Paperwork A valid passport is required when entering Austria. The only exception to this rule is when entering from another Schengen country (all EU states minus Britain and Ireland, plus Switzerland); in this case, only a national identity card is required.
Border procedures Formal border controls have been abolished for those entering from another EU country or Switzerland, but spot checks may be carried out at the border or inside Austria itself.
Austrian customs regulations are in line with all other EU countries. Items such as weapons, certain drugs (both legal and illegal), meat, certain plant materials and animal products are subject to strict customs control. All goods must be for personal use. The Ministry of Finance website (http://english.bmf.gv.at) has an overview of regulations.
Below are some key guidelines for anyone 17 years or older importing items from an EU or non-EU country. The amounts in brackets are for items imported from outside the EU; if tobacco products don’t have health warnings in the German language, these too are limited to the amounts given in brackets.
- Alcohol Beer 110L (16L); or spirits over 22% 10L (1L); or spirits under 22%, sparkling wine, wine liqueurs 20L (2L); or wine 90L (4L).
- Cigarettes 800 (200); or cigarillos 400 (100); or cigars 200 (50); or tobacco 1kg (250g).
- Money Amounts of over €10,000 in cash or in travellers cheques (or the equivalent in cash in a foreign currency) must be declared on entering or leaving the EU. There is no limit within the EU, but authorities are entitled to request accurate information on the amount you are carrying.
A valid passport is required when entering Austria. The only exception to this rule is when entering from another Schengen country (all EU states minus Britain and Ireland, plus Switzerland); in this case, only a national identity card is required.
Austria is part of the Schengen Agreement. A visa generally isn't necessary for stays of up to three months, but some nationalities need a Schengen visa.
Visas for stays of up to three months are not required for citizens of the EU, the European Economic Area (EEA), much of Eastern Europe, Israel, USA, Canada, the majority of Central and South American nations, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia or New Zealand. All other nationalities, including Chinese and Russian travellers, require a visa; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (www.bmaa.gv.at) has a list of Austrian embassies where you can apply for one, and the Austrian embassy in Washington (www.austria.org/going-to-austria/entry-a-residence-permits) lists all visa-free nationalities. Apply at least three weeks in advance.
If you wish to stay longer than three months you should simply leave the country and re-enter. For those nationalities that require a visa, extensions cannot be organised within Austria; you’ll need to leave and reapply. EU nationals can stay indefinitely but are required by law to register with the local Magistratisches Bezirksamt (magistrate’s office) if the stay exceeds 60 days.
Austria is part of the Schengen Agreement, which includes all EU states (minus Britain and Ireland) and Switzerland. In practical terms this means a visa issued by one Schengen country is good for all the other member countries and a passport is not required to move from one to the other (a national identity card is required, though). Austrians are required to carry personal identification, and you too will need to be able to prove your identity.
Visa and passport requirements are subject to change, so always double-check your home country's foreign travel or Austrian embassy website before travelling.