Glossary – Terms and explanations regarding immigration to and residence in Austria

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Allgemeines Verwaltungsverfahrensgesetz - (AVG) - General Administrative Procedure Act

The AVG regulates the administrative procedures of many administrative authorities.

AMS-Gutachten - AMS report

A first-time application for a Red-White-Red Card ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte") for self-employed key workers ("selbständige Schlüsselkraft") can only be approved by MA 35 if the report by the Public Employment Service Austria ("Arbeitsmarktservice") confirms that the applicant’s activity is of general economic interest.

AMS-Mitteilung - AMS statement

A first-time application for a "Red-White-Red Card" ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte") or "EU Blue Card" ("Blaue Karte EU") can only be approved by MA 35 if the statement by the Public Employment Service Austria ("Arbeitsmarktservice") confirms that the applicant meets the requirements for a key employee.

AMS-Stellungnahme - AMS opinion

A first-time application for "self-employed persons under the Europe Agreement" ("Selbständige nach dem Europa-Abkommen") can only be approved by MA 35 if the opinion by the Public Employment Service Austria ("Arbeitsmarktservice") confirms that the planned activity is in keeping with the Europe Agreement. The Agreement can currently not yet be applied to Croatia and Macedonia, as the decision of the Association Council is still pending.

ArbeitgeberInnenerklärung - declaration by the employer

Completed by the future employer, to be submitted with applications for an "EU Blue Card" ("Blaue Karte EU") or "Red-White-Red Card" ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte").

Assoziationsberechtigte türkische Staatsangehörige - Turkish citizens under the Association Agreement

Turkish citizens intending to take up employment, who have lower requirements for residence permits than others under the Law on Residence and Settlement due to the 1963 Association Agreement between the Republic of Turkey and the European Economic Community and the 1970 standstill clauses.

Aufenthaltsbewilligung - limit leave to remain

Residence permit permitting temporary residence in Austria

(Spezielle) Aufenthaltstitel - (special) residence permits

On 1 July 2011, three new types of (longer-term) residence permits were introduced: "Red-White-Red Card" ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte"), "Red-White-Red Card plus" ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte plus") and "EU Blue Card" ("Blaue Karte EU").
Other longer-term residence permits: Residence permit for family members ("Aufenthaltstitel Familienangehörige"), "Long-term resident - EU" ("Daueraufenthalt-EU")

Aufenthaltszweck - purpose of stay

What you are planning to do in Austria

Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz (AuslBG) - Employment of Foreign Nationals Act

Governs the employment of foreign nationals in Austria

Ausländergrunderwerbsgesetz - Act on Land Acquisition by Foreign Nationals

Under the Vienna Act on Land Acquisition by Foreign Nationals ("Ausländergrunderwerbsgesetz"), some foreign nationals require a permit to acquire (co-)ownership of property.

Ausnahmetatbestand - Exemption from the Integration Agreement

Confirmed cause exempting from the Integrationsvereinbarung (Integration Agreement), such as illness (medical report issued by a public health officer ("amtsärztliches Gutachten") required)

Befreiungsschein - Exemption certificate

Work permit for foreign nationals subject to the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act ("Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz”) valid for all of Austria; issued by the Public Employment Service ("Arbeitsmarktservice") on application for a period of five years.

Beglaubigungsvermerk - certification (of a document)

Certification confirming that a copy of a document is correct and consistent with the original document

Berufsvertretungsbehörde - diplomatic representation

Austrian embassy or Generalkonsulat (consulate general) abroad (usually referring to one in the applicant’s country of origin)

Austrian diplomatic representations

Beschäftigungsbewilligung - employment licence

Permit to work for a specific employer for a limited time, issued by the Public Employment Service ("Arbeitsmarktservice") on application by the employer

Biometrisches Passfoto - biometric passport photo

In compliance with EU regulations, passport photos must meet the following specifications: Colour photo, no more than six months old, upright, size 45 millimetres x 35 millimetres, light and uniform background colour. The photo may show only the person in question, the head should fill about two thirds of the picture, distance between the eyes no less than 8 millimetres, full front view of the face.

