Alex Hammond

Consular Policy Officer, British Embassy Vienna

Guest blogger for Leigh Turner

Part of UK in Austria

19th April 2021 Vienna, Austria

Update for UK nationals in Austria and a new Q&A session

EDIT: Thanks for all your questions. We will start publishing answers shortly.

If you are a UK national who was living legally in Austria before 1 January 2021, you need to apply for a new residency card before the end of 2021. Although you have until 31st December to do so, you should consider applying at the earliest convenient opportunity to get it out of the way. In the meantime, your rights to live, work, study and access healthcare in Austria are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

Registration opened at the start of January.  According to the latest figures from the Austrian government, by the end of February, more than a quarter of the 11,500 UK nationals in Austria had applied for the Article 50 card. This is a good start – especially in the context of covid lockdowns – but it means there are plenty of people who are yet to register.

One of our most important jobs in the coming months will be contacting British nationals in Austria who are harder to reach, for example people who are not online. If you know any British nationals who are offline or have not yet applied for a new residency card, please do mention it to them.

We appreciate the close cooperation with the Austrian government and the work of citizens groups including British in Austria, British in Europe and UK Citizens in Austria.

Here is a brief update on a couple of important topics:

Driving licences – deadline 30 June 2021

If you have lived in Austria since before 1 January 2021 and have not yet swapped your UK licence for an Austrian one, you have until 30 June to do so. This is because new rules from 1 January 2021 mean you have six months after arriving in Austria to do so. You can use your Austrian driving licence while visiting the UK.

Passports

If your British passport is expiring, this might be a good moment to renew it. You will need a valid passport when applying for the Article 50 residence card.

Buying property

We know that the right to buy property is a topic that is important to many of you. The regions have responsibility for property law in Austria and we are in the process of clarifying the situation with them. We will publish an update on our Living in Austria guide and embassy social media in due course.

Online Q&A 21 April

The team here at the embassy will be running a Q&A on Wednesday 21 April. We will publish a post on our facebook page where you can ask questions in the comments. The post will be open for comments for 2 hours from midday.

Please comment only on the original post and not on shares, because we cannot always see comments on shared posts. If you prefer not to use facebook, you can leave questions as comments on this blog post. We will publish the answers in the week starting 26th April. We will do our best to answer everything.

76 comments on “Update for UK nationals in Austria and a new Q&A session

  1. Hi Alex

    Changing DL >

    Got my medical done and opticians brille passe .. as I’m in Vienna Im seeing differing reports of appointments not being available until June or beyond .. at the appropriate offics and also seeing it being possible just to turn up ( very ) early in the morning and take a ticket .. yet others saying this is not possible … any clarity for Vienna specifically on what is possible as I dont want to miss the deadline

  2. I am a UK resident and each winter I work in Austria as a ski instructor as I hold Austrian ski instructor qualifications. As I essentially commute from the UK to Austria each winter could I be considered as a frontier worker?

  3. I am a British citizen and arrived in Austria in August 2020. I made an application for residence (Anmeldungbescheinigung), however, was informed that I would have to make an application in terms of Article 50 in 2021. This I did, and am now in possession of a Bestätigung über die antragstellung gemäß art. 18 abs. 1, which gives me the right of residence until a final decision has been made. My question is whether I require/ am entitled to a plastic residents card, which one do I need, and how do I go about applying for it?
    I would appreciate any input.

    1. Dear Jake,

      Thanks for your question. You do require a plastic Article 50 card, but the good news is that your “Bestätigung über die Antragstellung” is confirmation that you have applied for it! The next step will either be a request for further documents or receipt of the Article 50 card.

      Best regards,
      Embassy team

      P.S. if you know any British people in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards

  4. I have a question regarding driving licenses. I have already swapped my UK license for an Austrian one, but, as we have to renew UK driving licenses once we reach age 70, my Austrian license is only valid until that date. Are the Austrian Authorities aware that UK driving licenses have to be renewed when one reaches 70, and have they agreed that they will simply renew our Austrian licenses as is done in the UK? I.e that we fill in a form and submit it (assuming good health and eyesight etc). I’d be most grateful for some clarification on this, as nobody seems to have any idea on this. – some I’ve asked hadn’t even noticed the end validation date on their Austrian licenses. Thanks so much!

    1. Dear Gillian,

      Thanks for your question.

      There is no upper age limit on driving in Austria. Standard health checks apply to all ages when applying as a 3rd country national for an Austrian licence.

      You can find more about exchanging your UK licence for an Austrian one here: https://www.oesterreich.gv.at/en/themen/dokumente_und_recht/fuehrerschein/3/Seite.040500.html

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any British people in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards

  5. Hello,

    Thanks for this Q&A!

    I got married a few years back in the UK but haven’t yet officially taken my wife’s surname following the wedding, but I plan on doing that this summer by applying for a new passport. I got my Anmeldebescheinigung 2 years ago – so that has my current surname. When applying for the Article 50 card, will I need any extra documents (other than just the original English wedding certificate) to explain why the name on the new passport will differ to the name on the Anmeldebescheinigung ?

