What are the advantages of a change of purpose application and what distinguishes it from a renewal application or initial application?
Tim is a US citizen, studies in Austria and has had a residence permit “student” for several years, which he has to renew annually. He has been together with Andreas, an Austrian citizen, for 2 years now and is already living with him in his flat. They are also planning to enter into a registered partnership next year.
In the past academic year, Tim had a lot on his plate and could not concentrate properly on his studies. After he has applied again for an extension of his “student” residence permit, he receives information from the immigration authorities that he did not achieve the required academic success in the past academic year to extend his residence permit.
Tim is initially devastated, but Andreas knows that registered partners can obtain a residence title in Austria as family members. The two therefore conclude the registered partnership earlier than originally planned and assume that the authorities will simply grant Tim the right residence title. What do you have to pay attention to?
Application for a change of purpose in case of a change of the purpose of residence
If during the current period of validity of an already existing residence title the requirements change so fundamentally that a new residence title with a different purpose of stay can be applied for, an application for a change of purpose can be submitted to the competent immigration authority at any time, even before the current residence title expires. The advantage of such a change of purpose application is that it can be filed within the country. Even a rejection of an application for a change of purpose has no effect on the existing right of residence. An application for the extension of an existing residence permit can therefore still be submitted as long as the current residence title is still valid.
Missing the change of purpose leads to initial application
Even after Tim receives the information from the immigration authorities that his study success is not sufficient to extend his residence permit “student”, he does not care any further and simply sends his partnership certificate to the authorities without any further comment.
Since Tim has failed to change his current application for extension into an application for a change of purpose, the authorities issue a negative decision on his application for extension of his “student” residence permit. After Tim receives this decision, he is very surprised and writes an e-mail to the authorities asking them to grant him a residence title as a “family member” due to his registered partnership with an Austrian citizen.
Unfortunately, this application comes too late, because an application for a change of purpose is only permissible until the decision on an application for renewal is issued. Tim’s application for a residence title is therefore to be regarded as an initial application.
Disadvantages of the initial application
Once the decision rejecting the application for renewal becomes final, Tim is in Austria illegally and the residence title he applied for as a “family member” cannot be granted to him, even if all the necessary requirements are met. On the one hand, he has to leave for USA and wait there for the residence title to be granted, and on the other hand, his current stay in Austria is thereby interrupted and the 5-year period for obtaining a permanent right of residence in Austria starts all over again.