Blaue Karte EU - EU Blue Card

Residence permit for very highly qualified university graduates who are third-country nationals, introduced on 1 July 2011.

Dienstbarkeit - easement

Right of habitation (usually free) stipulated in the Land Register ("Grundbuch")

Drittstaatsangehörige - third-country nationals

Persons who are not Austrian, EEA or Swiss nationals

Einlagezahl - property number

In the Land Register ("Grundbuch"), each property ("Grundbuchskörper") is registered as a separate entry with its own number ("Einlagezahl"). A property ("Liegenschaft") can consist of several plots ("Grundstück").

Einreisetitel - entry visa

Visa A, C, D: issued by Austrian diplomatic representations abroad; cannot be extended from within Austria

Einzelsicherungsbescheinigung - guarantee of employment licence

Confirmation issued by the Public Employment Service ("Arbeitsmarktservice") on application confirming that one or more foreign nationals will be granted employment licences if the requirements (i.e., residence permit) are met.

Entnahmen - withdrawal from the company accounts

See Geschäftsführungsentgelt ("salary for managing directors")

Ersatzkraftverfahren

Procedure by the Public Employment Service ("Arbeitsmarktservice") to determine whether there is no better suitable Austrian citizen or foreign citizen with a work permit already residing in Austria for a job offered (applications for "Red-White-Red Card" ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte") as "other key employee" ("Sonstige Schlüsselkraft").

Erstantrag - first-time application

First-time application for a leave to remain by a person who does not hold a residence permit of any kind

Europäischer Wirtschaftsraum (EWR) - European Economic Area (EEA)

The European Economic Area consists of the EU Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom) as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Feststellungsbescheid des Arbeitsmarktservice gemäß § 2 Absatz 4 Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz - statement by the Public Employment Service pursuant to Art. 2 (4) of the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act

Statement by the Public Employment Service confirming that the applicant has a significant role in the company management

Freizügigkeit - freedom of movement

The right of EU and EEA nationals to live in Austria.

Generalkonsulat - consulate general

Austrian diplomatic representation abroad that - just like an Austrian embassy - will accept applications for first-time residence permits and forward them to the competent authority in Austria. Can also grant certain Aufenthaltstitel (visa).

Geschäftsführungsentgelt - salary for managing directors

Salary of the managing director(s) of a company or withdrawal from the company accounts by the company partners (must be confirmed in writing by the company’s chartered accountant(s)

Gesetzliche Interessensvertretungen - statutory interest groups

Austrian law requires the existence of a number of self-governing bodies that represent the interests of different groups of professions and labour market participants (such as the Economic Chamber ("Wirtschaftskammer"), Chamber of Labour ("Arbeiterkammer"), Chamber of Agriculture ("Landwirtschaftskammer"), and other professional representations). These statutory interest groups have the right to participate in an advisory capacity in legislative procedures for certain laws, to participate in their enforcement, and are, in some cases, even granted disciplinary powers (e.g. the Chamber of Lawyers ("Rechtsanwaltskammer").

Haftungserklärung - declaration of liability

  • Declaration of liability for at least five years by a third party, notarised by an Austrian notary or court
  • The issuer declares that they will assume the costs of health insurance, accommodation, and subsistence
  • The issuer declares that they will assume liability regarding the replacement of costs arising from a revocation of the leave to remain ("Aufenthaltsverbot"), expulsion ("Ausweisung"), repatriation ("Zurückschiebung"), custody pending deportation ("Schubhaft"), including costs from the use of alternative measures ("gelindere Mittel"), welfare benefits ("Sozialhilfe"), and the basic provision agreement ("Grundversorgungsvereinbarung")
  • Must be submitted by the Austrian, EEA or Swiss sponsor (family member already residing in Austria whom the family member(s) will be joining) when applying for an indefinite leave to remain for family members ("Niederlassungsbewilligung 'Angehöriger'"), may be submitted for applications for a limited leave to remain for artists ("Künstler"), pupils ("Schüler") and students ("Studierender").

