Information about Law for Foreigners

Services of the Department of Right of Residence in the Municipal Offices of the Provincial Capital of Linz. Individual counseling/Information about possibilities and preconditions for immigration.

  • Documentation about entitlement to residency for citizens of EEA countries and Switzerland.
  • Granting limited leave to remain and indefinite leave to remain according to the Law on Residence and settlement in Austria for foreigners who do not come from EEA countries.
  • This office is the place to turn to for persons whose main residence is in Linz.

Important !!!
The application form (first application or extension) for a residency title can be obtained from the Municipal Authorities of the City of Linz.

BürgerInnenangelegenheiten und Stadtforschung
(Civic affairs and City Research)
Department Right of Residence
Hauptstraße 1-5, Neues Rathaus
Eingang Fiedlerstraße, 4041 Linz

Tel.: +43 732 7070
aufenthaltsrecht@mag.linz.at

Opening hours:

  • Monday and Thursday: 7 - 12.30 p.m. and 1.30 - 6 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 7 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 7 a.m. - 12 noon
  • Friday: 7 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Personal interview:

  • Monday and Thursday: 7 a.m. – 11.30 a.m. and 1.30 - 4.30 p.m.
  • Tuesday 7 a.m. - 12.30 p.m.
  • Wednesday 7 - 11 a.m.
  • Friday: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Please make an appointment!

Applicant for political asylum: Person who has made an application for the recognition of refugee status, which is currently being examined.

Persons granted subsidiary protection: These are persons whose applications for political asylum have been denied, but their life or health would be endangered if they were deported to their native countries. They are therefore neither applicants for political asylum nor persons entitled to political asylum (refugees in the sense of the Geneva Convention), but they need protection from deportation, for example for the following reasons: Threat of torture, inhuman or humiliating punishment or treatment, death penalty.

Recognized refugee or convention refugee: A person who was granted political asylum by the Austrian state in the sense of the Geneva Convention on Refugees, when they fled their native country for one of the following reasons:

  • Political persecution: e.g. people who are threatened because they belong to or support a partyor because they have expressed their political opinion.
  • Religious persecution
  • Persecution because of race, ethnic identity or nationality
  • Persecution because of belonging to a certain social group: E.g. because of homosexuality, belonging to a particular professional group, or for specifically female reasons (circumcision, violation of conventions of a patriarchic society or threat of violence for the maintenance of the “honor of the family“)

Since January 1st 2006 the Law for Asylum 2005 (AsylG) has been in effect. The Law for Asylum 2005 can be found at: www.ris.bka.gv.at/Bundesrecht » Suchwort » Asylgesetz » Suche starten

Bundesamt für Fremdenwesen und Asyl (BFA) 
(Federal Office for Matters Concerning Foreigners and Asylum, short BFA)

Derfflingerstraße 1, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 59 133

General Information

Citizens of third countries, that is ones that do not belong to the European Economic Area (EEA), who want to remain in Austria for more than six months, need a residence permit (either a limited leave to remain or an indefinite leave to remain). First applications from citizens of third countries have to be made abroad at the offices of the responsible consular authorities.

Citizens of EEA countries and Switzerland do not need a residence permit. They have to apply for a confirmation of residence (documentation of the right to stay) at the responsible office within four months after moving to Austria.

Attention: Citizens of Croatia are subject to certain restrictions in respect to their access to the Austrian job market. At the following website you can find information about the new and old EU countries, for example when they joined, their populations, their surface areas, currencies, etc. The candidates for membership are also listed: www.europa.eu

Residing in Austria for up to six months:
For stays in Austria of up to six months months the conditions of the Austrian Aliens Act (FPG) apply. You can find them at the following website: www.ris.bka.gv.at 

When you invite relatives or acquaintances, the aliens police will help you make an application.

Residing in Austria for longer than six months:
If the stay in Austria is for longer than six months, the conditions of the Law on Residence and Settlement in Austria (das Niederlassungs- und Aufenthaltsgesetz - NAG) apply. They can be found at the following link: www.ris.bka.gv.at.

Kinds of residence permits

The following kinds of residence permits exist:

  • Settlement permit leave to remain for a given period of time – “Niederlassungsbewilligung”)
  • Permanent residence permit – (permanent leave to remain – “Daueraufenthalt”)
  • Temporary leave to remain (“Aufenthaltsbewilligung”)

Residence permits are always granted for a particular purpose (e.g. without the right to work). The foreigner can only alter the purpose of the residence permit if he (she) fulfills the preconditions for the new kind of residence permit that he (she) is applying for and a quota place is available (if one is required).

