Travel To Austria From The US
In this post, you will find all the important information when traveling to Austria from the US. This post includes information such as the visa requirements, required documents, and COVID-19 requirements.
Austria may be one of the EU's smallest countries, but that doesn't stop thousands of tourists worldwide from visiting the country. This is because it has so much to offer its visitors. From the Salzburg Altstadt, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the picture-perfect town of Hallstatt within the spectacular Dachstein Salzkammergut region. However, some visitors might need an Austrian Tourist Visa to visit Austria.
This guide talks about everything you need to know about the Austrian Schengen Visa, including the visa application process, its requirements, and how to apply for one. Also, at the end of the post, you'll find some frequently asked questions many travelers tend to have.
In this post, you'll find the following:
Austria forms part of the Schengen Area, and as such, an Austrian Tourist Visa is known as a Schengen Tourist Visa.
Citizens from countries outside the EU may need to acquire a Schengen Visa before traveling to Austria. EU, US, & UK citizens do not need a Schengen Visa when traveling to Austria for 90 days or less. The main details of this visa are as follows:
If you don't have time to read through our extensive guide and want to apply for your next Austria Tourist Visa ASAP, I have the perfect solution. Use Atlys! With Atlys, you can immediately start your next Austrian Tourist Visa application. A benefit of Atlys is that you don't need to stress about the visa application process and everything it entails. All you need to do is select a destination, travel date, and enter your relevant details. Afterward, Atlys will do all the tedious paperwork for you. With Atlys, you can receive your next Tourist Visa in no time!
An Austrian Tourist Visa, also known as a short-stay visa or Schengen Visa, is a travel authorization that allows you to visit Austria for non-essential purposes. Non-essential purposes include tourism or short business trips. Short business trips include appointments, meetings, and so on.
It's important to note that you're not allowed to work with an Austrian Tourist Visa. If you want to work in Austria, you'll need to apply for another visa that enables you to do so. Other types of visas include a student visa or a business visa. Furthermore, it's not possible to obtain a residence permit with your Austria Tourist Visa.
With an Austrian Tourist Visa, you can visit Austria for a duration that does not exceed 90 days per 180-day period. If your planned trip exceeds 90 days, you'll need to apply for a visa that allows an extended stay. This type of visa is also known as a National Visa.
Keep in mind that you can visit any of the 26 Schengen Member States with your Austrian Tourist Visa. However, if you want to visit other Schengen Countries, you must state the purpose of your visit to these countries and include a travel itinerary.
The 26 Schengen Countries you can visit include:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Quick Note: During this post, we'll refer to the Austria Tourist Visa as the Austria Schengen Visa. Both visas are identical. The only difference is the name.
Next, we'll answer some basic questions most travelers have about their Schengen Visa to Austria.
There are a few different options you can choose from when applying for your Austria Schengen Visa. Let's take a look at the options you have:
1. Apply For Your Schengen Visa Using Atlys.
Atlys makes traveling easier. With Atlys, you can apply for your visa in no time. You can download the app on your phone and apply from the comfort of your own home. Atlys is designed to make the visa application process as fast and straightforward as possible, avoiding unnecessary time-wasting and uncertainty. Furthermore, Atlys has helpful customer service that will guide you through the entire process, should you ever need it. If you want to learn more about Atlys, read this short article.
2. Apply At Your Local Austrian Embassy or Austrian Consulate.
This is the traditional way of applying for your visa. Applying at the Austrian Embassy is relatively straightforward. However, applying at your local Embassy can take some time. Also, there is always uncertainty involved. If you don't follow the exact process of the Embassy, your visa might be denied. Therefore, we recommend that you contact your local Austrian Embassy or Consulate General of Austria ensure you follow the correct process. Later in this post, we'll give you 6 simple steps you can follow to apply for your Austrian Schengen Visa at your local Austrian Embassy.
