Can You Work in Austria with German Blue Card?

German EU Blue Card is the best option for highly skilled professionals who plan to live and work in Germany. But what if they want to continue their career growth in another country, like Austria for example?

Holders of German EU Blue Card entitled to work in other countries of the European Union including Austria after they have been working in Germany for at least 18 months.

In this article, you will find helpful information on how holders of German Blue Card can work and live in different countries of European Union.

Working in Austria with German Blue Card

You can successfully work in Austria with German EU Blue Card, but you need to think about the future too, so let’s see which prospects do you have.

Basically, in the first two years of employment in Germany, job change possible only within the same country and after approvement from immigration services. After 18 Months one is allowed to take up employment in another EU country without restrictions. Therefore you can relocate to Austria after 1,5 years.

In general, Austria prefers international workers to apply for EU Blue Card for Austria if they plan to stay there permanently. Although a big obstacle for applicants might be a high level of minimum gross salary 62,265 EUR when in Germany it’s 56,800 EUR.

If you quit your job be aware that your Blue Card will expire after 3 months. So better is to find job in Austria which suits your qualifications first and only after to write a termination.

Keep in mind that the EU Blue Card will expire after 4 years, if you worked 1,5 years in Germany you have only 2,5 years in Austria. After you can apply for EU Blue Card Austria if your salary above the minimum if not there is Austrian version of Blue Card called Red White Red Card.

All residence permits in Austria have shorter validation than in Germany, so the EU Blue Card is valid for 2 years and Red White Red Card/Plus for one year, with possible extension in both cases.

As a holder of EU Blue Card, you can apply for an advance option – Red White Red Card Plus it will be issued only for one year. The Red-White-Red Card plus entitles you to fixed-term settlement and unlimited labor market access (not limited to a specific employer).

You will need to prove the basic level of German language (A1) for this type of permit. Hope till this time you can speak at least some german.

After a total settlement period in Austria of five years, holders of Red-White-Red Card or EU Blue Card Austria may obtain the residence title Permanent Residence – EU if they fulfill the requirements for this title.

Keep in mind that by changing your location you miss out on the opportunity to receive a permanent residence permit in Germany which can be obtained after 33 months of living and working in the country. The biggest benefit of permit that it does not have a limitation in the duration of stay, no restriction in the labor market and no limitation to a specific employer.

Smarter will be to stay in Germany till you can receive a permanent residence permit (33 months – 2,75 years) and see which opportunities in Austria you have. Your company might relocate you temporarily or you come up with something new.

In Austria, it will take you 5 years to receive a permanent residence permit. So think about your future plans and prioritize.

What you need to know about EU Blue Card

EU Blue Card – it is a permit that allows highly skilled workers from Non-EU/EEA counties to live and work in Europe for a duration of up to 4 years.


  • A recognized university degree or a university degree comparable to a German university degree. You can check if your diploma fits into criteria under “foreign university degrees” on this website.
  • A job that matches your qualifications, with an annual gross salary of at least 56,800 EUR (Germany) in 2021.

Sometimes it could be hard to find an employer, who is ready to pay such as a high salary. Luckily there is another regulation applicable to the level of earning, which you can see below.

Germany offers some special conditions for professionals in shortage occupations, that’s why for such specialists required salary is 44,304 EUR (2021).

This applies, for example, to doctors, engineers, but also to natural scientists, mathematicians, and IT specialists. That is a huge opportunity for people who can’t find a job with a standard required salary and in Austria, it’s even higher.

Speaking about Germany after 33 Months of residence holder EU Blue Card could receive a settlement permit, which will give you an unlimited stay. If you can prove German language skills (B2) earlier, then a settlement permit can be obtained already after 21 months.

EU Blue Card can be obtained in almost all European countries, but Germany is leading in the amount of applicants and issued cards. Moreover, Germany is one of the best counties for immigrants, where a settlement permit can be received much faster and easier compared to other places.

EU Blue Card Benefits

EU Blue Card was inspired by Green Card from the USA, but in my opinion, it is much better and perspective for appliers. Here some exceptional advantages:

  • Equal work and salary conditions to national citizens
  • Free movement throughout the EU
  • Social rights, including education, economic, cultural, human, health rights
  • Your family can move with you
  • Rights on permanent residency

Conditions of the German EU Blue Card

First and most important to qualify for the Blue Card an applicant must have a university or college degree and an employment contract with a company in Germany.

Second, an employment offer must have a salary of at least 56,800 EUR (10,000 EUR! less than in Austria) annual gross salary.

In case you are a specialist in the field of engineering, qualified communication or technology expert, medical doctor, and certain other shortage occupations the annual gross salary must be at least 44,304 EUR.

Permit will allow you to stay up to 4 years. After just 33 months working on the EU Blue Card, you can obtain a Permanent Residence Permit in Germany. In case you prove sufficient German Language level (B1) – you can get this permit just after 21 months. Read here more about Permanent Residence Permit in Germany.

How to apply for the EU Blue Card in Austria

Conditions for EU Blue Card in Austria are almost the same as for Germany with an exception for an annual salary, this must be at least 62,265 EUR.

You can either apply from your home country or within Austria if you entitled to enter the country. It will speed up the prozess.

If you already hold an EU Blue Card you can apply for EU Blue Card Austria or Red White Red Card Plus directly in Austria, besides this you able to make an in-country application to prolong your residence title or change its purpose.

How long the EU Blue Card is valid?

In Germany EU Blue Card is valid for 4 years after expiration renewal is possible, however, if a work contract is shorter than four years the validity period may be shorter.

In Austria, the validation period is 2 years or equal to the length to the working contract but no longer than 2 years.

Can I stay outside of Germany during the EU Blue Card validity period?

Yes, you can. EU Blue Card holders are allowed to go back to their home countries or other non-EU states for a maximum of 12 consecutive months without losing the EU Blue Card ownership.

But you can’t just quit your job and go travel in Europe, because it will expire in 3 months if you don’t have employment.

Additionally, EU Blue Card entitles the holder to spend up to 90 days within a 180-day period in the other Schengen States for the purpose of tourism. Therefore you can spend holidays in Europe.

What is Red-White-Red Card?

The Red-White-Red Card is an Austrian residence title for third-country nationals with certain qualifications which issued for 2 years. The main requirement is a matching job offer in Austria. 

Red-White-Red Card doesn’t require a degree, yet the applicant must have suitable for the job qualification.

This residence permit will oblige you to work for one specific employer for at least 21 months. After 2 years it is possible to change into the free labor market.

The difference is that the German EU Blue Card doesn’t restrict you to work only for one employer in fact you have free access to the job market.

Recommended products and services in Germany:

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