    Thanks!

    1. Dear Paul,

      Thanks for your question. The authorities where you apply will be able to tell you their requirements, but in general, it is important that names on documents match.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards

  6. Hi and thanks for doing this Q&A. Can you advise on the ability of Art 50 EUV holders employed by an Austrian company to travel to other European countries as part of their work e.g. to visit the company’s international offices, or the offices of clients.

    Will we need to obtain special permits/ visas etc. to do this from now on?

    Does this vary depending on the country being visited?

    If we are allowed to visit for work reasons without a visa, does this require us to use up our 90/180 days allowance in the EU? Can we instead opt to obtain a visa and save our allowance for personal trips?

    1. Dear Richard,

      Thanks for your question.

      You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.

      To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You will need to check the rules for each country you visit.

      Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards the 90-day visa-free limit.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards

  7. We are both retired and own a property in Salzburgerland. Last year, we obtained our Anmeldebescheinigungs as we intend to split our time between Austria and the UK, and may, occasionally, want to stay over 90 days at a time in Austria. The UK will remain our primary residence. We plan to apply for the Article 50 card later this year when we are able to travel to Austria.

    As the UK will remain our primary residence, I don’t believe that we need to apply for an Austrian driving licence? Is that correct? Is there any other action that as Anmelbescheinigung holders (and hopefully future Article 50 card holders) that we need to take? Many thanks for hosting this Q and A.

    1. Dear Richard,

      Thanks for your questions.

      If you are resident in the UK, you will be able to stay in the Schengen Area (which includes Austria) for 90 in any 180 days without a visa. You can read more about the Schengen visa here: https://www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein

      UK nationals and their family members who were lawfully resident in Austria before 1 January 2021 are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement and can apply for the Article 50 card until the end of 2021. To get the Article 50 card, you must be legally resident in Austria, not the UK, and would have to exchange your driving license before 30 June 2021. You can find more information about living in Austria on our Living in Austria guide: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria

      Best regards,

      Embassy team

  8. Hi there, I am a Masters student in Vienna – I moved from Scotland to Vienna at the start of October 2019 specifically to study for this two year Masters programme. I plan to complete the course by 30th September 2021, which is also the date on which my student EHIC expires. I have an Anmeldebescheinigung which I received in January 2020.
    My questions are:
    If I would like to stay in Vienna beyond the end of September 2021 – once I finish studying – am I allowed to do so, even if I am not studying or working, and even though the purpose of my move to Austria was solely to study?
    After I finish studying, am I allowed to look for work in Vienna, since I lived in Vienna prior to the U.K. leaving the EU?
    Am I allowed to apply for an Article 50 card to allow me to stay for 5 years?
    If I am indeed allowed to stay longer in Vienna, what healthcare cover am I entitled to once my EHIC runs out and I am no longer a student? I presume I should apply for Austrian state health insurance as I will no longer be entitled to healthcare covered by the U.K.?
    Many thanks.

    1. Dear Katie,

      Thanks for your questions.

      UK nationals and their family members who were lawfully resident in Austria before 1 January 2021 are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement and should apply for the Article 50 card before the end of 2021. A UK national’s residence rights under the Withdrawal Agreement are not affected when they change their status (e.g. from student to worker) as long as residence is in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement.

      Students who were studying in the EU but legally resident in the UK at the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) remain in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement for the duration of their studies.

      You can email the Austrian government’s Brexit helpline at service@bka.gv.at. This is the best point of contact if you want to find out about requirements and procedures in Austria.

      You can also find more information about living in Austria on our Living in Austria guide: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria

      Best regards,
      Embassy team

  9. Thanks for the chance to ask a question through this blog rather than through Facebook which I avoid at all costs. My question relates to driving licences. I recently reached the age of 70 when my original paper only UK licence expired. The Living in Austria website indicates that “If you are resident in Austria and your UK driving licence is lost, stolen or expires, you will not be able to renew it with the UK Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). You will need to apply to the DVLA for a ‘certificate of entitlement’ in German to be able to apply for an Austrian driving licence.” DVLA tells me they do not issue the certificate in any language other than English. Do the Austrian driving licence authorities accept the certificate in English or will I need a certified translation? Is there likely to be any problem with getting a new licence from the Austrian authorities now when my existing UK licence expired at the end of January 2021?

    1. Dear John,

      Thanks for your question.

      The Austrian authorities have the right to request documents translated into German, however, authorities may use their discretion were the document is clear to understand in English. We would recommend you check with your local authority, and if in doubt provide a translation to avoid delays.