3. Applying Through An Application Center.
You can also opt to apply using an application center. Applying at an application center is very similar to applying at the Embassy. In fact, many Embassies use application centers to handle their visa services. Sometimes, these application centers can get overwhelmed due to the high demand for visas. This leads to a longer wait time. There are also many testimonies of people who have had bad experiences with the customer service of application centers, but this is not always the case.
It's worth mentioning that all these options can lead to you getting your Austria Schengen Visa. The final decision is always yours to make. Choose the option you like the most, and be sure to follow the exact instructions given to you.
When applying for your Austrian Schengen Visa, you must keep in mind the following:
The time it takes to gather all your documents (we'll be discussing the document requirements shortly).
Travel time to your nearest Austrian Embassy or Austrian Consulate.
The time it takes for your visa to be processed.
The time it takes for you to travel back to the Embassy and get your visa.
After considering the factors mentioned above, you can make an informed decision on when you should start your Austria Schengen Visa application.
Once you have gathered all your documents and completed the visa application process, embassy officials will process your visa. The processing time for your Austrian Schengen Visa is around 15 calendar days to receive feedback. If the feedback is favorable, you need to travel back to the Embassy to collect your visa. However, other factors can delay the process.
These factors include but are not limited to:
A sudden demand in Schengen Visas for Austria
Political changes that may occur within the country
New visa changes that are being implemented
Keep in mind that...
You can start your application as early as 3 months before your planned trip. It's recommended that you start your application as soon as possible. Doing this allows you to correct any mistakes you may have made during the application process or leave enough time for your visa to be processed (in the event of unforeseen delays).
The Austrian Schengen Visa fee may vary depending on the applicant. You can expect to pay the following:
For adults - €80
For children between the age of 6 and 12 - €40
For children younger than 6 - Free
Now that you know more about the Austrian Schengen Visa let's talk about who needs a visa to visit Austria. It's worth mentioning that when you use Atlys to apply for your Schengen Visa, it will automatically tell you what visa you need and the specific requirements for your country.
Citizens who reside in the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland can visit Austria without applying for a Schengen Visa. This is also known as visa-free travel. However, if you reside in an EU country that does not form part of the Schengen Area, you may only visit Austria for non-essential purposes.
Citizens of countries that form part of the Schengen Zone enjoy the benefits of the Schengen Agreement. Meaning, you may visit, study, live and work in any one of the Schengen Member States without the need to apply for any type of visa.
If you're a US citizen, you enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to Austria. Meaning, you don't need to apply for an Austrian Schengen Visa to visit Austria. However, you may only visit Austria for non-essential purposes like tourism and short business trips. Also, your visit may not exceed 90 days. After your initial 90 days, you must travel back to the US.
Important: By the end of 2022, US citizens will need to apply for an ETIAS to visit the Schengen Area. Your ETIAS will be used as a travel authorization that allows entry into Europe. The ETIAS visa waiver program will simplify the application process and get you through border control faster.
It's also worth noting that you may visit any of the Schengen Member States visa-free. However, you must clearly state the purpose of your visit if you plan to visit more than one Schengen country. Furthermore, you must meet the entry requirements of the countries you plan to visit. We'll discuss the visa-free document requirements later in this post.
Unfortunately, if you're a US Green Card Holder, you don't enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel to the Schengen Area, including Austria. To visit Austria, you'll need to apply for an Austrian Schengen Visa. Luckily, you can apply for your visa in the US. You don't need to travel back to your home country to apply for the Austria Schengen Visa.
If you're in the US with a visitors visa (B1/B2 visa), you can't apply for an Austrian Schengen Visa from the US. Instead, you must travel back to your home country and apply for your visa from there.
There is one exception to this rule...
If you're a US Green Card Holder who has citizenship from a country that is exempt from obtaining a Tourist Visa, you're allowed to travel to Austria visa-free. For example, UK citizens who have a Green Card don't need to apply for a Tourist Visa to enter Austria.
