Essential Information for Applying to Austria’s Residence by Investment Programs
Austria has witnessed a surge in immigration interest, with a threefold increase in residency permit applications over the past five years. The Golden Visa, an investment-based residency visa, has been specifically designed to attract affluent foreign individuals seeking European opportunities and the freedom to travel within the Schengen zone. Each year, only 300 individuals are selected for Austria’s Residency by Investment program. When applying for this program, consider the following key factors:
- Active Investment Requirement: Unlike some other European countries like Malta, Spain, and Portugal, Austria does not offer a passive investment option for obtaining a golden visa. In Austria, applicants must make active investments that significantly contribute to the country’s economy and job creation. Investing a minimum of €10 million directly into a business or a minimum of €3 million into the government development fund is typically required.
- Financial Independence: To be eligible for the golden visa, you must have a minimum of €40,000 in liquid funds in a bank account. If you plan to include your family, the required amount will be higher.
- Documentation Requirements: In addition to meeting the financial criteria, you must submit the necessary documentation for your application, including:
- Birth certificate
- Certificate of no criminal record
- International passport
- Recent photographs (35×45 mm)
- Bank statements or proof of income
- Documents demonstrating family relationships
- German language exam diploma (minimum A1 level)
Remember that all documents must be translated into German by a licensed translator and certified with the Apostille seal. These documents, along with the applicable fees, should be submitted to the consulate or migration service. The fees vary based on the number of family members included in the application. If you are applying as an entrepreneur, you must also provide a business plan along with the aforementioned documents. Having a higher education diploma relevant to your business profile or an academic award improves your chances as it demonstrates your business management skills. The Austrian Employment Service (AMS) will review your application, taking into account factors such as the sufficiency of your investment, job creation potential, utilization of new technologies, and social significance for the region.
- Path to Permanent Citizenship: Acquiring a Golden Visa in Austria presents a straightforward pathway to obtaining permanent Austrian citizenship. After ten years of legal residence, Golden Visa holders can become permanent citizens and obtain an Austrian passport, granting visa-free travel to 187 countries. Additionally, individuals can also obtain Austrian citizenship through “extraordinary merit” if they have made or will make significant contributions to athletics, culture, economy, or science.
It is worth noting that the Austrian passport ranks fifth globally in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley Passport Index.