Relocating to Austria as a developer

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Michael Andreyev
November 2, 2022
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In 2020, Austria was ranked the fourth happiest country in the European Union and the ninth happiest country in the world. It is the third largest European country by the number of foreigners and an attractive place for relocation.

Taxes

The income tax rate in Austria is progressive: the more you earn, the more you pay. It ranges from 0% if you earn € 11,000 or less, to 55% for anyone who makes more than one million euros. You can check your take-home pay using this calculator.

In addition to income tax, employers subtract 10.25% of the gross income as an employee's contribution to the pension system and pay 12.55% as an employer's contribution.

Cost of living

The standard of living in Austria is very high, but the cost of living is also relatively high compared to other European countries. The average cost of furnished accommodation in Austria’s major cities is around €1400 per month, which is a significant break considering the prices in other European cities. Renting a one-bedroom apartment or a studio may cost from €300 to €900, depending on the location.

Healthcare in Austria is universal, affordable, and accessible. Most people have public healthcare funded by monthly contributions from employees and employers. Private insurance gives you access to shorter wait times, better hospital accommodations, and a wider range of specialists. A 15-minute appointment with a personal doctor costs around €100 without insurance.

Eating out typically costs around €12 to €50, depending on the restaurant. A monthly gym pass is €32, while a cinema ticket costs approximately €10. A ticket for public transport costs around €2. You can find more information about the cost of living in Austria here.

Work Permit

EU citizens are free to work in Austria as they please and do not need any permits for the first three months. If you plan to stay longer than 90 days, you must apply for a certificate of registration. Otherwise, you will have to pay a fine of €200.

If you are a non-EU resident, getting a work permit requires supporting documents in German that you must submit to the Austrian Public Employment Service. The Red-White-Red Card is issued for two years and entitles the holder to a fixed-term settlement and employment by the employer specified in the application. You can only work for the employer specified in your application during that period.

However, you need to meet certain requirements. Your prospective salary should be higher than € 2,685 and no equally qualified candidate should be registered as a jobseeker at the Public Employment Service (AMS).

Finding a new home

The process of renting a property in Austria is fairly similar to that in other European countries. Property viewings should be free of charge. After you have found the right property and agreed on the rental amount with either the estate agent or landlord, you can sign the lease. You will be asked for your proof of identity, Austrian visa and proof of employment. After signing the lease, you will need to transfer the deposit, which is typically three months’ rent.

As for the rental costs, it’s not common to negotiate them. The landlord’s listed price is usually what they will be expecting. Occasionally, landlords will include bills in the rental price, however, this is not the norm and will be stated in the listing if they do. You can check the apartments and the approximate prices on this website.

Bringing a family with you

Austria’s Red-White-Red Card helps qualified workers from third countries bring their families to Austria. Skilled workers with this card or an EU Blue Card can get their family members on a Red-White-Red Card plus. Family members include spouses, registered partners and underage children.

Once your family arrives, they should register at a local municipality within three days. Failing to do so can result in a fine. The family member will join the sponsor's household, so their sponsor’s health insurance will usually cover them.

Overall, Austria is an attractive country for relocation. It has high levels of well-being across the population, excellent transportation links both within the country and elsewhere in Europe, affordable childcare and education. With a growing tech scene in Vienna, Graz and Linz, Austria is a welcoming place to work for software developers.

Want to work in Austria?