Austria Personal Income Tax

In principle, all individuals are subject to tax on their worldwide income if they are considered ordinarily resident in Austria. Nonresidents with an income source in Austria are subject to tax to a limited extent, but their taxes may be reduced under a double tax treaty (see Section E).

Individuals are considered ordinarily resident if they have a resi­dence available for use in Austria or if they live in Austria for more than six months.

Each partner in a partnership must pay tax on his or her share of profits. The partnership is not subject to income tax as a separate entity.

Income subject to tax. Austrian income tax law categorizes in come into the following income sources:

  • Income from agriculture and forestry
  • Income from dependent employment (earnings as an employee)
  • Income from self-employment, including directors’ fees
  • Business income
  • Investment income
  • Rental income
  • Income from other sources

Specific regulations govern the calculation of taxable income from each source. After income from each source is calculated, the amounts are aggregated.

Employment income. Employed persons are subject to income tax on remuneration and all benefits received from employment. Em ploy ment income includes the following:

  • Salaries, wages, bonuses, profit participations, and other remu­neration and benefits granted for services rendered in a public office or in private employment
  • Pensions and other benefits received by a former employee or his or her surviving spouse or descendants, in consideration of services performed in the past

Allowances paid to foreign employees working in Austria, includ­ing foreign-service allowances, income tax equalization allowances and housing allowances, are considered employment income and do not receive preferential tax treatment.

Under certain conditions, employment income does not include employer-paid moving expenses, education expenses for employ­ees or contributions to Austrian pension funds.

Investment income. A final withholding tax at a rate of 27.5% (rate applicable from 1 January 2016) is imposed on dividends. A final withholding tax at a rate of 25% is imposed on interest from saving deposits and current accounts derived from Austrian sources by residents. All other taxable interest income is subject to a tax at a rate of 27.5%. Expenses related to dividends and interest are not deductible. A final withholding tax applies only to interest income derived from securities offered to the general public (not to privately placed securities). Tax exemptions for interest income are available, especially for nonresidents, under domestic law.

Dividend income and interest income of residents derived from non-Austrian sources are also taxed at a special tax rate of 27.5% (rate applicable from 1 January 2016). A 25% tax applies to inter­est from saving deposits and current accounts (rate applicable from 1 January 2016). All other interest income is subject to a 27.5% tax rate). The Austrian tax authorities can decide to impose tax at the ordinary tax rates if the foreign company mak­ing the payments is taxed at a rate below 15%. In this case, a tax credit is granted for the taxes paid abroad.

Gains derived by residents from the sale of investments (securi­ties, derivatives and others) that were purchased on or after 1 April 2012 are subject to tax at a rate of 27.5% (rate applicable from 1 January 2016; a 25% tax rate applies until 31 December 2015). Special transition treatment applies to gains from the sale of investments purchased or sold on or before 31 March 2012.

Royalties and rental income derived by residents are taxed as ordinary income.

Dividends paid to nonresidents are subject to withholding tax at a rate of 27.5% (rate applicable from 1 January 2016; a 25% tax rate applies until 31 December 2015). However, this rate is reduced by most of Austria’s double tax treaties (see Section E). For royalties and directors’ fees, the rate of withholding tax is 20%.

The withholding taxes imposed are usually final taxes.

Self-employment and business income. Individuals acting inde­pendently in their own name and at their own risk are subject to income tax on income derived from self-employment or business activities.

Business income includes income from activities performed through a commercial entity or partnership, while self-employment income primarily includes income from professional services rendered (for example, as doctors, dentists, attorneys, architects, journalists and tax consultants).

In general, all income attributable to self-employment or busi­ness, including gains from the sale of property used in a business or profession, is subject to income tax.

General or limited partnerships are not taxed as entities. The profit share of each partner is subject to tax separately. In addition, a partner’s income from self-employment or business activities also includes compensation received by a partner for services ren­dered or for loans made to the partnership.

