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I'm in the process of moving to Vienna to work. I'm married and not from an EU country/Schengen. But we don't need a visa to go there (up to 90 days)

My work permit would mostly be under the "red-white-red" permit. Reading the oficial website here: Family reunification there's a section Providing evidence of German language skills (“German prior to immigration”) that says:

Third-country nationals have to provide evidence of German language skills on A1 level according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, when first applying for one of the following residence titles:

  • Red-White-Red Card plus
  • Family Member (and more..)

So, as I understand, my wife would need to provide an A1 German certificate along with her paperwork for the Family Member residence title.

But speaking with some people, and also people that went through the same steps, they said that if she has an university degree/diploma (which she has) can "skip" the A1 requirement on the first permit. Of course when the permit expires she'll need to prove German, that's already clear.

I was hoping someone clarify that for me. I couldn't find any information online so I'm a bit confused.

PS: We both have 0 German Skills. I'm fluent in English. She is not fluent in English but can get around herself.

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  • Now, I am also in the same situation.I am holding Red-White-Red Work permit Card and Looking to apply for Spouse visa in which my wife have only University Degree(UG degree in BAchelor of Computer Science Applicaiton).Does she required to provide A1 German Certification or it can be skipped ?... Can you please provide your experience and guidelines on this, as i believe i am in the same situation that you had before. Oct 28, 2021 at 9:02
  • @ab-vienna2021, speaking with people that came later, their partners didn't have to prove German A1 at first, because they have a university degree. But I couldn't find this in the website, so you might only know for sure if you ask them. Maybe try sending an email to the MA35 of the city in Austria you will be coming. Just FYI they are swamped with work and you might not even get a response. The situation around immigration is ridiculous here due to covid and bad administration. You might have more info asking on reddit, on /r/wien or /r/austria. GL!
    – jpgrassi
    Oct 29, 2021 at 7:01

2 Answers 2

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The site you quoted says

Evidence of adequate German language skills does not need to be provided by:

[...]

Family members of holders of a residence title “Red-White-Red Card” for Very Highly Qualified Workers, of holders of a residence title “EU Blue Card” or of holders of a residence title “Long-term Resident - EC”. The latter shall only apply if their sponsor originally held a residence title “EU Blue Card”.

Are you a Very Highly Qualified Worker?

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  • Yes, I saw that. Unfortunately, this is based on a points system, which as long as I understood is interpreted by someone (immigration officer maybe). So bottom line is: I think I will not know before hand which category I'll fall until I get mine permit.
    – jpgrassi
    May 21, 2016 at 11:29
  • @jpgrassi, the points system has some interpretation but most is pretty clear, e.g 40 points for a maths or hard science PhD, 10 points for fluent German or English, and so on. ris.bka.gv.at/…
    – o.m.
    May 21, 2016 at 19:00
  • Yes. I answered the test and I've got exactly 70 points. But there's points for years of experience. Not sure how does they get that info. I'm not providing any proof of previous employment.
    – jpgrassi
    May 21, 2016 at 19:02
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Just to close this question. I do not know the exact answer to this issue, but I did not fall under the "Highly Qualified Workers" and my wife was required to prove A1 German prior to immigration. The "Highly Qualified Workers" besides degree and years of experience also takes into consideration the position you are applying to: Mostly Manager positions. I fulfill the "technical" requirements but I'm not in a manager position.

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