Working in Austria: Further Facilitation of the Red-White-Red Card

More+Work & Careers ♦ Published: September 26, 2022; 14:34 ♦ (Vindobona)

Applying for a Red-White-Red Card is made easier again! Skilled workers who intend to work in Austria will find it easier to obtain a work permit in the future. Read this article to find out which simplifications have been decided.

Workers from non-EU countries will in future also be able to apply for a red-white-red card from within Austria. / Picture: ©

Good news for people without Austrian citizenship who want to work here. The Red-White-Red Card, the Austrian work permit, which is sometimes difficult to apply for, will be easier to obtain in the future.

Qualified workers from non-EU countries who want to work in Austria will in future also be able to apply for a Red-White-Red Card from within Austria. This was decided by the National Council on the basis of a bill proposed by the coalition parties in its first session of the new 2022/23 session.

Until now, the Red-White-Red Card was issued for 24 months at a time and was subject to strict rules. It was issued exclusively for professions in which there was an acute shortage in Austria, where particularly highly qualified workers were needed, key workers, graduates of Austrian universities or start-up founders.

The application for the card had to be made before entering Austria.

The new proposals for the work permit provide that persons already residing in Austria can also apply for the Red-White-Red Card. The prerequisite for applying in Austria is that the applicants have entered Austria legally and that their stay in the federal territory is still legal. This includes people with and without a visa equally.

This means that in future, for example, skilled workers in shortage occupations or regular seasonal migrants will also be able to apply for a longer-term residence title on the spot, as the ÖVP and the Greens explained in the debate.

The amendment was also approved by the SPÖ and NEOS, although the two opposition parties see a need for further reform of the Red-White-Red Card, for example with regard to apprentices and asylum seekers.

The facilitated access became urgently necessary due to the acute shortage of skilled workers in Austria. In some sectors, the shortage has reached unprecedented heights and the economy is crying out for workers. Many of the skilled workers needed come from abroad. The Red-White-Red Card, which is difficult to apply for and administratively complex, discouraged both companies and workers from third countries from taking jobs in Austria.

In July of this year, a first reform of the Red-White-Red Card was passed, which should facilitate access to the Austrian labour market. For example, minimum requirements were lowered, such as the required language skills or the salary. Vindobona reported.

Austrian Parliament