For nonresidents carrying on business through a permanent establishment in Austria, taxable income is computed in the same manner as for resident individuals and is taxed at the same rates.

Directors’ fees. Remuneration received as a supervisory board member of a corporation is treated as income from self-employment. Companies must withhold tax at a rate of 20% on such remuneration paid to nonresidents.

Taxation of employer-provided stock options. Favorable taxation applies only to stock options that were granted on or before 31 March 2009. Stock options granted after that date do not ben­efit from favorable taxation.

EUR3,000 (from 1 January 2016; the amount was EUR1,460 until 31 December 2015) per year of the benefit derived from the grant of free shares or the purchase of shares on favorable terms may be exempt from tax if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The shares must be kept on deposit with a European Community bank or other specified institution, determined by the employer and representatives of the employees.
  • The shares must be retained for at least five calendar years after the year of acquisition (that is, they be neither given away nor sold).
  • The employee must prove by 31 March of the following year that he or she still owns the shares by means of a deposit con­firmation, which must be filed with the payroll administration of the employer.

If the above conditions are not met, the employer is required as from the year of violation to withhold tax from the benefit, unless the employee has left the company.

Capital gains. Capital gains derived from sales of businesses, parts of businesses and partnership interests are taxed as ordinary income. On request, these capital gains may be distributed over three years, if at least seven years have passed since the opening or purchase of business, part of the business or partnership inter­est. Otherwise, the capital gains in excess of EUR7,300 are fully taxed in the current year. If the business is sold or closed because of the retirement of the owner, and at least seven years have passed since the opening or purchase of business, part of the business or partnership interest, the capital gains are taxed at half the normal rate.

Gains derived from the sale of shares in a corporation are taxed at a rate of 27.5% (rate applies from 1 January 2016; a 25% rate applied to sales from 1 April 2012 until 31 December 2015). For sales until 31 March 2012, special transition provisions apply, depending on the acquisition date and the percentage of shares owned. Gains derived from the sale of real estate are taxed at a rate of 27.5% (rate applies from January 2016; a 25% rate applied to sales from 1 April 2012 until 31 December 2015). Special transition provisions may apply, depending on the posses­sion period and type of real estate. Gains derived from the sale of a primary residence may be tax-free if certain conditions are fulfilled.

Gains on other privately held assets, excluding securities and real estate, are not taxable if the assets are held longer than one year.

Otherwise, the gains are taxed as ordinary income. If the assets are held less than one year, the difference between the acquisition price and the sale price is taxable at the regular rates (see Rates). Losses may be set off only against other speculative gains.

Deductions. Expenditure incurred by an employee to create, pro­tect or preserve income from employment is generally deduct ible. Such expenses include the following:

  • Expenses connected with the maintenance of two households, which are deductible for a limited period of time, depending on individual circumstances
  • Professional books and periodicals
  • Membership dues paid to professional organizations, labor unions and similar bodies

A standard deduction of EUR132 for business-related expenses is granted, unless an employee proves that expenses actually paid are higher.

Amounts paid for health, old-age, unemployment and accident insurance are deductible if they are required by law.

Other items that may be claimed as deductions include church tax, tax consulting fees and donations for specified organizations.

Nonresidents are not entitled to the same general allowances granted to residents. However, see Special rules for expatriates.

Rates. For 2016, income tax is calculated in accordance with the rules set forth below.

Income below EUR11,000 is tax-free for ordinarily resident indi­viduals, while the income of nonresidents is tax-free up to EUR2,000.

The following are the tax rates for individuals ordinarily resident in Austria.

 

Taxable income EUR Tax rate

%

Tax due
EUR
Cumulative tax due

EUR

First 11,000 0 0 0
Next 7,000 25 1,750 1,750
Next 13,000 35 4,550 6,300
Next 29,000 42 12,180 18,480
Next 30,000 48 14,400 32,880
Next 910,000 50 455,000 487,880
Above 1,000,000 55 * ­

* This rate applies for 2016 through 2020.

