A Complete Guide to Austria Visa Requirements
Austria – the name itself makes one think of old Viennese palaces and a country filled with rich cultural heritage. Austria is a beautiful country and attracts a large number of tourists as well as people looking to find employment and live in Austria long term. But depending on which country you are a citizen of and what your purpose and duration of travel is, you may or may not need to apply for a visa to enter, live and work in Austria. Before you go ahead and do that, it is important to find out what the Austria visa requirements are and which visa you are eligible for.
Austria falls in the Schengen region of Europe which means that you can apply to the Austrian embassy for a Schengen visa if you port of entry into Europe is Austria or if you are going to spend the most number of days in Austria during a multi-country trip in Europe. However, the Austria visa requirements vary from one category to another. So if you are a business traveler, the documents you have to submit, will differ from what a tourist would have to submit.
TYPES OF AUSTRIAN VISAS AND AUSTRIAN VISA REQUIREMENTS:
Along with understanding Austria visa requirements, it is good to know what are the different categories of visas available and which one you should ideally be applying for. In addition to a list of generic documents, which we will discuss later in the article, every visa type mentioned below needs the applicant to submit a few specific documents that may not be needed if they are applying for a different category of visa.
Tourist visa – This is probably one of the most popular Austrian visas people apply for! This visa is meant for those looking to visit Austria for less than 90 days for non-business purposes. According to Austria visa requirements, the following documents are required to be submitted especially for a tourist visa application to the embassy:
- Invitation letter with the address and phone number from family member or sponsor – if applicable
- Bank statement from the last 6 months
- Passport copies
Business visa – This visa is given to those who are planning to visit Austria for temporary work related purposes. However, do keep in mind that this does not grant the applicant to take up new employment in Austria. The documents required for applying for a business visa are:
- Invitation letter from the Austrian company you will be visiting and their detailed address along with your travel dates
A letter from your employer stating/allowing your business travel
- Bank statement from the last 6 months
- Proprietorship/Partnership documents
- The invitation letter must also mention how the expenses of the applicant is going to be covered during his/her travel. It must be made clear whether it will be sponsored by the employer or the Austrian company.
Visa for cultural activities, sports or film crew – This is a special visa given to applicants who want to travel to Austria to participate in cultural or sporting events. In addition to that, film crew can also apply for a visa to get permission to shoot a film in Austria. Documents required to be submitted to fulfil Austria visa requirements for this category are:
- Invitation letter from the concerned authorities with details of the nature of events or activities. This letter must also mention the purpose of visit as well as how expenses will be covered
- List of names of all travelling crew members
- Duration of stay
- Travel itinerary
Student visa – This category of visas is required only for applicants who are intending to study in an Austrian institution, conduct research or even undergo some kind of educational training and internship for less than 6 months. The documents required to be eligible for this visa are the following:
- An enrollment certificate of an offer letter showing acceptance into a course or training program
- Certificate of completion or courses attended earlier
- Financial sustenance or proof of sponsorship/scholarship
Transit visa – As per Austria visa requirements, a transit visa is required if you foresee a layover of a few hours in Austria before heading to your destination. But only applicants from a few countries need to obtain this visa. The list includes the following countries:
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Sri Lanka
In order to get an airport transit visa in Austria, you will need to submit a copy of your valid visa for your final destination. For all other countries not mentioned on this list, a transit visa is not required if you plan to stay within the international transit area in the airport.
Official visit visa – If the purpose of your travel is to attend intergovernmental meetings, consultations, negotiations or events, this is the visa you will need. The following documents will have to be shown to the embassy in order to be eligible for this visa:
- The official invitation copy
- Identity of applicant
- Purpose of journey (negotiations, meetings, event by intergovernmental organizations, consultations)
- Duration of stay
- Details of accommodation
Work/employment visa – Two kinds of work visas are issued by the Austrian embassy – short term and long term. Short term work visas are for those who want to travel to Austria for work for less than 90 days, while long term work visa allows the applicant to work up to 6 months in Austria. The 2 most important Austria visa requirements for this category are:
- Permission by the Austrian Labor Market Authority “AMS”
- Letter of support from the Austrian employer and/or copy of work contract
GENERAL AUSTRIA VISA REQUIREMENTS:
In addition to the above-mentioned specific documents for each category of visa application, the usual set of documents also need to be submitted to successfully meet Austria visa requirements. The list includes the following documents:
- Correct application form duly filled out
- Valid passport
- 2 passport-sized photographs
- Travel insurance with a minimum coverage of EUR 30,000
- Round-trip flight reservations or a complete travel itinerary
- Hotel reservation or proof of accommodation
- Letter of no objection from employer
- Bank statements from the previous 3 months
Austria visa requirements vary from one category of visa to another. When applying for a specific visa, make sure you check the list of documents to be submitted thoroughly. The above guide should help you identify which visa you are eligible for and what are the accompanying documents you need to produce to the embassy.