The background to this question was that there have been apparently divergent experiences about the 5-year qualification period for various British citizens in Austria in various provinces (from responses to questions in the Facebook groupsthe Facebook groups Britishinaustria.net draws upon its two Facebook groups as a source of questions to address in FAQs or to refer to the authorities or to request clarification from government ministries or HM British Embassy. These groups can be found at: British in Austria: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishAustria British in Europe ~ Austria: https://www.facebook.com/groups/BritishinAustria ). Some were told that the five years residence would only begin from the date of issuing of their AnmeldebescheinigungAnmeldebescheinigung Every EU citizen who intends to stay longer than 3 months, must apply for the Anmeldebescheinigung within 4 months of first arrival in Austria. This is essentially a snap-shot of your status at that time, and confirms you have fulfilled the conditions to stay in Austria for longer. Your residence is still subject to certain rules. Note: British Citizens could only apply for the Anmeldebescheinigung until the end of the transition period (31.12.2020), while others were told from their MeldebestätigungMeldezettel Austria requires everyone living in Austria (both Austrians and foreigners) to register their place(s) of residence with the local authorities. The confirmation of this registration is called a Meldebestätigung (EN: confirmation of registration), although it is still affectionately known to many by its former name (the Meldezettel). This is done at your Meldeamt in the Gemeinde or Bezirk you live in. You are required to do your registration within three days of arrival. It is important to do this also because your qualification for permanent residence starts to run from the point of your registration. (which straightaway could make a difference of 3-4 months if both were done promptly). In the case of those with “Neuen Selbständigen” employment status, then it is also possible that the date upon they registered their business activity with their local tax office (Finanzamt) could be applied.
We raised this issue that was escalated to the Ministry for the InteriorBundesministerium für Inneres The Bundesministerium für Inneres (BMI) / Ministry for the Interior (UK counterparty: the Home Office) is competent for public security, policing, border control as well as residency and citizenships. It is also responsible for elections and direct democracy instruments as well as the civil service in the respective provinces, as well as municipal level where they are not covered by the Federal Chancellery. and received the response that in the case for example of the work starting date (either as employed or self-employed) being earlier than the date of the Anmeldebescheinigung, then the earlier date shall apply.
We would recommend in this case (and in the event that you forget to do your Anmeldebescheinigung on time) that you should get hold of a Versicherungszeitenauszug from the SVS or your insurance provider, that would confirm the date from when you have been paying insurance contributions in, which could prove your case. Otherwise your employer can give you a copy of your social insurance registration (if you have changed job in the meantime, you might need to ensure that you have all such documents (e.g. for registration and de-registration) to prove your legal residence.