Please consider: The residence permit comes in the format of a credit card.

Attention: It is not allowed to submit an application with various purposes for residence or to submit more than one application at a time.

Red-white-red card
In 2011 a system of immigration on the basis of criteria and qualifications was created. It functions on the basis of points that are granted according to predetermined criteria. The Red-white-red card (RWRKarte) is especially intended for highly qualified specialists in professions for which there is a need in Austria, other key workers, persons who have completed university studies and self-employed key persons. The card is generally issued for one year, but under certain conditions it can be altered to another kind of permission to stay.

Further information about the Red-White-Red card can be found online at www.help.gv.at »Leben in Österreich » Aufenthalt und Visum » Aufenthaltstitel » Aufenthaltstitel - befristete Niederlassung » „Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte“.

Validity of Residence Permits 

Temporary leaves to remain 

Temporary leaves to remain are generally issued for 12 months. The following exceptions do, however, exist:

  • Starting with the third permit, residence permits for up to 36 months can normally be issued (this does not constitute an exception, but is a general rule).
  • Researchers can be granted a leave to remain for up to 24 months.
  • A blue EU card can be granted for up to 24 months.

Unlimited leave to remain

If your leave to remain is a ”Daueraufenthalt – EU (permanent residence-EU)“, your right to remain is unlimited; the card is valid for five years. In the case of unlimited permits the card must be renewed after five years so that the photo and data can be brought up to date. The residence permit “Unlimited leave to remain – EG” can be granted to persons after five years of continued settlement in Austria, upon fulfillment of the general prerequisites (see below “ general prerequisites for granting residence permits“), and German language knowledge at level B1.

Costs: limited leave to remain: 120 euros; unlimited 170 euros (Status 2015).

It is necessary to pay 100 euros (for adults) or 70 euros (for minors) of this amount at the time the application is submitted. Chilodren born in Austria who are less than two years old are freed from these fees.

The validity of a residence permit begins on the date when it is issued. If the application for an extension is submitted on time and the residence permit is granted, the person concerned is considered to be legally residing in Austria without any interruptions.

At www.help.gv.at » Leben in Österreich » Aufenthalt und Visum » dem Amtshelfer im Internet, all of the conditions for residence in Austria can be found. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can turn to the HELP-Team. You can reach the HELP-Team at the e-mail address: info@help.gv.at.

General prerequisites for obtaining residence permits

Secured ability to support oneself financially

The authorities can only grant a residence permit if the foreigner has a regular source of income during his/her stay, so that no financial burden is imposed upon the State or a regional or local authority (federal state, province, municipality). It is assumed that the applicant’s means are sufficient, if they at least amount to the “standard rate for the compensatory allowance”.

At www.help.gv.at » Leben in Österreich » Finanzen » Pension » Zulagen und Beihilfen » Ausgleichszulage, you can find the standard rate for the compensatory allowance. 

Health insurance

During his/her stay in Austria the foreigner must have a health insurance which covers “all of the risks” and is valid for Austria. The foreigner can chose whatever insurance he/she prefers.

A place of residence

At the time he/she makes the application the applicant must have a claim to a place to live (for example a rental contract) which meets local standards for a family of the same size as that of the applicant. 

Please consider: An unpaid place to live which a person can be compelled to leave at any time does not meet this requirement, since the foreigner has no claim to reside there. This kind of arrangement can, for example, be terminated without a notification period. 

The applicant does not present a danger for the public order or security

Residence permits may not be given to a stranger, if

  • the concerned person is currently prohibited from entering and staying in Austria according to § 52 Fremdenpolizeigesetz (FPG), for example due to a prohibition that was issued in the country he/she comes from because of an illegal sojourn in Austria or because of a prohibition to return or a prohibition to remain in Austria that is still in effect or
  • because of a prohibition of entry into another EEA state or Switzerland, or
  • because she/he has been deported, or
  • because she/he concluded a bogus marriage, bogus adoption or bogus partnership;
  • because the duration of the allowed stay (either with or without a visa) was exceeded, or
  • because she/he has been legally convicted of evading border controls or of illegal entry into the territory of the federal state within the last 12 months.

