British citizens travelling to Austria are likely to notice a few differences to travel to Austria after the end of the transition periodTransition Period The transition period (also referred to as the implementation period) is the period following the UK's departure from the European Union (on 31.01.2020) until the end of 2020. An option to extend this period has not been taken up by the UK government. after Brexit at the end of 2020. We have compiled a number of travel-related FAQs. Some are also related to the purpose of your trip – and will depend on whether or not you are resident in Austria, or are just travelling to Austria for work, studies or pleasure.

I want to go off travelling in the future. What must I bear in mind regarding my residence status?

Article 50 EUV cardAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms. holders who do not hold a 10 year card (i.e. one marked DAUERAUFENTHALTSRECHT) need to take particular care when considering their options for going travelling. Here are a list of considerations to bear in mind if you hold a 5 year Article 50 EUV card:

  • Applications for a new card must be made before the expiry of your current five year card, so do not plan your grand tour for the final three months of its validity.
  • If you have not already satisfied the requirement of five years uninterrupted legal residence before you head off travelling, pay particular attention to how long you are away from Austria to avoid accidentally interrupting your residency. You may only be away for a period of 180 days in a rolling 12 month period if you hold the five year card. If your residence is interrupted by exceeding this, you will no longer be in scope of 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.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration   and you will not be able to get a new Article 50 card and will be handled like a 3rd country national3rd 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. (3CN3rd 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.). Some limited exceptions apply, e.g. if you are studying in Austria and spend a year abroad studying, or if you travel for medical reasons (e.g. for medical treatment in the UK) for up to 12 months on a one-off basis.
  • If you are unemployed / between jobs you should seek 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. advice about what travel is possible. In some situations, benefits may be dependent on your actively jobhunting and attending interviews and courses, and a dim view might be taken about going off travelling. Similarly you should also check that you remain covered for insurance purposes, to avoid a gap in insurance cover interrupting your residence, and impeding your qualifying for a ten year card.
  • “Popping back” for a weekend in the middle of your travels to reset the clock won’t work. You will have to ensure that Austria remains the “centre of your vital interests”.
  • If travelling within 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., remember that you can only spend 90 days in 180 outside the country of your residence.

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I left an item of luggage on a train, who do I contact?

ÖBB has a Lost and Found service. The form is available in German and English. The English version is at https://infrastruktur.oebb.at/en/contact/lost-and-found-form

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The Covid-19 Einreiseverordnung implies that it remains in force until 31.01.2022. Is this definite, and not subject to change?

In the amendment of the Covid-19 Einreiseverordnung 2021 that entered into force on 25.12.2021, Article 12 para. 14 Covid-19 EinreiseV states that the Regulation is due to be repealed on 31.01.2022.

However, there are various possibilities:

  1. The Covid-19 Einreiseverordnung 2021 will be fully repealed with effect from that date (repealed due to expiry).
  2. The repeal date will be postponed in a further amendment prior to 31.01.2022.
  3. The Regulation will be repealed but simultaneously a new Covid-19 Einreiseverordnung will be enacted.

Similarly, there is no guarantee that there will not be further amendments (Änderungen/Novellierungen) made prior to the date that it is due to be repealed. Indeed since the enactment of the Covid-19 EinreiseV 2021 on 25 June 2021, it has been amended on ten separate occasions. Such amendments reflect changes in countries considered as high risk or with variants of concern, changes to passenger locator forms, changes in intervals between vaccination shots, the introduction of boosters etc.

Amendments are often only announced 36-48 hours prior to entering into force, although unless otherwise stated, an amendment usually enters into force on the calendar day following publication in the Federal Law Gazette (BGBlBundesgesetzblatt The Bundesgesetzblatt (Federal Law Gazette) is the repository where all Austrian law at national/federal level is published. The most common types of publications are Gesetze (laws/acts) and Verordnungen (regulations/ordinances issued by ministries and authorities on the basis of powers provided to do so in laws..)

Such Regulations are usually issued with a temporary lifespan, hence the need for a repeal date to be included in them. Similarly, the length of time that such Regulations are in force for, or by how long the timeframe can be extended by is often capped, with amendments requiring prior consultation where possible.

tl:dr There is no guarantee that the text of the Regulation will remain unchanged until the repeal date, or that it will not be replaced by a further Regulation. Conditions are likely to change at short notice (often within 36-48 hours prior to the new conditions entering into force).

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I was advised that I can expect a fine in relation to a breach of the Covid-19 Einreiseverordnung. What fines are possible?

Some people have received forms requiring them to provide information due to not having all/some necessary information when entering Austria from abroad. Some have claimed that they are unaware of there being fines in place for breaches of the Covid-19 Einreiseverordnung (Covid-19 EinreiseV).

While the sanctioning provisions are not contained in the text of the Covid-19 EinreiseV itself, they are clearly stated in the Epidemiegesetz. The Regulation was issued by the SozialministeriumSozialministerium The Austrian Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection is responsible for the following fields: The health care system Initiatives for people with disabilities Consumer protection Public health and medical issues Care and support The rights of consumers and the protection of their health Senior citizens’ policy Social policy Social insurance on the strength of the power being conferred upon it in Articles 16, 25 and 25a of the Epidemiegesetz (EpiG; Epidemic Act) to issue the Regulation.

