The Austrian government has announced that amendments to the rules for Red-White-Red (RWR) cards will come into force on 1 October 2023.
The principal changes announced are as follows:
- Faster processing of applications;
- Loosening of the criteria for obtaining the Red-White-Red card: changes in the allocation of points for qualifications, work experience and language skills; age-independent minimum salary for the Other Key Workers category; elimination of the minimum salary for the Graduates category; extended allocation of points for the criterion “age” for the Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations category;
- The introduction of an employment permit for specialists within the framework of projects;
- The inclusion of regular workers in tourism, agriculture and forestry in the RWR card system;
- Expansion of the Regular Seasonal Worker scheme;
- Implementation of the new EU Blue Card Directive: facilitating changes of employer, improving the mobility of EU Blue Card holders and lowering the required minimum wage threshold;
- Implementation of ABA WORK in AUSTRIA as an advice centre for companies and skilled workers.
ABA Work in Austria is an independent agency which is separate from both the Public Employment Service and the residence authorities. It is authorised to enquire about the status of an application, whether there are any missing or incomplete supporting documents and the expected time to completion of application processing. The ABA Work in Austria website has detailed information and advice about work immigration procedures.
The Red-White-Red Card (“Rot-Weiß-Rot – Karte”) offers qualified third-country workers (with a binding job offer) and their family members a single permit for working and residing in Austria.
There are currently seven categories under the RWR Card scheme:
- Very Highly Qualified Workers
- Skilled Workers in Shortage Occupations
- Other Key Workers
- Graduates of Austrian Universities and Colleges of Higher Education
- Regular Workers in Tourism, Agriculture and Forestry
- Self-employed Key Workers
- Start-up Founders.
Family members of RWR card holders can apply for a Red-White-Red – Card Plus enabling them to freely access the Austrian labour market.
The government has announced the signing of the Canada-Finland Youth Mobility Agreement. The agreement is expected to come into force in 2024, after it is ratified by both countries.
This new agreement will allow Canadian and Finnish youth, aged 18 to 35, to work and travel in each other’s country under International Experience Canada (IEC) or the Finnish equivalent.
There are three categories under IEC: Working Holiday, International Co-op (internship) and Young Professionals. Youth will be able to participate in the program for up to 12 months per category.
With this latest agreement with Finland, Canada now has youth mobility agreements with 36 countries and territories.
For the 2023 season, Canada is extending this opportunity to come to Canada through IEC to nearly 90,000 international youth. This expansion will help Canadian employers find the workers they need to fill labour shortages across the country.
The fees for applications through the Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration (SIRI) for residence permits for work or study have increased. The new fees apply to all applications submitted on or after 17 May 2023.
The previous and current rates are as follows:
|Application type||Previous fee (DKK)||New fee (DKK)|
|Au pairs or interns||4175||4320|
Applicants should ensure that they create their Case Order ID, pay the fee and submit the application in the same fee rate period. That is, those who have paid the fee before 17 May 2023 but submit the application on or after 17 May 2023 will have to make an additional payment of the remaining fee. If the fee has decreased, they will be refunded the overpaid amount.
SIRI’s fees for processing applications for residence permits are normally adjusted on 1 January each year. The adjustment on 17 May 2023 is due to the fact that the national budget for 2023 takes effect on this date.
The Danish Immigration Service also adjusted its fees for applications for family reunification and permanent residence permits effective 17 May 2023.
The government has proposed restrictions to the student visa route aimed at reducing net migration. Any changes are expected to come into effect in January 2024, after consultation with key stakeholders including the higher education industry.
The proposals include:
- Removing the right for international students to bring dependants unless they are on postgraduate courses currently designated as research programmes.
- Removing the ability for international students to switch out of the student route into work routes before their studies have been completed.
- Reviewing the maintenance requirements for students and dependants.
- Steps to clamp down on unscrupulous education agents who may be supporting inappropriate applications to sell immigration not education.
- Better communicating immigration rules to the higher education sector and to international students.
- Improved and more targeted enforcement activity.
Quarterly migration figures were published on 25 May 2023. The figures show a significant increase in the numbers of visas issued to skilled workers and their dependents, especially for care workers, as well as increases in student visas and family-related visas.