Students from third countries (non-EU/EEA/Switzerland) - staying longer than 6 months
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Students from third countries (non-EU/EEA/Switzerland) who are planning to stay for more than 6 months in Austria require a Residence Permit 'Student'.
Exception for students from third countries with a residence title 'Student' from another EU country (except Great Britain, Ireland, and Denmark)
Students who are taking part in a Union or multilateral mobility programme (e.g. Erasmus+, OeAD scholarship) or for whom an agreement between two or more higher education institutions is in place and who are in possession of a valid residence title "Student" of another EU member country (not Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland) are allowed to enter Austria without requiring a visa and to stay in Austria for up to 360 days.
Complete the 'Confirmation of participation in a Union, multilateral mobility programme, or agreement between two or more higher education institutions' form and have it signed by your BOKU coordinator!
To prove that you are residing in Austria legally, you need:
- a signed copy of the form above,
- a valid travel document (at least valid for another 3 months, no older than 10 years, at least 2 pages long)
- a valid residence title 'Student' from another EU country
- valid health insurance
- proof of entry date into Austria (passport stamp, train/bus/flight ticket, petrol station receipt,...)
If it is possible/probable that you will stay in Austria for more than 360 days we recommend that you apply for an Austrian Residence Permit as well. You can then extend it when looking for a job.
For students who are initially allowed to stay in Austria without a visa, the visafree period starts again after the 360 days.
Preparing for the Application Process
Make sure you start preparing your application and collecting the right documents well in advance!
We recommend that you submit your application at the competent Austrian authority (embassy, general-conulate) in your home country 6 months before your arrival. You must wait for the decision there! The decision process can take around 3 months, even with a complete and valid application - any missing documents or information will extend this time frame.
For students who are initially allowed to stay in Austria without a visa, you can apply for the Residence Permit 'Student' once you arrive in Austria (responsible authorities in Vienna: MA35). The processing of your application can take up to 90 days, and it is not allowed to overstay your visa-free residency. We therefore advise you to submit your application in your home country several months before your arrival in Austria. If you do choose to submit your application in Austria, it is vital that you prepare the correct documents beforehand and that you submit the application immediately upon your arrival. Please be aware that you have to prove your entry date into Austria (e.g. passport stamp, flight/bus/train ticket, petrol station receipt,...). When you go to the Austrian authorities to submit your application, it is highly recommended that you bring a native speaker with you to avoid communication problems and ensure a smooth application process!
Documents: You can find a checklist with all the required documents on the OeAD database. The documents (e.g. proof of financial means) should be clear and comprehensible. It is sometimes helpful to attach additional written explanations to clarify older or more complicated documents, and to explain their context. Please prepare originals AND copies of all documents (e.g. bring copies of your passport). In addition, we recommend that you keep copies of all submitted documents.
- The documents should be submitted in an official German translation. Most of the time, English documents are also accepted, but there are no legal rights covering this.
- Please note: Some documents (birth certificate, police clearance certificate,...) must be officially legalised. The legalisation process for an Austrian residence permit is different than for some other EU countries. It involves several steps and can take up to 6 months!
Especially important requirements for a successful application:
Insurance: Travel insurance is usually NOT enough - your health insurance must 'cover all risks'. We recommend:
- private health insurance Feelsafe
- for students who can initially travel to Austria without a visa: the Wiener Gebietskrankenasse(WGKK) (national health insurance for students in Austria, you can only apply once you arrive in Austria)
Third country nationals with a European health insurance card should register at the WGKK using the S1 form, in order to register their main residence in Austria. Please ask your insurance for the form!
Proof of origin of financial means: You are required to show not only that you have financial means but also where your funds come from. Examples of possible proof:
- Withdrawals from your account within the last 6 months (or records of bank deposits, payment orders etc.), withdrawals from your parents' accounts or other sponsors in the last 6 months, proof of employment of parents or other sponsors or of the student themselves (self-employment possible) - work contract including the last 6 salary payment records, proof of payment or business licence including the last tax assessment reference.
- When your financial means draw from other personal funds, their origin must also be shown (for example a bill of sale, inheritance contract)
Costs: Both submitting the application and collecting it carry costs! As of 2019: €120 when submitting the application, €20 when the permit is granted, and €20 fee for the collection of police identification data.
If you submit the application in your home country, we recommend that you name a representative in Austria (family, close friends,..) in your application form to communicate faster and speed up the application process.
Tip: It might be helpful to ask other students about their experience, e.g. you could check facebook groups of expats from your country in Vienna.
When applying at the competent Austrian authority (embassy or general consulate) in your home country
Because your application will be sent to the authorities in Austria, the process usually takes a bit longer. You will receive a 'Verständigung über das Ergebnis der Beweisaufnahme' in German (a notification of the outcome of your application). You will either be informed that you will receive a Visa D in order to enter Austria and acquire your Residence Permit 'Student' there, or that you did not meet the application requirements for a Residence Permit 'Student'. In this case you will need to supply additional documents or information.
When applying at the competent authorities in Austria (only if you can travel to Austria without a visa)
The authorities have 90 days to consider your application. This time frame only applies however when all the required documents are in order. If you do not submit your application immediately upon your arrival or there are documents missing from your application, the process could take longer than the 90 days of your visa-free residency. In this case you must leave the country.
You will receive a 'Verständigung über das Ergebnis der Beweisaufnahme' in German (the notification of the outcome of your application). Ideally all your documents are in ordder and you will be informed that you can collect your Residence Partmit 'Student'.
If, according to the notification, you have not fulfilled the application requirements for the Residence Permit 'Student', you have two weeks to submit further documents. Only then will you receive a decision on your application. Theoretically it is possible to extend this two-week deadline, but this is not recommended as it will only lengthen the application process, thereby making it improbable that it will be ready before the end of your visa-free residency.
The Residence Permit is only valid for 12 months. Information on extending your permit.
If you are taking an international master programme with a compulsory stay abroad, you can apply for a residence permit of 2 years at the beginning of your studies. With this you can stay at the partner university in another EU country (not Great Britain, Ireland, or Denmark) for up to 360 days visa-free, and you will not have to apply for another residence permit or visa in this country. If you plan to work in Austria after completing your international master programme at BOKU, it is recommended to apply for a residence permit of 2 years at the beginning of your studies: Students who have completed their studies holding a "Residence Permit – Student" may apply for a renewal of the permit for another 12 months to look for a job or set up a business.
In order to apply for a 2-year residence permit 'Student' in Austria, you must be able to prove sufficient financial means for 2 years and you will also need a confirmation from BOKU, that the mobility is a compulsory part of your programme. Please contact your co-ordinator!
Please note: The Residence Permit 'Student' is not a work permit! Information on working in Austria.