Easier access to red-white-red card planned

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The Austrian labour market is to become more attractive for international workers with further facilitation. Thus, language skills in French, Spanish, Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian will be considered in the points system of the Red-White-Red Card in the future. Skilled workers with language skills in these languages from level B1 will receive five extra points and thus more accessible access to the Austrian labour market.

On the one hand, this is intended to facilitate the historically grown influx of skilled workers from the Western Balkans. On the other hand, according to a statement by the Ministry of Labour and Economic Affairs, it is also designed to attract skilled workers from new target countries. Access to the Red-White-Red Card is based on a points system in which qualifications, professional experience, language skills and age are assessed.

Last year, 6,182 (2021: 3,881) Red-White-Red cards were issued. The IT sector accounted for the largest share, with 2,222 cards issued. In the previous year, 1,353 cards were issued to professionals from Bosnia and Serbia and only 423 to Central and South America. But especially in tourism, knowledge of Spanish is an advantage, the Ministry of Economy added. And French is another world language spoken in many target markets of Austrian companies.

The Austrian Business Agency supports companies and skilled workers in applying for the Red-White-Red Card. However, companies should also increasingly be able to call on the help of private employment agencies. The Ministry of Labor and Economic Affairs announced that it would examine further support offers.

The previous year, a reform that came into force on October 1 facilitated access to the Red-White-Red Card. “With the reform of the Red-White-Red Card, we succeeded in comprehensively modernizing the admission of skilled workers from third countries in 2022. Now we want to send another signal, because we will need more skilled workers from third countries in the coming years to maintain our prosperity in Austria,” said Minister of Labor and Economic Affairs Martin Kocher.

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