Miscellaneous (Residency Registration, Schools etc.)
A. Residency Registration:
According to the Austrian Registration Act of 1991, all individuals taking up residence in Austria have to report their name and address to the local authorities (city, town, village) within three days by means of a special form (Meldezettel).
Since 1999/2002, the Euro has been legal tender in Austria (as in fifteen other member countries of the European Union).
Please be advised that Schilling banknotes and coins are no longer legal tender but still redeemable. They may be exchanged at the
Austrian National Bank
Otto Wagner Platz 3
or at any of its branches located in the federal provinces. The exchange rate is fixed at 1 € = 13.7603 ATS.
Austria has an excellent public educational system. American children may attend Austrian schools the language of instruction of which is German. Private schools with instruction in German are available at all levels at reasonable rates.
There are two English-language schools in Vienna: The American International School and the Vienna International School. The former provides instruction up to grade 12 and follows the American system. The latter is comparable to the former but operates on the British system.
The American International School Salzburg is the only American boarding school in Austria. The school provides a college-preparatory (grades 7-12) education to students from around the world. The curricular program is American and the International Baccalaureate diploma is available.
D. Health insurance:
Although the cost of medical services and hospitalization is still considerably lower in Austria than in the United States, health insurance coverage is highly recommended.
In general, persons employed in Austria and their immediate family members are covered by public health insurance. Further, individuals both receiving a pension from the Austrian Social Security Administration and residing in Austria are also covered by public health insurance. After establishing residence in Austria, a small portion of the pension is being withheld for this purpose. Special regulations apply to self-employed persons.
Persons not automatically covered by public health insurance can register themselves for public health insurance by paying a monthly fee. Please be aware that there is a six-months waiting period before coverage is actually provided.
E. Purchase of real estate:
Purchase (but not inheriting) of real estate in Austria by non-EU nationals is restricted. Jurisdiction in matters of real estate transactions remains with the provincial (Länder) governments. In general, real estate purchases by non-EU foreigners are either prohibited or have to be approved by a governmental commission. Any real estate agent in Austria should be able to provide you with the details of local requirements and conditions.
All real estate transactions in Austria have to be recorded in the real estate registers (Grundbuch), kept at federal district courts. Purchase of real estate is subject to a purchase tax of 8 percent or 2 % for close relatives of the value. A property tax and a real estate tax are levied annually on the assessed value of the real estate. Detailed information on this kind of taxation is best obtained from the local revenue offices (Finanzämter) in Austria.
The electricity supply in Austria is alternating current, 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Outlets have a maximum connection load of 2,000 watts and are two wire single phase.
Appliances for 110 or 120 volts at a maximum charging rate of 20 amperes (approx. 2,000 watts) may be operated by using stepdown transformers of 220/110 volts connected to each outlet, provided that these transformers have two separate windings which will eliminate any danger of electric shock. Such transformers, which are required by the Austrian Electric Safety Code, are available but only at high cost. American lamps can be used by simply inserting adequate bulbs.
G. Recognition of qualifications
There are no uniform rules in Austria for formal recognition of qualifications from abroad. The respective procedures are regulated in numerous federal and provincial laws.
The procedure applied for recognising qualifications (degrees) from abroad depends on the area for which the qualification is needed. A distinction is made between recognition of professional qualifications, the recognition of school and skilled trade certificates as well as the recognition of academic degrees.
The website www.berufsanerkennung.at will help you find the right application office or advice centre to suit your personal needs with just a few clicks.
H. A Guide for Expats
You will find an interesting information guide for emigration, employment and leisure time facilities here.