A residence permit or visa issued by the Republic of Austria automatically entitles the holder to travel to the other Schengen countries as well.
The Schengen Area is the area comprising 26 European countries that have abolished passport and any other type of border control at their internal borders. It mostly functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the Schengen Agreement, which was signed in the small village of “Schengen” in Luxembourg.
Passports usually will only be checked at the first point of entry into the Schengen zone – not when travelling within the Schengen area. So in case of a trip from New York to Vienna with a stopover in Paris, the residence permit or visa will only be checked in Paris. Inside the Schengen area there are no regular border checks, but please be aware that of course there can be random police inspections at airports and train stations. All nationals who need a visa for entering Austria always have to have their passports and the residence permit or visa with them when travelling.
An Austrian residence permit or visa entitles the holder only to travel to other Schengen countries. Please note that the Schengen area and the European Union are not identical!
There are some EU-countries – Great Britain, Ireland, Rumania & Bulgaria – that are members of the European Union, but are not Schengen countries. A visa will most likely still be needed for entering these countries.
On the other hand, there are several countries that are not a member of the European Union – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway & Switzerland – but are still part of the Schengen zone. Travelling to these countries with the Austrian residence permit or visa will not be a problem.
To sum it up – an Austrian residence permit or visa at the moment entitles you to travel to the following countries for up to 90 days within half a year:
Belgium, Denmark, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland.
Rumania, Bulgaria, Croatia & Cyprus are planning to join the Schengen zone in the future.
For more details, please have a look at the homepage of the European Commission: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/schengen/index_en.htm
There are also a number of nationals who don’t need a visa or residence permit to enter Austria, the European Union or the Schengen area. Here is a list covering all nations on the homepage of the ministry of internal affairs: http://www.bmi.gv.at/cms/BMI_Fremdenpolizei/visumspflichten/start.aspx
Happy travels and a wonderful summer from our immigration department!
Categorised in: Immigration
This post was written by Christina Tschida