Schengen Visa

Austria acceded to the Schengen Convention on April 28th 1995.

The Schengen countries are: Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Italy, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, as well as non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

EU member states benefit from its membership to the Schengen Area in many ways. The elimination of internal border controls involves increased freedom and security for the citizens and is counterbalanced by more efficient controls at the external borders as well as by other measures at the internal borders, e.g. mobile border surveillance and intensified interconnectivity of police work.

Attention: You need to carry along a travel document (passport) and, if required, visa  for crossing internal Schengenborders. Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) are also allowed to travel with a valid ID card.

Nationals of EU member states, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland do not require a visa for entering the Republic of Austria. All other nationals require a visa in order to enter the Schengen Area or the Austrian territory. For stays of up to 90 days per 180 days these individuals require a Schengen visa, given that they do not take up employment.

Both information regarding special rules applicable for Family members of EU/EEA nationals and the Visainformationsystem (VIS) can be found on the homepage of the European Commission.

Nationals of countries which signed bilateral or multilateral agreements on the abolition of visa requirement, are visa-free if they stay in Austria for a maximum period of 90 days and do not take up employment.  

According to Appendix 2, Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 nationals of the following countries are visa-free (non-committal information!):  

 

Albania  Malaysia  
Andorra  Mauritius
Antigua and BarbudaMexico
Argentina  Moldova
Australia  Monaco
Bahamas  Montenegro
Barbados New Zealand
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nicaragua
Brazil   Panama
BruneiParaguay
Darussalam Peru
Canada Saint Kitts and Nevis
Chile Saint Lucia
ColombiaSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
Costa RicaSamoa
Dominica San Marino
El SalvadorSerbia
Grenada Seychelles
GuatemalaSingapore
Holy See Taiwan
Honduras Timor-Leste
Hong KongTrinidad und Tobago
Israel United Arab Emirates
Japan United States of America
Korea, Republic (South)Uruguay
Macao Vanuatu
MacedoniaVenezuela

            

Since 5 April 2010, the Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code) is a directly applicable European legal basis for the issuance of visas for transit through the Schengen Area or for short-term stays in the Schengen Area of up to 90 days per 180 days.

The Visa Code regulates the procedures for the issuance of visas, which need to be verified by the representation in the course of the visa process. The competent representation decides on each application individually, with due regard to the circumstances of the particular case.

There is no legal entitlement to the issuance of a Schengen visa. The following prerequisites for issuing a visa need to be verified by the representation:

  1. Credibility and traceability of the travel purpose to Austria
  2. Funding of living and travel expenses of one’s own income or assets
  3. Willingness of the holder of the visa to leave the Schengen Area prior to the expiration of the validity of the visa
  4. Submission of a travel medical insurance with a limit of liability of at least 30.000 Euro and which is valid for the entire Schengen Area and throughout the stay

If it is not feasible to provide evidence for self-financing, it is possible to verify the funding by submitting an Electronic Guarantee Letter by a resident in Austria.

You can find details concerning the Electronic Guarantee Letter on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior of Austria.

Individuals whose entry in the Schengen Area could be a threat to the public order in the Schengen-states, or who do not fulfil one or more of the stipulated prerequisites for the issuance, cannot get a visa.

Schengen visas have to be applied for at the relevant Austrian representation which is competent for the residency of the applicant. In case that there is no representation of Austria in the home country of the applicant, it is also possible to request a Schengen visa at a Schengen embassy which is representing Austria.

Please note that the representing Schengen embassies possibly do in general not accept the Electronic Guarantee Letter which has been submitted in Austria. What type of declaration of commitment is approved by the representing Schengen embassies needs to be inquired directly at the respective Schengen embassy.

Entry documents (Einreisetitel) are issued as uniform visas, whose issuance requires in general a personal interview of the applicant in the consular department of the representation. Visa applications can be processed at the earliest three months prior to the start of the journey and they should be submitted at the latest three weeks ahead of the start of the journey.  

A decision on a visa application is only possible after the payment of the consular fee and the submission of all documents requested by the consulate. The fee for a visa application for a period of validity of up to 90 days is in general 60 Euro.

For children between 6 and 12 years and nationals of Russia, Armenia, Georgia, Kosovo and Ukraine the fee is 35 Euro. The administrative fee has to be paid on application and is not reimbursed in case of rejection.

Travellers can receive the visa application form at any representation free of charge. The forms which can be withdrawn from this website are also eligible for submission at the competent Austrian representation.

If the applicant does not have sufficient means to fund the planned stay, the representation may still grant the request in accordance with the Aliens Police Act (Fremdenpolizeigesetz), if the applicant submits an Electronic Guarantee Letter by a host with main residence within the federal territory. Herewith the host agrees to bear all costs which could occur to legal entities by the stay of the invitee, even if the stay exceeds the duration of invitation.

The Electronic Guarantee Letter has to be submitted at the locally competent state police department (Landespolizeidirektion) on presentation of requested evidence of the financial standing (proof of income and other funds, possible lease agreements, other charges).

In order to ensure rapid processing of your application, foreign-language documents should in addition be submitted in German or English (can be changed/waived for some documents by certain consulates) translation. Delays in the processing of applications could arise, due to increased effort of examination of non-translated documents. The documents should be translated by a person who has sufficient command of the German or English language. Inaccurate translations could lead to misconceptions and in the worst case to the dismissal of the application.

Necessary requirements:

  • Completed and signed application form
  • Passport picture meeting the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation)-criteria (color, 35x45mm)
  • Passport (must provide at least two empty pages; the first issue date of your passport must not be more than 10 years ago and the passport must be valid for at least three months after the expiry of the applied visa).
  • In some representations applicants must submit biometric data (ten fingerprints taken flat and digitally scanned)
  • Copy of passport’s data sheet (containing the passport picture)
  • Copies of previous Schengen visa, if any
  • Travel itinerary/reservation (It is not required to submit a prepaid ticket!)
  • Travels by car: driver’s licence, green insurance card, certificate of approval
  • Travel, health and accident insurance (limit of liability at least 30.000 Euro and return journey) valid for the Schengen Area. Family members of citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland who exercise their right of free movement of persons are exempted from this requirement.
  • For students: confirmation of enrolment (Studienbestätigung)
  • For retirees: proof of entitlement for retirement benefits (Pensionsbezugsberechtigung)
  • Notarised letter of authority of parents of underage children, who travel unaccompanied by their parents.

 

In addition further documents are required:

1.)     Tourist travel

  • Hotel or package holiday reservation
  • Proof of sufficient financial means

 

2.)     Business travel

  • Invitation signed by the inviting company using company stationery in the original (or company fax/company mail to the embassy/consulate), which contains travel purpose, travel date, name, date of birth and passport number of the invitee.
  • Proof of employment issued by the employer, if required
  • Self-employed: commercial register report or the like
  • If the applicant cannot provide evidence for having sufficient funds: eight-figure ID-number of the Electronic Guarantee Letter. Comment: The Electronic Guarantee Letter has to be signed by the host at the locally competent state police department.

 

3.)     For travels with the purpose of (private) visit

  • Evidence of the applicant’s economic, domestic and social entrenchment in his home country
  • Written invitation or
  • If the applicant cannot provide evidence for having sufficient funds: eight-figure ID-number of the Electronic Guarantee letter. Comment: The Electronic Guarantee letter has to be signed by the host at the locally competent state police department.

 

4.)     Transit

  • Copy of the connecting-visa (if required)
  • Copy of the airticket, trainticket, etc.

 

Please contact the competent Austrian representation in case you need further detailed information.

For the relevant legal basis please see the website of the European Union.