Overview of Austria
Austria is a landlocked country of 9 million located to the south of Germany, boarding 7 other countries: the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein. Its official language is German, although Austria also recognizes the languages of Hungarian, Burgenland, Slovene, and Croatian.
The cultural center of the German speaking world, Austria’s heart is Vienna, an architectural wonder shaped by its artists and craftsmen. Vienna’s ornate palaces, jewel-box cafés, and vibrant museums and galleries display the wealth of the city’s cultural output and vivid history. Visitors can tour the Vienna Hofburg, the imperial Palace and historical seat of the mighty Hapsburg Empire, and the Schloss Belvedere, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture rivalling Versailles in its decadence and grandeur. At the Belvedere, art lovers can view the works of Viennese artist Gustav Klimt, whose most famous painting, The Kiss, is displayed. For music, attend a concert by the Vienna Philharmonic; one of the top orchestra’s in the world, or view a production at the 19th century Vienna State Opera. Watch Austria’s snow-white Lipizzaner horses prance around the iconic Spanish Riding School, housed in a pristine 18th century complex. Partake in Viennese coffee-house culture at its elegant cafés while sampling Viennese delicacies like Wiener schnitzel and Apfelstrudel. Outside of Vienna, the Austrian countryside beckons, with its historic castles, monasteries, and palaces. The lakeside village of Hallstatt, perhaps the most picturesque village in Austria, and a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site renowned for its architecture and ancient subterranean ice caves, presents a charming diversion. Outside the town of Sankt Veit, visitors can tour the Burg Hochosterwitz, the country’s best preserved and most spectacular medieval castle, while those on the trail of Mozart can visit Salzburg: his birthplace. To the north, the Austrian Alps offer some of the best skiing in Europe.
Austria was an original signatory to the Schengen Agreement in 1995, becoming part of the Schengen area in 1997.
- Schengen visa eligibility for Austria includes third country nationals from the following states, who are excluded from visa-free to Austria/the Schengen area, and are therefore eligible to apply for a Schengen visa to Austria:
14. BURKINA FASO
19. CAPE VERDE
71. NORTH KOREA
20. CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
74. PAPUA NEW GUINEA
25. COTE D’IVOIRE
27. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
79. SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
80. SAUDI ARABIA
29. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
82. SIERRA LEONE
32. EQUATORIAL GUINEA
84. SOUTH AFRICA
85. SOUTH SUDAN
86. SRI LANKA
- Third party nationals from the following entities/territories are also required to apply for a Schengen visa: KOSOVO and the PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY.
- All documents required for your Austrian Schengen visa must be completed in German or English (or be accompanied by a German translation of your chosen language). Applications for all Schengen visas to Austria will contain the following Basic Required Documents:
- Valid passport
- Passport sized photos
- Application form
- Fingerprints (biometric data)
- Travel medical insurance
- Visa Fee
- Materials related to your trip:
- Reason for visit
- Where you will stay (accommodation)
- How you will fund your trip (finances)
- Proof that you will leave Austria before your visa becomes invalid/expires. This is often in the form of a paid roundtrip plane ticket (proof of return).
Note: For more information on what to include in your application, including a detailed description of required materials, please see: Basic Required Documents. Please note that you may have to submit additional Austrian Schengen visa supporting documents related to your specific purpose for travelling.
- The standard Austrian Schengen visa fee for an adult is 80 Euros. Certain types of applicants (most students, children under 6) are exempt from all visa fees. To get a Schengen visa for Austria, you will likely have to submit a service payment with your visa application-this is a separate cost from the visa fee. Please note that these fees are non-refundable in the case of visa rejection.
How to Apply: Steps
- Step 1: Determine your Purpose for travelling to Austria, which will determine the Type of visa you should apply for.
- Step 2: Determine how many Entries to Austria/the Schengen area you need.
- Step 3: Gather your Required Documents.
- Step 4: Schedule a Schengen Visa appointment (if applicable).
- In most cases, you must schedule an appointment in order to lodge an application at an Austrian consulate/visa center and/or to submit biometric data (fingerprints). Alternatively, you may be able to drop off your application without prior arrangement, so long as you do so during normal operating hours. Contact your consulate/visa center directly to find out if you need to schedule an appointment in order to submit your application.
- Step 5: Fill out your application.
- Different Austrian Consulates/visa processing centers provide different ways of accessing applications-depending on where you are applying from, you may have to download, complete, and print out an online form, available here. Submit this paper copy to whichever Austrian Consulate/visa center you are applying through.
- Step 6: Submit your Austrian Schengen visa application (at least 15 days prior to travelling, not before 6 months).
- Different Austrian consulates/processing centers have different procedures for submitting applications. In almost all cases, applications must be submitted in person to the consulate/center you are applying through.
- When you submit your application, you will likely also be asked to submit your fingerprints. Children younger than 12 years are likely exempt from having their fingerprints collected. However, facial photo capturing will be required irrespective of the age.
- Step 7: Pay the application fee.
- You will likely be asked to pay your visa fee when you submit your application in person.
When to Apply
- Submit your application at least 15 days prior to the day you intend to travel, and no earlier than 6 months before you leave.
Where to Apply
- Applications for Schengen visas to Austria should be submitted at either an Austrian Consulate/Embassy or a visa application center that has a relationship with Austria.
- You must lodge your application for Austrian Schengen visa in the country where you legally reside/are a citizen.
- Click here to find an Austrian Consulate/Embassy where you live.
- In countries where there is no Austrian consular presence, applications may be lodged via the consulate of a Schengen state representing Austrian consular interests.
- The Austrian Schengen visa processing time is generally 15 days, although it can take up to 45 days in certain cases.
If your visa was approved:
- Collect your visa and make sure the information it contains is valid and complete.
If your visa was denied:
- If you receive a Schengen visa rejection for Austria, you have the right to file an appeal with the Austrian Federal Administrative Court, via through the Consulate which issued your visa rejection.
- The detailed steps of the appeal process are outlined in your standard issued-visa refusal form, which also describes why your request was denied.
- If you choose to proceed with your appeal, you will likely pay an appeal fee, which is generally non-refundable regardless of the outcome of the appeal (positive or negative).
Finally, once you obtain your Schengen Visa for Austria, please note the following:
- Your visa may be revoked if you do not notify the Austrian Consulate/visa application center of any changes to your trip itinerary that occur after you have submitted your application.
- Being approved for an Austrian visa does not guarantee you entry to either Austria or the general Schengen area – you can still be refused entry to both places upon arrival.
- Alternatively, you may have to show additional documents regarding your finances or accommodation in order to enter Austria/the Schengen area.