Austria work permit exemptions for artists and for other specific persons or groups

Ultimate Advisor for third country national artists travelling to European Union





Inviting artists, cultural professionals, touring groups, and others from visa-required countries to Austria


What do artists from third countries need to tour Austria?

If you are a performing artist, tour-manager, promoter or live performance organisation, sooner or later you might want to come and perform in Austria. Nowadays, artists and other cultural professionals are very mobile, performing abroad more often than in their country of origin. Performing abroad though, visas and other permits issues might occur. Since the establishment of Schengen Zone, and unification of legislative in European Union, it might be a bit easier, but the issue still stands.


For artists in Austria is exemption under the Section 3 Paragraph 4 of the Act on the Employment of Foreign Nationals, for one day or up to four weeks. The performance like theater play, film production or circus includes four weeks time period without needing employment permit for all members with respect to preparatory work. In these cases, the employment of foreign artists must be informally notified by the organizer or producer to the responsible local employment office (AMS). Irrespective of this, it should be clarified before entering the country with the responsible Austrian Embassy whether and for which persons a visa is required.

Artistic activity up to 6 months

If the stay for performance is longer but doesn´t exceeds 6 months, artists need an employment permit and visa D. If you are not allowed to visa-free-entry you need to apply for a certificate of assurance too. For visa-free-entry artists employment permit is sufficient. Applications must be sent to competent AMS. The visa is issued on the basis of a positive security certificate or employment permit. In the first case from Austrian embassy abroad (it does not have to be the country of origin), in the second case by the foreign police department in the country.

Artistic activity over 6 months

Artists who intend to stay in Austria longer than 6 months must have a residence permit from local competent authority (Immigration service centre). The residence permit already includes the work permit. The Employment Office verifies and checks the conditions of application under the Act on the Employment of Foreign Nationals. This applies above all to the remuneration offered, which may not be lower than that of domestic artists in the same sector. If the application is rejected you lodge the office a complaint. The Employment Office does not examine the artistic achievements or the quality of the performance but focus on the type of employment. Unfortunately “art” is not defined in the Act on the Employment of Foreign Nationals. We can find there only examples of artistic activities such as acting, music, dance, painting etc.




If you need more information, please contact us at any time:

RA Dr. Wolfgang Schäfer, LL.M.
Neue Welt-Gasse 5, A-1130 Wien
Tel.: +43 (1) 877 01 02
Fax: +43 (1) 877 01 02 / 16


ECOVIS Rechtsanwaltskanzlei Dr. Gottfried Thiery
Franziskanerplatz 6/1a
1010 Vienna
t: +43 1 512 2414 0

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