If you're a non-EU citizen that doesn't enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel. You must apply for an Austrian Schengen Visa if you plan to visit Austria.
At the end of this post, you'll know exactly how to apply for your Austria Schengen Visa.
Even if you enjoy the benefit of visa-free travel, there are still a few visa requirements you need to meet to enter Austria. Also, keep in mind that border authorities have the final decision to permit entry into Austria. Therefore, ensure that you bring the following documents with you when you travel to Austria.
You need to present a valid passport to border authorities upon entry. Your passport must be valid for 3 months beyond your intended departure date back to your home country. Also, ensure that your passport is in good condition and not older than 10 years.
You need to prove to authorities that you plan to travel back to your home country after your visit. You can do this by presenting a return flight ticket that includes all your travel dates.
When visiting Austria, you'll need to show border authorities where you'll be staying. You can provide a rental agreement, a hotel reservation, or an Airbnb booking. If you're visiting a family member or friend, you'll need to present a letter of invitation from the person where you'll be staying at.
When visiting Austria, you'll need to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay. Currently, Austria's Integration and Foreign Affairs don't specify the exact amount you require in order to qualify. Instead, proof of sufficient funds is determined on a case-by-case basis. For more information, we recommend you contact your nearest Austrian Embassy.
Another requirement for traveling to Austria is obtaining valid medical insurance. Your medical insurance must be valid across the entire EU and cover any medical expenses that may occur during your visit. Also, it must be valid for the duration of your stay and provide minimum coverage of €30,000.
That's not all...
Due to the global pandemic, COVID-19, countries worldwide have implemented certain travel restrictions and requirements to ensure the safety of their citizens and visitors. Because of this, there might be additional safety requirements you need to meet. To learn more about these requirements, check our up-to-date covid tab on atlys.com.
If you don't benefit from visa-free travel, you'll need to apply for an Austrian Schengen Visa. Next, we'll talk about the visa requirements and how you can apply for one.
When filling out the application form, ensure that the details you provide are correct. Incorrect information might lead to your application being denied.
Your passport must be valid for 3 months beyond the date you intend to return to your home country.
You must provide 2 passport-sized photos alongside your visa application form. Your passport photos must meet the following requirements.
If you've previously been to the Schengen Area, you must make copies of those visas and submit them with your other documents.
You must get valid health insurance for your planned trip. Your health insurance must provide medical coverage across the entire EU and cover all medical expenses that may occur during your trip. Also, it must be valid for the duration of your trip and have a minimum coverage of at least €30,000.
You must prove where you'll be staying during your trip. Proof of accommodation can include hotel reservations, Airbnb bookings, or a rental agreement. If you're planning to visit a family member or a friend who resides in Austria, you must present an invitational letter from them. The invitation letter must include all relevant details. Also, you can opt to use Atlys's handy proof of accommodation tool (linked above). Using this tool will enable you to present valid proof of accommodation without paying before you know if you're visa application is successful.
Another requirement is that you prove you have the financial means to support yourself during your stay in Austria. Austria's Integration and Foreign Affairs do not openly stipulate the amount you require to be financially sufficient. The amount required is determined on a case-by-case basis. It's important that you contact your local Austrian Embassy or Consulate to learn more about the financial requirements.
When applying for your Schengen Visa, you must prove your civil status. To do this, you can either present a birth certificate or a marriage license.
Authorities will want to know the purpose of your trip to Austria. You can present a complete travel itinerary. Your itinerary must include all your intended travel dates, what you plan to do, and where you plan to go.
You must prove that you plan to travel back to your home country once your trip is finished. You can present a return flight ticket as proof. An easy workaround for this requirement is using Atlys's flight itinerary tool (linked above). This enables you to present a valid flight ticket without the need to pay for it.
You must prove to authorities that you won't be a threat to Austria. You can provide a clean criminal record that proves you're not involved in any illegal activities.
In addition to the documents mentioned above, you'll need to prove your employment status. You can expect to present the following documents depending on your employment status:
If You're Employed
An employment contract.