      There is no upper age limit on driving in Austria. Standard health checks apply to all ages when applying as a 3rd country national for an Austrian licence.
      If your licence has expired or needs renewing you must have a certificate of entitlement from the UK DVLA in order to apply for an Austrian licence.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any British people in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards

  10. I’m concerned about the lack of infrastructure and process in Austria around the exchange of driving licences.
    There is no online appointment booking system, there is no application portal, there is currently an instruction not to telephone, and some individuals have been told to just turn up and hope you get seen.
    With the deadline for the exchange looming it feels like many are not going to get the opportunity to do this through the lack of supporting systems to allow it to happen

    1. Hello Leon,

      I applied for my Austrian Driving Licence swap last January by downloading and printing a form from the Austrian Police website via the Austrian Official website.

      I just turned up at main Police station without an appointment with the filled form, passport, proof of Austrian address, E-Card, passport photos and my old UK driving licence.

      They were very helpful. It cost abot 50 euros and I had it back within about a week.

      Hope this helps.

      Gary Whittaker (Linz)

    2. Dear Leon,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Local authorities are responsible for processing appointments and licence exchange. We are aware of delays in some regions, partly due to COVID restrictions. It is possible to apply to any licence authority (Verkehrsamt) to exchange your licence e.g. someone living in Vienna could also apply via Baden or Moedling.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any British people in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards

  11. Would it be possible to provide information about assistance for disabled people to assist their continued independent living. I have an elderly neighbour who I look in on, and think she could continue to live independently if we knew how we could help her.

    1. Dear Brian,

      Thanks for your message. There are a couple of services that might be helpful in providing assistance for disabled people, depending on which province you are in:

      The Austrian Disability Council (Österreichischer Behindertenrat) at Favoritenstraße 111/11, A – 1100 Vienna, tel +43 (1) 513-15-33, eMail: dachverband@behindertenrat.at; website: https://www.behindertenrat.at/about-us/ (including information in English)

      The Association Office for the Disabled (as well as war victims) represented in Vienna by the following office covering Vienna, Lower, Austria and the Burgenland:
      Kriegsopfer- und Behindertenverband für Wien, Niederösterreich und Burgenland
      1080 Wien, Lange Gasse 53
      Tel.: 01/ 406 15 86 – 0
      Fax: 01/ 406 15 86 – 12
      e-mail: kobv@kobv.at
      Homepage: http://www.kobv.at/wnb

      If you are in another province, we suggest you use either the KOBV website (in German) or to approach KOBV direct by email or phone.

      If your elderly neighbour is a UK national, please also encourage them to apply for the Article 50 card.

      Best regards,
      Consular Team

      1. Thanks for this – I was able to arrange for my neighbour to get her Article 50 card – will try the links you mention for both the Behindertenrat and KOBV – is the latter open to “civilians” or is it only former service people and their widows?

  12. I am a British national living in Austria since 2018 on a legitimationskarte as a spouse of a UN official (non-British, EU citizen).

    Kindly advise please whether I can apply for the Article 50 EUV card, along with our three British children, and exchange my UK driving license, while retaining my legitimationskarte and UK driving license.

    1. Dear SW,

      Thanks for your question.

      Holders of diplomatic legitimation cards can, but don’t have to, apply for another residency status in Austria, such as the Article 50 card (before 31 December 2021).
      Holding another residency status would lead to the legitimation card being changed to “limited immunity and privileges” (eingeschränkte Immunitäten und Privilegien) and would effectively provide the same privileges as an Austrian national doing the same job.

      The exact meaning of this would vary depending on which organisation you are accredited to, and you should contact the Human Resources department of your partner’s employer for further details. If you stay here for more than six months with an Article 50 card, you would have to exchange your driving license for an Austrian one – you cannot hold both at once.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

  13. First of all thank you for providing this Q&A, it is appreciated!

    We seem to have got two official processes for reporting issues related to the Withdrawal Agreement – Embassy “Contact Us” and the Austrian Federal Government “Brexit hotline”.

    Can you confirm what cross-sharing of information goes on between these two processes?

    Are we recommended to log queries on both systems or just one (how do we decide)?

    Do any of these processes have agreed SLA targets or average response times? I acknowledge there are difficulties due to Covid.

    Finally from an end user point of view, which one is the most effective at getting a speedy resolution to the problem (any statistics on either of these processes would be useful)?

    1. Dear Keith,

      Thanks for your question.

      The Government of Austria is responsible for implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in Austria, including residency applications. The Austrian government’s Brexit helpline is available at +43 (0) 800 222 666 or you can email service@bka.gv.at
      This is the best point of contact if you want to find out about requirements and procedures in Austria.

      They have also provided in-depth information on their website: https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/en/topics/brexit.html

      The Embassy is in regular contact with the Austrian authorities to discuss issues relating to the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.

      The FCDO’s consular team have a contact form that you can find here: https://www.contact-embassy.service.gov.uk/?country=Austria&post=British%20Embassy%20Vienna%20

      This is for consular enquiries and is the best way to get in touch if, for example, you have had issues regarding access to benefits or services since the end of the Brexit transition period. It is also for general consular enquiries about travel, documents and so on, if you can’t find the information on gov.uk. If you need urgent consular help (for example, you’ve been attacked, arrested or someone has died), call +43 (1) 716130 and follow the instructions.

