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.

If a photo is held on file, you’ll be sent a photo e-card before your old one runs out (which could be as late as the end of 2023).

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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By Michael Bailey

Naturalised Austrian born in SW England, studied in Scotland and living in Austria since 2000.