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MOVING TO AUSTRIA

EXPLAINED: The 2022 salary requirements for Austria’s EU Blue Card

The salary needed to secure the EU Blue Card for third country nationals working in Austria -- an option available to highly qualified workers in in-demand roles -- has risen this year.

Worker
If you've got an Austrian job offer and a university degree you could be eligible for this permit if you meet the salary threshold. Photo: Mateus Campos Felipe/Unsplash

The EU Blue Card is a residency permit which is an alternative to the Red-White-Red Card for some highly qualified and highly paid workers.

The Red-White-Red Card is based on a points system, where you earn points based on your language ability (both German and English), education, and professional experience. Different numbers of points will earn you different types of permits, including as a skilled worker in a shortage occupation, a start-up founder, a key worker, or a job-seeker.

The EU Blue Card is specifically designed for high earners in shortage occupations who have been offered a job in Austria.

There is no points system, but you do need to fulfill four criteria: you need to be educated at university level (for at least a three-year programme), you must have have received a job offer in Austria, the Austrian employment service must perform a ‘labour market test’ to confirm that there is no-one based in Austria or the EU who could do the job, and you must earn one and a half times the average salary.

Another big advantage is that after 18 months on the Blue Card, you can move to another EU member state (although Denmark and Ireland do not participate in the scheme) to take up employment; in other words it gives you some level of onward freedom of movement.

EXPLAINED: How to apply for a residency permit in Austria

When applying for a Blue Card in Austria in 2022, the applicant has to earn a minimum gross salary (before tax) of €66,593 – that’s up from €65,579 in 2021, due to an increase in the national average salary.

The gross salary includes so-called special payments, which means the 13th and 14th month salaries that are often paid out by Austrian employers in addition to monthly pay, but it does not include bonuses. That’s why 

That means you need a salary more than €10,000 above what you’d need to earn the German EU Blue Card, where the minimum is €56,400 in 2022, and has fallen since last year.

The application for an EU Blue Card can be filed by you at an Austrian embassy or consulate in the country you’re living with, or by the employer who has offered you a job at the local Austrian authority.

Once you receive it, the Blue Card is valid for two years as standard, or for shorter work contracts it is the length of the contract plus three months.

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WORKING IN AUSTRIA

Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

If you are moving to Austria and planning to work once you're here, there are a few websites that you need to know.

Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Austria is certainly one of the best countries to work in, with strong labour laws that give employees access to public health insurance through their employers, a minimum five weeks of paid vacation and many rights for families.

The alpine country is also known for its high quality of living. Residents can enjoy cheap public transport, public schools and plenty of free or cheap cultural, sports and leisure options.

There are also many vacant jobs, and the country is aiming to make it easier for foreigners who have qualifications to come fill in those jobs – many in nursing and healthcare professions, but a lot in several other so-called “shortage occupations”.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

If you are planning to work in Austria, here are a few government or government-linked websites to know.

Migration.gv.at

It may not look very modern, but this website will have most of the things you’ll need if you want to move to Austria – especially coming from countries outside of the European Union.

This is where you will find the infamous “point calculator” to see if you get the minimum amount of points based on specific criteria (such as age, education, and language knowledge) to be able to apply for certain work-based residence permits.

There are also many pages explaining the different visas, permits, and many other issues with migration to Austria. The website has a very extensive and complete English version.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The 2022 salary requirements for Austria’s EU Blue Card

ABA – Work in Austria

ABA – Work in Austria is a department of the Austrian Business Agency, which operates under the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs in Austria.

The website has plenty of information – in English – about Austria, living and working in the country, and its job market. ABA – Work in Austria also offers services, including relocation and recognition of qualifications.

Vienna Business Agency

Another site aimed at expats and immigrants but connected to the City of Vienna. The website is entirely in English (there is a German version, too), and most of it will have tips and services for businesses and startups settling in the Austrian capital.

However, there is also an extensive advice area for foreigners. 

People moving to Vienna can also schedule in-person and free appointments to receive advice on anything from setting up a company to paying taxes.

READ ALSO: The downsides of Vienna you should be aware of before moving there

Portal der Arbeiterkammern

This is the Chamber of Labour website, which is an organisation that represents the interests of 3 million Austrian employees and consumers.

Even if you are not a member, it still has plenty of valuable information on Austria’s working and labour market. The website, however, is only in German.

Der Wirtschaftskammer

Also, a local website, WKO is the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, and even though it is only in German, it holds a lot of information, especially on labour laws in the country.

Furthermore, it is possible to schedule a free appointment with an English-speaking representative to answer questions on employment, self-employment, and more.

READ ALSO: Which are the best companies to work for in Austria?

Public Employment Service Austria (AMS)

This is Austria’s official provider of labour-market related services. The government agency offers placement assistance and vocational counselling.

It is also the point of contact for those looking to register as employees, hire people or seek many of the benefits (including unemployment payments) that they are entitled to. It also has a job-looking platform.

Even though a part of the website is in English, most of the pages are in German only. It is also challenging to find people willing to speak English at the AMS offices.

Bonus website: The Local

Besides our news website, with pieces that will help you learn more about life in Austria and be up to date on the latest and most important information, The Local also has a job search platform where you can look for open positions which require only the English language.

Check out our jobs platform here. 

Do you know any other government or government-linked websites that might be useful for people working in Austria? Let us know: [email protected]

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