Working as a Researcher in Austria

Are you a third-country national with a PhD/doctorate or Master’s degree giving you access to a PhD/doctoral programme? Do you have a long-term (more than six months) job offer for scientific work as a researcher for a recognised research facility in Austria? In this case, the Settlement Permit – Researcher (“Niederlassungsbewilligung Forscher”) could be a suitable residence permit for you.

The Settlement Permit – Researcher targets third-country nationals who want to pursue

  • scientific work
  • for a research facility in Austria
  • within the context of a specific research project
  • after getting an advanced academic degree (at least a Master’s enabling participation in a doctoral programme).

For this purpose, a hosting agreement (“Aufnahmevereinbarung”) between the research facility and the researcher must be concluded, amongst other prerequisites.

The Austrian Exchange Service (“Österreichischer Austauschdienst - OeAD”) provides comprehensive information and tailored advisory services for researchers and students on the issue of residence permits at no charge.  

What is a research facility?

State-run universities

Certified private universities and private research facilites

Research facilities operated by a state-run institution

List of certified research facilties and research facilites which do not require certification

You must also receive a specified minimum salary because of your work at the research institution in order to be able to prove that you can cover the costs of your stay in Austria. Another option is to prove that you have other financial means at your disposal (e.g., private funds) to cover the costs of your being in Austria.

You will not work for a recognised research facility?

Is the Settlement Permit – Researcher not an option for you because, for example, you will not work for a recognised research facility? In this case, under certain circumstances (depending on your qualifications and planned activity), a Red-White-Red – Card (“Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte”) or Blue Card (“Blaue Karte”) could be an attractive alternative for you.  

More information about the Settlement Permit - Researcher



Family reunification

Short stay in Austria as a researcher

If you would like to work as a researcher in Austria for less than six months, you can apply to the Austrian representative authority (embassy/consulate) in your country of residence for a Visa C for Gainful Employment (“Visum C zu Erwerbszwecken“ for stays of up to 90 days) or a Visa D for Gainful Employment (“Visum D zu Erwerbszwecken” for stays of between 91 days and a maximum of six months).

In any case, you will need a visa for gainful employment purposes if you want to work in Austria as a researcher, even if you are otherwise permitted to enter the country without a visa. You can begin your research work immediately after entering the country.

You can apply to the Austrian representative authority for a visa no earlier than six months before the planned date of entering the country but at least four weeks beforehand.

If your future employer is a state-run university, a research facility operated by the state or a certified research facility, and this research facility presents the following documents on your behalf to the Austrian representative authority in your country of residence:  

A simplified process is applied for you entering the country, staying within the country’s boundaries and the prompt commencement of work.  

You will then promptly get a special appointment to appear before the Austrian representative authority and submit an application for the issuing of a visa for gainful employment (Visa C or Visa D). If the simplified process should also apply to your family members, the Declaration of Commitment must also encompass your family members too.

If you are already in the Schengen Area with a residence permit from another Schengen country, you can only apply for a visa to enter Austria to the Austrian representative authorities in Bratislava, Ljubljana and Munich.

Do you have questions that have not been covered?

Our experts offer support before, during and after immigration and permit extension processes. We are happy to answer all your questions and to support you, your family and your future Austrian employer every step of the way. As ABA Work in Austria has an official mandate by the Austrian Government, all our services are free of charge.

Contact us

Relocation to Austria

Do you want to know how health insurance works in Austria? Are you looking to inform yourself about the Austrian school system? Our own ABA Relocation Service happily provides you with information about life in Austria!

ABA Relocation Service