Nonresidents are generally taxed at the same rates as resident individuals, but certain differences exist.

Special tax rates for vacation and Christmas bonus (non-regular payments). Annual salary is paid in 14 equal installments to achieve a more favorable income tax rate. Non-regular payments, such as the 13th and 14th months’ salaries, are taxed at the fol­lowing tax rates on the condition that they do not exceed 1/6 of the amount of the regular payments:

Amount of payments Rate (%)
Up to EUR620 0
For the next EUR24,380 6
For the next EUR25,000 27
For the next EUR33,333 35.75
For more than EUR33,333 50

If 1/6 of the regular payments equals EUR2,100 or less, the non-regular payments are tax-free.

Relief for losses. Income from one source generally may be offset by a loss from another source, with certain exceptions.

Taxpayers who maintain commercial books of account and derive income from agriculture, forestry, commercial business or other self-employment activities may carry forward losses incurred in 1991 and subsequent years for an unlimited time period. The amount of losses that may be set off is generally limited to the taxable income of a given tax year. Excess losses may be carried forward.

Special rules for expatriates. Expatriates are taxed in the same way as other resident and nonresident individuals. Nationality does not have an impact on income taxation. However, some simplifications are allowed if the following conditions apply:

  • The expatriate must be an individual who has not had a residence in Austria during the past 10 years and who is transferred from his or her foreign employer to an Austrian employer (subsidiary or permanent establishment of the foreign employer in Austria).
  • The expatriate must have an employment contract with the employer’s Austrian subsidiary or permanent establishment.
  • The expatriate must maintain his or her primary residence abroad, and the assignment may not exceed five years. Effective from 1 January 2016, a contractual option for prolongation after the five-year period prevents the application of the expatriate regime.

The rules regarding the simplifications for expatriates are modi­fied, effective from 1 January 2016. If the above conditions are met and if the employee meets certain reporting requirements, effective from January 2016, the employer can consider one lump-sum deduction of EUR10,000 per year per employee in the calculation of the expatriate’s monthly withholding tax instead of the deductions for double housing, home leave and extraordinary expenses, which applied under the prior rules.

If no expenses were deducted by the employer, and if an expatriate has additional expenses or extraordinary expenses, he or she may file an income tax return on a voluntary basis.

Other taxes

Net worth tax. Net worth tax is not levied in Austria.

Inheritance and gift taxes. The inheritance and gift taxes were eliminated, effective from 1 August 2008.

To prevent double taxation, Austria has entered into inheritance tax treaties with the Czech Republic, France, Hun gary, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. The inheritance tax treaty with Germany has been terminated.

Social security and other contributions

Elements of social security. Social security taxes consist of the following elements:

  • Old-age pension
  • Unemployment insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Insolvency guarantee
  • Accident insurance

Social security contributions are required for all employees, un less they are exempt under the European Union (EU) regula­tions or a totalization agreement.

Contributions. Social security payments on wages or salaries must be made by employers and employees at the following rates for 2016.

  Employee’s share

%

Employer’s
share

%

Total

%

Pension insurance 10.25 12.55 22.80
Accident insurance 0 1.30 1.30
Health insurance 3.87 3.78 7.65
Unemployment insurance 3.00 3.00 6.00
Accommodation promotion contribution 0.50 0.50 1.00
Chamber contribution 0.50 0 0.50
Insolvency guarantee funds contributions 0 0.45 0.45

The maximum wage base for monthly contributions for each employee is EUR4,860 (amount for 2016). In addition, social security is levied on special payments (13th and 14th salaries, or bonus), up to a ceiling of EUR9,720 (amount for 2016). The maximum social security contributions for 2016 are set forth in the following table.

