in ORIGINAL AND COPY.
  • Right there, they will take your fingerprints and stamp your passport. Depending on the situation, some people are asked to do this process the same day they apply for the visa, others are asked to do it the day they pick up their permit.
  • If corrections are required, the magistrate sends a letter requesting additional documents or clarifications.
  • Once the visa is approved, the magistrate will send you an approval letter and an account number to pay the tax for the card. Once the payment has been made and once confirmed by the magistrate, you must go to the offices to collect the card.

In a context with COVID-19

  • It is not allowed to go to the magistrate without an appointment for the application. For a first time application, an appointment should be booked by phone or email.
  • For a renovation, you may send a copy of your documents via post or email. We recommend you to do it via post and with registered mail (eingeschreiben). This means someone will have to sign while receiving your documents and you will have a proof that the authorities got them.
  • Your application will be reviewed. If clarifications are required, the magistrate sends a letter requesting additional documents or corrections. Additional documents should be delivered by post, or scanned by email. Documents must be clear and legible.
  • Once the visa is approved, the magistrate will send you an approval letter and an account number to pay the tax for the card. Once the payment has been made and once confirmed by the magistrate, they will send the card to your door or you will get a letter with an appointment to pick it up.

Which documents do you have to submit?

Requirements FIRST TIME

  • Application form filled out (form here).
  • Valid passport (copy of the cover of the passport that has name and data, and of all the pages of the passport that are stamped).
  • Passport size biometric photograph. It cannot have been taken in a period greater than 6 months. Hair-free face, little makeup, must be a bright, clear photo.
  • Birth certificate.
  • Marriage certificate, registered partnership, or official corresponding proof of the above. The certificate in Austria is delivered immediately upon signing at the civil registry.
  • Copy of the residence permit and/or passport of the corresponding family member (spouse, registered partner, father/mother).
  • Certificate of absence of criminal records from the country of origin (must not be older than three months). You must deliver this certificate from all the countries in which you have lived with a visa.
  • Certificate of knowledge of the German language. The minimum level required is A1. DAF and Goethe Institut (Germany), ÖSD (Austria, Germany, Switzerland), and ÖIF (Austria) exam results are accepted. If you have studied a German course at a university, you must also deliver a certificate of the equivalent level to the Matura in your country (baccalaureate, high school, etc.). No more than one year may have passed since the German certificate was issued. The last school report is recommended to verify compliance with the integration agreement (certificate of the equivalent to Matura).
  • Proof of the legal right to accommodation in Austria (proof of ownership, rental, or sublease agreement) in the name of the applicant or their family member. Bear in mind that in Austria, by law, there is a limit of people that can live in a certain area by square meters, so you have to be sure that the people who have lived in your house before you have de-registered from the address you will use.
  • Proof of insurance for medical expenses valid in Austria and covering all possible risks. It can be the social security of the couple or the parents, which also covers the applicant (Mitversicherung).
  • Proof of having enough economical resources to live in Austria, your own or from a family member. Salary or pension receipts, employment contract, or proof of your own or family member’s benefits/savings.
  • Proof of applicants’ regular expenses (e.g. rent, food, utilities). This can be the bank account statement of the last 3 months.
  • Current proof of the absence of debts of the applicant’s family member. It can be requested at https://www.ksv.at/en, or https://www.akv.at/. It costs around 30€.

Requirements renovation (verlängerung)

  • Application form filled out.
  • Valid passport (bring a copy of the cover of the passport, the one with the name and data, and of all the pages of the passport that are stamped).
  • Passport size biometric photograph. It cannot have been taken in a period greater than 6 months.
  • When applying for a renewal for the second time, proof of having completed Module 1 of the integration test must be presented (this means having passed the German A2 exam, only the ÖIF is accepted, as this exam also has questions about Austria and its culture). Find out more about German certifications here.
  • Marriage certificate, registered partnership or official corresponding proof of the above.
  • Copy of the residence permit and passport of the corresponding family member (spouse, registered partner, father / mother).
  • Proof of the legal right to accommodation in Austria (proof of ownership, rental or sublease agreement) in the name of the applicant or their family member.
  • Proof of insurance for medical expenses valid in Austria and covering all possible risks. It can be the social security of the couple or the parents, which also covers the applicant (Mitversicherung).
  • Proof of having enough economical resources to live in Austria, your own or from your family member. Salary or pension receipts, employment contract or proof of your own or family member’s benefits. If you are already working, you have to submit your own as well.
  • Proof of applicants’ regular expenses (e.g. rent, food, utilities). This can be the receipts of account movements of the last 3 months.
  • Current proof of absence of debts of the applicant’s family member. It can be requested at https://www.ksv.at/en or https://www.akv.at/. If you are already working, you have to submit both your own and your partner’s.

The visa must be renewed after one year. The second time it is also renewed for one year and you must take the ÖIF-A2 test and pass it. In the third renewal, there is a probability of obtaining the permit for more years. After 6 continuous years of legally living in Austria, you can apply for permanent residence or nationality. For this, the ÖIF-B1 test must be passed, amongst other requirements.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions!

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