Austria Persons Of Independent Means Residency Program
The Austrian residency program offers persons of independent means the opportunity to take up residency in Austria if the applicant can prove that they are in possession of sufficient income and/or assets. This very straight-forward residency program is ideal for individuals seeking a simple way to obtain residency in Austria - one of the most peaceful countries in Europe.
The Austria Persons of Independent Means Residency Program route to immigration hinges on an applicant’s ability to support themselves with their liquid funds.
This Austrian Residency program operates under an annual quota. Each year the authorities only approve ca. 450 residence permits from all over Austria. Due to the limited annual quota, we suggest starting the application process in late summer so that our team of lawyers and consultants has enough time to prepare the application. We collate all the required documents for the residence permit application by the end of November - the latest middle of December before the Christmas season. The application will then be lodged with the government during the first two weeks of January the following year for optimal chances of approval. Government processing times usually take between three and six months.
The residence permit in Austria will be granted for one year, and has to be renewed annually. For the renewal of the residence permit for persons of independent means the same conditions have to be met; the quota does only apply for first time applications and does not apply for renewals of the residence permit.
To enter the country a separate entry visa, which is valid for 3 months is required; after arrival in Austria you have to pick up your residence permit at the local authorities the one-year residence permit will be issued at the local authority in Austria after the applicant officially registers in Austria. The applicant has to renew the residence permit on a yearly basis, along with providing proof of their independent means and their bought or rented property.
Important: Applicants do not receive a work permit under this program, and thus, are not allowed to work for any Austrian employer. Nevertheless, the applicant may conduct work for companies abroad (e.g. management of own companies abroad).
Austrian Residence for financially independent persons is governed by provision of Article 44 of the Austrian temporary and permanent residence law (Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz NAG).
Benefits of Austrian Residence Permit
Live in Austria
The right to reside in Austria
Good public schools, with no tuition fees, will help you to kick-start your children’s education.
Visa-free travel in the Schengen Zone
Send your children to world-class universities in Austria.
The path to a permanent residence permit and citizenship in Austria
Permanent Residence Permit
After five years of residency, applicants can apply for a permanent residence permit. The Austrian permanent residence permit will be issued if the applicants can prove their independent means, proof of intermediary language skills (B1), and are free of any criminal convictions.
Applications may apply for Austrian citizenship after ten years of continuous* residency in Austria, of which five years with a permanent residence permit.
After 6 years of continuous* residency in Austria, with a language certificate at B2 level or with exceptional integration into Austrian society.
After 30 years of legal residency in Austria.
*“continuous” residency requires the applicant to have resided for a minimum of 80% of the time in Austria.
Austrian Residency for Persons of Independent Means Application Requirements
Conditions that must be satisfied for the application and thereafter are as follows:
Proof of Independent Means
The main applicant must provide proof of sufficient annual income. The Austrian Immigration authorities define the appropriate amount of income as an annual income twice the minimum pension benchmark. Currently, this is equal to:
ca. EUR 24,000 for a single applicant;
ca. EUR 38,000 for a married couple, and for each minor child which is included in the application an additional amount of ca. EUR 3,700;
ca. EUR 45,000 for a family of four.
These funds are a prerequisite for eligibility to the program and must be proved on an annual basis through a recent bank statement - preferably by an Austrian bank, however, an internationally-recognized bank might be accepted too. Alternatively, proof of assets (instead of annual income) might also be negotiated with the authorities. It is important to note that the above numbers are for applications in the year 2021 and do increase slightly from year to year.
Proof of Property
The applicant must rent or buy a suitable apartment and provide proof thereof. ‘Suitable’ refers to a property that is suitable/big enough for the family applying under the program. There is no requirement of a minimum value of the apartment. The home can be rented or purchased.
Valid Travel Documents
Austrian Health and Sickness Insurance Policy
The insurance policy must cover the main applicant and any of their dependents in respect of all risks according to Austrian law. The health insurance cover must be procured by an insurance company licensed in Austria.
