Nestled in the center of Europe, Austria has more to offer than just fresh mountain air. Boasting great transportation, beautiful cities, and stunning natural vistas, the country ranks highly for its quality of life. In fact, its capital, Vienna, emerged as the world's most livable city by Mercer in 2019. Not only that, but it is known for its stellar work-life balance, supportive labor laws, and growing focus on employee wellness. This all makes it an extremely attractive employment destination for expats.
If this all sounds tempting, then here are some more reasons to work in Austria that might just persuade you to make the move.
Aside from being able to call this beautiful country home, one of the biggest benefits of working in Austria is the great work-life balance. In fact, according to research, 80% of expats in Austria believe that their work-life balance has improved since moving to the country. This is because, unlike in some other countries where people are expected to work long hours and weeks, Austrians generally have a 40-hour workweek. They also get to enjoy a full hour-long lunchbreak. Therefore, you can expect to work normal business hours in the country. Better still, you can usually expect to enjoy offer five weeks of annual leave as well as 16 public holidays each year. All in all, this adds up to plenty of time to spend with family, devote to hobbies, and explore different cities and countries.
Of course, earning potential is always an important factor to consider when it comes to deciding where to live in the world. And this is where Austria can really sway the vote. After all, the average monthly salary in the country is not only on par with most of Western Europe and Scandinavia, but far above those in Eastern Europe. Since 2020, Austria also implemented a €1,500 monthly minimum wage for all sectors. This is also far higher than it is in most parts of Europe. The minimum wage in Austria also covers basic salary, overtime payments, bonuses, and idle-time compensation. This helps to make it a highly appealing place to work among expats.
Of course, it’s always important that you are well looked after by your employer, wherever you are in the world. And thanks to Austria’s robust labor laws and social security system, expats working in the country are certainly in safe hands. This dictates that employers must provide all manner of resources to help support their employees. These include a generous paid maternity leave that covers mothers in the two months before and after the birth. Fathers also have an option to take paternity leave, although some of it may be unpaid leave. Aside from parental leave, some employers also offer leave to pursue education, to care for sick family members, or for bereavement. And, for those who don’t need time off, many employers offer resources such as yoga or mindfulness classes, counseling, massages, and more. Just think, with offers like these, you might forget that you’re even at work!
If you dream about being your own boss and setting up your own business, then Austria is a very viable option. In fact, the country welcomed 41,087 new businesses in 2018. As far as requirements go, it is fairly simple to start your own company. That said, this does depend on your nationality. If you are a citizen of an EU country, Switzerland, or the European Economic Area, for instance, all you have to do is register your business. However, if you are an expat from outside the EU, then you will need to get a residence permit. You will then need to apply for a trade license from your local district authority. If all goes well and you obtain this, you can then register your business with the Austrian Commercial Register. Whatever products or services you want to offer, though, it always pays to do your homework first. That way, you can make sure that you have a viable business plan. But it's definitely worth looking into if you’re a budding entrepreneur.
Now to the nitty-gritty. If you’ve read this far and are convinced that Austria is the ideal work destination, then the next logical step is to research work permits. Luckily for expats, the Austrian work permit system is quite simple. In fact, there aren’t too many hoops to jump through when it comes to obtaining one. There are several types of work visas available depending on your circumstances. These range from gainful employment to researchers, artists, and even au pairs. However, if you are a citizen of a country in the EU or EEC, then you don't need an Austrian working visa. You simply need to register with your municipality if you wish to stay longer than three months. However, if you are from outside of the EU and EEC, then you will need to get a work permit or Red-White-Red Card. Similar to most countries, the immigration system tends to favor highly skilled or trained people who can add value to the labor market. Therefore, it might be time to jazz up your CV or seek additional training or qualifications to help you shine.
Author's bio: Expatica is the largest online resource for expat living. It offers essential expat guides to moving, working, and living abroad, as well as features and tools that bring the expat community closer together.