      Regarding response times, we can only speak for the FCDO consular contact centre: the speed of the response depends on the urgency/complexity of the enquiry, but you will usually receive a response within 10 days.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      1. Would you like to clarify the statement “The Government of Austria is responsible for implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement in Austria”.

        Withdrawal Agreement – Article 37 (publicity)

        The Member States and the United Kingdom shall disseminate information concerning the rights and obligations of persons covered by this Part, in particular by means of awareness-raising campaigns conducted, as appropriate, through national and local media and other means of communication.

        As I understand it BOTH parties are responsible for the smooth implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement.

  14. Hi,
    I moved back to Austria with my family in December last year after a few years back in the uk. I have my anmeldebescheinigung and my bestätigung der meldung all before the end of last year. However because of covid19 I was unable to work. I am now being told that because I did not work I am not recognised as being a resident before the end of the transition period. We have been living in Austria since December on our own funds, with insurance etc. I have job offers

    1. Hi Timothy,

      I am in a similar situation to you and wanted to share my experience. As far as I know, in order to get the Anmeldebescheinigung, and later the Bestätigung, assuming you’re not retired, you have to either have a job or provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to not be a burden on the state (i.e. bank statements). If you received your documents without having a job, then I assume you provided bank statements, etc. For me, I had around £50,000 in my bank account and was approved. I have since got a job, and I started earlier this year, after the transition period.

      Can I ask, who is telling you that you are not recognised as being a resident? Some offices seem to be a little confused on the process (the HR department at my job needed a LOT of convincing, even after speaking to some authorities), so I would recommend contacting as many different authorities about it as possible. The UK embassy in Austria were always good when I needed help, as well as the MA-35 in Vienna.

      From my knowledge, at the end of the day, if you were approved for your Anmeldebescheinigung, your Meldezettel and the Bestätigung, you should be all good, and then only thing left would be to apply for the permanent residence permit in approximately 5 years time. The only problem I could see is if your funds have dipped too low in the meantime without having a job, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to check up on that.

      1. Dear JP,

        Thanks for your comment and for sharing your experience. Just to clarify (and only because it is not 100% clear from the last paragraph of your comment), it is essential to apply for the Article 50 card before the end of 2021, which would require a similar level of evidence to when you applied for your Anmeldebescheinigung.

        Best regards,

        Embassy team

    2. Dear Timothy,

      Thanks for your comment. UK nationals who have exercised their freedom of movement in Austria before 1 January 2021 are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

      When you apply for the Article 50 card, the Austrian authorities can ask for evidence that you have exercised free movement rights – this would be a similar level of evidence to when you applied for your Anmeldebescheinigung. The Interior Ministry have confirmed to us that if you have a job or good prospects of starting work, there should be no issue with getting an article 50 card.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

  15. How and under what circumstances are our Article 50 cards recognized by other EU member states, should any UK citizen wish to live somewhere other than Austria?

    1. Dear Anders,

      Thanks for your question. The Article 50 card is evidence of residency status in Austria and it is important that you bring it with when travelling. It does not, however, affect your right to residency in other EU countries. UK nationals living an EU Member State will be treated as third-country nationals if moving to another Member State. You should explore the precise details and provisions within the relevant country’s domestic immigration system.

      We recognise that onward movement rights are an important issue for UK nationals in the EU, however, these were not protected in the Withdrawal Agreement.

      The UK pushed strongly for the inclusion of onward movement rights during the first phase of negotiations on citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement, but the EU was not ready to include them.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  16. I’ve got my 5 year Art 50 EUV card safely. In February 2022 I will have been here five years. Can I change to a 10 year card then, or only in around early 2026 when my current card is close to expiry? And how will the procedure be handled? We were considering a year travelling around the world at some point once safe to do so, and the 10 year card would help me not have to clock watch about losing residence.

    1. Dear Nathan,

      We have raised this question with the Interior Ministry who confirmed that you can apply for the 10-year card as soon as you meet the criteria. They advised us that initial applications for status would be prioritised over renewals where there is still a long validity on the original status, so it may take longer to issue the new documents. For further questions, please contact the authority that issued your card.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any Brits in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their plastic Article 50 card.

  17. Hi
    How is the information going to reach people with disabilities (e.g. people with sight issues), or those with no FB access? Will a national media campaign take place to inform/ remind people?
    What, if any, community groups, beyond the BiE/A, or UKinA, groups, are involved and how can members of the public help?

    1. Dear JR,

      Thanks for your comment.

      We have been working hard to reach UK nationals in Austria in recent years, to inform them that they need to take action to secure their residency rights. The embassy has run 20+ outreach events around Austria, with the participation of the Austrian government, and a number of online sessions. We ensure that online sessions can be accessed outside of facebook (this blog post is an example of that).

      Our Living in Austria guide on gov.uk (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria) contains key information about living in Austria and is being supported by a digital campaign.