Article 40 para. 1 lit. c EpiG states that breaches of Regulations enacted on the basis of the EpiG are classified as administrative offences (Verwaltungsübertretungen), and the sanctions are imposed in what is known as administrative penalty proceedings (Verwaltungsstrafverfahren), with maximum fines of EUR 1,450 or alternatively up to four weeks imprisonment in the event that there is no way of recovering the amount of the fine (known as an Ersatzfreiheitsstrafe).

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I arrived in Austria after 31.12.2020, how long can I stay for?

As tourists, British citizens can 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 a total of up to 90 days in any 180-day period, visa-free. Days spent in any Member State in Schengen count towards these 90 days (e.g. a holiday in Spain).

To be able to stay longer than 90 days, or to work in Austria, you will require a visa or a residency permit. Dual nationals (i.e. holding a British citizenship and the citizenship of an EU or 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. country) can stay for longer by entering on their EU/EEA citizenship.

Marriage to an Austrian or EU/EEA national does not confer you any special status and you will still require a visa/residency permit.

Overstaying the 90 day limit in a rolling 180 day period could see you categorised as an “overstayer”, which can be punishable by a fine and a ban from entering the entire Schengen Area.

Useful Links:

GOV.UK – Visiting the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

MIGRATION.GV.AT – Permanent immigration

Austrian Embassy, Londen – Travelling to Austria, Entry Requirements

European Commission – Schengen Visas

UK Europe Arts Work – Counting your days in the EU

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I am travelling to the UK. The rules/restrictions are changing, which rules/restrictions apply?

Covid-19 restrictions change at short notice, but often with a few days between their being announced and their coming into effect. The applicable rules that are in force at the time you enter the UK continue to apply.

E.g. announcement (of easing/tightening of rules) on 27 July with effect from 3 August.

  • Rule changes (unless otherwise indicated) are from 04:00 (GMT/BST depending on time of year) of the day from which they are effective.
  • If you arrive in the UK on 2 August, the previously applicable rules continue to apply regarding quarantine/test to release etc.
  • If you arrive any time after 04:00 BST on 3 August the new rules apply regarding quarantine/test to release etc.

H/T: British Embassy, Vienna for clarification.

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Can the Art 50 EUV card be used as a travel document?

No. The Art 50 EUVAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms. card is a residence permit, not a travel document. It is also not proof of citizenship. When you travel, even within 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., you should continue to carry your British passport on you when crossing borders. When entering the Schengen area, you should show your Art 50 EUV card with your passport to avoid having your passport stamped.

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Will the “Art 50 EUV” allow me to enter Schengen countries, and to return to Austria without any difficulty?

Yes, third country nationals who hold a residency permit issued by an Austrian authority that is competent for settlement and residence will be able to spend up 90 days within a 180 day period in the territory of other Schengen countriesSchengen 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., while their residency permit is valid. You will be required to have a valid passport, and you will only be allowed to visit other countries for leisure/tourist purposes. Prior to commencing your journey to the destination country, please check what conditions apply if you are travelling for work.

When you apply for the “Art 50 EUVAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms.” card, you will receive a confirmation that you have applied. This confirmation (carried with a valid passport will allow you to leave and (re)enter Austria again.

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I want to come to Austria for seasonal work after 31.12.2020: Do I need a work permit?

As you weren’t resident in Austria on 31.12.2020 you will be considered a Third Country National3rd 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. (3CN3rd 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 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. 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 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 really need to get professional advice. But one thing is certain, you will need some sort of visa. You will not be able to come here as a tourist and just start working as you were able to do before Brexit.

  • Your future employer must apply for you and you must have the 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. 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 €60 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 €100 and is for working stays of over 90 days

Other conditions for a visa.

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.

Austrian government webpage for seasonal workers: https://www.migration.gv.at/en/types-of-immigration/fixed-term-employment/seasonal-workers/ (in English)

Austrian Visa conditions, government web page (German only)

The AMS page for seasonal workers, for your boss: https://www.ams.at/unternehmen/service-zur-personalsuche/beschaeftigung-auslaendischer-arbeitskraefte/beschaeftigung-auslaendischer-saison-arbeitskraefte

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.

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How will temporary absences be calculated in relation to the Art 50 EUV card?

For holders of the 5-year card, absences “not exceeding six months a year” are allowed. The Austrian authorities have confirmed that absences will be calculated on a rolling basis, that means a total of 6 months in the last 12 months. This might catch you out if you have a long winter holiday and a long summer holiday in Austria.

Holders of 10-year cards are allowed absences of up to 5 years in a block. So, for example, a period of 2 years away, then a month back and another absence of 4 years is allowed.

Card holders who spend a lot of time abroad are in any case advised to keep a note (and as necessary proof of travel) about dates of travel. If there is any doubt as to when you were in or out of Austria, the onus is on you to prove it.

