Moving to Vienna: The Ultimate Relocation Guide


As with any relocation, moving to Vienna is a big decision – and a wise one, for that matter. Austria’s capital is ranked among the best places to live as per the Global Liveability Index. This survey ranks cities based on factors such as housing, public transport, and education facilities.

Need to move to Vienna for work, school or to be closer to your family? The process is quite lengthy, so you might need help to know what you need. Lucky for you, Austrian visa requirements are fairly easy to meet. Once you’re ready to move, all you have to do is identify a house of your choice, assemble important documents, and secure all your placement – it’s really that simple.

Arrange your visa and residence permit

If you are moving to Austria, you need to ensure you are authorized to reside here. The country deals with immigrant affairs based on two laws. The Aliens Police Act applies for short-term stays of up to 6 months. Should you want to stay longer, you are subject to the Settlement and Residence Act. A visa will enable you to move to Vienna, but you need a residence permit to start working there.

Depending on your line of work and length of stay, there are various permits for your case. The most common permits include the Red-White-Red card for a 12-month validity, which is suitable for those who need to stay for five years. This also requires you to pass the language module one.

The EU Blue Card is valid for 24 months, with no language tests required. Finally, there’s a settlement permit for relatives or dependents of Red-White-Red Card holders.

Neighborhoods in Vienna

Vienna has 23 boroughs, locally known as Bezirke, with many suburbs in the metropolitan area. Each borough has unique street signs, so you should have a rough idea of the borough you are in. Borough 1 is the city center, and then numbers two starts from the east, through to 9.

Typically, city dwellers will call their borough either by number or proper name. Anyone moving to Vienna should familiarize themselves with their area to easily get around the city.

If you reside in a one-digit borough, you will enjoy short commutes to work because many businesses are located near the city center.

Many expats prefer to live in Dobling and Wahring, where you can find many international schools and roomier houses. On the other hand, younger expats prefer to stay in Landstrasse and Wieden next to the city center.

If you wish to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city, you might want to look for accommodation near the suburbs, most of which are located 40 minutes away from the city center.

Secure housing

Like most European cities, housing in Vienna is highly in demand. As such, you might want to start your search for accommodation as early as when you receive your verification placements.

A unique aspect of Vienna is that the Austrian government regulates rent. Ideally, renters shouldn’t pay more than 25% of their salary on rental payments under their rules.

Affordable apartments do not last long, so if you find a good deal, be sure to grab it quickly before it’s gone. There are several housing options in Vienna, such as already furnished apartments that will not only save you money (and time) on your accommodation but usually provide you with other amenities like a fully equipped kitchen with appliances and everything else you need to start living immediately after your arrival.

Once you secure your housing in Vienna, keep in mind that you’re required to register the address within three business days of moving in at a local Registration Service Center. If you come from EU/EEA countries, you’ll be required to have a confirmation of registration after three months of stay.

Here are the documents you need to have:

  • A completed registration form with the landlord’s signature
  • Your birth certificate
  • Dual-citizenship holders need documents proving their identity and place of birth
  • A passport/ asylum certificate

Once you complete the registration process successfully, you’ll be issued a Residence Registration Certificate.

Set up health insurance

One thing to love about Austria is that it provides fantastic public healthcare. If you are relocating from any country in the EU or EEA, your European Health Insurance Card is all you need to access health services. But if you’re coming from other parts of the world, you need to apply for private health insurance (self-insurance).

Ready for your big move to Vienna?

Vienna has for the longest time been a popular spot for people relocating from other parts of Europe and abroad. If you’re moving to the city for the first time and don’t know where to start, we hope our ultimate guide to relocating to this beautiful city will ease your journey.

Enjoy your stay!