Before You Arrive
Expats and entrepreneurs relocating to Linz should ensure enough savings to cover initial expenses, including housing, food and transportation. A good rule of thumb is to have at least three months’ worth of living expenses saved up before arriving. Additionally, secure the necessary paperwork to live and work in Austria, including a residence permit and work visa. Research these requirements well in advance and allow plenty of time for processing. To secure a place to stay in Linz, look for short-term rentals or serviced apartments while searching for a more permanent residence. Another option is using online rental platforms such as ImmobilienScout24 (immobilienscout24.at) or Willhaben (willhaben.at) to find long-term rentals. In addition to securing housing, familiarize yourself with the local language and culture to ease the transition. And don’t forget to connect with other expats and entrepreneurs to support you as you navigate your new home.
Visas and Work Permits
As an EU citizen, you don’t need to apply for a residence permit or a working visa, but you do need to register your address at the city council within three days of arrival. If you are a non-EU citizen, you need to apply for a residence permit within the first ninety days of your arrival. You can do so at the Settlement Law Department at the Linz City Hall. You will need to provide various documents, such as proof of health insurance, a tenancy agreement and proof of financial means. Non-EU citizens will also need a work permit, which your employer must apply for. The "Business Immigration Office Linz" (BIOL) is located at the New City Hall within the Settlement Law Department and provides companies and foreign professionals with advice and assistance in the processing of residence permits. With the BIOL, the Municipality has created a first point of contact for employers and employees for smooth service. The new BIOL makes the initial contact with Austrian authorities professional and service-oriented for both employers and foreign employees, so that newly arrived workers from abroad feel welcome in Linz. Alternatively, to be a freelancer in Linz, apply for a freelance visa (Aufenthaltsbewilligung für Selbständige). You must prove that you have sufficient income and insurance to support yourself and that your work is a recognized profession in Austria. For further information the website of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior (oesterreich.gv.at) provides more details on different visa processes.
In Austria, health insurance is mandatory for everyone, including expats. The public health insurance system is called the “Österreichische Gesundheitskasse” (ÖGK), and it covers most medical expenses. The amount to pay for health insurance varies, depending on income, age and health status. If you are an employee, your employer will cover some of your costs, and you will pay the remainder. The percentage is based on your income bracket, and it typically ranges from around 7 percent to 10 percent (€60–€400 per month). As an expat, you can also opt for private health insurance, which may offer additional benefits and faster service. To find the right insurance, compare different providers and their policies online. You can use insurance comparison websites like durchblicker (durchblicker.at). Apart from health insurance, it is also recommended to have liability insurance, which covers damages you may cause to others, and renter’s insurance, which protects your personal belongings in case of theft or damage.
Main Photo by: Stadt Linz Dworschak