Residency permits For Members

Reader question: How long can I stay out of Austria and keep my residency rights?

Hayley Maguire
Hayley Maguire - [email protected]
Reader question: How long can I stay out of Austria and keep my residency rights?
A person pulls a suitcase. (Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi / Pexels)

If you’re planning to leave Austria for a while, it’s important to know if it will affect your residency. This is what you need to know.


Living as a foreigner in Austria usually means having a residency status that is tied to a permit.

As a result, there are often limits on how long you can leave the country without losing your right to residency, which can impact plans to travel, take a new job elsewhere or simply spend time at home. 

Here’s what you need to know about leaving Austria and maintaining your residency rights.


What permit do you have?

How long you can leave Austria without it affecting your status will depend on the type of permit that you have.

If you have a long-term resident - EU (Daueraufenthalt - EU) permit, then it becomes invalid if you leave EEA territory (including Austria) for more than 12 months. However, there are special circumstances where people can leave the EEA zone for up to 24 months.

Additionally, with this permit, you can leave Austria but stay in the EEA (and Austria) for up to six years without losing your right to residency in Austria.

You can find a full list of EEA member countries here.

With the EU Blue Card, you can stay outside of the EEA for up to 18 months over a five-year period, or up to 12 months consecutively without losing residency rights in Austria.

Planning for the future

If you already have a Red-White-Card Card, a Red-White-Red Card Plus or a settlement permit, and are hoping to apply for the long-term resident - EU permit in the future, you can leave Austria for up to 10 months in a five-year period, or for six months consecutively. 

In certain circumstances, it is possible to leave for 24 months if a valid reason is given and permission is granted by the Austrian authorities.


Brits with an Article 50 card

British people that were living in Austria on 31st December 2020 were granted an Article 50 card, which is a residency permit to secure pre-Brexit rights.

However, there are two different types of Article 50 cards – a five-year permit and a 10-year permit – depending on how long someone was living in Austria before Brexit. A British person had to have lived in Austria for at least five years to qualify for the 10-year card.

There are also differing lengths of time that someone can leave Austria, depending on the type of Article 50 card they have.

With the five-year card, it is possible to leave Austria for up to six months throughout the duration of the permit, or up to 12 consecutive months in certain situations. Valid reasons for leaving the country for one year include pregnancy, illness, education or a job posting to another country.

But holders of the 10-year card have much more freedom and can leave Austria for up to five years without it impacting their residency status.


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