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I am a UK citizen living in the EU, and am partway through applying for residency in Austria. That is, I have registered my apartment and submitted all the necessary documents (proof of address, identity, income etc) to the local government immigration office, along with various forms. This process ended up taking a lot longer than expected, partly due to Covid, but everything was approved and I was supposed to have received a form that I needed to sign and post back in order to get my residency certificate.

As of 31st December 2020, the form has not arrived. Since tomorrow marks the end of the Brexit transition period, I am not sure whether or not I will retain my EU rights (freedom of movement, access to EU social security and jobs market, indefinite leave to remain in the country, etc), since my application was only part-completed at this time.

I emailed the state office, asking if there was an electronic version of the form I could print out myself and send by special delivery to ensure it arrived before the Brexit deadline, since otherwise I would need a visa to remain. Their reply was that "it is not a problem, since [I] have already taken advantage of freedom of movement [by coming to Austria before the end of the transition period]". This seems to imply that because I have been resident since the summer, it does not matter when the official residency certificate is granted. However, they also mentioned that I can make an appointment for getting a visa in January, while had my form been delivered a couple of days earlier, I would not have needed a visa at all.

I'm not sure if this is some kind of communication issue (my German is still extremely limited) but if anyone knows what the immigration status/EU rights are for UK citizens with half-completed residency applications at the end of the transition period, that would be very helpful to know.

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    I'm not sure of a full answer to your question, but I might suggest that you not leave Austria until your residency is sorted! Dec 31 '20 at 2:53
  • Should this not be moved to Expatriates? Dec 31 '20 at 3:30
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Their reply was that "it is not a problem, since [I] have already taken advantage of freedom of movement [by coming to Austria before the end of the transition period]". This seems to imply that because I have been resident since the summer, it does not matter when the official residency certificate is granted.

This is correct. You are already an Austrian resident whose rights derive from the EU freedom of movement, at least after you applied for the residence document. In fact the deadline to apply for a formal document related to Brexit is even later (but it is good to apply as soon as possible).

However, they also mentioned that I can make an appointment for getting a visa in January

They might have mentioned that because if you need to leave Austria temporarily before your residency document is deliver, you could still get a visa so you can reenter Austria and/or have legal status in other Schengen countries.

while had my form been delivered a couple of days earlier, I would not have needed a visa at all.

From 2021 your unstamped British passport alone without other documents may soon be insufficient to prove your legal status in the Schengen area nor does it give you permission to enter EU for purposes other than a simple visit. With the Covid regulations, it is particularly important as you might be denied boarding/entry to EU/Schengen without proof of residency (like a permit or visa).


You and your family may need to apply for a residence status to confirm that you were already resident in the EU country you live in before 31 December 2020. You will have until at least 30 June 2021 to do this.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-europe#uk-nationals-in-the-eu

UK nationals living in Austria before 1 January 2021

You will need to apply for a new ‘Article 50’ residence card to remain in Austria. You should apply in person through your local authorities. Check in advance if coronavirus restrictions are affecting office opening times or procedures.

In Vienna, you will need to make an appointment at the MA35 (local immigration office) in Arndtstrasse.

You must apply between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021. Read the Austrian government guidance on the residency registration process.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-austria#visas-and-residency

See also Austrian government's guide for British citizens. You will need to apply for an Article 50 card also.

Particularly

Do you have a registration certificate, certificate of permanent residence, residence card, permanent residence card or a permanent residence permit (permanent residence - EU)? Then this is helpful for your application. However, your further right of residence is not dependent on these documents, which means that you can also apply for a residence title under "Article 50 TEU" without these documents.

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  • This is great, thanks. I don't intend to return to the UK anyway until it is safe to do so. I already have proof that I was living in Austria since August (called the "Meldezettel" here) so I am on their database as a resident. However, previously the international/immigration office at work, said: "You must apply for the EU/EEA registration certificate ASAP, as from 1 Jan you are considered a non-EU/EEA national in Austria and cannot complete it anymore. [This] makes you eligible for a special Brexit permit after 31 Dec". But it seems that the regulations are then somewhat looser
    – user13536357
    Dec 31 '20 at 3:38
  • My concerns are not only travel, but also access to the EU jobs market and social security. Are my rights in this regard then exactly the same if I get my residency certificate in Jan 2021 as in Dec 2020?
    – user13536357
    Dec 31 '20 at 3:44
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    @user13536357 Yes, since you registered before the end of 2020. Remember though that the Austrian residence permit is only valid for Austria. It will not allow you to work in other EU countries. Dec 31 '20 at 3:56
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    @user13536357 You won't be able to get an Article 50 card before Jan 1 anyway. You will not have an automatic right to seek employment in other EU states (except Ireland under terms of CTA) unless you are considered a long-term resident (note: Denmark also does not participate in the Directive).
    – xngtng
    Dec 31 '20 at 4:09
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    @MarkJohnson Yeah, it probably won't apply to OP now, but they also didn't mention their previous residence history, and they could become long term resident of Austria in five years time.
    – xngtng
    Dec 31 '20 at 4:53

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