Since Austria joined the EU in 1995, EU citizens do not require any kind of Visa or residence permit, the same applies to citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss citizens. Visitors from non-EU/EEA, regardless for the time spent in Austria, require a visa as well as passport obligation, when entering Austria.
Like every other bureaucratic act in Austria applying for a Visa is complex and requires preparation to go smoothly. Depending on your country of origin the requirements may differ, but it is strongly advised to start the registration process before you come to Austria, because, regardless of where you are (EU or Non-EU) you are required to register with the Austrian Authorities at a local police station within three days of your arrival.
EU-Citizens do not require a visa or stay permit, and also no work permit, but if they want to stay longer than 3 months they are obliged to apply for a EWR-Lichtbildausweis (an ID-card). If you do not have a job your residence permit will expire after 6 months, if you work in Austria you are allowed to stay for 5 years.
For non-EU citizens the process of gaining residence and work permission is more complex and includes different steps, depending on the length of your stay. Remember, All Visa applications have to be issued from outside Austria. There are three types of Visa:
Air Transit Visa (A Visa)
Generally stop-overs at airports require no VISA application, but citizens of some countries have to apply for an A Visa, even if they stay in the transit zone of the airport. More Information
Travel Visa (C Visa)
For a duration of 90 days tourists may visit Austria with a C Visa, which permits only visitation and is no work permission. It also grants permission to visit other Schengen states including: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden as well as the non-EU members Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
For the Class C Visa the following documents are required: 1 passport – size photography, passport with validation for at least 6 months, booking confirmation/travel document, hotel booking confirmation or invitation, proof of sufficient funds and proof of health insurance.
Austrian National Visa (D Visa)
If you plan a longer trip to Austria (>90 days) you can get a D Visa, which allows the applicant to stay for 180 days, which also permits short-term employment under special circumstances (i.e. artists or entertainers)
D Visas can only be permitted by Austrian representation authorities outside of Austria.