Moving to Austria

Moving to and living in Austria 


Overall, most everyone will find that Austria has a great many positive things to offer any expat, and here are some of the big ones.

Higher quality of life

The quality of life in Austria is very high. In fact, a 2019 global study placed Austria in second place for quality of life. Additionally, Vienna has topped the list of Most Livable Cities in the world for ten straight years. Austria also ranks highly when it comes to press freedom, women’s rights, and human rights.


The education system in Austria is of a very high-quality and certainly well-developed. Non-Europeans are often amazed that Austria offers free universal, pre-school, and public primary and secondary school, the Austrian population is well-educated. Students can even choose between vocational and academic schools. Uniquely, all Austrian and EU students can access public universities in Austria at no cost. And, amazingly, even for non-EU students, public university costs are incredibly low; usually between €1,000 and €2,000. Of course, this is assuming that you can speak German.

Living in Austria has many perks


Healthcare in Austria is universal and very accessible. The majority of health concerns and medications are covered, and treatment is both high-quality and efficient. In fact, the quality of healthcare is so well-regarded that many people will travel to Austria to seek medical care and pay the costs out-of-pocket.

Private healthcare in Austria is available for those who either cannot or would rather not use public healthcare. Generally, private healthcare means no waiting times, wider physician choice, and the choice of public or private clinics and hospitals. Although the quality of care does not vary hugely, the comfort of care might be more to your liking.

As many people are living with more of an essential ethos, the question comes up how much does it cost to move to Austria?

Moving Used Household Goods and Personal Effects to Austria

Documents Required

  • Passport
  • Bill of lading (OBL) / air waybill (AWB)
  • Detailed inventory (3 copies)
  • Residence registration form (primary residence)
  • Original Austrian Customs forms (ZBefr2a)
  • Original power of attorney
  • Duty-free permit, if applicable
  • Invoices for all new furniture, appliances, gifts, and objects of art / antiques (2 copies)
  • Exit certificate / certificate of stay abroad for at least 12 months (confirmation from the local authority of the previous residence, confirmation by employer or other official proof)
  • ZBefr2a form for returning Austrians, EU citizens, and immigrants who have lived in the EU.
  • ZBefr2a form for someone who has never lived in the EU before.
  • ZBefr2a form for diplomats


Specific Information

  • Owners of the goods who have lived in the European Union prior to import may need a permit for the duty-free importation of household goods and personal effects ("Grundlagenbescheid") available at the Customs office nearest to the residence.
  • Only used goods personally owned and used for at least 6 months by the owner of the goods and are intended for use in the country may be imported.
  • Removal goods can be imported into Austria duty free within 12 months from the change of residence.
  • After Customs clearance, the removal goods are prohibited for 12 months from sale or transfer unless Customs duties are paid.
  • Contact destination agent to confirm necessity of a duty-free permit.



Documents Required

  • Certificate of vaccination
  • Veterinary health certificate


Specific Information

  • Pets may be imported free of duties.
  • Cats and dogs may be imported without prior authorization; contact agent for information on the import of other animals.


Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Firearms (an official permit is required)
  • Pump guns
  • Spirits, cigarettes, tobacco, perfumes for personal consumption (an import permit is required).
  • Antiques, if over 100 years of age are duty free but subject to value added tax (VAT) in addition to Customs duties and taxes (a certificate of appraisal from an Austrian expert is generally required
  • New furniture, appliances, gifts, souvenirs, and objects of art / antiques are subject to duties and taxes (a certificate of circulation of goods and import permit are required, where applicable).
  • Plants and plant products (a plant protection certificate is required)


Prohibited Items

  • Drugs


Cultural and Other Information

Federal Ministry Republic of Austria - Moving to Austria

CIA World Factbook

Wikipedia Entry for Austria

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