Austria is a clean and scenic nation and is a popular choice for movers from all around the world. Fusing the very best of western and central European cultures, Austria is a nation which is easy to settle into. This makes removals to Austria a top pick for expats from all around the globe. However, moving overseas always involves a lot of work and Austria is no exception. Although parts of the culture may be very similar to your home country, there will be lots of changes to get used to. Therefore, doing a bit of homework before you set off will make moving to Austria smoother.
Here’s a look at the essential information you’ll need about moving to Austria.
Moving to Austria: About Austria
Austria is an Alpine country in central Europe, with a small population of just 8.7 million. The nation is a veritable melting pot of cultures, with many residents from other European countries. As such, Austria has earned its reputation as a very diverse and welcoming country.
Eight other countries share their border with Austria: Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Lichtenstein and Switzerland. Therefore Austria is an ideal base for anyone hoping to explore mainland Europe.
Often referred to as the Alpine Republic, the landscape in Austria is particularly picturesque with the towns equally charming. Mountains and trees tend to dominate the scenery, with the Alps making up 65% of the country, and 43% covered by dense forest.
The climate varies depending on where in the country you live. In Alpine regions, you can expect harsh winters with freezing temperatures and lots of snow. Eastern areas experience hot summers and a dry climate while the west is more moderate, with milder winters and pleasant summers, but much more rain.
Moving to Austria: Language
The official language of Austria is German, being spoken by 97% of the population. It is possible to get by without speaking German in the main cities such as Vienna and Graz, but it’s much easier to integrate with the locals if you learn the lingo.
However, Austria has a very distinct identity from nearby Germany, and it fiercely resists being lumped together. You will find that this extends to the language too, with Austrian speaking a slightly different type of German.
Alemannic and Wienerisch are two German dialects; You will hear them in the Vorarlberg and Vienna districts respectively. Alemannic is more like Swiss German, and there are some notable differences from the standard German language. Despite the variances in the dialects around the nation, the grammar is more or less the same. Anyone who is fluent in German will find it easy to pick up the slightly different language.
Moving to Austria: Visa Requirements
As part of the EU, it’s very easy for many European citizens to live and work in Austria. Anyone from either the EEA or EU can enter the country to work without requiring any form of visa. However, if you’re planning to stay for more than three months, you will need to obtain a registration certificate. The “Anmeldebescheinigung” is an important document, and you need to apply for one within four months of arrival.
You will find essential links for British Expats in Austria on the UK Govt website
Outside the EU, there is a large number of countries which also qualify for visa-free entry, such as the US, Australia and Canada. Visitors from these countries should still follow the procedure for obtaining registration documents if they plan a more extended stay and work.
Regardless of visa requirements, any new arrivals must register their address within the first three days. They can do that at the Meldeservice, the local registration service.
Moving to Austria: Transport system
Transport in Austria is excellent, whether you choose to drive or use the public transport systems. The road network is extensive and well maintained, but driving can be a chore with difficult one way systems and frequent traffic jams. Parking is also a problem in most of the main cities, with a scarcity of spaces and expensive costs.
If you decide to drive you will need to make sure you have the proper safety warning kit in your vehicle at all times. You will incur a stiff fine if you don’t.
All the main cities have a variety of forms of public transport including mainline trains, underground services, buses and trams. Cycling is also popular in Austria, and there are plenty of designated cycle lanes throughout the cities.
Moving to Austria: Healthcare
If you are working in Austria, deductions from your salary will cover your healthcare contributions. In Austria, everyone contributes to Social Security to pay for the costs of healthcare.
You will have the choice of which healthcare provider to join. Before receiving treatment, you will first need to check that the dentist, doctor or hospital is in your plan. If you need to stay in hospital as an inpatient, you should expect to have to make a payment towards each day you spend there.
You cannot opt-out from the public healthcare system, but you can choose to opt-in by making payments if you’re not automatically included. An alternative would be taking out private insurance to cover your healthcare needs.
Overall, you’ll find the standards very high in Austria, with clean hospitals fitted out with state of the art equipment. Pharmacies oversee the filling out prescriptions, and even with healthcare cover, there is a small charge per prescription.
The emergency number for the ambulance in Austria is 144; this is the same for fire and police.
Moving to Austria: Your removal
As the country has such excellent transport links, moving to Austria is easy by road travel, sea or air. If you are organising a removal to any country overseas, it’s always a good idea to choose an international moving company which has experience in the region.
You can bring personal effects into the country duty-free if you’ve owned them for more than six months. However, you cannot transport food, plants, alcohol, tobacco and offensive material. The other restrictions which apply are those which are typically found in every country such as narcotics, firearms and inflammable goods.
Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to help you with the full list of restrictions that apply to removals to Austria and also provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.