Austria Startup Visa / Red-White-Red Business Residency

As a third-country national you can apply for a Red-White-Red Card for start-up founders if you

  • establish a company in order to develop and launch on the market innovative products, services, processing methods or technologies 
  • to that end submit a consistent business plan for establishing and running that company
  • personally exert a controlling influence on the management of the newly set-up company
  • prove capital for the company to be founded amounting to € 50.000 minimum with an equity share of at least 50 %
  • can score 50 points minimum according to the following criteria
Red-White-Red Business Residency

Eligibility criteria for start-up founders:

Points

Qualification

Maximum allowable points: 30

Completed vocational education/training or special know-how or skills in the prospective occupation

20

Completed program of a minimum duration of three years at an institution of tertiary education

20

Completed diploma program or Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctor’s degree program or vocational education/training in Austria

30

Work experience according to qualification maximum allowable points: 10

Work experience (per year)

2

Language skills

Maximum allowable points: 15

German: intensified elementary use of the language (A2 level)

5

German:  independent or intensified independent use of the language (B1-B2 level)

10English: intensified independent use of the language (B2 level)10German: competent use of the language (C1-C2 level) 15Bonus points

Maximum allowable points: 30

Evidence of additional investment capital of € 50.000 minimum

10

Admission to a business incubator or funding by a start-up funding agency in Austria

10

Age up to 35 years10

Sum total of maximum allowable points:

85

Required minimum:

50

Where to file the application?

Where to file the application?

You are supposed to lodge your application for a Red-White-Red Card personally with the competent Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) in your home country or country of residence.

Which documents to submit?

  • Valid travel document (e.g. passport) 
  • Birth certificate or similar document acknowledged by the Austrian authorities 
  • Photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) not older than six months 
  • Evidence of locally customary accommodation (e.g. lease contract, preliminary agreement on tenancy rights or ownership evidence) 
  • Evidence of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy) 
  • Evidence of adequate means of subsistence (investment capital or sufficient own assets, insurance benefit certificates, evidence of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits)
  • As evidence of completed vocational education/training: relevant certificate or diploma 
  • As evidence of special know-how or skills
    • testimonial or training report and 
    • work certificate
  • As evidence of a completed program of a minimum duration of three years at an institution of tertiary education:
    • document furnishing proof of successful completion of that program and
    • document reflecting the status of the university or other institution of tertiary education
  • As evidence of a completed diploma program or Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctor’s degree 
  • program or vocational education/training in Austria:
    • document furnishing proof of successful completion of that program or
    • apprenticeship certificate
  • As evidence of work experience:
    • testimonial and
    • work certificate
  • As evidence of language skills in German or English: an internationally recognized language diploma or language course certificate furnishing proof of these skills
  • Evidence of investment capital including available equity
  • As evidence of admission to a business incubator or funding by a start-up funding agency in Austria a contract with the relevant institution 
  • A business plan and documents as evidence of the innovational character of products, services, processing methods, and technologies
  • As evidence of controlling influence on the management of the newly set-up company the articles of association of the company, except for one-person companies
  • Evidence of the qualification necessary for the self-employed professional activity: 
  • craft authorizations (Gewerbeberechtigungen), where necessary (if already available)

The authority may also require you to submit other documents on a case by case basis.

For example, many authorities require the submission of an extract from police records (or a certificate of good standing) in case of first-time applications. If this is submitted with the application it can help to speed up the application procedure.

PLEASE NOTE:
Originals and copies of all documents and certificates must be presented. For a better analysis, the competent authorities may demand English or German translations, if the documents are not in German or English, and they may possibly demand legalized versions of the documents.

Issue of PermitThe residence authority will forward your application including all submitted documents to the Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice, AMS). The AMS will issue within three weeks’ expertise on the macroeconomic benefit of the intended professional activity, in particular regarding the transfer of investment capital and/or the creation and the securing of jobs. If the conditions are met, the AMS will send a positive opinion to the residence authority. The residence authority will issue a Red-White-Red Card if all general requirements (such as adequate accommodation according to local standards, health insurance, etc.) are fulfilled.