Honorarkonsulat - honorary consulate

An honorary consul is an unpaid volunteer who is not an official diplomat but fulfils some functions of official diplomatic representations (embassies and consulates general) by assisting them - an honorary consulate may accept and forward applications, but cannot issue visa or residence permits

Inlandsantragstellung (berechtigter Personenkreis) - persons who may file an application in Austria

  • Family members of Austrian nationals after legal entry and during legal stay in Austria
  • Foreigners who were previously legal residents of Austria but did not need a permit under the Residence and Settlement Act ("Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz", NAG), within six months of entering Austria legally
  • Foreign nationals who were previously Austrian or EEA nationals, within six months of losing that nationality
  • Children within six months of their birth if their mother is a legal resident of Austria
  • Persons who may enter Austria without visa during the permitted visa-free stay
  • Foreign nationals applying for a limited leave to remain as researchers, and their family members
  • Very highly skilled third-country nationals applying for a Red-White-Red Card ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte") during their legal stay in Austria with a visa pursuant to Art. 24a Fremdenpolizeigesetz
  • Third-country nationals applying for a Red-White-Red Card ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte") on grounds of graduating from an Austrian university during their legal stay in Austria with a confirmation pursuant to Art. 64 (4) Residence and Settlement Act ("Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz", NAG)

Filing an application in Austria does not permit staying in Austria beyond the visa-free period.

Integrationsvereinbarung - Integration Agreement

To fulfil the Integration Agreement, you have to learn German

Konventionsflüchtling - convention refugee

Convention refugees are individuals who are granted refugee protection. This means that they may not be expelled, because their life, physical integrity, or liberty is threatened in their country of origin for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular group, or political opinion.

The legal status of convention refugees is set out in the Geneva Refugee Convention (United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees). In Austria, these rights are stipulated in Art. 3 Asylgesetz (Asylum Act) 2005.

Krankenversicherung - ausstellende Anstalt - Health insurance company - issuing office

For example: Regional health insurance office for Vienna ("Wiener Gebietskrankenkasse" - WGKK), Social Insurance Institution for Trade and Industry ("Sozialversicherungsanstalt der gewerblichen Wirtschaft" - SVA), private health insurance companies. You must state the name of the health insurance company and the insurance number (number of the insurance policy ("Polizzennummer") for private health insurance companies).

Lebensunterhaltsmittel - means of subsistence

Income (salary, unemployment benefit, childcare allowance, pension, alimony) or assets

MehrheitsgesellschafterIn - majority shareholder

The majority shareholder of a limited liability company ("Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung" - GesmbH) is the (natural or legal) person who owns more than 50 percent of the shares.

Natürliche Person - natural person

Legal expression for human beings (as opposed to legal person, who may be a company or organisation)

Negativbestätigung - negative certification

Confirmation by MA 35 stating that the applicant is exempt from the obligation to obtain a permit under the Vienna Act on Land Acquisition by Foreign Nationals ("Ausländergrunderwerbsgesetz"). Required for entry into the Land Register ("Grundbuchseintragung").

Niederlassungsbewilligung - indefinite leave to remain

"Niederlassungsbewilligung" ("NB"; indefinite leave to remain, which replaced the "Niederlassungsbewilligung beschränkt" (indefinite leave to remain with restricted access to the labour market) on 1 July 2011), "Niederlassungsbewilligung - Angehöriger" (indefinite leave to remain for family members) and "Niederlassungsbewilligung ausgenommen Erwerbstätigkeit" (indefinite leave to remain excluding employment) are residence permits for people who are planning to stay in Austria permanently.

