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Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Immigration to European countries, don't post UK or Ireland related topics!

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stefffs
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2022 4:09 pm
Australia

Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by stefffs » Tue Apr 26, 2022 4:19 pm

Hi all :)

I just found out that australia and Austria have a bilateral agreement which means I can re-enter Austria after my 90 Schengen days are up, from the U.K. and get another 90 days stay in Austria! :)

But I’m a bit confused about some parts:

1) Do I need to use all my 90 schengen days (non-austrian) up before I can use my 90 bilateral days in Austria? I currently have 17 days left in Schengen zone on my UK passport, do I need to use them up first then fly back and forth to start my free 90 days or can I just start the free bilateral days from when I enter from the U.K. next week?


> If not, can I still use my remaining 17 days during the bilateral period. For example, if I spent May in Austria on the bilateral agreement, could I fly to London and then to Spain for 17 days and use the remained up?

2) Does the Bilateral agreement effectively make Austria like a non-Schengen country? Ie, The Austrian site says, the free 90 days are irrespective of the 90/180 rule. Does this mean when I’m in Austria on my free 90 days the clock is resetting on my other 90 days? Ie could I do 90 days Switzerland (90/180), 90 days Austria (free 90 days) and then 90 days in Switzerland (90/180) again, etc?

3) What do I need to do to apply the agreement, I believe I just need to enter from the UK with my Australian passport and have proof that I will be staying ONLY in Austria during the period? I will be staying with my girlfriend in Graz the entire time, so will a utility bill of hers be fine?

4) Can I use the 90 bilateral days and 90 Schengen days at any time, as long as they balance and as long as I always enter and exit to a non-schepgen country? For example, could I spend 50 days in Switzerland (Schengen days), fly to London for a few days then fly to Austria for 20 days (bilateral days), fly back to London for a few days, then fly to Spain for 40 days (Schengen), then fly to London for a few days, then fly to Austria for 70 days (bilateral days). This would effectively mean I’ve used 90 days in the Schengen zone and 90 days in Austria using the bilateral agreement over 180-odd days, which should be compliant, or can I only enter Austria once for up to 90 days?

5) How many times can I enter Austria, is it up to 90 days per year, twice a year, or can I literally spend 360 days in Austria as long as I leave on the 89th day each time?

Many thanks!!

ywlgy
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2021 4:05 pm

Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by ywlgy » Tue Apr 26, 2022 8:53 pm

DISCLAIMER: Advice given is based on my past experience and/or my interpretation of Immigration Rules and UKVI documents.

stefffs
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Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2022 4:09 pm
Australia

Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by stefffs » Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:43 am

Yeah, thanks - it's some what useful but doesn't answer any specifics, ie, do I need to use up all my 90 schengen days before using my bilateral days, etc.

ywlgy
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Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by ywlgy » Wed Apr 27, 2022 8:13 pm

I am just curious you have already 180 days from UK and Australian passports, that is not enough for you and you want to have another 90 days visiting Europe? You should consider getting a European passport :D
DISCLAIMER: Advice given is based on my past experience and/or my interpretation of Immigration Rules and UKVI documents.

secret.simon
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Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by secret.simon » Thu Apr 28, 2022 2:32 pm

I was not aware of this Agreement before. But this VFSGlobal factsheet may be of some use.

In particular;
There are, however, certain requirements to be adhered to and aspects to be taken into consideration when planning to enter Austria under the Bilateral Agreement following a visa free stay in the Schengen area:
• You must exit the Schengen area before re-entering Austria
• You must enter Austria directly (no transit through a third country)
• You may be required to provide evidence of (the duration of) your previous lawful stay (e.g. entry and departure stamps in your passport, hotel invoices, etc.)
• You must not misuse the Bilateral Agreement to avoid Austrian immigration laws
• Other Schengen member states may not honour the Agreement
• Overstaying your 90 day period may result in a fine and a subsequent entry ban
I think the first two points suggest that your plan to ping-pong between Switzerland and Austria won't necessarily work. You would have to exit the Schengen Zone completely and then reenter Austria directly.

More crucially, the second-last point suggests to me that while you could be legally visiting Austria for 90 days in addition to the 90/180 days of the Schengen Zone, other (non-Austrian) Schengen Zone countries can take into account that you have visited the Schengen Zone (including Austria) for a period exceding 90/180 days and they can refuse you entry to the Schengen Zone from their side (i.e. they are not bound by the Austria-Australia agreement).

In other words, while you may have been legally visiting Austria, the neighbouring countries could, after looking at your Schengen Zone immigration history as a whole, bar you from the Schengen Zone or restrict your movement within the Schengen Zone.
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

stefffs
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Australia

Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by stefffs » Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:36 pm

ywlgy wrote:
Wed Apr 27, 2022 8:13 pm
I am just curious you have already 180 days from UK and Australian passports, that is not enough for you and you want to have another 90 days visiting Europe? You should consider getting a European passport :D
You mean 180 days a year? It's not enough sadly, my gf lives in Austria, Ideally I need about 245 odd days a year to see her and also do a few other small holidays in Europe.