A letter from your employer that permits you to take leave from work. It must include all relevant details such as your personal details, your employer's details, how long you'll be absent from work, and that you can support yourself financially.
Your bank statements of the previous 6 months.
An Income Tax Return (ITR) Form
If You're Self-Employed
A copy of your business license.
An Income Tax Return (ITR) Form.
Your company's bank statements for the previous 6 months.
If You're A Student
Proof that of enrollment at a recognized educational institution.
A letter from your educational institution that permits you to be absent from your studies.
If You're Retired
A certificate that proves you're a retiree (or any similar document).
Pension statement of the previous 6 months.
Note, the document requirements for your Austrian Schengen Visa may be different depending on your country of residence. Contact your local Embassy to learn about the exact documents you require.
Now that you know the document requirements, we'll show you 6 simple steps you can follow to apply for your Austrian Schengen Visa.
Next, we'll be discussing how you can easily apply for your Austrian Schengen Visa. Note that these steps are only a general guideline that you can use. As mentioned above, it is wise to contact your local Embassy as their process may be different.
The first step you should take is gathering all the required documents. This step can take some time as you'll need to wait for specific documents. For example, acquiring a police clearance/clean criminal record can take some time to be processed in some countries. You should start collecting your documents as soon as possible. Doing this will leave you time to correct a mistake or collect another document you may have forgotten.
Pro tip: Creating a document checklist can help you keep things organized. You can check what documents you already have and what you still need to get.
Next, you need to start filling out your Schengen Visa application form. The visa application form may be confusing if you've never filled one out before. But not to worry, we'll discuss what your Schengen Visa application form entails later in this post.
When filling out your form, the information you provide must be correct and accurate. Be sure to refer back to your travel document if you're unsure about something. Note that if the information you provide is incorrect or false, your visa may be denied.
Learn more about the top mistakes you should avoid when applying for your Austrian Schengen Visa.
Once you've completed the form and collected all your documents, you must schedule a visa appointment at your local Austrian Embassy. You can schedule your visa appointment in 2 ways:
1. Contact Your Local Embassy
You can call the Embassy directly and schedule an appointment. However, keep in mind that the appointment slot you get may not be to your liking. For example, there are many testimonies of people who got an appointment 2 or 3 days before their trip. Meaning there isn't enough time left for their visa to be processed. You'll need to schedule an appointment as early as possible to ensure your visa is processed in time.
2. Use The Atlys Appointment Tool
At the top left of this page, you'll find a handy tool you can use to schedule your visa appointment. The tool is easy to use and only requires your email.
Important note: We recommend you schedule your appointment at least 1 month before your trip. This will allow you to attend your appointment and leave enough time for your Austrian Schengen Visa to be processed by embassy officials.
After you've scheduled your appointment, you'll need to travel to the Embassy and attend an in-person interview.
During you're appointment, you'll be interviewed by an Embassy official. Here you'll submit all your supporting documents and answer a few simple questions about your trip to Austria. It's important that you answer these questions as accurately and truthfully as you can.
Once you've completed your interview, Embassy officials will collect your biometric data. Your biometric data commonly consists of a digital photo and your 10 fingerprints.
You're almost finished. After your biometric data has been collected, you need to pay the visa application fee. You can expect to pay around €80 for an adult application.
Note that paying the application fee doesn't guarantee a successful visa application. The fee you're paying is only for the service provided by the Austrian Embassy. It's also worth mentioning that the payment is non-refundable.
This is the last step. You now need to wait for feedback from the Austrian Embassy. Typically, you'll receive feedback via mail, email, or your preferred contact method.
If the feedback is favorable, you can travel back to the Embassy to collect your visa.
Congratulations! With your Austrian Schengen Visa, you can now visit Austria for non-essential purposes.