Notariatsordnung - notaries’ rules

Rules governing notaries

Obsorge - custody

Custody (confirmed by court)

Patenschaftserklärung - Declaration of sponsorship

  • Declaration of liability for at least five years by a third person, notarised by an Austrian notary or court
  • Declares that the issuer will assume the costs of health insurance, accommodation, and subsistence
  • The issuer declares that they will assume liability regarding the replacement of costs arising from a revocation of the leave to remain ("Aufenthaltsverbot"), expulsion ("Ausweisung"), repatriation ("Zurückschiebung"), custody pending deportation ("Schubhaft"), including costs from the use of alternative measures ("gelindere Mittel"), welfare benefits ("Sozialhilfe"), and the basic provision agreement ("Grundversorgungsvereinbarung")
  • Only accepted for applications for residence permits for humanitarian reasons for individuals who have lived in Austria continuously since at least 1 May 2004 and legally for at least half that period

Qualifikationsnachweis - proof of qualifications

Diploma, school leaving certificate, reference from a former employer

Quotenfrei - exempt from the immigration quota, non-quota

Some types of residence permits are not subject to the immigration quota.

Quotenpflicht - subject to the immigration quota

Some first-time residence permits can only be granted if, in addition to the necessary documents, there is an available quota place. The Austrian federal government fixes an annual immigration quota for each federal province and each type of residence permit (quota for family reunification ("Familiennachzug") with "Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte plus" ("Red-White-Red Card plus") or "Niederlassungsbewilligung" ("limited leave to remain"), quota for "Niederlassungsbewilligung ausgenommen Erwerbstätigkeit" ("limited leave to remain excluding employment”), quota for changing the purpose of stay ("Zweckänderung") from indefinite leave to remain for dependants ("Niederlassungsbewilligung 'Angehöriger'") to indefinite leave to remain "Red-White-Red Card plus" ("Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte plus"), mobility quota)

Rechtsanspruch auf eine für InländerInnen ortsübliche Unterkunft - legal entitlement to adequate accommodation in Austria

For example: title to property, lease or sublease in your name, company housing

Rechtsanwaltsordnung - rules governing lawyers

The "Rechtsanwaltsordnung" contains all rules governing lawyers, such as the requirements for the admission to practice law, rights and obligations of lawyers, revocation of the admission to practice law, legal aid, and survivors’ pension, and includes penalties.

Rechtsgeschäft - legal transaction

An umbrella term for different kinds of transactions. A legal transaction ("Rechtsgeschäft") consists of one or more declarations of intention ("Willenserklärung").

Rechtskräftig - legally valid

A decision is legally valid ("rechtskräftig") when there is no more legal recourse ("Rechtsmittel") against it (appeal to courts ("Berufung"), the Adminstrative Court ("Verwaltungsgerichtshof"), or the Constitutional Court ("Verfassungsgerichtshof"). The legal validity ("Rechtskraft") is confirmed with a stamp ("Rechtskraftstempel") by the competent court.

Rechtskraftklausel - confirmation of legal effect

Confirmation stating that a notification or decision ("Bescheid") is legally valid and executable ("rechtskräftig und vollziehbar") as of a certain date.

"Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte" - “Red-White-Red Card”

New type of indefinite leave to remain introduced on 1 July 2011, replaced "Niederlassungsbewilligung Schlüsselkraft" ("indefinite leave to remain for key employees").

There are three categories:

  • ”Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte” für besonders Hochqualifizierte (for very highly qualified employees)
    • "Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte" für Fachkräfte aus Mangelberufen (for skilled workers in shortage occupations)
    • "Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte" für sonstige Schlüsselkräfte - Untergruppen HochschulabsolventInnen und selbständige Schlüsselkräfte (for other key employees - graduates of Austrian universities and self-employed key workers)

The qualification is rated by the Public Employment Service (AMS) with a point system.

"Rot-Weiß-Rot-Karte plus" - "Red-White-Red Card plus"

New type of indefinite leave to remain introduced on 1 July 2011, replaced "Niederlassungsbewilligung unbeschränkt" ("indefinite leave to remain" with no restrictions).

Sanktionsandrohungen - threat of penalties

For example: failure to fulfil the Integration Agreement ("Integrationsvereinbarung") can be punished with penalties ranging from fines to expulsion from the country.

Schlüsselkraft - Key employees/workers

Key employees are third-country nationals who have training (or special skills and knowledge together with sufficient working experience) in an occupation for which there is a demand on the Austrian labour market. Since 1 July 2011, the qualification is rated by the Public Employment Service (AMS) with a point system. For self-employed key workers, the Public Employment Service (AMS) evaluates the general economic interest in the applicant’s planned activity with regard to the transfer of investment capital or the creation and securing of jobs.

