Residency permits For Members

Do foreigners in Austria have to carry their residence cards?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Do foreigners in Austria have to carry their residence cards?
Crowds walk down the famous shopping street Mariahilferstrasse, in Vienna, Austria(Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP)

Foreign residents in Austria who are granted residence permits are issued with a residence card or Aufenthaltstitel. Who does this apply to and are they obliged to carry the card all the time?


All third-country nationals - people who are neither EU citizens nor Swiss or from Iceland, Liechtenstein or Norway - need to have a residence permit if they intend to stay in Austria for longer than six months. This permit is known as an Aufenthalt (or Aufenthaltstitel), and the type you receive will depend on the purpose of your stay, such as family reunification, employment or studies.

The criteria you need to fulfil to be granted a residence permit will also depend on the reason you are in Austria and your situation.

You may also have a permanent residence permit, known as the Daueraufenthalt

All the different types of permits are issued in a card form, similar to a credit card format, and contain your basic information and a photograph of you.

READ ALSO: Visas and residency permits: How to move to Austria and stay long-term

So, do I always need to carry the card with me?

According to StartWien, Vienna's service agency for new arrivals to the Austrian capital, yes. The agency says: "You should always have this residence permit with you as an ID card."

Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalisation (OEAD) also has the same recommendation: "You should always carry your residence permit with you or keep it at hand at all times to prove your right to reside in Austria."

This is typically what a residence permit looks like in Austria (image: BMEIA)

What should I do if I lose it?

If you think your residence permit may simply have been lost rather than stolen, you can call your local Fundamt - which deals with lost property - to see if someone has returned it.

Whether you've lost your residence permit or it's been stolen, if you can't find it, you're required to file a police report. You'll need this report to apply for a new one.

Once you've filed a police report, you'll need to get in touch with the local authority where you live to let them know what's happened and arrange a replacement card. In Vienna, this is the MA 35 office.

READ MORE: What you should do if you lose your residence permit in Austria


Do I also need to carry my passport or other ID with me?

You do need some form of ID in Austria, but your residence permit is an acceptable form of ID, so that would be enough within the country.

What happens if I don’t have my ID with me?

If you don’t have a valid ID with you and the police have asked you to produce it for a valid reason, be prepared to lose a bit of your day. They may take you to a police station to establish your identity or accompany you home to get your ID if you’re close by to where you live.

If you don’t possess a valid form of identification at all as a foreigner in Austria, you can face a fine of up to €5,000.


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M 2024/02/01 20:27
I registered residence in Austria in 2011 as a Swiss citizen. However, I have never been issued with an "Aufenthaltstitel". I normally have my Swiss passport and Austian Driving License with me anyway.

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