Things to know before you travel

In order to avoid unpleasant surprises when you travel to Austria and during your stay in Vorarlberg, we recommend that you become familiar with the current legislation well before your travel date so that you can make the necessary arrangements.

Visa & Conditions of Residence

  • Verify whether you require an entry or residence permit to travel to or stay in Austria and apply well in advance if necessary.
  • Ensure that your passport is valid for the entire duration of your stay. To be on the safe side, make two copies (one to take with you and the other to leave behind in your home country in the care of a person you trust).
  • If you are travelling here by car, you must have an international driving license. Check with your nearest Austrian Consular office for more details about how to apply.
  • Notify your postal service of your new address, so that you will continue to receive important mail.

Nationals of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland are exempt from visa requirements and enjoy freedom of establishment when in Austria. However, the financing for your stay must be guaranteed and you will also require adequate health insurance coverage. Please note that any stay in Austria that extends longer than 3 months must be reported to the responsible domestic authority. Failure to comply with this requirement will result in a fine.

If you are not a national of an EU/EEA country or Switzerland, you are a “national of a third country” and you will need an entry and/or residence permit in order to enter or become resident in Austria.

If you want to study in Austria for a period no longer than 6 months

Apply for a D-Visa that is valid for the entire duration of your stay. This visa allows you also to travel in other Schengen-countries. You have to apply for this visa in person at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in your country of residence before travelling to Austria.

If you want to study in Austria for a period longer than 6 months

Apply for a residence permit for students ("Aufenthaltsbewilligung Studierender"). The application for a residence permit must generally be submitted in person at the competent Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate general) in your country of residence before travelling to Austria. Since you have to await the decision regarding your application in your country of residence, you should apply at least three months before the intended entry to Austria. If the residence authority within Austria decides to grant you a residence permit, you will be informed by the representative authority in your country of residence. You then need to apply for a residence visa D for entry to Austria.

If required, FH Vorarlberg will issue a conditional acceptance letter for your visa and/or residence permit application once you have completed your application to study with us and if you meet the admission requirements. This confirmation will facilitate and in particular expedite the process of your application for a visa and/or residency permit with the Austrian foreign authority in your respective country of origin.

Important and detailed information:

Entry and visa requirements for nationals of third countries

Guide to Entry and Employment for International Students

Working in Austria

OeAD-Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research



  • Start your application for a visa and/or residence permit as soon as you can and well in advance of your intended date of arrival.
  • Notarised documents may be required. Ascertain the requirements regarding documentation ahead of time.
  • Book an appointment with the embassy early to avoid long wait times.
  • Expedite the application process by ensuring that you have all the necessary documents (for example proof of health and accident insurance valid in Austria, verification of financial assets) well in advance.

Please note that all individuals (this applies to Austrian nationals, EU/EEC nationals and third-country nationals) who are residing in Austria must report to the registration office for the community of residence within 3 business days after arrival.

Nationals of EU/EEA countries and Switzerland, who are staying in Austria longer than 3 months, have to apply to the competent municipal authority for a document called "Anmeldebescheinigung" within the first 4 months of their stay. More information can be found on the homepage of the OeAD

In regards to the registration processes guest students will get support from the team of the International Office.



Application and Admission