Visa for Austria & legal issues
Austria is a member of the European Union, but also of the Schengen Treaty. The Schengen area includes most of the EU countries and Switzerland and lead to the end of border controls between Austria and most of its neighbour countries.
However, everybody - foreigners as much as Austrians - are in theory required to carry an official identification document with them at all times; this is normally not controlled in a street situation. Most Austrians do not carry ID′s and tourists are unlikely to be targeted by police controls.
Schengen visa are issued collectively, if you got a visa for e. g. France, it is automatically valid for Austria. Citizens of the EU are free to travel, work or live in Austria with almost full citizen rights except the suffrage for national elections and the passive vote.
Citizens of the European Economic Area, the United States, Canada, Isreal, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, most South American countries, Australia and New Zealand do not need a visa for a stay in Austria up to three months.
Who needs visa to travel to Austria?
Citizens of the following countries do require a Schengen visa for travelling to Austria (in alphabetical order):
A-C: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina-Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comores, Congo (Republic), Congo (Democratic Republic), Cote d′Ivoire, Cuba;
D-J: Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ehtiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan;
K-P: Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea (Democratic People′s Republic, North), Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines;
Q-Z: Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
This is the state of summer 2009, no accuracy guaranteed, since visa agreements are subject to change. If in doubt, check with your embassy or consulate in Austria or the ministry of foreign affairs of your country. Tourist visa do not permit you to work in Austria and are valid for three months. You should apply for them well in advance, ideally three months before you intend to travel.
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Ministry of foreign Affairs in Austria - opens in new window