Regular Salary % 13th and 14th months salary % Maximum annual contribution EUR
For wage earners Employer’s share* 21.58 21.08 14,566.22
Employee’s share* 18.12 17.12 12,231.64
For salary earners Employer’s share 21.58 21.08 14,566.22
Employee’s share 18.12 17.12 12,231.64

* This amount does not take into consideration the special bad weather contribu­tion for workers in the construction industry and agriculture. Each employer and employee must make such contribution at a rate of 0.7%.

Employers must also pay the contributions described in the fol­lowing four paragraphs.

A contribution to the severance pay fund is required for employ­ees covered by the Austrian labor law. The rate is 1.53% without ceiling.

A contribution to the family burden fund is payable for employees covered by the Austrian social security system and for employees from non-EU jurisdictions. The rate is 4.5% without ceiling.

A 3% community tax is payable without ceiling.

A company that is a member of the chamber of commerce must pay a contribution at a rate ranging from 0.36% to 0.44% (with­out ceiling).

Totalization agreements. To provide relief from double social security contributions and to ensure benefit coverage, Austria has entered into totalization agreements with certain jurisdictions. The agreements usually apply to foreigners living in Austria and to Austrians living abroad for a maximum of two years. Austria has entered into totalization agreements with the following juris­dictions.

Australia (a)                    Hungary                       Norway

Belgium                           Iceland                         Philippines (b)

Bosnia and                      India (d)                       Poland

Herzegovina                    Ireland                          Portugal

Bulgaria                           Israel                            Romania

Canada                            Italy                              Serbia

Chile (a)                          Korea (South)              Slovak Republic

Croatia                             Latvia                           Slovenia

Cyprus                            Liechtenstein                Spain

Czech Republic               Lithuania                      Sweden

Denmark                         Luxembourg                Switzerland

Estonia                            Macedonia                   Tunisia (c)

Finland                            Malta                            Turkey

France                             Moldova                      United Kingdom

Germany                         Montenegro                 United States (a)

Greece                             Netherlands                  Uruguay

  • This agreement covers pension insurance only.
  • This agreement covers pension and accident insurance only.
  • This agreement covers all types of insurance except for unemployment insurance.
  • This agreement has been signed, but it is not yet in effect.

 

Tax filing and payment procedures

The tax year in Austria is the calendar year. Tax returns generally must be filed by the end of April. However, a return filed electronically must be filed by the end of June. An extension is available if the return is prepared by a tax adviser.

Salaries and wages of employees are subject to withholding tax. Taxpayers other than employees must make advance payments of income tax in quarterly installments on 15 February, 15 May, 15 August and 15 November.

Interest is levied on final payments as assessed by the tax authori­ties if the assessed liability is paid after 30 September. A taxpayer may avoid interest by paying the expected income tax liability as advance payments.

Married persons are taxed separately, not jointly, on all types of income.

Double tax relief and tax treaties

Resident individuals are generally taxed in Austria on their world wide income. However, if tax is imposed in the other coun­try at a tax rate of more than 15%, certain elements of taxable income are exclud ed from the Austrian tax computation for resi­dent individuals. Otherwise, Austria grants a foreign tax credit against Austrian taxes.

Austria has entered into double tax treaties with the following jurisdictions.

Albania                        Hungary                     Poland

Algeria                         India                           Portugal

Argentina (c)                Indonesia                    Qatar

Armenia                       Ireland                        Romania

Australia                      Iran                             Russian

Azerbaijan                    Israel                           Federation

Bahrain                        Italy                            San Marino

Barbados                      Japan                          Saudi Arabia

Belarus                         Kazakhstan                 Serbia

Belgium                       Korea (South)             Singapore

Belize                           Kuwait                        Slovak Republic (a)

