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Tag: Income

Red-White-Red Card and pregnancy

What effects do pregnancy and maternity leave have on a Red-White-Red Card and is an extension of the right of residence possible?

Mariana is originally from Colombia. She studied pharmacy in Bogota and worked as a scientist at the National University of Colombia after her studies. Due to an advertisement in a professional magazine, Mariana learns about a vacancy at a pharmaceutical company in Austria that would fit her profile perfectly. Since Mariana has no ties in Colombia and she has always wanted to live in Europe for a while, she applies for the job, which she actually gets.

Since Mariana is very well educated and speaks English fluently, she receives a Red-White-Red card in Austria as a particularly highly qualified worker and can start in her new job just a few weeks after applying.

At her new workplace, Mariana meets Peter, with whom she falls in love at first sight, and begins a love affair with him. A few weeks later, Mariana is pregnant. When she tells Peter, he doesn’t want to know about it and breaks off contact with Mariana. Mariana decides to raise her child alone, but is determined to stay in Austria and also keep her new job, which she enjoys very much.

Loss of residence permit due to pregnancy?

A Red-White-Red Card is restricted to employment with a specific employer for the first two years after it is issued. So, if Mariana loses her job, she would also lose the requirements for the issuance of the Red-White-Red – Card (see this article).

However, as soon as Mariana informs her employer of her pregnancy, her employment cannot be terminated until 4 months after giving birth or if taking maternity leave until 4 weeks after the end of maternity leave. So, for the time being, Mariana does not have to fear that she will lose her residence permit as her employer cannot terminate her employment.

What is the situation during maternity leave or parental leave?

Expectant mothers are generally not allowed to be employed during the last 8 weeks before the birth and 8 weeks after the delivery. These periods are considered to be full periods of employment and do not terminate the employment relationship.

The employment relationship is not interrupted by maternity leave but the employee’s duty to work and the employer’s duty to pay are suspended. This means that the conditions for obtaining a Red-White-Red Card do not cease to apply during maternity leave (as long as there is no minimum payment required for the obtaining of a Red-White-Red Card).

Application for Red-White-Red Card Plus

If Mariana has had a Red-White-Red Card for two years, she can apply for a Red-White-Red Card Plus. To do so, she must prove that she was employed under the conditions for the Red-White-Red Card for at least 21 months within the last 24 months before applying. Periods of employment prohibition during maternity and maternity leave are explicitly included.

It should be noted, however, that the general requirements for the issuance of residence titles must also be fulfilled when applying for the Red-White-Red Card Plus. One of these requirements is proof of a sufficiently secure livelihood. Even though entitlements to family allowance and childcare allowance are in principle to be considered as regular income, Mariana must reach the threshold values of the equalisation supplement reference rate. If the regular income is not sufficient for this, Mariana would also have to prove her sufficiently secure livelihood through existing savings.

Citizenship in Austria – Is your income high enough?

Is your livelihood sufficiently secured for the granting of Austrian citizenship?

Austrian citizenship may only be granted to persons who are able to cover their living expenses in Austria by means of an adequate income and without recourse to social welfare benefits and who have sufficiently secured this income.

Enter your income and regular expenses and find out immediately whether your income is sufficiently secured to apply for Austrian citizenship.

This calculation tool only serves as a first orientation on the question of whether your livelihood is sufficiently secured for the granting of Austrian citizenship. The calculation is exemplary for a single person without children, with an application at the end of 2022.

This calculation tool does not provide binding legal information and cannot replace detailed advice in individual cases. Attorney-at-law Dr. Alexander Raidl, BA accepts no liability whatsoever arising from the use of this calculation tool.

Necessary income for the granting of Austrian citizenship

How high does the income have to be for Austrian citizenship to be granted?

The granting of Austrian citizenship is linked to a number of prerequisites. In addition to a sufficiently long residence in Austria and some general legal requirements (such as exemption from punishment for serious offenses or an affirmative attitude towards the Republic of Austria), a sufficiently secure livelihood must be proven. How this is calculated and which income and expenses have to be taken into account is answered here.