      Regarding national media, a campaign is indeed ongoing. Here is a press release from earlier in the year that was picked up by various outlets: https://www.ots.at/presseaussendung/OTS_20210125_OTS0159/vizebuergermeister-wiederkehr-ueberreicht-oesterreichischen-aufenthaltstitel-an-erste-von-rund-5000-britinnen-und-briten-in-wien.

      We will continue to push to get the message to UK nationals in Austria as the year goes on and the 31 December deadline approaches.

      The most important thing members of the community can do is talk to each other. It sounds simple, but the act of telling others about your own experience – and the need to apply for a new document – can make a real difference.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

  18. We have had a secondary residence in Austria for 7 years and having arrived for this visit in December decided we would stay. We are not working and are financially independent but not of state pension age yet.
    We applied for Article 50 cards early in March and were told we qualified for a 10 year card. All we had to do was convert our Nebenwohnsitz to Hauptwohnsitz and go to the Gesundheitskassa for health insurance. The first was no problem, just a quick visit to the Gemeinde and it was done.
    Health insurance on the other hand is causing problems, we have been asked to provide forms that we have no access to from HMRC (turned out they have to ask for this by post) and I have provided them with an Overseas Legislation Letter for each of us. Basically no one seems to know what the correct documentation is and how to get it, can you clarify what these requirements should be?
    In the meantime we have bought private insurance but would like to get this sorted out so residence permit can be issued and then we can get on with changing driving licences etc.

    1. Further to the above I have received post this morning that is saying I have to wait 6 months, what is going on?

    2. Dear Chris,

      Thanks for your comment. We are sorry to hear about your situation. The Overseas Legislation Letter is proof of the non-exportability of UK healthcare cover – this is a requirement for voluntary insurance with Austria’s Krankenkassen – while HMRC can confirm your NI contributions.

      If after providing the Overseas Legislation Letter and documents from HMRC you still have difficulty accessing voluntary insurance in Austria, you can contact the NHS Overseas Healthcare team: https://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/contact-us/overseas-healthcare-services-contact-us

      Our guidance on accessing healthcare is here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-in-austria

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any British people in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  19. Now having my Article 50 EUV Card, i want to ask what the Situation is when I return to Wales for a holiday and may need Medical Treatment of some sort. Am I covered automatically being a British Citizen?

    1. Dear Lionel,

      Thanks for your question. You should always get comprehensive travel insurance when travelling.

      Access to NHS treatment depends on your personal situation, but if you have an Austrian-issued EHIC card, you can use that to access the NHS when you are visiting the UK. This is on the back of your ecard.

      There is more information on this page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/healthcare-for-eu-and-efta-citizens-visiting-the-uk#uk-nationals-who-no-longer-live-in-the-uk

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  20. Dear Alex/Leigh,
    Although I have a shared residence in Austria (Bestätigung Der Meldung, Wien) but as yet I do not have a residency permit. The EU citizen residency application was put forward to the Magistrate MA35 in December 2020, and accepted by them. I was advised to continue with the obtaining the EU citizen permit, and then converting to the UK, Article 50 permit during this year. Is that still good advice? Are the MA35 likely to grant an EU citizen permit to a UK citizen post-BREXIT, despite the application being accepted late in the pre-BREXIT era?

    1. Dear John,

      Thanks for your question. Please apply for the Article 50 card now. The advantage of having the old Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts (for EU/EEC citizens) would have been a small cost saving, but, as of 1 January this year, it’s no longer available to UK nationals. When you apply, please inform the Austrian authorities that your application for the older document is still open.

      You can find more information about applying for the Article 50 card on our website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria#visas-and-residency

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their cards.

      1. Dear Embassy TEAM,

        Thank you for your prompt and straightforward reply to my question. Very helpful and much appreciated.

        Best Regards,

        John

        Copy Question and Reply:

        20th April 2021 at 9:27 am
        Dear Alex/Leigh,
        Although I have a shared residence in Austria (Bestätigung Der Meldung, Wien) but as yet I do not have a residency permit. The EU citizen residency application was put forward to the Magistrate MA35 in December 2020, and accepted by them. I was advised to continue with the obtaining the EU citizen permit, and then converting to the UK, Article 50 permit during this year. Is that still good advice? Are the MA35 likely to grant an EU citizen permit to a UK citizen post-BREXIT, despite the application being accepted late in the pre-BREXIT era?

        Reply
        Avatar Embassy team says:
        28th April 2021 at 9:03 am
        Dear John,

        Thanks for your question. Please apply for the Article 50 card now. The advantage of having the old Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts (for EU/EEC citizens) would have been a small cost saving, but, as of 1 January this year, it’s no longer available to UK nationals. When you apply, please inform the Austrian authorities that your application for the older document is still open.

        You can find more information about applying for the Article 50 card on our website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria#visas-and-residency

        Best regards,
        Embassy Team

  21. Hello and thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. Are legitimation card holders entitled to a Article 50 card? I am currently working for the United Nations in Vienna and have held a legitimation card for over 5 years now. I do not hold any other residential document. Thank you for the support.