I'm guessing I can't do 90 days on my UK passport then 90 days on my Australian twice a year? :D


I would love to get a European passport.. but how :D

stefffs
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Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2022 4:09 pm
Australia

Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by stefffs » Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:39 pm

secret.simon wrote:
Thu Apr 28, 2022 2:32 pm
I was not aware of this Agreement before. But this VFSGlobal factsheet may be of some use.

In particular;
There are, however, certain requirements to be adhered to and aspects to be taken into consideration when planning to enter Austria under the Bilateral Agreement following a visa free stay in the Schengen area:
• You must exit the Schengen area before re-entering Austria
• You must enter Austria directly (no transit through a third country)
• You may be required to provide evidence of (the duration of) your previous lawful stay (e.g. entry and departure stamps in your passport, hotel invoices, etc.)
• You must not misuse the Bilateral Agreement to avoid Austrian immigration laws
• Other Schengen member states may not honour the Agreement
• Overstaying your 90 day period may result in a fine and a subsequent entry ban
I think the first two points suggest that your plan to ping-pong between Switzerland and Austria won't necessarily work. You would have to exit the Schengen Zone completely and then reenter Austria directly.

More crucially, the second-last point suggests to me that while you could be legally visiting Austria for 90 days in addition to the 90/180 days of the Schengen Zone, other (non-Austrian) Schengen Zone countries can take into account that you have visited the Schengen Zone (including Austria) for a period exceding 90/180 days and they can refuse you entry to the Schengen Zone from their side (i.e. they are not bound by the Austria-Australia agreement).

In other words, while you may have been legally visiting Austria, the neighbouring countries could, after looking at your Schengen Zone immigration history as a whole, bar you from the Schengen Zone or restrict your movement within the Schengen Zone.
Thanks for the reply.

First point - I understand and I'd be more than happy to fly to London and back to re-enter the schengen zone.

Second point - wow thats scary and seems a bit unfair :D

Also, second point aside, do you think I can use them bilateral days and schengen days at any time as long as I re-enter the schengen area each time, eg 30 days Switzerland (schengen days) > London > 30 days Austria (bilateral), etc.

ie I'm hoping whenever I'm in Austria I can use bilateral days so it effectively doesn't use up my Schengen days?

secret.simon
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Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by secret.simon » Sat Apr 30, 2022 12:46 pm

Note that my knowledge and comments are strictly related to the VFS Global document that I linked to earlier and may therefore be an incorrect interpretation of VFS Global's interpretation of the actual Austrian law.
stefffs wrote:
Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:39 pm
I'd be more than happy to fly to London and back to re-enter the schengen zone.
The document linked to above also states;
For how long must I exit the Schengen area before I am permitted to re-enter Austria under the Bilateral Agreement?
There is no prescribed period of time that a person must spend outside the Schengen area before the person is permitted to re-enter Austria under the Bilateral Agreement. Any exit of the Schengen area, however, that serves the sole purpose of re-entering Austria under the Bilateral Agreement, may be regarded as a misuse of Austrian immigration laws
stefffs wrote:
Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:39 pm
do you think I can use them bilateral days and schengen days at any time as long as I re-enter the schengen area each time, eg 30 days Switzerland (schengen days) > London > 30 days Austria (bilateral), etc.
I don't think that there are two separate baskets of "days", as it were. When you are entering Austria, you are also entering the Schengen Zone.

I suspect (and I could be wrong) that all the bilateral agreement alows you to do is to visit Austria on its own, even after you have already used up the 90/180 Schengen days permitted.

In other words, whether you are in Austria or Switzerland, your 90 Schengen days will be used first whether you fly into Switzerland or Austria. Once the 90 days are used up, you could then fly to a non-Schengen country, followed by Austria. That is when the bilateral agreement will kick in.

Again, if you end up exceding the 90/180 days rule totally, other Schengen Zone members may scrutinise your visits more carefully.

As the document itself states, the only people to advise you more authoratitively on this point is the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior. You could try contacting them directly and updating this thread with their advice,
If you have any questions about your application, please contact the authority to which you submitted the application. Only this authority can provide you with information on the status of the proceedings.

For general questions regarding entry and visas in Austria (visas - planned stay up to six months), you can contact our hotline: +43(0)1-53126-3557 from 9.00 to 12.00.
EDIT: As it turns out, VFS Global was merely reproducing the factsheet from the Austrian government website.

Also found this Australian magazine article and this site on the complexities of such bilateral agreements, which may be of interest.
I am not a lawyer or immigration advisor. My statements/comments do not constitute legal advice. E&OE. Please do not PM me for advice.

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ALKB
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Re: Bilateral Agreement Austria-Australia Questions

Post by ALKB » Sat Apr 30, 2022 8:37 pm

stefffs wrote:
Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:36 pm

You mean 180 days a year? It's not enough sadly, my gf lives in Austria, Ideally I need about 245 odd days a year to see her and also do a few other small holidays in Europe.
I hope you are independently wealthy and not working remotely during those 245 days.
stefffs wrote:
Fri Apr 29, 2022 9:36 pm

I would love to get a European passport.. but how :D
For example:

1. Get a job in Austria that provides sponsorship.

2. Marriage

Both would provide a long term residence solution before you can apply for naturalization at some point.

3. Recent European ancestry.
I am not a regulated immigration advisor. I am offering an opinion and not advice.

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