Moving to Austria

When planning to move (back) to Austria, the following section providing information, practical advice and referrals to relevant authorities and institutions may prove useful:

Registration in Austria
In line with the Registration Act, persons who establish their residence in Austria are required to register their place of residence within three days with the competent authority (municipal office or Municipal District Office). For more information, please see HELP.gv.at.

Health Insurance
The principle of compulsory health insurance cover applies in Austria. Every person taking up work (employed or self-employed) is automatically covered by health insurance and his/her dependants are covered by co-insurance under the health insurance scheme. For comprehensive information on this topic, please visit the website of the compulsory social insurance institution.

Pension insurance
Persons who have acquired pension insurance periods both in Austria and abroad need to contact the insurance institution in order to clarify the requirements for claiming pension benefits. For EU Member States, EEA Member States, Switzerland or contracting states special provisions apply. For more detailed information, please visit the website of the pension insurance institution.

Job search / unemployment
Eligibility requirements for receiving unemployment benefits have to be clarified with the regional branch office of the labour exchange (AMS – Arbeitsmarktservice, Public Employment Service Austria) responsible for the region in which your principal residence is located. Unemployment benefit may then also be claimed from a regional branch office. For more detailed information, please visit the website of the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS).

Social benefits
Detailed information on social benefits is provided on the website of the Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection.

Household effects
For further details on customs regulations to be observed when importing personal property, effects and vehicles to Austria, please visit the website of the Federal Ministry of Finance.   

Motor vehicles
Before being able to register your vehicle with the vehicle registration office operated by the insurance companies, you are required to take out liability insurance. For detailed information on motor vehicle import, type approval, registration, number plates, etc. please see HELP.gv.at.

Driving licence
For comprehensive information on validity and/or converting a foreign driving licence to an Austrian driving licence, please see HELP.gv.at.

Bringing pets to Austria
For detailed information and provisions on bringing pets to Austria, please visit the website of the Federal Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium für Gesundheit).

Schools and education in Austria
When families with school-age children move to Austria, it is advisable that they contact Austrian school authorities and school administrations as soon as possible regarding enrolment in Austria (grading tests) in order to avoid problems with adjustment or schooling.
More detailed information is provided on the website of the Federal Ministry for Education and Women’s Affairs.  

Foreign university degrees and professional qualifications
The website www.berufsanerkennung.at provides practical information on the recognition of professional qualifications and details of the relevant contacts with regard to recognition of qualifications and university degrees acquired abroad. 

General

Except for cases where Austrians abroad are transferred to Austrian nursing care institutions because they lack the necessary means (destitution) to support themselves, there is no central contact that provides organisational and/or financial assistance to Austrians abroad who wish to relocate to Austria. It is thus necessary to contact each of the authorities separately with regard to the handling of the related administrative matters.

Austrians, who were either born abroad or wish to return to Austria after having resided abroad for many years, may contact the Austrian Integration Fund,  which provides initial advisory services.

NB: Please note that the Integration Fund is able to provide only advice and counselling services to Austrians abroad and – in contrast to spouses who do not hold Austrian citizenship – cannot grant funding (for example for German language courses).