    1. Dear Steven,

      Thanks for your question.

      Holders of diplomatic legitimation cards can, but don’t have to, apply for another residency status in Austria, such as the Article 50 card (before 31 December 2021).

      Holding another residency status would lead to the legitimation card being changed to “limited immunity and privileges” (eingeschränkte Immunitäten und Privilegien) and would effectively provide the same privileges as an Austrian national doing the same job.

      The exact meaning of this would vary depending on which organisation you are accredited to, and you should contact the Human Resources department of your employer for further details.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

  22. Hi, I have a Legitimationskarte and would like to check I can keep it if if I apply for an article 50 card.

    1. Hello,

      Thanks for your question.

      Holders of diplomatic legitimation cards can, but don’t have to, apply for another residency status in Austria, such as the Article 50 card (before 31 December 2021).

      Holding another residency status would lead to the legitimation card being changed to “limited immunity and privileges” (eingeschränkte Immunitäten und Privilegien) and would effectively provide the same privileges as an Austrian national doing the same job.

      The exact meaning of this would vary depending on which organisation you are accredited to. Please contact the Human Resources department of your employer for further details.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

  23. Article 21 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives. Both Austria and UK are signatories to this Declaration. Whilst it is vague on which country is considered mine (Austria where I am resident or UK as I am a UK Citizen) it says I have a basic right to a vote. As I left UK over 20 years ago I no longer have a right to vote in the UK and since the change of status in Austria following BREXIT I no longer have the opportunity to vote in Austria. Basically then I am being denied the rights enshrined in Article 21 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As the interface between Austria and UK the embassy is clearly the place that should make sure the necessary changes are made in one or both countries to ensure they return to compliance. Please tell me the plans to do this – and the timescales in which it will be achieved.

    1. Dear David,

      Thanks for your comment. The UK Government intends to scrap the arbitrary rule that prevents British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from participating in UK parliamentary elections.

      The UK government are considering the appropriate legislative vehicle to deliver votes for life, which is a manifesto commitment, and will make an announcement on its intentions in due course.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any Brits in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  24. I applied for my Article-50 card in January and I received the Bestätigung certificate but, as yet, no card.
    I moved to Vienna late last year with my EU wife and children who applied for their Anmeldebescheinigung.
    We have since learned that, due to our circumstance of being a mixed UK and EU family, our applications have been handed over to the local MA35 (Einwanderung für die Besirke: 12,13,15,und 23.).
    I had not expected our application to be handled differently or for it to be forwarded to a separate entity. I have been trying to contact this local MA35 for clarification but I haven’t received a response.
    Is this normal behaviour for applications to be forwarded to the local MA 35? I couldn’t find any information about this part of the process.
    Thank you for setting up this Q&A forum.

    1. I can resolve the question instantly about your application being passed on to another “Referat” of MA35 (in this case it is one of the six district sub-offices within MA35, who are also assisting Referat 5.2 in the post-appointment appraisal). If you do contact an Aussenstelle, always ensure you quote the Geschäftszahl on your Bestätigung der Antragstellung as otherwise they will have to log receipt of your e-mail in a separate file and then attach it to your file. From 500+ feedback forms to Britishinaustria.net, I can confirm this process is normal, and can reassure you that it has not been handed to a different entity (they are two Referate of the same entity…)

      1. Dear Matthew,

        As Mike says in the comment above, this is nothing to be concerned about. MA35 has various offices around the city where documents may be processed.

        Best regards,
        Embassy Team

        P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  25. I was previously advised that one cannot hold a legitimationskarte and a residency permit at the same time, which means that one would have to surrender the legitimationskarte upon receipt of a residency permit. Does the same apply for the Art. 50 card, or can both be held concurrently?

    1. Dear Steve,

      Thanks for your question.

      Holders of diplomatic legitimation cards can, but don’t have to, apply for another residency status in Austria, such as the Article 50 card (before 31 December 2021).

      Holding another residency status would lead to the legitimation card being changed to “limited immunity and privileges” (eingeschränkte Immunitäten und Privilegien) and would effectively provide the same privileges as an Austrian national doing the same job.

      The exact meaning of this would vary depending on which organisation you are accredited to. Please contact the Human Resources department of your employer for further details.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

  26. Having registered my second child’s birth, I tried to apply for their British passport, and the International Version of the Austrian birth certificate was not accepted, whereas it was for my elder child’s passport application. And now we are told that we need to submit a certified translation of the Austrian birth certificate. We found an obliging translator, who said this is not the first time someone has mentioned this issue to him. Is this a temporary issue, or is all paperwork likely to require certified translations in the future. Do they have to be translated by a translator here in Austria, who is on a list (we found a list through gerichtsdolmetscher.at) or can a UK certified one do it for use with British authorities?

