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I've been trying to find the answer to this question on the internet but not finding anything helpful. The EU calls this situation a "cross-border commuter", but all their advice assumes the person is an EU-national or someone with the rights of one (i.e. EU family member, etc.). Some of the other stackexchange questions weren't quite applicable because the person was either a UK person trying to sort things pre-Brexit (and they got special treatments) or they have a permanent residence card, which I don't have.

I am an American living and working in Baden-Württemberg, Germany (I do not have a permanent residence card as I have only been working here for 2 years; I can switch employers now), but I am considering applying to a position in Austria, which has "flexible work from home arrangements". I am thinking I could primarily work from home in Germany and just commute to Vienna a few times a month. The problem is that I need a German residence permit to continue living in Germany, which is normally provided by the local government because of my working status. For personal reasons, I need to continue living in Germany, but I would really like this research position in Austria.

Is anyone familiar with a situation where a non-EU national was able to live in one country while working in another and get a residence permit from the country where they reside, not work? Would the Austrians let me work there without living there as a non-EU citizen? (I'm assuming as long as I had the German residence card they would, but some reading has made me doubt this...)

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    3rd country nationals, who are not a family member of an EU citizen, don't qualify for the freedom of movement rules. Their residence permit only allows them to visit (without working) other Schengen countries based on the 90/180 day rule. Oct 16 at 9:48
  • @Mark Johnson, that's what I thought.
    – N Glynn
    Oct 16 at 10:37
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Outside of the area of "cross-border commuter", this topic (working from home in another country) is not very well covered (if at all). The Austrian sites I looked through didn't mention this combination at all.

The term Grenzgänger only applies to a person living and working within a certain distance from the border (for Germany/Austria: 30 km air distance), so those general rules would not apply for this situation.

An employer, in Austria, can apply for a Beschäftigungsbewilligung for a 3rd country national that doesn't have a [Austrian] residence permit, that would allow them to work. This would cover your employment and work visits to Vienna.

A major condition for the German residence permit is that you can sustain yourself. Your income from your Austrian employment should cover this.

Depending on the details of the Austrian/German double tax agreement, you would probably pay income tax in Austria and social taxes (health, pension etc.) in Germany. The amount of monthly pension contributions determines your eligibility for a permanent residence permit in Germany.

Based on these individual rules, this combination should be possible.

For the Austrian part, your employer in Austria must start the process.

For the German part, asking the immigration office might be wise. Your present residence permit would probably remain as is.

Getting a tax advisor (Steuerberater), with experience in the Austrian/German double tax agreement would also be a good idea.

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  • Thank you. This is helpful. Just to clarify, you're saying that in Germany in order to extended my residence permit the authorities should be satisfied that I have a job and can sustain myself, not so much where that job is?
    – N Glynn
    Oct 16 at 10:39
  • @NGlynn Yes. For Grenzgänger this is common place, but in that situation they are physicaly working in another country. So for the immigration office, this might be a unusual situation. Thus the suggestion of informing them of the situation to make sure. Oct 16 at 10:49
  • thanks. Yes, certainly! I just was hesitant to make an application or approach the authorities if it might be impossible.
    – N Glynn
    Oct 16 at 17:20

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