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I am from a "Third country" (non EEA/EU) and have studied and worked (also currently residing) in Austria. I have applied for my Red-White-Red Card plus, which should be valid for 3 years.

But my passport expires within the next 2 and half years. Do I have to leave the country or can I renew my plus card again? Because to apply for permanent residency, I need to complete 5 years and I would end up at 4 and half.

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You can renew the card by a similar process as when you initially applied for it, either with MA35 (Vienna) or your local Bezirkshauptmannschaft. A renewal process can be initiated 3 months before expiry of the current permit. There is no need to leave the country AS LONG AS you apply before your current permit expires.

See also the official page of the Austrian federal government regarding the RWRK+.

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