Sicherungsbescheinigung - confirmation of guaranteed work

Confirmation issued by the Public Employment Service ("Arbeitsmarktservice") on application of the (prospective) employer confirming that specific foreign nationals will be granted employment as soon as they have the required residence permit

Soziales Interesse - social interest

In the case of the acquisition of land (or other property, such as a flat) by third-country nationals ("Ausländergrunderwerb"), the transaction is considered to be of social interest if the property to be acquired will be used to satisfy the housing needs of the applicant. This includes the bestowal of the property to the applicant by a close relative in anticipation of their last will and testament with the purpose of providing housing for the applicant.

Statutschule - charter school

A "Statutschule" is a general school with an organisational charter. They are privately run schools with public status pursuant to Art. 14 (2)(b) of the Private Schools Act ("Privatschulgesetz" - PrivSchG) that have no direct equivalent among publicly run schools.

Charter schools include "Realschule", Waldorf (Steiner) schools, Montessori schools, Pestalozzi schools, and "Bildungswerkstätten" (Wild educational model)

Strafregisterauszug - police clearance certificate

Police clearance certificate (or extract from the register of convictions) from the country of origin showing whether the applicant has any criminal record. Required for applicants aged 14 or older. The police clearance certificate may be no older than three months at the time of application.

Touristensichtvermerk - tourist visa

Visa issued by the Austrian embassies ("Berufsvertretungsbehörden").

Unbedenklichkeitsbescheinigung des Finanzamtes - tax clearance certificate

Document issued by the tax office confirming that the applicant has no tax debts.

Unterhaltspflichtige Person

Person who has the responsibility to pay maintenance if the applicant has no income of their own (e.g. a husband and father for his non-working spouse and children)

Vereinsstatuten - articles of association

The articles of association specify the name, goals, and internal structure of an association. They are also the basis for the organisation of the association. The articles of association are also considered as a civil law contract between the members, and between each individual member and the association.

Verlängerungsantrag - application for extension

Application for extension of an existing residence permit.

Verwandte in absteigender Linie - relatives in descending line

Children and grandchildren

Verwandte in aufsteigender Linie - relatives in ascending line

Parents and grandparents

Visa

An entry visa permits you to enter the country.

Visum A (Flugtransitvisum) - Direct airside transit visa (type A)

Enables nationals of third countries requiring a transit visa to stay in the international transit zone of an airplane during a stop-over. However, an air transit visa does not permit entry into the territory of Austria and may not be issued in Austria under any circumstances.

Visum C (Reisevisum) - travel visa (type C)

Allows the visa holder to enter the Schengen Area and stay there for the duration of the validity period.

Visum D (Aufenthaltsvisum) - residence visa (type D)

Austrian (national) visa that entitles the holder to stay in Austria between three and six months. This visa allows the holder to travel across the other Schengen states to reach Austria for a duration of up to three months. A type D visa allows temporary employment only, be it self-employed, gainfully employed (on condition of a "Sicherungsbescheinigung" (confirmation of guaranteed work) by the AMS), or exempt from the Employment of Foreign Nationals Act ("Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz"), during a stay of up to six months. This visa is issued by Austrian diplomatic representations abroad and cannot be extended from within Austria.

Visa cannot be extended from within Austria.

Visumfreie Einreise - visa-free entry

Nationals of certain states may enter Austria without a "Touristensichtvermerk (tourist visa)" and stay in Austria legally for three months within a six-month period.

Volkswirtschaftliches Interesse - general economic interest

A transaction is considered to be of general economic interest if property is acquired for the purpose of establishing, expanding or maintaining a business.

Wohnrecht - right of habitation

The right to use the habitable parts of a house or flat for one’s housing needs.

Zulassungsbescheid - notice of admission

Notice from a university confirming the admission of a student.

Zusammenführende Person

Family member who has taken up residence in Austria and is subsequently joined by other family members

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