Moving to Austria? Here’s What You Need to Know


Are you planning on moving to Austria? That’s great news! Home to stunning natural landscapes, charming villages, and an abundance of culture, it’s no wonder that Austria is a popular destination among expats. But while there are plenty of things to get excited about, it’s also essential to do some research ahead of the big move to better prepare yourself for life in the beautiful alpine nation. With this in mind, here’s what you need to know if you are planning on moving to Austria.

Austrian culture is fairly formal

One of the first things expats notice when moving to Austria is that the culture is quite formal and conservative. In fact, good manners and polite behavior are considered to be so important that people generally shake hands when they meet. They also address each other using their professional titles, like “Doktor” (Doctor) or “Herr” (Mr). Austrian etiquette also dictates that you should never show up at someone’s home without calling ahead first to make plans. And don’t even think about showing up late, as punctuality is paramount in Austrian culture. Because appearance is also seen as important to Austrian people, you might want to ditch those ripped jeans and invest in a new wardrobe, too!

The climate can be temperamental

While Austria definitely has four seasons a year, the weather and temperatures can vary greatly depending on where you are in the country. For example, the lowland regions generally comprise cold winters, hot summers, and a moderate amount of rainfall during the year. In comparison, the south-eastern areas have longer, warmer summers, for a comfortable year-round climate. In western Austria, the climate is more temperate with calm winters and warm summers. However, there is much more rain throughout the year. So before you move, you might want to carefully consider where you want to live, depending on your preference.

You might need a visa to live and work in the country

While Austria is a very desirable destination for expats, for many nationalities, living and working in the country requires an Austrian work visa. And this can be tricky to arrange. Luckily, if you are an EU/EFTA national, then you don’t need one. You can simply register with your municipality if you wish to stay in the country for longer than three months. If you are a non-EU citizen, however, then the required visa for entry depends on your nationality. Therefore, you need to carefully research visa requirements when considering moving to Austria. While this may sound a little complicated, we promise it will be well worth it when you get to call this fantastic country home.

Austria boasts one of the best healthcare systems in the world

Conveniently, Austria offers excellent healthcare which is accessible and affordable for both expats and locals, alike. In fact, it has the 9th best healthcare system in the world. So, if you’re used to forking out expensive healthcare elsewhere, you won’t have to worry about that when you move. Furthermore, if you are working in Austria, your company should automatically register you for public healthcare. That said, if you want to benefit from shorter waiting times, a wider network of doctors, and fancier hospital wards, you can also take out supplementary private health insurance.

Austrians work hard but play hard, too

If you’re relocating to Austria for work, then you’ll be pleased to know that the country prides itself on a solid work-life balance. This means you’ll have plenty of time to explore all the wonderful places the country has to offer. Workers enjoy a high proportion of public holidays and generous holiday schemes, making the country a great place to live, work, and raise a family. Not only that, but Austrian employment law provides broad protection and rights for employees. This covers everything from sick pay and maternity pay to disability benefits and protection from discrimination at work. Needless to say, you can rest assured you’ll be well looked after.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.