At a Glance

  • Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum monthly salary for EU Blue Card applicants in Austria has increased to EUR 4,548, up 2.2 percent from 2019.
  • Employers are advised to budget for the new thresholds when sponsoring new EU Blue Card applications.

The situation

Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum monthly salary for EU Blue Card applicants in Austria – the main Austrian work authorization type – increased to EUR 4,548, up 2.2 percent from 2019.

The exchange rate at the time of publication of this alert is 1 EUR to 1.11 USD.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under an EU Blue Card need not increase foreign nationals' salaries.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew an EU Blue Card on or after January 1, 2020 must increase foreign nationals' salaries to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending EU Blue Card applications as of January 1, 2020 need to increase foreign nationals' salaries.

Reminders on other requirements

  • Collective bargaining agreement. As before, salaries must also meet the salary rate per the applicable collective bargaining agreement for the proposed position.
  • Payment frequency. As before, the above amounts must be paid 14 times per year.
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to pay the salary in EUR.
  • Dependents. As before, in case of accompanying dependents the foreign worker must have sufficient income to provide for the family: EUR 1,472 gross per month for married couples and an additional EUR 149.15 for each child.


Austria published new salary levels for the Red-White-Red Card in December 2019, with a 2.9 percent increase when compared to 2019. Increases around two percent are common for Austria.

Looking ahead

On January 7, 2020, a new federal government formed by the conservative Austrian People's Party (OeVP) and the ecologist Green Party was sworn in. As part of the new government's initiatives, various immigration-related laws, including the points-based system for the Red-White-Red Card, will be reviewed. Application process simplifications are expected, including online application platforms and consolidating labour market assessments with immigration applications. Fragomen will report on the progress of these proposals.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.