First Time Application (Third Country Nationals)

If you are planning to study in Austria and do not have the citizenship of a country of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA) (this is also referred to as third country nationals), you need either to apply for a Visa D or for a residence permit for students. In both cases, the application has to be made personally.

A Visa D is suitable only for students who plan to spend no more than 6 months in Austria as it allows you to stay in Austria for 180 days (within 360 days) only. The application for a Visa D has to be made at the Austrian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. The decision on your application must be awaited abroad. We therefore recommend to apply for a Visa D at least three months before you intend to come to Austria as the process can take several weeks or even months. (Please note: There are separate regulations for U.S. and Canadian citizens who complete a study abroad semester at Webster Vienna Private University – please contact your study abroad advisor for more information.)

If you are planning to spend more than 6 months in Austria (i.e. to pursue a degree program), you need to apply for a residence permit for students. You can apply for a residence permit for students either in your home country at the Austrian Embassy or Consulate or directly at the regional authority in Austria (i.e. MA 35 in Vienna). The application for a residence permit in Austria is particularly suitable for students from third countries that are allowed to come to Austria for a period of 90 days (within 180 days) without a visa. You can find a complete list of all countries and their classifications on the OeAD website.

However, in the last case we recommend to already prepare all the documents necessary in advance and apply for a residence permit for students immediately after your arrival in Austria as the decision on the application can last up to 90 days and the application itself does not allow you to stay longer in Austria (i.e. in order to await the decision on your application). Therefore, if you apply too late you might have to leave Austria and await the decision on your application abroad. It is therefore advisable for every student to organize all the necessary documents for the application in their home country. Once the student is in Austria and lacks the necessary documents (e.g. a criminal record extract from their home country), it can often be difficult to obtain them in time. In case of doubt, it is advisable for every student to seek professional legal assistance in the run-up to the application in order to ensure all documents are complete and submitted on time.

The residence permit for students is normally granted for a period of 12 months and can be renewed every year.

Please note: If you are under 18 when applying, you must have a legal guardian currently legally residing in Austria to sign for you.

How to start the application process:

For detailed information and document checklist please refer to the OEAD website.

Please thoroughly read the information provided before submitting your application.

Application form and completion assistant can be found here: Application form residence permit student

Completion assistant application form residence permit student

In case you have further questions:

If you have read the information provided above as well as consulted the recommended website and have further questions please contact Student Services at[at]

Please note: Webster Vienna Private University is not able to give legal immigration advice or represent students as a third party. We cannot enquire or intervene on your behalf at the Austrian authorities. The outcome of visa/residence permit applications is the decision of the Austrian authorities alone.

If you need professional legal assistance obtaining an Austrian visa or residence permit, please consult one of the following legal professionals.