    1. Dear Jack,

      Thanks for your question. Her Majesty’s Passport Office (HMPO) do change their requirements from time to time. If you can’t find the information you are looking for on their website (https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-adult-passport/what-documents-you-need-to-apply) you can contact them directly on +44 (0) 300 222 0000.

      HMPO’s guidance says documents “should be provided by a translator registered with an official organisation such as the Institute of Linguists or the Institute of Translation & Interpreting. A translator who is employed by a recognised Translation company the latter being a member of the Association of Translation Companies is also acceptable… An official translation prepared overseas may be accepted provided the examiner is satisfied that the translator is a member of an official body in their own country”

      Best regards,
      Consular Team

  27. Happy to report that I received the new Artikel 50 Aufenthaltstitel finally on 31 March. On the exchanging my driving licence issue, I submitted all required documents to the Verkehrsamt on 19 February 2021 and was told I would hear about an appointment date by e-mail. Two months later and nothing heard. I may be out of the country for May and June, and therefore lose out on an appointment opportunity. Would I then be subject to taking a practical driving test or other restrictions if the matter is not finalized by June 30, 2021 ? Thank you.

    1. Dear Yvonne,

      Thanks for your question.

      Austria’s transport ministry have confirmed to us that your entitlement to exchange a valid UK licence for an Austrian one without taking a test does not expire and your licence can be exchanged at any time. However, the right to drive on your UK licence in Austria ends 6 months after taking up residency, therefore you should not use your UK licence to drive on Austrian roads after June 30 2021 as you would be using an invalid licence [like driving on a damaged or out of date licence] and could be subject to a penalty.

      You can find more information about exchanging your driving licence here: https://www.oesterreich.gv.at/en/themen/dokumente_und_recht/fuehrerschein/3/Seite.040500.html

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any British people in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards

  28. Receiving and sending parcels to and from the UK seems to be a lottery. Is there a definitive guide as to what to advise UK citizens in Austria sending parcels to the UK, and similarly to prevent us having a nasty surprise when collecting a parcel from our local post office, for example what thresholds exist for customs, how should gifts and used items be valued, and what items should not be posted in either direction?

  29. Should I inform the British Embassy of my new address, as when I was living in Vienna I worked practically opposite the Embassy. Last year I moved out of Vienna, onto the countryside, but have not informed the British Embassy as yet?

    1. Dear Michael,

      Thanks for your question. There is no need to inform the embassy of your new address. Please make sure you apply for your new Article 50 card in time.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  30. As British nationals protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and awaiting our residence cards, my husband and I have been advised that we are to be treated as 3CNs for the purpose of seeking permission to buy a main residence in Salzburgerland. Our lawyer has advised us that he will charge us EUR 3,000 to apply for permission, and that permission will be granted only if we can prove that we require a main residence for the purpose of pursuing a business in Austria. We cannot satisfy this condition as we are retired. This is causing us considerable worry and potential expense. It seems wrong that, on the one hand we are told that we have the right to equal treatment and indefinite residence in Austria, but on the other hand, we are unable to buy a main residence. This is unfair/illegal discrimination. When will this be resolved?

    1. Dear Christine,

      Thanks for your comment and we are sorry to hear about your situation. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the right to equal treatment. This means that UK nationals who were living in Austria before 31 December 2020 and continue to live here must be treated similarly to host state and EU nationals.

      Tyrol has already updated its property law to refer to holders of the Article 50 card. We have contacted all other regions to request that they clarify the status of UK nationals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

      While we cannot say exactly when this will be resolved, we are working on it, and will publish more information on our digital channels once available.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  31. Hello and thank you for the opportunity to ask a question. Due to the current instability, I have unfortunately been required to change employer this year and expect to do so again by the summer.

    The application form for the article 50 card ends with a signed declaration from the applicant to confirm that the information is correct.

    One clause reads “Wenn sich eine Angabe aus diesem Formular ändert, muss ich das sofort der Behörde melden! Ich
    muss das schriftlich machen. Ich muss alle wichtigen Unterlagen mitschicken.”

    Since a previous section asks whether one is employed, studying, in a family, or a private individual – with corresponding documents required – Does this mean I must inform them when my employer changes, or rather if I were to become unemployed or a student – just for example?

    Thanks for the help!

    1. Dear Ricky,

      Thanks for your question. Please check this with the authorities when you apply – they are responsible for issuing residency statuses and can give you a definitive answer.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any British nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  32. I know that property rights are primarily a provincial issue; however I believe that there is a Federal oversight of these laws.
    Could you please take this opportunity, to express in public what the official Embassy/FCDO view is on this, for the benefit of those Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries who have already experienced issues AND additional cost. Also in what timeframe do you expect a resolution to this issue?
    This applies to individuals that are Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries and Austrian businesses that are also owned by Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries.
    Also any hints and tips for them in the meantime!

    1. Just to clarify the question above relates to Property Rights in Austria for Withdrawal Agreement beneficiaries. I and others are looking for something a bit more than the holding position.

