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MOVING TO AUSTRIA

EXPLAINED: The 2022 salary requirements for Austria’s EU Blue Card

The salary needed to secure the EU Blue Card for third country nationals working in Austria -- an option available to highly qualified workers in in-demand roles -- has risen this year.

Worker
If you've got an Austrian job offer and a university degree you could be eligible for this permit if you meet the salary threshold. Photo: Mateus Campos Felipe/Unsplash

The EU Blue Card is a residency permit which is an alternative to the Red-White-Red Card for some highly qualified and highly paid workers.

The Red-White-Red Card is based on a points system, where you earn points based on your language ability (both German and English), education, and professional experience. Different numbers of points will earn you different types of permits, including as a skilled worker in a shortage occupation, a start-up founder, a key worker, or a job-seeker.

The EU Blue Card is specifically designed for high earners in shortage occupations who have been offered a job in Austria.

There is no points system, but you do need to fulfill four criteria: you need to be educated at university level (for at least a three-year programme), you must have have received a job offer in Austria, the Austrian employment service must perform a ‘labour market test’ to confirm that there is no-one based in Austria or the EU who could do the job, and you must earn one and a half times the average salary.

Another big advantage is that after 18 months on the Blue Card, you can move to another EU member state (although Denmark and Ireland do not participate in the scheme) to take up employment; in other words it gives you some level of onward freedom of movement.

EXPLAINED: How to apply for a residency permit in Austria

When applying for a Blue Card in Austria in 2022, the applicant has to earn a minimum gross salary (before tax) of €66,593 – that’s up from €65,579 in 2021, due to an increase in the national average salary.

The gross salary includes so-called special payments, which means the 13th and 14th month salaries that are often paid out by Austrian employers in addition to monthly pay, but it does not include bonuses. That’s why 

That means you need a salary more than €10,000 above what you’d need to earn the German EU Blue Card, where the minimum is €56,400 in 2022, and has fallen since last year.

The application for an EU Blue Card can be filed by you at an Austrian embassy or consulate in the country you’re living with, or by the employer who has offered you a job at the local Austrian authority.

Once you receive it, the Blue Card is valid for two years as standard, or for shorter work contracts it is the length of the contract plus three months.

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For members

JOBS

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Though Austria is mainly known for its winter resorts, there is no shortage of possibilities for those looking for seasonal jobs in summer.

EXPLAINED: How to find a summer job in Austria?

Summer is coming up, and those few hot months are a perfect opportunity for many people to get a seasonal job and earn some extra cash.

Austria’s economy is heavily based on tourism. But even though the winter resorts and sports are what the alpine country is most well-known for, the summer months are also hectic in the tourism and gastronomy sectors.

The demand for seasonal workers usually is high but has increased even more in the last few years. According to the Austrian employment agency AMS, there are more than 15,000 open positions in gastronomy and tourism still lacking workers.

The pandemic widened the gap, as the sector was hardly hit by lockdowns and changes in consumer behaviour. With coronavirus restrictions, the field lost some of its attraction. It is still having trouble finding new labour, AMS boss Johannes Kopf told broadcaster ORF.

A summer without coronavirus restrictions

However, for the first time since the pandemic started, Austria will see a summer with almost no coronavirus restrictions.

The country has recently dropped its 3G rule for entry for travellers, meaning that tourists (and residents) no longer have to show proof that they were vaccinated against Covid-19, recently recovered from the disease or tested negative.

The expectation is high that this will boost tourism, especially as the 3G rules and the mask mandate also fell in most indoor areas.

READ MORE: LATEST: What are Austria’s current Covid-19 rules?

Last year, even with some restrictions still in place, the sector saw a recovery compared to 2020 but was still not at pre-pandemic levels, according to Statistik Austria.

Still, the May to October season had more than 66 million overnight stays, with almost half of them (42.7 per cent) coming from Germany.

From imperial cities to lakes and mountains, Austria has no shortage of offers during summer. As travelling resumes, the sector is desperately looking for workers.

vienna, pratter

Vienna is big touristic destination also during summer months (Photo by Anton on Unsplash)

Where can I find summer jobs in Austria?

The capital is undoubtedly where most visitors come, according to Statistik Austria. However, it is also where many establishments have a year-round crew, and seasonal work might not be as easy to find.

It is far from impossible, though, and it is worth the search if you have your eyes set on Vienna.

READ ALSO: One day in Vienna: How to spend 24 hours in the Austrian capital

However, other major Austrian cities also have openings, most notably the touristic towns of and around Innsbruck and Salzburg. Of course, the mountainous region of Austria might be most famous for its ski slopes. Still, they also offer breathtaking summer views, cool and beautiful alpine lakes, and numerous hiking trails.

Plus excellent hotels for people to stay in and great Austrian restaurants – all looking for employees.

What types of jobs are available?

There are many job openings to skim through, but most will be the most traditional service work in tourism and gastronomy: waitressing, housekeeping, cooking, and reception.

If you look outside of Vienna, several professions in the tourism and gastronomy sector are included in Austria’s list of shortage occupations.

READ ALSO: How Austria is making it easier for non-EU workers to get residence permits

Those include some surprising ones like department store sales clerks, waiters and waitresses, masseuses, and others. If you don’t have a right to work in Austria (non-EU citizens without a work permit, for example), being skilled in a shortage occupation makes it easier to be hired and get a residence permit.

Most of these jobs will require a certain level of German, especially since Germans are an overwhelming part of tourists entering Austria. However, the high demand for workers might help those who do not speak the language yet, especially for positions that don’t require much customer interaction.

READ ALSO: Austria: Six German expressions to entice your Wanderlust

Another popular job for summer is instructor, or caretaker, in summer camps. As many of them are bilingual or in English, German is not usually a mandatory language – there are also positions for English teachers, especially in camps and schools with summer courses.

Where can I find these jobs?

As with most industries and professions, searching online is usually the first step in finding a summer job in Austria.

Outside of known employment platforms such as Glassdoor and LinkedIn, Austria’s Karriere.at might be a good place to look.

READ ALSO: Six official websites to know if you’re planning to work in Austria

Hogastjob is also a local platform with plenty of seasonal offers in Austria, Germany and Italy (South Tyrol region).

Another approach is to contact resorts or hotels directly to find out when they are hiring for the summer season and the types of roles that will be available – they should also have a job vacancies page on official websites that you can check.

Or get in touch with friends that have previously worked in the summer season in Austria and ask for a recommendation.

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