Further information about the topic “General prerequisites for the granting of residence permits” can be downloaded from www.help.gv.at » Leben in Österreich » Aufenthalt und Visum » Aufenthalt Drittstaatsangehörige » Allgemeines zum Aufenthalt von Drittstaatsangehörigen

Extending a residence permit

To obtain an extension of his (her) residence permit, a foreigner has to fulfill certain prerequisites in addition to those required for the granting of the residence permit:

  • Fulfillment of the integration declaration within two years: it serves to enable the integration of foreigners who are legally staying in Austria and aims at having them acquire a profound knowledge of the German language. A basic knowledge of German for an elementary usage of the language is a prerequisite for the first residence permit.
  • Up until the present legal residence in Austria with a residence permit

You can obtain further information on this topic: http://www.bmi.gv.at/cms/bmi_niederlassung/

Österreichischer Integrationsfonds
(Austrian Integration Fund) 
Integrationszentrum Oberösterreich
(Integration Center of Upper Austria)

Weingartshofstraße 25, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 732 787043 11
oberoesterreich@integrationsfonds.at
www.integrationsfonds.at

Important!

The application for extension has to be made on time, however at the earliest three months before the residence permit expires. Applications made at later times are treated as first applications.
If you make your application too late, you might no longer be entitled to remain in Austria and might have to submit your application personally from abroad.


Attention!

  • Applications submitted after the residence permit has expired are only regarded as applications for extension if the foreigner can plausibly demonstrate that an unforeseen or unavoidable event prevented him/her from submitting the application for extension on time and that he/she is not, or only slightly, at fault, and that 
  • an additional application was made within two weeks after removal of the cause of non-compliance.

Further information about the application for extension (Verlängerungsantrag) can be found at: www.help.gv.at » Leben in Österreich » Aufenthalt und Visum » Aufenthalt Drittstaatsangehörige » Erteilung von Aufenthaltstiteln - Verlängerungsauftrag

Classical “family reunifications“ with a citizen of a third country who is legally residing in Austria (foreigners who are not EEA citizens) are confined to the so-called “nuclear family“. That includes marital partners, registered partners and unmarried minor children (including adopted children and step children) of the applicants. Marital partners or registered partners must be at least 21 years old.

As far as minority is concerned, the Austrian laws are decisive: they state, that persons are minors until the age of 18. The family reunion can be either subject to or not subject to a quota, depending on the legal status of the persons who are to be reunited. Besides, the kind of residence permit that is required, the purposes for which residency is granted and the duration of the first permit depend upon the legal status of the persons who are to be reunited.

For marital partners, registered partners and minor children of citizens of third countries who have settled in Austria a “limited leave to remain“ is granted if a quota place is available and the following general prerequisites have been fulfilled:

  • Proof of having a place to live that meets local standards
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to support oneself (ASVG standard rates)
  • Proof of a health insurance that covers all risks
  • There are no obstacles to granting a permit
  • Proof that the integration language course A1 has been successfully absolved

A dependent employment is only possible after a permission to obtain employment has been obtained. The conditions for family members of Austrians, EEA citizens and Swiss citizens are different. The family members are obligated to fulfill the “Integration Declaration”.

www.help.gv.at » Leben in Österreich » Aufenthalt und Visum » Aufenthalt Drittstaatsangehörige » Integrationsvereinbarung. 

Further information about the topic “family reunification“ can be found at

www.help.gv.at » Leben in Österreich » Aufenthalt und Visum » Aufenthaltstitel » Aufenthaltstitel – Familienangehöriger.

Immigration associations in Linz

In Linz there are a number of independent (ethnic and intercultural) immigrant associations that are organized by people from various countries for various purposes: for sports, culture or mutual support and counseling. Information about them can be obtained from the authorities responsible for associations. The one which is competent for associations in Linz is the Federal Police Department of Linz, which also can provide information on how to found associations.

Landespolizeidirektion Oberösterreich 
(Provincial Police Department in Linz)
Gruberstraße 35, 4021 Linz
Tel.: +43 59 133 40 0
LPD-O@polizei.gv.at

Integrationsbüro der Stadt Linz 
(Integration Office of the City of Linz)
Hauptplatz 1, 4020 Linz
Tel.: +43 732 7070 1150
integration@linz.at
www.linz.at/integration

The Federal Ministry of the Interior will do targeted online queries about any association free of charge with the help of its Central Registry for Associations: http://zvr.bmi.gv.at.