Legal Certainty for British in Austria

Lifestyle & TravelMore+ ♦ Published: December 22, 2020; 21:45 ♦ (Vindobona)

Austria gives Britons in Austria legal certainty with regard to residence. Although the United Kingdom left the European Union at the beginning of this year, the European Union and many member countries for themselves have ensured a smooth transitions for British citizens currently residing in EU countries.

Britons in Austria do not need to fear complicated processes for residence in Austria in the future. / Picture: © English and Austrian crossed flags by Vindobona

The United Kingdom left the European Union on January 31, 2020, after concluding a withdrawal agreement.

This prevented a so-called "hard Brexit". It also ensured that in 2020 the body of EU law would remain in place and that freedom of movement and establishment as well as free access to the labor market could continue to exist.

These rights will end for Britons on December 31, 2020, and the general provisions for third-country nationals will apply to Britons wishing to settle in Austria from January 1, 2021.

Tourist stays will continue to be possible without a visa. However, immigrants from Great Britain will have to submit to stricter entry controls.

In the future, visas C or D will be required for short-term employment of British nationals in Austria; for longer stays, the provisions of Austria's Settlement and Residence Act will apply.

Further information on the Settlement and Residence Act can be found here.

Separately, the withdrawal agreement concluded between European Union citizens and the United Kingdom ensures legal certainty for citizens from the United Kingdom who have settled in Austria by December 31, 2020.

A separate implementing regulation issued by the Federal Minister of the Interior ensures that they can retain their residence rights.

British nationals only have to apply for a new residence title by December 31, 2021.

This application must be submitted to the competent authority, which can be the provincial governor, the mayor (magistrate) or the district governor.

Which authority is responsible depends on the place of residence. The address and contact details of the respective authorities can be found here.

As soon as the legal basis is finalized, forms for corresponding applications will be made available online.

In addition, care will be taken to keep costs for applicants as low as possible. They should not be higher than for comparable documents, such as an ID card in Austria.

All these measures are intended to ensure that those affected experience as little impairment in their lives as possible and can continue to work and study in Austria without hindrance.