Sadly, you may not receive favorable feedback. However, it's possible to appeal the initial decision made by Embassy officials. You'll be surprised about the reasons why your visa may be denied. In some cases, your visa might be denied due to a simple mistake you made on your application form or a document you forgot to submit. This is why you must always double-check your application form and your documents.
Either way, the next step you need to take is to appeal your visa decision. To learn more, read this post on how to appeal the visa decision. Furthermore, read more about the most common mistakes you should avoid when applying for your visa.
The Austria visa application form can be filled online. The process takes around 70 minutes, and expect to spend upwards of six hours preparing your complete Austria visa application.
For Austrian visa applicants living in the United States, valid legal proof of your residence status is required. Note that B1/B2 visa holders are not eligible to receive a Schengen visa in the United States. There are no exceptions to this rule. It's always helpful to provide accurate details about your US residence proof.
Pro Tip: If you've been to the Schengen area in the past 59 months, try reaching out to the consulate requesting a mail-in application. They're usually able to retrieve your biometrics from a central database. As per the European Union, frequent travelers to the Schengen Area do not have to give new finger scans every time they apply for a new visa. Once finger scans are stored in VIS, they can be re-used for further visa applications over a 5-year period.
In this section of the application form, you will have to provide information about your employment. Other than that, you need to state the purpose of your journey and the duration of your stay. The guarantor is basically your hotel.
Schengen visas are usually issued only for the said duration. Multiple entry Schengen visas are rare but worth trying!
Surname and first name of the inviting person(s) in the Member State(s). If not applicable, name of the hotel(s) or temporary accommodation(s) in the Member State(s). For most travelers, this is the hotel's contact information. The details have to match those in your itinerary and hotel reservation.
Finally, you've to present evidence to prove that you can support your stay in Austria. You can select the option that works best for you, which has a balance equivalent to EUR 50 x the number of days in Austria. Use the Atlys tool above to calculate the amount for your stay.
Photos for Schengen visa have to conform to ICAO standards.
Minors require a Schengen visa to travel to Austria. In addition to all the standard documents, you've to provide the following.
A letter of employment is required to prove that you have an incentive to return to your home country. For students, this is a letter from the university confirming your full-time admission. The letter should consist of:
For homemakers or those unemployed, a letter of support from any individual/organization. This includes but is not limited to your spouse or parents too. If you're traveling to Austria as part of your graduation trip, provide a copy of your offer letter. You want to be able to convince them that you've got a strong incentive to return back.
Travel insurance is a requirement to get an Austria Schengen visa. The insurance should cover:
"Applicants for a uniform visa for more than two entries (multiple entries) shall prove that they are in possession of adequate and valid travel medical insurance covering the period of their first intended visit. In addition, such applicants shall sign the statement, set out in the application form, declaring that they are aware of the need to be in possession of travel medical insurance for subsequent stays."
You now have the knowledge to confidently apply for your Austrian Schengen Visa.
Proof of accommodation is a tentative itinerary showing your flight tickets & hotel stay but not yet purchased.
Many qualify however, showing a bank statement is the most straightforward. You can also use one of these:
invoices of prepaid travels and accommodations
attested documents showing spouse’s consent in covering the expenses, etc. Other types of visas and document requirements
Short-term work visa: Reference letter of the U.S. employer mentioning profile, salary, date of hiring, dates of vacation, and itinerary.
Self-employed: Your business existence proof and the client’s details you intend to meet in Austria. The proof of income from the business.
Foreign students on F-1 visa: A valid I-20, reference letter from an educational institution, education details, and expected date of the end of graduation course.
The visa sticker contains information on the visa’s validity period and the duration of the authorized stay. A visa can be issued for one entry or multiple entries. The maximum duration of stay is shown on the visa sticker, and it varies according to the reasons for your stay. What you must remember
You can appeal the decision if you believe that there was no mistake in your application. However, you will not get a refund of the original fees.
The Member State competent to handle a request visa and decide on it is the one whose territory constitutes the sole destination (or main) or the trips.