Visa requirements for visiting Austria

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From strolling through wildflower meadows and trekking high Alpine peaks to stand-up paddling on sparkling glacial lakes and watching noble Lipizzaner horses dance at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, Austria offers holiday activities galore for nature, sports and art lovers.

Located in the heart of Europe, with excellent transport links, Austria is an easily accessible place. You can book a flight or train trip to Mozart’s homeland in seconds; It may take a bit longer to browse through the different types of visas for travelers from different parts of the world.

Here is everything you need to know about obtaining a visa for Austria.

Do I need a visa for Austria?

It depends on where you are from. In addition to being a member of the European Union (EU), Austria is part of the Schengen area, a network of 26 European countries that have agreed to abolish internal border controls. If you are a citizen of another Schengen country, you can come and go almost as you please.

Austria’s membership in Schengen is also useful for travelers outside the region. If you get a visa for any country in the Schengen zone, it also allows you to travel to one of the other Schengen countries, making it easy to combine a trip to Austria with visits to neighboring states such as the ‘Germany and Italy.

The complete list of countries in the Schengen area is: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.


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Coffee and cake in a Viennese cafe is a rite of passage in Austria © Inspired By Maps / Shutterstock

Visa-free travel to Austria

Citizens and legal residents of EU or European Economic Area countries (and Switzerland) do not need a visa to visit Austria for a maximum of 90 days. However, you must still have a valid European Union passport or identity card while in the Schengen area.

Visa-free entry is granted to citizens of many other countries. Visitors from the United States of America, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, New Zealand, Israel, United Arab Emirates and Singapore can also enter Austria visa-free for up to 90 years days.

Holders of biometric passports from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine can also enter Austria without a visa, as can holders of passports from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Região Administriva Especial de Macau and Taiwanese. passports.

Traveling from UK

Although they have left the European Union, tourists with a valid UK passport can still travel to Austria visa-free for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

If you wish to stay for a period ranging from 91 days to six months, you will need to apply for a Schengen visa “Visa D”. The Austrian Embassy in the UK has contracted out its visa services to the external agency VFS Global – their website has details on the application process and the organization of visa appointments.

Skier on a steep slope at Ktzsteinhorn in Austria
Austria is a year-round destination, but the Alps take on their full meaning in winter © Alexander Rochau / Shutterstock

Visas for Austria

People traveling to Austria who do not meet the visa waiver criteria will need to apply for a short-stay Schengen visa known as the “Visa C” visa. Valid for 90 days, it can be issued for single, double or multiple entries.

The request costs € 80 (approximately US $ 93) for adults and € 40 (approximately US $ 46) for children aged 6 to 12. You will need a passport issued within the past 10 years, valid for at least three months after your departure date, with at least two blank pages.

You will also need to complete and sign an application form and provide a 35mm x 45mm color passport photo that meets ICAO guidelines. The other requirements are:

  • A biometric record of your fingerprints (if not collected in the last 59 months)
  • A copy of the passport page with your photo
  • Copies of all previous Schengen visas
  • Proof of continued transport – for example a flight or train reservation (presentation of tickets actually paid for is not required).

Visa applications must be lodged with the Austrian embassy or consulate in your country of residence within six months – and no later than 15 calendar days – before you intend to start your trip. Visa applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the process can take between 15 and 30 days. Unless issued in English, supporting documents must include a German translation.

Can I extend my visa?

If you plan to stay in Austria for more than 90 days, you can apply for a Schengen D visa (national visa). This visa class allows its holder to stay in the country for up to six months and also covers international student visa requirements for Austria.

Alternatively, you can apply for an extension of the short-stay Schengen visa. Getting a visa extension is fairly straightforward if you have a single entry visa and entered the Schengen area after the validity date of your original visa. The authorities are generally willing to grant an extension of stay for the total duration granted on your original visa.

It is much more difficult to get an extension for personal, humanitarian reasons or because of force majeure (a force majeure event – for example, a natural disaster).

You must apply for your visa extension before it expires, and we recommend that you start the process at least one week before that date. Visa extension requests are handled by the police department of the Austrian province you are staying in and cost € 30 (approximately US $ 35).

The application process can take up to a month. You are allowed to stay in Austria during this period, but you cannot travel to any other Schengen country. If your visa is not renewed, you will be asked to leave Austria within 48 hours at your expense.

Two children jumping into lake Zell am See on a summer day
In summer all eyes are on beautiful lakes such as Zell am See © a4ndreas / Shutterstock

Working holiday visas for Austria

Austria offers working holiday visas valid for up to 12 months for travelers aged 18-30 from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Israel, Chile, Japan , New Zealand, Republic of Korea and Taiwan (sometimes called Chinese Taipei for visa purposes).

These visas allow you to enter Austria and work for local companies during the validity period of the visa. Applications for a working holiday visa should be submitted through the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs. Full details of the requirements for different countries are listed on the ministry’s website, but the requirements typically include:

  • A duly completed D visa application form
  • A biometric passport photo that meets ICAO criteria
  • A valid passport
  • Proof of health, accident and travel insurance covering the entire duration of the stay
  • Sufficient funds to cover expenses incurred at the start of the stay
  • Proof of onward travel (either a ticket or proof of sufficient funds to purchase a ticket)


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