Visas For Members

A, C, D: What types of visas are there in Austria and which one do you need?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
A, C, D: What types of visas are there in Austria and which one do you need?
An Austrian Airlines aircraft disembarking passengers at Vienna International Airport in 2021. Photo: Daniel SLIM / AFP

You might need a visa even for the shortest of stays in Austria. But which ones should you apply to and what are the differences?


If you plan on coming to Austria for a short time, then you might need a visa, depending on your stay and your nationality - even if the stay is just for a few hours. Austria has three types of visa: type A (airport transit visa), type C (short-stay visa) and type D (long-term visa).

Generally speaking, all visa types are issued by representation offices abroad, meaning you must apply via an Austrian representation (usually an embassy or a consulate) in your country of residence. Visas may only be issued or extended in Austria or at the border in certain clearly defined, exceptional cases - don't count on it.

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It's worth noting that EU citizens do not need a visa to enter or stay in Austria (if you plan on staying for more than a few months, you will need to register your residence and get an Anmeldebescheinigung, which is the residence document for EU citizens).

So, who needs to apply for them, and what are the requirements?

Type A Visa: airport transit visa

In principle, foreign nationals who do not leave the transit area or the aircraft during a stopover at an airport do not require a visa.

However, Nationals of certain countries require a type A visa for transit via Austrian airports unless they meet specific exceptional criteria (for example, holding a valid visa for countries like Ireland or the USA when travelling to or from the issuing country). Citizens of countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ghana, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and others require a visa. You can find the complete list HERE

Type A visas are not usually issued in Austria. They may under no circumstances be issued at the border.


Type C Visa: short-stay visa

This is the standard tourist visa. A type C visa can be issued for up to a total stay of 90 days within a 180-day period and entitles the holder to enter and reside in the Schengen area for that period - the person is not allowed to work.

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Citizens of countries such as Egypt, Bolivia, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Cuba, Morocco, Nigeria, Palestine, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey need a visa. 

Schengen countries are Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden; and non-EU Member States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland.

Type D visa: long-term visa

Type D visas generally permit holders to stay between 91 days and six months. In exceptional cases, a type D visa may also be issued with a validity period of up to 12 months (for example, based on an international agreement) or with a validity period of less than 91 days.

Additionally, this visa issued by Austria or another Schengen country allows the holder to travel freely within the territory of the other Schengen countries for up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

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Type D visas can only be issued abroad by an Austrian representation.


All third-country nationals need this visa if they intend to stay in Austria for over 90 days in 180 days. Since this is not a traditional tourist visa, you are usually required to present a motive for your longer stay, such as studying languages, visiting a family member, proof of internship, and proof that you have means to support your stay. 

General entry requirements

It's important to note that even if you don't need a visa or if you have one, you may still be refused entry at a border or airport if the border officer decides so. 

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You need to also comply with general entry requirements, meaning you have valid travel documents, are no threat to public order and security, there are no alerts for refusal of entry in the system, you have sufficient financial means for the stay and return journey, and you have proof of the purpose of the trip. 


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