e-card FAQs

Frequently asked questions about the e-card and its EHIC function.

My partner’s e-card is valid for 5 years, but mine only for 1 year. Why?

First up, it is worth mentioning that the e-card is the front side of the card, and the back relates to the EHIC (German: EKVK). The use of the EHIC card issued from Austria depends on the amount of time you have been making statutory healthcare contributions (usually deducted at source from your salary if you are employed, or through your monthly or quarterly payments to the SVS for self-employed).

The validity of the EHIC on the back depends on how long you have been insured and paying contributions for (“in einer Krankenversicherung pflichtversichert”) at the cut-off date for the card being issued. A validity of one year means that you have, from the records held, been insured for at least one out of the last five years and at least 180 days in the last year. You will be issued a five year card if you have been insured for five out of the past ten years prior to the card being issued and at least 180 days in the last year.

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What do the stars on the back of my e-card mean?

The stars on the back of the e-card means that it has not been issued with an EHIC function, due to the conditions for issuing the EHIC not being fulfilled. The fields filled with stars “******” are deliberate to prevent the card being tampered with to give the impression that it is a full EHIC. Without entries on the back side of the card, it will not work as an EHIC. If this is the case you should apply for a “Bescheinigung als provisorischer Ersatz für die EKVK” (PEB) through your Krankenkasse.

Please note that the PEB is only valid for the holder of the card, so if you are travelling with a family (e.g. spouse/partner and children) you will need to have separate PEBs issued for them too.

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My e-card doesn’t have a photo on it, is it still valid?

Austria started issuing e-cards with photos at the start of 2020. For approx. 85% of card holders their new e-card with photo is handled automatically, as photos held in Austrian registers for other purposes and identification documents) can also be used for the e-card with photo.

Holders of the following documents are covered in this way:

  • Passport (Austrian one!)
  • Personalausweis
  • Driving licence in credit card format

or from the registers held about foreigners.

  • Fremdenpass
  • Konventionsreisepass
  • Aufenthaltstitel
  • Rot-Weiss-RotRot-Weiss-Rot, Daueraufenthalt EU and Blaue Karte EU Titles The EU Blue Card is issued in the shape of a bank card and is a combination of residence permit and employment permit. If you are the holder of an EU Blue Card, you are entitled to temporary settlement and to employment with a specific employer. It is issued for a validity period of two years. If you held an EU Blue Card for two years, you may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus, provided you were employed for at least 21 months during the previous 24 months in a job matching your qualification. The Red-White-Red Card  is a combination of residence permit and employment permit. It is valid for two years and entitles you as the holder to settlement and employment with a specific employer. If you change your employer within the first two years, you have to apply for a new Red-White-Red Card. The Red-White-Red Card plus   entitles its holder to settlement and unrestricted employment. If you are the holder of a Red-White-Red Card plus, you may change your employer at any time without having to apply for a new permit. If you held a Red-White-Red Card for two years, you may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus, provided you were employed in accordance with the eligibility requirements for a minimum of 21 months during the previous 24 months. Family members of Red-White-Red Card holders and of holders of an EU Blue Card may apply for a Red-White-Red Card plus right away.  -Karte
  • Identitätskarte für Fremde

Otherwise you will have to make an appointment to have a photo submitted. You can check whether there is a photo on file for you by using the “Foto-Sofort-Check” service on the e-card website.

Note: the following exemptions apply from the requirement to have a photo on your card:

  • if you are under 14 years of age (a reminder will be sent shortly before your 14th birthday)
  • if you turn or have turned 70 in the year that the new e-card is to be issued, or
  • if you have been classified in care level (Pflegestufe) 4, 5, 6 or 7.

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Information in English is available on the e-card website.

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