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No grace period for residence permits for Brits in Austria

By the end of November, 8,886 “Article 50 EUV” residence permits had been applied for nationwide. At the beginning of the previous year, 11,529 British citizens lived in Austria.

At the end of the year, the deadline for Britons in Austria to apply for the “Article 50 EUV” residence permit introduced as a result of Brexit expired. There is no grace period, as the Interior Ministry announced on Thursday. By the end of November, 8,886 “Article 50 EUV” residence permits had been applied for nationwide. 7882 of these were granted by November 30, 2021. According to figures from Statistics Austria, 11,529 British citizens were living in Austria at the beginning of 2021.

There could still be a small back door: The exit agreement stipulates that such a residence permit should also be granted on the basis of a late application “if, taking into account all the circumstances in the individual case, there is a reasonable reason for the delay,” said the Ministry of the Interior. Examples given included minors whose parents had not submitted an application, or serious illnesses. An individual examination of all circumstances is carried out in each individual case. “In any case, those affected should contact the authority responsible for them as soon as possible to clarify their options.”

“Longer period than stipulated in the withdrawal agreement”

The application period ran from January 1 to December 31, 2021. Austria had already granted “a longer period than specified in the exit agreement”, because the deadline for this would have been June 30, 2021, i.e. six months from the end of the Brexit transition phase , was stressed in the Interior Ministry. Together with the British Embassy, ​​numerous information events were also held throughout Austria and online in 2021 to inform all British citizens of the need to apply.

The application for the residence permit must be submitted in person. Which authority is responsible depends on where you live. This can be the provincial governor, the mayor (magistrate) or the district authority. Municipal Department 35 (MA35) is responsible in Vienna, where at the beginning of 2021 the highest number of British expatriates lived in a comparison of the federal states with 4447 people.

The Home Office also pointed out that people who have EEA citizenship in addition to British citizenship can continue to exercise their freedom of movement rights on the basis of this second citizenship. This also applies to Britons who are also Swiss citizens.

Without application “to be treated like third-country nationals”

British citizens who have not applied for an “Article 50 EUV” residence permit or whose late application cannot be considered should in any case be “treated like normal third-country nationals” and can apply for “any other residence permit that suits them under the Settlement and Residence Act”. Here, in particular, residence permits for family reunification, for qualified employment (with a red-white-red card) or residence permits for school training or a degree would come into question.

Britons who “only now apply without a reasonable reason within the meaning of the exit agreement or do not apply at all” were illegally staying in Austria after the visa-free stay had expired. “The Federal Office for Aliens and Asylum is therefore called upon to end this illegal residence.” In the course of the procedure, “of course, the previous length of stay and integration in Austria are taken into account,” according to the Ministry of the Interior.

In the United Kingdom, the deadline for submitting an application as part of the “EU Settlement Scheme” launched in spring 2019 was June 30, 2021. According to data from the British Home Office, a total of 6,340,200 had settled by the end of November – these are also the most recent figures available here applications, 287,800 of them after the deadline. By the end of November, 5,992,100 applications had been completed. Of the more than five and a half million applications from citizens of the EU-27 by the end of June 2021, around 24,400 came from Austrians.


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