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Austria revised its immigration policy by introducing a new admission system for immigrants. After entry into force of the new red-white-red card (RWR card) in July 2011, the inflow of citizens from non-EU Member States will be subject to specific criteria, while immigration quotas, as applicable at present in Austria will be abolished to pave the pave for Blue Cards.

The "rigid quota system" not taking into account the job qualifications of immigrants will be "replaced by a criteria-driven system".

The RWR card is granted on a points-based system. RWR card holders gain the right of abode (also known as permanent residence) and labour market access (Permission to lawfully seek and engage in paid employment or establish a small business).


Criteria that have to be met to achieve a specific number of points are occupational qualifications, education, language skills, age, etc. If these criteria are satisfied, immigrants are allowed to settle down and work in Austria. The previous quota system is no longer applied, and the entire system of residence is restructured in accordance with the new rules.

Three groups may apply for RWR cards:

·          Highly Qualified Migrants (e.g. management, medicine, IT)

·          Qualified Migrants in scarce occupations (nurses, milling cutters, tinsmiths – the respective "scarce occupations" are defined according to demand)

·          Labour/Average Qualification

In addition, a "RWR card plus" will be introduced. It will grant unrestricted labour market access and offer prospects for permanent residence in Austria to the specialised work force and top professionals. The card will be issued for family members (e.g. of the specialised skilled workers), in cases of residence for humanitarian reasons and for people with residence permits. It may also be claimed by persons previously holding RWR cards and "EU Blue Cards".

Top professionals and specialised workforce immigrating to Austria on the basis of the RWR-card system are not required to have knowledge of German before their arrival. Different rules will apply to family members of immigrants: dependants of top professionals of the first pillar (highly qualified university graduates) do not have to speak German before coming to Austria. Family members of the second (scarce occupations/top qualifications) and third pillar (other key labour/average qualification) must have at least basic German language skills. Procedures to extend residence are facilitated for persons learning the language during their stay in Austria.


If you are an employer or placement agency based in the EU & you would like to recruit overseas staff on the blue card or Recruit from India, Britcanaus Immigration provides a range of services right from short listing suitable staff to processing their blue card. All you have to do is give us your requirement; we take care of the rest.

You may send your specific requirements at query@britcanaus.org.

EU Countries including Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy are expected to see further declines in their working age populations in future. Increasing immigration from outside the EU is needed to deal with skills shortages.

Businesses are pushing to open up the labor pool. Increasingly they maintain that new graduates and more skilled workers from outside of the EU are needed to sustain and increase economic growth.

For more information regarding any of our services, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.