German Language Skills
The main applicant and their dependents (from 14 years onwards) need to prove their German language skills at A1 level. A language test at an accredited institution must be taken within a maximum of 12 months before lodging the application with the authorities. If the applicant holds a university degree or attended high school, we would need the respective degrees or diplomas, as having so can waive the requirement of having an A1 German language certificate.
A due diligence exercise will be undertaken on the main applicant and their dependants.
Austrian Residency for Persons of Independent Means Eligibility Criteria
All individuals who are third-country nationals (outside of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland) and can meet the requirements will be eligible for this Austrian residency program. The rights granted through the Persons of Independent Means Residence Program can be availed by:
The main applicant;
The main applicant’s dependants (the spouse of the main applicant and their minor children) if they choose to set up their main residence in Austria.
The main applicant’s parents and siblings
The spouses parent’s and siblings
The term “children” is meant to refer to the children, including adopted children, of the main applicant. The main applicant’s minor dependants will only receive a residence permit if they choose to set up their main residence in Austria - such as attending school, which is compulsory for minor children who are legal residents of Austria.
Austrian Residency Program for Persons of Independent Means Application Process
The application process may be divided into the following stages:
Stage 1 – Proof of Language Skills
In case the applicant holds no university degree, they must attend language courses and obtain an A1 German language certificate.
Stage 2 – Opening of Bank Account
We arrange an appointment at a bank in Austria; the personal attendance of the client is mandatory. In most cases, bank statements from a reputable foreign bank can be provided instead.
Stage 3 – Wiring the Funds
The client shall pay the necessary amount to his Austrian bank account, or set it aside on his foreign bank account.
Stage 4 – Application for Health Insurance
Personal health insurance must be applied for. Your Citizen Lane relationship manager can support this process.
Stage 5 – Renting or Purchasing a Home
A suitable family home must be acquired. Your Citizen Lane relationship manager can support this process. The personal attendance of the client is not mandatory but suggested.
Stage 6 – Preparation of Application Documents
Citizen Lane will prepare the application documents.
Stage 7 – Appointment at the Embassy
The client must attend an interview at the Embassy or Consulate of Austria in his/her country of residence and file the application. A visa fee of EUR 150 per person (in most countries the equivalent in local currency) needs to be paid in cash. The residence permit is usually issued within 3-5 months.
Stage 8 – Application for entry visa
Citizen Lane will prepare the application documents. This visa is typically valid for 90 days.
Stage 9 – Travel to Austria & Pick up of residence permit
Once you have received your entry visa, you have to travel to Austria and pick up your residence permit in person at the local immigration authority.
Apart from our service cost, the following fees relative to the process are applicable:
Visa Fees: EUR 150 per person. Visa fees must be paid by the applicant during the interview at the Consulate or Embassy.
Municipality’s Registration Fees: The local city will charge a minor registration fee, which might differ from city to city.
If the application is successful, and the applicant moves to Austria, they will be subject to tax in Austria and have to tax their world-wide income in Austria. If the applicant does not spend more than 183 days per year in Austria and has no family in Austria, then they might opt to be a tax resident in another country with proof. Income tax levels range from 0 to 55% on employment income. The preferred tax rate on dividend income is 27.5% and income taxes on interests are 25%.
Our Guidance & Assistance
Through our dedicated experience in the field and building our dependable network over the years, we are confident in our abilities to successfully guide and support you through Citizenship and Residency programs.
Citizen Lane respects every client’s unique situation and will be able to discuss details in confidence. We will provide you with comprehensive advice and find the appropriate solution for you and/or your family. Visit us at our offices located in Malta, Austria, Germany, and Switzerland, or contact us by phone/email/contact form. Our team is ready to arrange a WhatsApp, Skype, or Zoom call with you.
Book a consultation and learn how we can help you.
There’s no commitment, pressure, or obligation.