Bosnia and                   Kyrgyzstan                 Slovenia

Herzegovina                 Latvia (c)                    South Africa

Brazil                           Liechtenstein               Spain

Bulgaria                       Lithuania                     Sweden

Canada                         Luxembourg               Switzerland

China                           Macedonia                  Taiwan

Croatia                         Malaysia                     Tajikistan

Cuba                            Malta                          Thailand

Cyprus                         Mexico                       Tunisia

Czech Republic            Moldova                     Turkey

Denmark                      Mongolia                    Ukraine

Egypt                           Montenegro                USSR (b)

Estonia                         Morocco                     United Arab

Finland                         Nepal                          Emirates

France                          Netherlands                United Kingdom

Georgia                        New Zealand              United States

 

84 AUSTRIA

Germany                      Norway                      Uzbekistan

Greece                          Pakistan                      Venezuela

Hong Kong SAR         Philippines                  Vietnam

  • The treaty with the former Czechoslovakia currently applies.
  • Austria honors the USSR treaty with respect to Turkmenistan.
  • This treaty was terminated, effective from 31 December 2008.

Temporary visas

Austria joined the European Economic Area (EEA) on 1 January 1994, and has been a member of the EU since 1 January 1995; therefore, the treatment of citizens of EEA and EU member countries with respect to immigration matters differs from the treatment of citizens of non-member jurisdictions.

Non-EU and non-EEA nationals. Non-EU and non-EEA nationals who wish to visit Austria for periods of up to three months and who do not intend to engage in remunerated activities are per­mitted to enter the country with a valid passport and, in certain cases depending on the citizenship of the foreigner, a visa. Visas are obtainable at all Austrian embassies and must be applied for abroad. In all cases, registration with the local police department is required within three days after arrival in Austria.

As tourists, non-EU and non-EEA nationals may stay in Austria for up to six months per year; however, a single stay may not exceed three months. If these nationals wish to stay longer, they must apply for residence permits.

Work permits and self-employment

Austria is relatively restrictive in granting working rights to non­EU nationals. Citizens of EEA and EU member countries gener­ally do not need permits to stay and work in Austria. Citizens of non-member jurisdictions are subject to the Foreigners Act (Fremdenpolizeigesetz) and the Employment of Foreigners Act (Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz), and require residence permits to obtain work permits.

EU and EEA nationals. EU and EEA nationals do not need work permits to work in Austria. Nationals of Croatia must obtain a work permit similar to the permit required for nationals of juris­dictions outside the EU and EEA. This temporary regulation will expire on 30 June 2020, at the latest.

Reporting Obligation to the Central Coordination Department with the Ministry of Finance notification. For an employee posted to Austria for work purposes from an EU/EEA member country, the employer must make the Reporting Obligation to the Central Coordination Department with the Ministry of Finance (Meldeverpflichtung an die Zentrale Koordinationsstelle des Bundesministeriums für Finanzen, or ZKO), regardless of the length of the period of work performance in Austria. Accordingly, under Austria law, the notification must be made even if the work performance is for one day.

The ZKO notification can be easily submitted online. The dead­line for submitting the notification is one week before the actual start date in Austria. In case of emergency (for example, unex­pected troubleshooting activities), the notification can exception­ally be carried out as of the start date in Austria.

 

The ZKO notification must contain information on the employer and the Austrian contractor, the period of assignment and place of work, information regarding the job title, and the monthly sal­ary of the assignee. The minimum wage must be in line with the minimum requirements (minimum pay and other working condi­tions) of the notional applicable Austrian Collective Agreement for the respective business sector. In addition, the Austrian labor law provides that in case of an audit, assignment-related docu­ments such as the employment and assignment contract, salary statements, time sheets, and certificate of coverage A1 (form used within the EU, which is an application to remain in the employee’s home-country social security system) must be avail­able in German at the place of work in Austria.

The ZKO notification is a reporting obligation when posting EU/ EEA nationals to Austria and is not the same as an Austrian work permit. If a third-country national is posted to Austria from an EU/EEA country, it is necessary to obtain work permit docu­ments in advance to legally work in Austria.

