FAQ_Moving_to_Austria.jpgFAQ_Moving to Austria


Administration - Living in Austria

Where should I start looking for housing?

Where should I look for student housing?

Do I need a visa in order to travel to Austria?

How can I apply for Austrian Citizenship?

What factors should I consider when moving to Austria?

How does the Austrian Health Care System work?

Will my American driver's license be valid in Austria?

How can I obtain a driver's license in Austria?

Is my income subject to income tax in Austria?

Where can I find information about dual citizenship?


Where should I start looking for housing?
The Web site Help.gv.at offers good support for people looking for housing in Austria. A general overview is provided, in view of the diverse supply and the many individual factors to be considered. As in the US, there is the option of using the assistance of brokers for renting or buying apartments. The Web site Flohmarkt (flea market) provides an overview of private rentals and sales of apartments and houses (in German). The resource that is probably used most frequently in this context is ImmoBazar available in German only), a weekly publication that also offers its services online. Different categories allow a targeted search. The Austrian National Union of Students hosts a Web site containing extensive apartment and room listings (available in German only). Austrian daily newspapers are also a good research base; the Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC, provides a good overview of Austrian media (available in German only) that can also be consulted.

Where should I look for student housing?
The Housing Office of the Austrian Exchange Service is in charge of the administration of places in student residences and apartments in the city of Vienna and in the federal provinces of Austria, as well as the creation of accommodations for recipients of grants. The Housing Office of the Austrian Exchange Service provides apartments and rooms in residence halls for students receiving OEAD grants, Erasmus students, visiting professors and guests. The Austrian National Union of students (ÖH, Österreichische Hochschülerinnen- und Hochschülerschaft) offers a Web site that contains information about the approximately 25,000 places in student residences available in Austria and allows a search of the contact data for all residences in Austria's Federal States (currently available in German only).

Do I need a visa in order to travel to Austria?
Neither US citizens nor Canadians require a visa or residency permit to stay in Austria for a period of up to three months. In case of employment in Austria or a stay of more than six months, a residency permit is necessary. More detailed information on these topics can be found at the applicable sections of the Web sites of the Austrian Embassy to the US (for US citizens) and the Austrian Embassy to Canada (for Canadians).

How can I apply for Austrian citizenship?
Information on how to obtain Austrian Citizenship as a US citizen is provided on the applicable section of the Web site of the Austrian Embassy to the US. At this site, former Austrian residents can also find information on how to regain Austrian Citizenship. The Austrian Embassy to Canada offers similar information for Canadians in its section "Official Documents and Certificates." More information can be found at help.gv.at. It is essential to know that the Republic of Austria only allows people from foreign countries to obtain Austrian citizenship if they renounce the citizenship of their country of origin. People holding Austrian citizenship will lose this citizenship when applying for citizenship in another country unless they requested that they keep their Austrian citizenship and the request was granted. Information on retaining Austrian citizenship can be found at the OST Web site.

What factors should I consider when moving to Austria?
brainpower austria (bpa) offers information regarding entry and residence regulations, Austrian law, etc. for scientists who would like to move to Austria. People intending to move to Austria can consult an overview by the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMeiA, Bundesministerium für Europäische und Internationale Angelegenheiten) that provides information and links on steps that need to be implemented upon a move to Austria (available in German only). Among other things, the covered topics include registration in Austria, insurance policies, social services, driver's license, job-related issues, pets, sign-up for education, etc.

How does the Austrian Health Care System work?
A description of the Austrian Health Care System and the Social Network can be found at the Web site of the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMeiA). The Web site of the Austrian Department of Health (available in German only) offers an insight into the system as well. The US Embassy to Austria provides information on health insurance for non-Austrians as well as other medical information in its "Consular Section." The Web site of the Austrian Social Security Institution provides information on health, accident and pension insurance.

Will my American driver's license be valid in Austria?
In general, only foreign driver's licenses that are valid under these criteria (available in German only) can be acknowledged: If the driver's license originates from a country outside the European Union it has to be acknowledged by the appropriate authority (Vienna Police Headquarters - Department of Motor Vehicles, Bezirkshauptmannschaft) within 6 months of registering a principal residence (Hauptwohnsitz) in Austria. Holders of a driver's license must be at least 18 years old. Further information can be obtained from Austria's two automobile clubs ÖAMTC, Österreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touring Club and ARBÖ , Auto-, Motor- und Radfahrerbund Österreichs (available in German only). One important note is that a US driver's license alone is not sufficient to be allowed to drive a motorized vehicle in Austria. An international driver's license, which can be obtained from AAA, or an official translation of the US driver's license, available at ÖAMTC and ARBÖ, is also required. This rule is only valid for the first six months, after which period an Austrian driver's license is required. The Web site of the US Embassy in Austria also offers an extensive overview of regulations and information regarding the Austrian driver's license.

How can I obtain a driver's license in Austria?
For US citizens, a driving test is not required; foreign driver's licenses may be transcribed at the Austrian automobile clubs ÖAMTC, Österreichischer Automobil-, Motorrad- und Touring Club or ARBÖ , Auto-, Motor- und Radfahrerbund Österreichs. Visit the respective pages for further information (available in German only).