Austrian citizenship may only be granted to persons who are able to cover their living expenses in Austria by means of an adequate income and without recourse to social welfare benefits and who have sufficiently secured this income.

For this purpose, the applicant must have fixed and regular own income from gainful employment or other income, legal maintenance claims or insurance benefits. The applicant must prove these claims for a total period of 36 months within the last 6 years prior to the application, whereby the last six months prior to the application are included in any case.

This means that in order to prove that he or she has sufficient means of livelihood, an applicant must pick out the best 30 months of the last 5.5 years prior to application and submit the relevant proof of income to the authority for this purpose. In addition, there should also be sufficiently high income in the last six months before the application, because these months are in any case included in the assessment by the authority.

How high must the regular income for Austrian citizenship be?

How high does the regular income have to be for the authorities to recognise it as a secure livelihood? The answer to this question can be found in the General Social Insurance Act (ASVG). There, the reference rates for the entitlement to a compensatory supplement to pensions from the pension insurance are regulated. The applicant’s income, without recourse to social assistance benefits, must at least correspond to the average of the reference rates of the last three years before the application in a period of (the best) 36 months in the last 6 years before the application. These reference rates change annually. In 2021, the reference rate for single persons is € 1,000.48, for married couples € 1,578.36 and for each child an additional € 154.37.

How can I prove that I have a secure livelihood?

For example, wage slips, wage confirmations, work contracts, preliminary contracts under labour law, confirmations of pension or other insurance benefits, proof of receipt of childcare allowance or proof of own assets in a sufficient amount can be submitted as proof of secure livelihood. However, maintenance claims are only taken into account if they are legally justified. Benefits from maintenance contracts or voluntary allowances and gifts of money (even if these are made regularly), on the other hand, cannot be used as proof of a secure livelihood.

How are regular expenses taken into account?

The applicant’s own fixed and regular income is reduced by regular expenses. These regular expenses include rent, loan payments, garnishments and maintenance payments to persons not living in the joint household. These regular expenses are to be deducted from the net income, leaving a so-called “free ward” (for 2021: € 304.45), which is not taken into account when calculating the regular expenses. Thus, only the regular expenses reduce the income that exceeds this “free ward”. If childcare allowance is received in the last six months prior to the application, subsistence is considered to be sufficiently secured in this period in any case.

A simplified example of the calculation of sufficient income for Austria citizenship

If a claimant (single) has regular monthly income of € 2,000.00 net and regular expenses of € 800.00, in a first step the “free ward” has to be deducted from the regular expenses.

Regular expenses (for rent, loan, etc)……..€ 800.00
Deduct free ward……………………………………..- € 304.45
Regular expenses to be deducted………..€ 495.55

In a second step, the regular expenses calculated in this way are to be deducted from the regular net income.

Regular net income…………………………………€ 2,000.00
Regular expenses to be deducted………- € 495,55
Regular own income…………………………….€ 1,504.45

As the regular monthly income of the applicant is higher than € 1,000.48, his livelihood would be sufficiently secured this month. However, if the applicant would also have to provide for a wife with this income and with the same expenses, the threshold of € 1,578.36 would not be reached this month.

Use the online calculation tool to check whether your livelihood is sufficiently secured!

Are there also exceptions?

Persons who, due to a disability or a permanent, serious illness, are impaired in earning their regular livelihood are exempt from the obligation to prove this according to the described requirements. These restrictions must in any case be proven by a medical certificate.


The exact calculation of a secure livelihood as a prerequisite for the granting of Austrian citizenship can therefore be very complicated, especially if the income comes from different sources or is offset by high regular expenses. In order to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is, therefore, advisable to check carefully before applying for the granting of Austrian citizenship whether all legally required prerequisites, such as the sufficiently secure livelihood, are actually fulfilled to the required extent.