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How do I work in Austria?

 
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rmesser



Joined: 21 Jun 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject: How do I work in Austria? Reply with quote

Does anyone have any experience or know about the laws in Austria to allow an American to work. I am aware that normally I would need a work permit (which from what I understand are a nightmare to get), but I have heard that you can do contract work. I have also heard that if you do contract work you still need to get a Gewerbeschein licence. Is that correct and if so how hard are they to get, and would this apply to private tutoring?
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ktopia



Joined: 24 Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:25 pm    Post subject: the kafkaesque experience of trying to work in austria Reply with quote

I am in Austria right now, having just (after about 9 months of trying) gotten a job with Berlitz. I can honestly tell you that no one is exagerating when then tell you it is nearly impossible to work in Austria. The only way I managed to even be able to apply for a part time work visa was to enroll in school here - I am now doing a Master's Program. I spoke to nearly all of the language schools in Graz and was told that I would have to work out my own visa before they could employ me, hence my return to university. I was told by the visa office that "at the moment foreigners are just not desired in Austria", and repeatedly advised that the only way I would be able to work here was to marry an Austrian.

In order to work legally you have to have an Arbeitsbewilligung - this is over and above the Aufenthaltsbewilligung, which is your residence permit. Without an Aufenthaltsbewilligung, you are not allowed to stay in the Schengen Zone for more than 90 days: this IS enforced. An American friend of mine was nearly fined and deported just last week, and only got off the hook when she showed the authorities that she had already booked a flight home. Basically, if you are somehow able to get an Aufenthaltsbewilligung, as I said, I got mine through studying, you still have to go through a lot of red tape to get a work permit. As a student I am only allowed to work "geringfugig", which means I can only make €360/month. Of course private tutoring where you get paid in cash does not necessarily have to be included in this sum.

In terms of doing contract work, you would have to get a visa as a "selbststandig arbeiter". This was my plan when I got here, and I was summararily told that these are pretty much impossible to get.

Finally, in theory one can be employed full-time by an employer, and have them sponsor your work-visa application, but in order for a foreigner to be employed full-time, you have to be considered a "schlüsselkraft arbeiter", which means a minimum salary of, i believe, €1400/month. If you can get a language school to agree to commit to such a salary, then... you will have had far better luck than I did.

I'm sorry to make it sound so bleak. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I am Canadian, but as I mentioned, I had an American friend who recently went through the same experience, and ended up leaving because she could not stay here legally. I am in Graz, where the job opportunities may also be more limited than in Vienna, but I spoke to the people who hand out the visas both here and in the capital, and they all had the same answers - or as close to the same answers as you will ever get in Austria.

Good luck and feel free to let me know if you have more questions--or if you have a breakthrough and want to share your secret.
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 389
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you think there's much work there for people with an English passport? Can one earn a living wage in Austria?
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ktopia



Joined: 24 Aug 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think there is work for ESL teachers here, as long as you are eligible to work in the EU. I am in Graz - the second biggest city, but still only ca. 300 000 people - and I got an interview with almost every language school in the city. It always came down to the fact that they couldn't legally hire me without a visa. So, if you've got an English Passport, I think you could probably get a living wage, if not in one of the smaller cities, then most likely in Vienna. Good luck!
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 389
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know Ktopia, I always imagined there were no jobs there. I'm trying to figure out my next stint and Austria is in the top three.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 12304
Location: Ultima Thule

PostPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can show me an "English Passport" I will give you a job AND a million bucks.
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Insubordination



Joined: 07 Nov 2007
Posts: 389
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Tue Jul 27, 2010 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haha, I meant 'British'. I'm a dual citizen who has only ever spent a week in England. They get annoyed when you call them 'British' rather than 'English', so I guess the habit stuck.
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Der_Bomber



Joined: 03 Oct 2010
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Insubordination wrote:
Do you think there's much work there for people with an English passport? Can one earn a living wage in Austria?


My research tells me theres far more work in Summer than Winter, especially in Salzburg and Innsbruck.

You can earn a living wage in Austria doing pretty much anything F/T, its not the sort of country with a big wealth gap.
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Roundtrip



Joined: 02 Mar 2011
Posts: 12
Location: Georgia

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject: Age restrictions on work visas Reply with quote

I taught in Austria for a year back in the 90's and would love to return, teach, and retire there. The problem is, I'm hearing that Austria (and most other European countries) will not issue work visas to people over the age of 55. I just turned 60. Does anyone have any info on work visa restrictions? I'm highly qualified and speak German.
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niffree



Joined: 30 Jun 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:19 am    Post subject: Austria Reply with quote

I have my EU passport and considering moving to Austria since my extended family lives there. Who do I approach and what do I do after this? I'm considering living in a hostel until I have a job.
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niffree



Joined: 30 Jun 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:40 am    Post subject: Finding a job Reply with quote

I noticed that Germany has a "manpower" site, is there one for Austria?
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