Seasonal Work in Austria

Question: How can a British National do Seasonal Work in Austria?

Since 1st January 2021 British citizens not covered under the Withdrawal AgreementWithdrawal Agreement The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.   If you are resident in Austria at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Austria.   Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations.   are considered as Third Country Nationals (3CNs3rd country nationals Third country nationals are citizens of non-EU/EEA countries. Residency and naturalisation procedures for third country nationals are more complicated than for citizens of EU Member States or EEA signatory states.). Each EU Member State has its own conditions to allow 3CNs to live and work in their country. Austria is no exception. They are free to set quotas and conditions for different jobs in different areas as they wish. Before Brexit, Britons enjoyed a priority equal to that of Austrians when looking for work. Now we come after Austrians, other EU/EEAEEA The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of the 27 EU Member States as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The United Kingdom is not part of the EEA. citizens and other 3CNs who are already resident and integrated in Austria, so, we’re nearly the bottom of the list.

To be honest it’s a bit of a minefield, and you may need to get professional advice. But one thing is certain, you will need some sort of visa (or residence permit) and a work permit. You will not be able to come here as a tourist and just start working as you were able to do before Brexit.


  • Firstly, find an employer willing to sponsor you.
  • Your future employer must apply for you and you must have the work permit before you arrive in Austria.
  • You will not be given a permit while you are on a holiday visit to Austria. So you can’t come skiing, and then accept a job in a bar or as a snowboard instructor to tide you over. (not legally anyway)

You will need 2 things, get them in this order:

  1. A seasonal quota permit from Austria. Your employer must apply to the relevant regional AMSArbeitsmarktservice The Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) is Austria’s leading provider of labour-market related services, and matches candidates with job openings and assists jobseekers and companies by providing advice, information, qualification opportunities and financial assistance. for a quota permit for you as a seasonal worker, and is likely to cost around €60 in various fees. The AMS will conduct a number of checks and the permit will be granted if:
    • There is no Austrian/EU/other integrated worker who can be placed to do the job.
    • If a quota is still open,
    • Your employer adheres to various working and salary conditions,
    • your employer can show there is accommodation available locally for the whole length of your contract.
  2. A Schengen visa, issued by Austria. You must apply for this yourself at the Austrian Embassy or Consulate in the UK or the Austrian Embassy where you live. You cannot apply for this in Austria. There are two types of visa relevant for seasonal workers, category C and category D. The visa will be issued if:
    • you fulfil the general visa requirements and
    • you have the valid employment permit from point 1 above.

As you can see, your future employer is key to getting a job, as they have to do all the hard work first with no guarantee of success.

  • The quota permit is usually only valid for 6 months. Under quota permits you are only allowed to work for a maximum of 9 months in a 12 month period. So check your times if you want to work here in the Winter and in the Summer months.
  • Your permit may be renewed under certain circumstances, but your employer must do that for you.
  • If you intend to stay in the Schengen areaSchengen Area The Schengen Area is European border control-free travel area, consisting of all EU Member States except for Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania, as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. (including Austria) for more than 90 days, or you have a work permit for more than 90 days, you must apply for a category D visa.
  • If your Visa runs out while you are still working, you can apply for an extension at the local police headquarters (LPD, BH) or Magistrat.
  • Category C visa: Normally costs €80 (2023) and is for 90 days, and allows you entry for employment (British citizens are allowed to travel for non-working visits within Schengen for 90 in 180 days without a visa)
  • Category D visa: Costs €150 (2023) and is for working stays of over 90 days

Other Visa Conditions

You will also need:

  • fully comprehensive heath insurance (minimum of €30,000 cover),
  • proof that you will return home, such as a return air, or ferry ticket
  • Your passport must be less than 10 years old, must be valid for 3 months longer than your visa is valid, and must have at least 2 empty pages for entry/exit stamps etc.
  • The Austrian Embassy in London visa requirements state that when travelling between November and April winter sports insurance must be included in the travel insurance policy along with Covid 19 cover. One option for the Winter Sports cover might be annual membership of the Austrian Alpenverein.

Useful links

Austrian government webpage for seasonal workers: (in English)

Austrian Visa conditions, government web page (German only)

The AMS page for seasonal workers, for your boss:

Process for Hiring a Third Country National from an Employers Perspective

If you are a performer, artist or doing temporary or short-term work in the EU, there is a great resource, UKArtsWork.Info compiled by Ian Smith.

Professional Qualifications

Do not assume that any professional qualifications you have, will be automatically recognised in Austria. You may need to go through a competency assessment process (see Working in Austria Site). Ski instructors in particular may need to have passed the mandatory CTT (Common Training Test) and will need to check with Snowsport Austria.

RWR Card for Regular Seasonal Workers

The 2023 season is probably the first time that British nationals qualify for the Red-White-Red (RWR) card for regular seasonal workers residence permit. This is an alternative to the Visa route for those who have done seasonal work for more than 7 months in the last 2 years. Details are on the Working in Austria website:

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