Non-EU and non-EEA nationals. Non-EU and non-EEA nationals may be employed in Austria only if the employer obtains a work permit (Beschäftigungsbewilligung) for this purpose.

The granting of work permits to non-EU or non-EEA nationals is governed by the Employment of Foreigners Act. Applications must be filed by the prospective employer with the local labor authority (Arbeitsmarktservice), which grants a permit based on several requirements, including the following:

  • Similar remuneration and working conditions for foreign and Austrian employees must be ensured.
  • Notice of job opportunities must be given to Austrian employ­ees before a foreign employee is hired (this is not required in the case of highly qualified foreign applicants).

An employer who wishes to recruit foreign employees abroad must apply for an individual assurance certificate (Sicherungsbescheinigung), which indicates the employees or the number of employees for which work permits are prospective. The individual assurance certificate is therefore only granted if the conditions for the issuance of a work permit (and to a certain extent, a residence permit) are generally fulfilled. Accord ingly, the requirements for the work (and residence) permit are exam­ined at this early stage of the permit procedure.

After the employer obtains an individual assurance certificate, the alien must apply for a residence permit (see Section H). A residence permit allows a foreigner to enter Austria. However, before the foreigner may work, the Austrian employer must apply for a work permit with the competent employment authority. A work permit is usually issued if an individual assurance certifi­cate has been granted.

Work permits are not transferable and are usually granted for one year with the possibility of renewal. They refer to a particular workplace in a particular company and therefore expire on the termination of employment.

Under the Employment of Foreigners Act, a work permit is granted if “the actual situation and the development of the employment environment allow for the employment of a for­eigner, and the grant of the work permit is not in opposition to important public or economic interests.”

Austria has introduced a flexible new immigration scheme, known as 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 labor-market criteria. The applicable set of rules entered into force on 1 July 2011.

The Red-White-Red Card is issued for a period of 12 months and entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and employment by a specified employer. The following persons are eligible for a Red­White-Red Card:

  • Very highly qualified workers
  • Skilled workers in shortage occupations
  • Other key workers
  • Graduates of Austrian universities and colleges of higher education

The Red-White-Red Card plus entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and unlimited labor market access. The following persons are eligible for a Red-White-Red Card plus:

  • Holders of a Red-White-Red Card if they were employed in accordance with the requirements decisive for admission for a minimum of 10 months within the preceding 12 months
  • Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders and holders of EU Blue Cards
  • Family members of foreign citizens permanently settled in Austria

For purposes of the above scheme, family members are defined as the following:

  • Spouses
  • Registered partners
  • Minor children, including adopted children and stepchildren (up to the age of 18)

At the time of filing the application, spouses and registered part­ners must be at least 21 years of age.

The EU Blue Card is a residence permit for highly skilled univer­sity graduates who are third-country nationals. First-time appli­cations must be submitted to the Austrian diplomatic representa­tion abroad or by the potential Austrian employer on behalf of the applicant directly in Austria. Persons who are eligible for visa-free entry can submit the application in person to the immigra­tion office in Austria during the validity period of their visa. The following are significant aspects of the EU Blue Card:

  • Proof of German language skills before coming to Austria and completion of Module I are not required. To receive an Austrian residence permit, third-country nationals must complete Module I. It is proof that the third-country national has more than basic German language skills.
  • The EU Blue Card can be issued with a validity period of 24 months.
  • Free labor market access is available in case of an extension.
  • Permanent leave to remain can be obtained more quickly, and mobility in the EU is facilitated (EU Blue Cards from other EU member states can be considered).
  • Quota-free family reunification (Red-White-Red Card plus) is available.

A non-EU or non-EEA employee who already has a work or employment permit in another EU member state and who works for an employer based in an EU member state must obtain an EU-sending certification (EU-Entsendebestätigung) to work in Austria. These certifications must be issued by the competent authority within two weeks after application. The EU-sending certifications are not subject to investigation by the employment authorities with respect to the Austrian labor market.

