Expanding your team by hiring foreign workers in Austria can bring fresh perspectives and skills to your organization.

However, if you’re looking to employ non-EU nationals in Austria, you must adhere to the regulations governing foreign employment.

Additionally, you need to secure the appropriate worker permit for your prospective employees.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to confidently hire foreign workers in Austria: employment law, work visa, residence permit, and more.


How to Hire Foreign Workers in Austria in 4 Steps


Austria offers a range of choices for companies to bring in international workers.

The law that governs the admission of foreign workers to the Austrian labor market is known as the Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz (AuslBG).

As a general guideline, non-EU nationals must obtain a residence permit if they plan to stay in Austria for more than six months.

Many residence permits also serve as work permits, eliminating the need for separate applications.

Let’s have a closer look at the steps that make up the process of hiring foreign workers in Austria.


Step 1: Find a Suitable Candidate


If you’ve identified a skill gap that you’re unable to fill with local workers, you may proceed with the international recruitment process.

To do so, you can utilize various resources and strategies. These may include online job portals, online directories, or specialized recruitment agencies.

You may also find platforms such as VideoWorkers helpful. VideoWorkers comes with a large database of extremely talented workers who are eager to move abroad.

These workers have a wide array of skills, knowledge, and expertise, and they even share short videos to showcase their skills to employers.

This can make your hiring process faster and ensure you pinpoint the right person for the job.


Step 2: Identify the Right Type of Residence Permit


Austria provides different work permit options for non-EU workers. The most common options include:


Red-White-Red Card


This type of residence permit is suitable for various categories of workers. Some of these categories include:

  • Highly qualified workers who reach a minimum of 70 points according to Austria’s points-based system.


  • Skilled workers in shortage occupations such as roofers, metal turners, graduate nurses, etc. These workers must obtain a minimum of 55 points.



To learn more about the Red-White-Red Card for Austria, visit this page.


EU Blue Card


The EU Blue Card is for highly qualified workers who earn at least the average gross annual income in Austria.

Unlike the Red-White-Red Card system for highly qualified workers, EU Blue Card applicants do not follow a points-based system.

For more information about the EU Blue Card, check out the following guide: Skilled Worker Visa: Hiring Foreigners Under An EU Blue Card


Hiring Foreign Workers in Austria for Less than 6 Months


The choices mentioned above (Red-White-Red Card and EU Blue Card) are relevant when considering the employment of foreign workers for at least six months.

Yet, if your intention is to hire for shorter periods, other options are available.

  • For stays of up to 3 months: Your workers will require a Schengen visa (type C). This type of visa allows a maximum stay of 90 days within six months.


  • For stays between 91 days and six months: Your workers should apply for a National visa (type D).


To obtain either of these visas, applicants must visit an Austrian embassy or consulate in their home country.


Step 3: Submit a Residence Permit Application


After identifying the right type of work permit, you and your future employee must collect the supporting documents.

As an employer, you must submit the application to the Immigration and Residence Authority in Austria. Your future worker can also submit the application to the competent Austrian diplomatic mission in their home country.

However, the first option typically ensures a faster processing time.

To apply for a residence permit, you must submit the following documents:


  • Detailed job description


  • Details regarding the classification of the skilled worker based on the relevant collective bargaining agreement. These details may be provided in the Employer’s Declaration or through the submission of an employment contract.


  • Copy of candidate’s passport


  • Police clearance certificate not older than 3 months


  • Proof of qualifications (e.g., professional resume, university diplomas, references, language certificates if required, etc.)


  • Fee: 160 €


These documents must be in English or German. Otherwise, they must be translated by a certified translator.


Step 4: Wait for the Competent Authorities to Process the Application


After submitting the application, it may take several weeks for the Immigration and Residence Authority to process it.

As part of the application process, the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) may conduct a labor market test (“Ersatzkraftverfahren“). This way, the competent authorities ensure that no locals are available to fill the vacancy before you hire foreign workers in Austria.

If the decision is positive, the candidate will receive the residence work permit. Then, they can travel to Austria.


After Entering Austria


After your employee arrives in Austria, they will need to book an appointment with the Immigration and Residence Authority. During the appointment, they must provide their fingerprints and submit their original supporting documents.

Once this process is complete, the Immigration and Residence Authority will print the residence permit. Subsequently, they can start working for you.

Make sure you notify the Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) about the start date of employment.

You will also need to register your employee and keep a copy of their residence permit.


Hiring Foreign Workers in Austria: Final Considerations


Most non-EU nationals looking to work in Austria are eligible for a Red-White-Red Card. This program was specifically tailored to grant residence to skilled workers and address labor shortages.

As an employer, the process of hiring foreign workers in Austria is easy and straightforward.

Furthermore, you can receive assistance throughout the process from the Austrian Business Agency (ABA). The Austrian Government has entrusted ABA to provide free immigration and residence services.

This ensures that local employers can enjoy a streamlined and hassle-free hiring experience.

Are you looking for the best talent to work for your company? We’re here to assist you in your search for top-tier employees beyond Austria’s borders. Create your free company account with VideoWorkers and unlock global talent today. 

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