A Brief Guide to Austrian Visa Requirements

October 28, 2019

A Brief Guide to Austrian Visa Requirements

Austria is a wonderful country with amazing culture and a rich heritage. Because of this it is perhaps no surprise that a large number of tourists are attracted to it every year, as well as people looking to live and work there. If you are one of the thousands of people looking to travel to Austria, then you may find that you need a visa. The exact details of whether you need one and how to apply will depend on which country you are a citizen of, as well as the purpose for your visit and how long you intend to stay.

Austria is part of the Schengen region of Europe meaning you can apply for a Schengen visa to visit. To be able to do this your port of entry into Europe must be Austria or if you’re on a tour that will take in multiple countries, you must be spending the majority of your time in Austria.

The type of travel you are undertaking will also change the requirements for your visa and the type of documents you will need to submit. For example, a business traveller will need to file different paperwork to someone on holiday.

What are the Different Types of Austrian Visas?

Before you apply for an Austrian visa, you need to understand the different categories that are available. All Austrian visas will require submission of a series of generic documents but in addition specific documents will be needed depending on the type of visa. Let’s discuss each type in turn:

Tourist visa

The most popular Austrian visa and required for anyone looking to visit Austria for non-business purposes for a period of 90 days or less. To apply for this visa, you will need an invitation letter from a family member or sponsor, copies of your last 6 months bank statements, and a copy of your passport.

Business visa

This visa is for people looking to visit Austria to work on a temporary basis. Bear in mind that it does not allow the applicant to undertake new employment in Austria. To apply for this visa you will need an invitation letter from the company you intend to visit, a letter from your employer consenting to business travel, copies of the last 6 months bank statement, and any proprietorship or partnership documents.

The invitation letter must detail any expenses that will be incurred during the visit and whether the visit is sponsored by your employer or the Austrian company you are visiting.

Visa for sports, cultural activities, or as part of a film crew

This special visa is given to people wanting to travel to Austria to undertake sporting or cultural events, as well as those looking to work on a film crew. To apply for this visa, you’ll need an invitation letter from the authorities overseeing the event detailing exactly what the event is and how long you will be in the country. If you will be travelling around the country, then a full itinerary will also be required. If you are part of a film crew, then all other crew members names will also need submitting.

Student visa

This category is for people intending to study in Austria, partake in educational training, or conduct research for less than 6 months. To get this visa you’ll need a certificate of enrolment or an offer letter showing acceptance on a course, any certificates showing completion or earlier courses, and details of any sponsorships or scholarships.

Transit visa

A transit visa will be required if you have a layover of a short period in Austria before heading onwards. This type of visa is only needed if you are from one of the following countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, and Turkey.

If your country is not on the list, then you will not need a transit visa.

To get a transit visa, you need to send a copy of a valid visa for your final destination to the Austrian authorities.

Official visit visa

If you’re heading to Austria to attend government meetings, negotiations, or consultations, then you will need an official visit visa. To get this type of visa you will need an official copy of your invitation, proof of identity, clear details for the purpose of the visit, details of the length of your stay, and details of where you will be staying.

Employment visa

This type of visa comes in two varieties:  short term and long term. Short term employment visas are for people wishing to work in the country for less than 90 days. Long term ones allow the applicant to work for up to 6 months in the country. To get this type of visa you need written permission from the Austrian Labour Market Authority and a letter from an Austrian employer or a work contract with details of the work.

General Austrian Visa Documents Required

In addition to the specific documents required for each individual visa mentioned above, you will also need the following documents:

·         An application form correctly filled out

·         A valid passport

·         A couple of passport-sized photographs

·         Travel insurance coverage

·        Proof of flight reservation

·         Proof of hotel reservation and accommodation

·         At least 3 months of bank statements

As you can see, the requirements to get a Austrian visa are different depending on the type of visit. Out biggest tip in each case is that you check exactly what documents you need to submit and make sure you have them all before applying. 

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