Sanctions are imposed on companies that hire employees without the correct visas and permits. These sanctions usually consist of fines ranging from approximately EUR1,000 to EUR20,000 per worker. In the case of several violations within one organization or recurring violations, fines may be as much as EUR50,000 per worker.

Sanctions are imposed on companies that hire employees without the correct visas and permits. These sanctions usually consist of fines ranging from approximately EUR1,000 to EUR20,000 per worker. In the case of several violations within one organization or recurring violations, fines may be as much as EUR50,000 per worker.

Self-employment. For most professions, self-employment requires a certificate of qualification. The extent to which foreign qualifi­cations are accepted depends on the particular case. It may be possible to avoid certain restrictions by carefully choosing the form of legal entity used for the business.

Special rules apply to self-employed key persons. H. Residence permits

EU and EEA nationals. No special documents are necessary for EU and EEA nationals who wish to stay in Austria for longer periods. EU and EEA nationals must prove, however, that they have sufficient funds to support themselves while in the country. In addition, visitors must have health insurance. Further registra­tion is required for EU and EEA nationals if the stay exceeds three months.

Non-EU and non-EEA nationals. Non-EU and non-EEA nationals who plan to stay in Austria for longer than six months must apply for a permanent residence permit (Niederlassungs bewill igung) or, to work in Austria without changing their permanent residence to Austria, a residence authorization (Aufen thaltserlaubnis). Permanent residence permits are usually granted for one year (up to 24 months for persons who hold an EU Blue Card) and may be renewed for a two-year period. After five years, the permanent residence permit is granted indefinitely.

Depending on the nationality of the non-EU and non-EEA nation­al, a first-time applicant may apply for residence permits outside Austria at any Austrian embassy or he or she may apply in Austria. Swiss citizens may generally reside in Austria without a residence permit.

Residence authorizations are available to non-EU and non-EEA nationals who prove that they are registered at Austrian universities and who have a certain minimum income. The permits are valid for six months or one year and may be extended.

Family and personal considerations

Family members. Working spouses of expatriates must apply in dependently for their own work permits. The family members of non-EU and non-EEA expatriates must obtain separate resi­dence permits to reside in Austria. The children of non-EU and non-EEA expatriates must obtain student visas to attend school in Austria.

Driver’s permits

EU and EEA nationals. A driver’s license issued by the authori­ties of any EU or EEA country is recognized on an equal basis with an Austrian driver’s license.

Non-EU and non-EEA nationals. The validity of a foreign driv­er’s license held by an individual without established principal residence in Austria generally is limited to one year. Individuals with their principal residence in Austria must change their driv­er’s license to an Austrian driver’s license within six months.

An Austrian driver’s license may be obtained by presenting a foreign license if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The applicant has stayed or has established a principal residence in the country of issuance of the driver’s license for a minimum of six months.
  • The applicant has moved his or her principal residence to Austria.
  • The applicant has been residing in Austria for no longer than 24 months since the establishment of principal residence in Austria.
  • No objections are raised with respect to the individual’s driving record and no health obstacles exist that might hinder the per­son’s driving ability (as defined by law).
  • The applicant’s driving qualifications are proved by a practical driving test or the issuance of the foreign driver’s license was subject to requirements similar to those in Austria.

The Ministry of Transportation has identified jurisdictions with pro cesses similar to those of Austria for the issuance of various classes of licenses. The following jurisdictions have similar requirements for the issuance of all classes of licenses.

Andorra                           Isle of Man                       Monaco

Croatia                             Japan                                 San Marino

Guernsey                         Jersey                                Switzerland

The following jurisdictions have similar requirements for the issu­ance of B-class licenses.

Australia                          Hong Kong SAR              South Africa

Bosnia and                      Israel                                 United Arab

Herzegovina                    Korea (South)*                 Emirates

Canada                            Macedonia                        United States

* Only for licenses issued as of 1 January 1997.