Austria is a federal republic and a landlocked country of over 8.66 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.
Austria is an all year round location.
It is not expensive as you may have been led to believe. Bottles of drinkable wine cost from €3-€4. Food is much cheaper. Property is not expensive to rent.
It is a clean, safe country in which to live. There is little crime in country areas. The hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions are invariably spotless. The lakes and rivers are maintained at "drinking water" quality. There is no litter anywhere, and strict recycling laws are in place to keep the environment safe.
Austria has introduced a flexible new immigration scheme: the Red-White-Red Card. It aims to facilitate the immigration of qualified third-country workers and their families with a view to permanent settlement in Austria, based on personal and labour-market related criteria.
The related set of rules entered into force on 1 July 2011.
Very highly qualified workers who have obtained a job search visa for 6 months may apply for a Red-White-Red Card with the competent residence authority in Austria if they are able to submit an employment offer (work contract) during the period of validity of the visa.
With the “Red-White-Red Card“ system, interested persons from non-EU countries can immediately ascertain if and under which conditions they are eligible for immigration based on objective criteria. The points system is based on the following criteria:
Persons who immigrate to Austria with the “Red-White-Red Card“ do not need to prove German language points can be collected for knowledge of the German or English language.
Family members of workers who immigrate using the “Red-White-Red Card“ are not subject to the quota requirement and receive a “Red-White-Red Card“ with instant free access to the labor market.
Red-White-Red Card applications for "very highly qualified workers" can be filed personally with the Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) for the applicant's country of residence or by the potential employer.
The Red-White-Red Card is issued after examination by the Public Employment Service (AMS), provided that the intended employment corresponds to the applicant’s qualifications, is adequately paid and the general requirements under settlement and residence legislation are met (such as locally customary accommodation, health insurance coverage etc.).
The Red-White-Red Card entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and employment by a specified employer.
Very highly qualified persons who hold a Red-White-Red Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus at the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor, authorised Regional Administrative Authority or Local Administrative Authority) if they were employed in accordance with the criteria decisive for eligibility for a minimum of ten months during the preceding twelve months.
The Red-White-Red Card plus entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and unlimited labour market access.