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.