I want to apply for a Austrian Student Residence Permit to join my university. Since the courses have started this week, I want to be there as early as possible. Usually, it takes 3 months to process a RP, after which they provide an entry visa, and the applicant is supposed to complete the RP procedures in Austria. Is it possible to apply simultaneously for the visa and residence permit, enabling me to enter Austria while the RP is in process?
According to the Austrian Press & Information Service (in the United States), the application for the residence permit must be approved before you can enter (added emphasis mine).
If you intend to stay in Austria for a period longer than 6 months, you must apply for a residence permit and not for an entry permit (visa). Residence permits are issued by the authorities in Austria. They are solely issued for stays that exceed six months.
PLEASE NOTE that you must file your application for a residence permit with the Austrian Embassy or Consulate General before you actually leave for Austria. In general, you are not allowed to go to Austria as long as your application has not been approved.
PLEASE NOTE that visa-free travel under the visa-waiver program is limited to 90 days out of any 180 days within the entire Schengen territory! To avoid having to leave Austria because a residence permit is not completed within the visa-free period (90 days), we recommend applying for a residence permit before leaving for Austria.
The residence permit, once issued, is to be picked up at the issuing authority in Austria. Part of the fee is payable at the time of the application and part of the fee at the time of the pick-up in Austria. In addition, (almost) all non-EU or non-EFTA citizens who both apply for a residence permit and intend to stay in Austria for more than 24 months must sign an Integration Agreement.