Third-country citizens who are to take up employment in undertakings as key workers due to their qualifications, may apply for a Red-White-Red Card valid for twelve months if they fulfil the following requirements

  • The prospective employer will pay the statutory minimum salary:
    • For key workers over 30 years of age: € 2,790 (2015) gross monthly pay plus special payments (holiday and Christmas pay)
    • For key workers under 30 years of age: € 2,325 (2015) gross monthly pay plus special payments (holiday and Christmas pay)
  • No equally qualified person registered as a jobseeker at the Public Employment Service (AMS) can be placed (labour market test/Arbeitsmarktprüfung
  • The key workers reach a minimum of 50 points according to the following list of criteria:
Eligibility criteria for key workers Points
Qualifications Maximum of allowable points: 30
Completed vocational education/training or special know-how or skills* in the prospective occupation 20
General eligibility for admission to a university 25
Completion of a programme with a minimum duration of three years at an institution of tertiary education 30
Work experience according to qualification Maximum of allowable points: 10

Work experience (per year)

Work experience in Austria (per year) 4
Language skills Maximum of allowable points: 15

German: elementary use of the language on a basic level (A1 level), or English: independent use of the language (B1 level)


German: intensified elementary use of the language (A2 level), or English: intensified independent use of the language (B2 level)

Age Maximum of allowable points: 20

Up to 30 years of age

Up to 40 years of age 15
Sum total of maximum allowable points: 75
Bonus points for professional athletes and professional sports coaches 20
Required minimum: 50
* Key workers with special know-how or skills do not have to furnish proof that they have completed formal training (e.g. musicians, designers or professional athletes)  

Where to file the application?

The application for the Red-White-Red Card can either be filed personally with the Austrian representation (embassy or consulate) for the applicant’s country of residence or by the potential employer with the competent residence authority in Austria, which can be the Provincial Governor (Landeshauptmann), the authorised Regional Administrative Authority (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) or the Local Administrative Authority (Magistrat). An employer’s declaration (Arbeitgebererklärung) has to be submitted along with the application.

Persons who are permitted to enter Austria under a visa-free regime or already have a valid residence title may also file their applications with the competent residence authority in Austria.

Example “Other key workers

A company wants to employ a Director of Sales and has found no suitable person for this specific job in the Austrian labour market. The Canadian applicant for this position is 43 years old, a university graduate and has over 9 years of work experience. His native language is English. He receives 30 points for completing studies, 10 points for work experience and 15 points for his language skills. As he is over 40 years old, he does not receive any points for his age. Since he would receive 55 points and therefore exceed the minimum number of points, which is 50 points, he can apply for the Red-White-Red Card.

Image courtesy of WKÖ

Which documents to submit?

  • Valid travel document (e.g. passport)
  • Birth certificate or similar document
  • Photo (dimensions: 45x35mm) which is not older than six months
  • Evidence of locally customary accommodation (e.g. lease contracts, preliminary agreement on tenancy rights or ownership evidence)
  • Evidence of health insurance covering all risks (compulsory health insurance or equivalent insurance policy)
  • Evidence of adequate means of subsistence (payslips, pay certificates, employment contracts, insurance benefit certificates, evidence of retirement or other pension or insurance benefits, investment capital or sufficient own assets)

The following documents have to be submitted for examination of the individual criteria under the points system (see above):


  • Certificate or diploma of completed vocational education/training
  • Proof of eligibility for admission to university (Matura, Abitur, matriculation certificate)
  • Certificate furnishing proof of general eligibility for admission to university


  • Document furnishing proof of successful completion of a three-year programme at a university or another institution of tertiary education
  • Document reflecting the status of the university or other institution of tertiary education

Work experience

  • Testimonials and work certificates

Language skills

  • Language diploma or language course certificate at the A1 or A2 levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages for German or the B1 or B2 levels for English. German language diplomas and certificates may in particular be obtained from the following institutions: ÖSD, Goethe-Institut, Telc GmbH, Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF)
  • The following diplomas and certificates are in particular recognised as evidence of proficiency in English: Cambridge Certificate, TELC, IELTS diploma, TOEIC diploma, TOEFL diploma.

Professional athletes or professional sports coaches

  • Testimonials and work certificates


Originals and copies of the above-mentioned documents must be submitted. For easier review, the authority may require the documents to be translated into German or English; possibly, certified versions of documents may be required.

When will a Red-White-Red Card be issued?

Key workers who hold a Red-White-Red Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus with the competent residence authority in Austria (Provincial Governor, authorised Regional Administrative Authority or Local Administrative Authority) if they were employed in accordance with the criteria decisive for eligibility for a minimum of ten months during the preceding twelve months.

The Red-White-Red Card plus entitles the holder to fixed-term settlement and unlimited labour market access.

Further information on the Red-White-Red Card plus can be found here.

Further information and useful links


  • Red-White-Red Card: €100
  • Costs of personalization (photography and signature): €20


Laws and provisions