Living abroad

This chapter provides a wide range of useful information and advice when planning longer stays abroad, including practical guidance and links to relevant authorities and institutions.

On 1 November 2014 the Austrian public administration took a major step towards further reducing red tape and administrative hurdles, especially for Austrians who live abroad. Since this date, access to the information provided by the Zentrale Personenstandsregister (central civil status registry) has also enabled Austrian embassies and consulates-general to issue Personenstandsurkunden (civil status documents). The representation authorities thus no longer have to obtain these documents from Austria. Thanks to the data retrievable from the Zentrale Personenstandsregister and the Zentrale Staatsbürgerschaftsregister (central register of Austrian nationals), documents providing information saved in these two registers often no longer have to be submitted in paper to the Austrian authorities.

In future, opportunities provided by Handy-Signatur (electronic signature via mobile phone) will enable Austrians living abroad to conduct transactions with Austrian authorities from their home or when travelling. A pilot project involving the registration of foreign mobile phones was launched at the end of March 2014 and will gradually be expanded.

The opportunities provided by modern telecommunication technologies now enable quick and reliable telephone or email contact with all Austrians abroad. This is particularly important in the event of a crisis or a disaster and may save lives or at least facilitate the provision of efficient help and assistance by the Austrian representation authorities. Prior registration with the relevant Austrian embassy or Austrian consulate-general is, however, a prerequisite.