Is my income subject to income tax in Austria?
Information on the Taxation Convention between Austria and the US and Austria and Canada can be retrieved from the OST Scientist Network Web site. This information is specifically provided for scientists from Austria, Canada, and the US. Generally, foreign employees are subject to taxation in Austria. Detailed information on the topic can be retrieved from the Income Tax Returns section of help.gv.at. In addition, the International Revenue Service (IRS) offers information for international taxpayers.

Where can I find information about dual citizenship?
The OST Scientist Network Web site provides a detailed overview of information on dual citizenship. In addition, the "Citizenship" section of the Austrian Embassy to the US offers information (available in German only) on dual citizenship as does the Web site of the Austrian Foreign Ministry, in the section "Staatsbürgerschaft" (Citizenship - available in German only). It is essential to know that the Republic of Austria only allows people from foreign countries to obtain Austrian citizenship if they renounce the citizenship of their country of origin. People holding Austrian citizenship will lose this citizenship when applying for citizenship in another country unless they requested that they keep their Austrian citizenship and the request was granted.

Facts & Figures

Education & Employment

Funding Opportunities & Patents

Back to main page

Related Links

Help.gv.at - information about housing: http://www.help.gv.at/Content.Node/138/Seite.1380000.html
Flohmarkt (flea market) - private ads for rentals and sales of apartments and houses: http://www.flohmarkt.at/immobilien/
ImmoBazar (available in German only): http://www.immobazar.at/?SEID=&isover18=&MEID=5&editable=1.
Austrian National Union of Students apartment listings  (available in German only): http://www.jobwohnen.at/index.php?id=172
Overview of Austrian media at Austrian Embassy in Washington, DC (available in German only): http://www.austrianinformation.org/newspapers/
Austrian Exchange Service - Housing Office: http://www.housing.oead.ac.at/index_e.asp
Web site of the Austrian National Union of Students with information about student residences (available in German only): http://www.oeh.ac.at/wohnen/studentinnenheime/
Austrian Embassy to the US - Visa information: http://www.austria.org/going-to-austria/entry-a-residence-permits/entry-permits-visa
Austrian Embassy to Canada - Visa information: http://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/embassy/ottawa/practical-advice/travelling-to-austria.html
Austrian Embassy to the US - Austrian Citizenship: http://austria.org/austrians/citizens/citizenship
Austrian Embassy to Canada - Official Documents and Certificates: http://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/embassy/ottawa/practical-advice/consular-issues/civil-documents.html
help.gv.at - Citizenship: http://www.help.gv.at/Content.Node/136/Seite.1360000.html
Austrian Embassy to the US - Dual Citizenship: http://www.austria.org/content/view/37/134/
OST Web site: http://www.ostina.org
OST - Retaining Austrian Citizenship: http://www.ostina.org/scientists/dual-citizenship
brainpower Austria: http://www.brainpower-austria.at/webfiles/home.asp
brainpower Austria - Move to Austria: http://www.brainpower-austria.at/incontent/sites/2/EN/t_column2_2118.asp
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs - Necessary steps when moving to Austria (available in German only): http://www.bmeia.gv.at/botschaft/auslandsoesterreicher/ratgeber/uebersiedlung-nach-oesterreich.html
Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs: http://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/foreign-ministry.html
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs - Healthcare and Social Network: http://www.bmeia.gv.at/en/foreign-ministry/austria/facts-and-figures/the-social-network.html
Austrian Department of Health: http://www.bmgfj.gv.at/
US Embassy to Austria - Health insurance for non-Austrians: http://austria.usembassy.gov/res_pubhealth.html
US Embassy to Austria - Medical Information: http://austria.usembassy.gov/med.html
Austrian Social Security Institution: http://www.sozialversicherung.at/portal/index.html?ctrl:cmd=render&ctrl:window=esvportal.channel_content.cmsWindow&p_menuid=3603&p_tabid=6
Help.gv.at - Driver's license criteria: http://www.help.gv.at/Content.Node/4/Seite.040500.html#AllgemeineInformationen
ÖAMTC (available in German only): http://www.oeamtc.at/fuehrerschein/
ARBÖ (available in German only): http://www.arboe.at/home/
Automobile Association of America (AAA) Web site: http://www.aaamidatlantic.com/?zip=20003
US Embassy to Austria - Information on Driver's License: http://www.usembassy.at/en/embassy/cons/residence.htm#Motoring
ÖAMTC - Steps to receive a valid Driving License (available in German only): http://www.oeamtc.at/index.php?type=article&id=1119859&menu_active=0327
ARBÖ (available in German only): http://www.arboe.at/home/
OST - Double Taxation: http://www.ostina.org/scientists/double-taxation
Help.gv.at - Income Tax Returns: http://www.help.gv.at/Content.Node/144/Seite.1440000.html#Tax
International Revenue Service: http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/international/article/0,,id=97324,00.html
OST Scientist Network: http://www.ostina.org/scientists/ost-scientist-network
Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs - Staatsbürgerschaft  (available in German only): http://www.bmeia.gv.at/aussenministerium/buergerservice/staatsbuergerschaft.html