There are special conditions for longer absences in exceptional situations, such as for studying, caring for an elderly relative, postings abrioad by your employer, or military service. These exceptions must be applied for.

If you break the rules and are away for too long, you risk losing your residency rights 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.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration   for ever.

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Will British Citizens be able to use their UK driving licence in Austria?

The answer depends on whether you are resident in Austria or not (and of for employment in Austria you are likely to be required to be resident). Under Austrian law relating to driving licences, British citizens resident in Austria will need to exchange their licences by 30 June 2021. Family members joining you in Austria will have 6 months to exchange their licences after arrival.

British citizens residing in the UK, on the other hand, will be able to use their UK licence for trips to Austria (i.e. as tourists), but will be limited in terms of amount of time that can be spent in Austria to 90 days out of 180 days. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/visit-europe-1-january-2021)

Holders of British driving licences as at the end of the transition periodTransition Period The transition period (also referred to as the implementation period) is the period following the UK's departure from the European Union (on 31.01.2020) until the end of 2020. An option to extend this period has not been taken up by the UK government. (31.12.2020) had until 30 June 2021 to exchange their British driving licence for an Austrian one, if resident in Austria. Continuing to drive on a British licence under this circumstance is illegal and incurs heavy fines and may render insurance ineffective.
See also: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria#driving-in-austria

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I live in a neighbouring EU country and commute to Austria for work, what will I have to do?

British citizens holding permanent residence in a neighbouring country and working in Austria, commuting on a daily/weekly basis, in particular on cross-border contracts already classed as EU cross-border commuters, will continue to be recognised as such and won’t need work permits to continue this arrangement after 31 December 2020 as UK cross-border or “frontier” workers covered by 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.   https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration  . However they will not be entitled to an Aufenthaltstitel Art 50 EUVAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms., but may apply for a certificate “Bestätigung gemäß § 3 Absatz 8 Ausländerbeschäftigungsgesetz für “Artikel 50 EUVAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms.GrenzgängerFrontier worker In the EU context, any worker who is employed in the frontier zone of an EU Member State but who returns each day or at least once a week to the frontier zone of a neighbouring country in which they reside and of which they are nationals as called frontier workers. German uses the terms "Grenzarbeitnehmer" and "Grenzgänger". und Grenzgängerinnen” at the regional office of the Austrian Public Employment ServiceArbeitsmarktservice 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. (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.; ArbeitsmarktserviceArbeitsmarktservice 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.), certifying their frontier workerFrontier worker In the EU context, any worker who is employed in the frontier zone of an EU Member State but who returns each day or at least once a week to the frontier zone of a neighbouring country in which they reside and of which they are nationals as called frontier workers. German uses the terms "Grenzarbeitnehmer" and "Grenzgänger". status under Article 26 of the Withdrawal Agreement.

Further information: https://www.bundeskanzleramt.gv.at/en/topics/brexit/residency-and-access-to-the-labour-market.html

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When will the 2020-21 ski season open?

Currently there is still ongoing debate about when, how and whether resorts in Austria will be opening for the 2020-21 season. A list of proposed opening dates (subject to change) is available on the austria.info tourism portal.

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Hauptwohnsitz/Nebenwohnsitz

  1. There will be a clear distinction in most cases:
    • If your house in Austria is registered as your NebenwohnsitzZweitwohnsitz Secondary places of residence (e.g. holiday homes that you spend some time in yourself, pied-à-terres, granny flats) are known as Zweitwohnsitze (in legal terms) or Nebenwohnsitze (in common parlance). While you may reside at a secondary residence for part of the time, it does not constitute the centre of your vital interests. It is of course possible to change your residence status (i.e. from your Zweitwohnsitz to Hauptwohnsitz - known as Ummeldung) to reflect changes in circumstances, although you should be aware that "flipping" is not intended for short-term changes and that doing so can affect the status of grants etc. contingent on the location of your vital interests. but you live in it for 11 months/year, then it is your HauptwohnsitzHauptwohnsitz Your Hauptwohnsitz is your principle place of residence, i.e. where you typically have the centre of your vital interests. Other residences are known as Nebenwohnsitze. and it won’t stop you from obtaining the Article 50 EUV cardAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms..
    • If you only live in your house in Austria for 1 month/year then it is a Nebenwohnsitz. You won’t be able to obtain the Article 50 EUV card, but this won’t stop you from living in the house for 1 month per year.

Clarification July 2021: Art 50 EUVAufenthaltstitel "Artikel 50 EUV" The Aufenthaltstitel "Art 50 EUV" is a residency title to be issued to British citizens from the end of the transition period. Its name is derived from Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. The "Titel" refers to the document or card itself, and not the right, or permission that it confirms. card qualification has not been solely based on the quality of registration of a residence (i.e. people who were initially registered in Austria only as Nebenwohnsitz, but who were resident prior to 31.12.2020 have been able to get cards), however to retain their A50 status, they are required to keep any period of continuous absence to under six months. Some seasonal workers have been told to prove their continuing residence in Austria during the summer season to obtain their Art 50 EUV cards.

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