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.
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.
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.