      1. Dear Keith,

        Thanks for your comment. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the right to equal treatment. This means that UK nationals who were living in Austria before 31 December 2020 and continue to live here must be treated similarly to host state and EU nationals.

        Tyrol has already updated its property law to refer to holders of the Article 50 card. We have contacted each other region to request that they clarify the status of UK nationals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

        While we cannot say exactly when this will be resolved, we are working on it, and will publish more information on our digital channels once available.

        Best regards,
        Embassy Team

        P.S. if you know any UK nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

        1. Thank you for at least putting something in the public domain.

          According to my records I actually logged the original Property query on 5th February 2021 (ENQW237151) which means the Austrian Consular team have been aware of this issue for over 80 days.

          You say that you have contacted each region, but that implies that you have not contacted anyone at a Federal Level yet. The Grundbuch itself is a Federal Matter (see research document provided), have you contacted them?

          We have Covid restrictions being lifted soon, it is Spring and so house hunting season starts.

          At this point in time, you have no specific advice for anyone (no hints and tips)?

          Should British Citizens experiencing difficulties with property purchase contact you or the Austrian Government Brexit hotline? If it is you, how can people ensure the query is sent direct to your CRO team (so they get the full picture)!

          Your Italian colleagues have updated their Living in Italy guide and appear to be making progress
          https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-italy#accommodation-and-buying-property

          Some sort of update to your Living in Austria guide would be useful!

          Is this a priority issue for the Embassy?

          1. I would like to echo the concerns of Mr Davies. We are currently in the process of buying a house in Lower Austria and it is still unclear if we will be required to apply for special permission as third country nationals or whether we are exempt under the terms of the withdrawal agreement. Do you have any advice for us at present? Should we apply for this permission, or should we ignore it? Will be be prevented from buying a house at the last hurdle due to an issue which has yet to be clarified?

  33. My wife and I have applied for our Art 50-EUV cards and are trying to buy a “Hauptwohnsitz” new-build house in Salzburgerland. Our lawyer has advised us that, as “3CNs”, we must seek permission to buy, which will only be granted for a Hauptwohnsitz if we can prove that we need it in order to pursue a “domestic profession” in Austria. We are both retired.
    We signed the Kaufangobot last September and the Kaufvertrag is currently being prepared for signature. How long will it be before our right to buy (if any) is “clarified”?

    1. Dear Richard,

      Thanks for your comment and we are sorry to hear about your situation. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the right to equal treatment. This means that UK nationals who were living in Austria before 31 December 2020 and continue to live here must be treated similarly to host state and EU nationals.

      Tyrol has already updated its property law to refer to holders of the Article 50 card. The embassy have contacted all other regions to request that they clarify the status of UK nationals in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

      While we cannot say exactly when this will be resolved, we are working on it, and will publish more information on our digital channels once available.

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any Brits in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their Article 50 cards.

  34. I applied for permanent residency (having lived in Austria as an EU citizen for more than five years) in early 2019 to try to get ahead of this whole thing, but they needed some extra documents and I didn’t start hearing back about it until December 2020. Now (after needing yet more documents, which I sent) they’ve gone quiet again. My understanding is that if I get the permanent residency, it won’t be valid in itself but I can exchange it for a 10-year Article-50 card for free rather than paying something to get a 5-year Article-50 card. Is it safe to wait to hear about this and then apply for the Article 50 card later, or should I forget about the permanent residency thing and apply for the Article-50 card now?

    1. Dear Angela,

      Thanks for your question. Please apply for the Article 50 card now. As you say, the advantage of having a Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts would have been a small cost saving, but, as of 1 January this year, it’s no longer available to UK nationals. When you apply, please inform the Austrian authorities that your application for the older document is still open.

      You can find more information about applying for the Article 50 card on our website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria#visas-and-residency

      Best regards,
      Embassy Team

      P.S. if you know any British nationals in Austria – especially anyone who is not online – please encourage them to apply for their cards.

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About Leigh Turner

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of…

I hope you find this blog interesting and, where appropriate, entertaining. My role in Vienna covers the relationship between Austria and the UK as well as the diverse work of the UN and other organisations; stories here will reflect that.

About me: I arrived in Vienna in August 2016 for my second posting in this wonderful city, having first served here in the mid-1980s. My previous job was as HM Consul-General and Director-General for Trade and Investment for Turkey, Central Asia and South Caucasus based in Istanbul.

Further back: I grew up in Nigeria, Exeter, Lesotho, Swaziland and Manchester before attending Cambridge University 1976-79. I worked in several government departments before joining the Foreign Office in 1983.

Keen to go to Africa and South America, I’ve had postings in Vienna (twice), Moscow, Bonn, Berlin, Kyiv and Istanbul, plus jobs in London ranging from the EU Budget to the British Overseas Territories.

2002-6 I was lucky enough to spend four years in Berlin running the house, looking after the children (born 1992 and 1994) and doing some writing and journalism.

To return to Vienna as ambassador is a privilege and a pleasure. I hope this blog reflects that.