Can non-EU spouses/registered partners of EU nationals move to Austria to live with them permanently?

Question: I am the non-EU spouse/registered partner of an EU national. Can I move to Austria and live with them permanently for more than 3 months?

Answer Yes, provision under EU and/or Austrian national law exists for you to join them under family re-unification rules. Certain criteria apply regarding healthcare, income, etc.

For spouses/registered partners of Austrian nationals, there are TWO sets of rules, depending on whether or not the Austrian national themselves previously exercised their rights under EU Freedom of Movement (FoM) rules (i.e. lived in another EU country outside Austria for more than 3 months). This should include any periods in the UK up until 31st December 2020.

If the Austrian spouse/registered partner has NOT exercised their right under EU FoM rules, Austrian national family re-unification rules apply including proof of German language skills (A1). However, restrictions may apply on how long family members can stay in Austria during the application process. In the case of UK nationals, this is 90 days visa-free. A “Familienangehörige” residence permit should be issued.

Austrian nationals who exercised their rights under EU FoM rules and other EU nationals fall under EU family re-unification rules. It should be possible for family members to stay in Austria until the application has completed. The legal basis is Article 54 NAG. An Aufenthaltskarte should be issued.

These rules apply to a spouse, registered partner and direct descendants under the age of 21.

Limited provision also exists for other family members outside this group. Fortunately, this includes for dependent (financially) direct relatives in the ascending line (parents, grandparents, great-grandparents) and Life Partners (not always easy to prove).

Life partners in particular should note the restrictions around the Settlement Permits and working. Life Partners of EU Nationals may initially only be allowed to carry out Self Employed activities. Life partners of Austrian Nationals are initially not allowed to carry out any any work, including Self Employment.

Note 1: If coming from the UK, you may require an ACRO Police Certificate.

Note 2: A UK EHIC/GHIC is not proof of sufficient healthcare.

Useful Links

Mobility of EU citizens and their family members within the EU

BMI – EEA nationals, Swiss nationals and their third-country family members

BMI – EWR-Bürger und EWR-Bürgerinnen und Schweizer und Schweizerinnen sowie deren drittstaatsangehörige Familienangehörige

Aufenthaltstitel “Familienangehöriger” – Antrag

General information Registered Partnerships Austria

Settlement Permit (“Niederlassungsbewilligung”)

Working in Austria Immigration Guide – Non EEA Family Integration

Working in Austria Immigration as a Family Member of an Austrian

Working in Austria Residence for EU/EEA Nationals

Proof of German language skills

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