A Guide to Applying for the UK Tier 4 Student Visa

A Guide to Applying for the UK Tier 4 Student Visa

Over 59,000 international students are studying in Austria. Students can find more than 2000 degree programs at more than 70 higher education institutions throughout the country.  Austria’s focus on higher education is also present in it’s very low tuition fees for citizens and international students. Eight of Austria’s universities are listed in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, with the University of Vienna topping the list.  Austria offers students a world-famous education at some of the finest universities in the world.

Austria is a landlocked country, sharing its border with Germany, Slovakia, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic.  It offers international students many travel opportunities within the country and surrounding countries.  Austria is the biggest city and the most popular destination for students.  Other cities popular with students include Graz, Innsbruck, Linz, or Salzburg.  All of the cities benefit from beautiful architecture and rich culture for which Austria is famous.

Universities

Important Facts

Tuition Range for Universities in Austria

PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES


Tuition fees at public universities in Austria are low compared to other European countries and for some international students there are no fees.

EU/EEA Student

Tuition is free to students from the EU/EEA for the minimum duration of your program or course at most universities in Austria.  

Non-EU/EEA Student

If you are a student from outside the UK, EU or EEA tuition fees are usually set at around $936 per semester, plus the additional students’ union fee.

PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES


Tuition fees at private universities located throughout the country are not subsidized by the government and charge students more in tuition.  Tuition fees range between institutions.  It is recommended that you go directly to the institutions website to get the most up to date information regarding tuition charges. 

Application Process

 

Academic Year

  • Winter Semester (1 October-30 January)
  • Summer Semester (1 March- 30 September)

 

The admission process itself at most universities in Austria and the documents needed for admission vary depending on:

  1. The student’s nationality
  2. Type of school-leaving certificate (including where the certificate was issued) that is presented as proof of eligibility to study at university.

 

General Admission Period

International Students (except EU/EEA-citizens) need to submit their complete application for enrollment (with all required documents) by the following dates:

  • Winter semester: applications are due by 5th September
  • Summer semester: applications are due by 5th February 

*EU/EEA-citizens need to submit their applications during the general admission period.

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Non-EEA citizens must submit an application directly to the university. Most admission departments require that all required documents are submitted by the application deadline for Non-EU/EEA students.

  • Applications will be evaluated by the Admission Department in the order in which they are received. 
  • Applicants who are granted admission will receive a confirmation message that they can then use to enroll in a study program during the general admission period.
Documents required:

School-leaving certificate proving eligibility to study at university, up-to-date special university entrance qualification (in addition to a school-leaving certificate, applicants must fulfill all other requirements needed to study the chosen subject in the country where the school-leaving certificate was issued), (if necessary) transcript of records including number of ECTS-Credits completed, curriculum vitae, proof of German language eligibility (level B2).

EU/EEA citizens with a non-German-language school-leaving certificate proving university eligibility

After registering, students must submit an application for admission. The other documents required for admission can be handed in at the Admission Department in person or sent by post. Applicants who are granted admission will receive a confirmation message that they can then use to enrol in a study programme during the general admission period.

Documents required:

School-leaving certificate proving eligibility to study at university, (if necessary) transcript of records including number of ECTS-Credits completed, curriculum vitae, proof of German language ability (level B2).

Financing Your Studies in Austria

Student’s have the following options for financing their study abroad experience in Austria:

Financial Aid

The U.S. Department of Education makes Graduate Plus Loans available to eligible student borrowers at participating institutions in Austria. Students may apply for a Graduate Plus loan in varying amounts to help fund their studies.

The following institutions participate in the U.S. Government Federal William D. Ford Direct Loan Program:

Public Support

Students may also be able to receive financial support from the Austrian government.  The federal aid for students in Austria was introduced in the 60s to help students from low income families attend university. The Study Grant Authority consists of study grant departments and is headed by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy. Study grant departments have been established in Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Salzburg, Linz and Klagenfurt.

On the official website www.stipendium.at) you can also find the forms to apply for financial student support (via online application or download).

https://www.stipendium.at/english-information/

Scholarships & Grants

International students can find over 1,600 scholarships available for study in Austria.  The OEAD is a good place to start looking for scholarships.  You can find details of the OeAD’s scholarship programmes – for bachelor’s, master’s, PhD students, post-docs and researchers – here

There is also an extensive system of grants for post-graduate studies available to international students under the International Cooperation and Mobility Program to encourage study in Austria.

Student jobs

Most students in Austria work part-time during the semester. Popular jobs are in the hospitality industry, retail, telemarketing, cleric work or tutoring.

Because of the long summer break – from July to October – many students take full-time jobs during that period. However for students on scholarships and those requiring a residency permit, there may be restrictions on the total number of hours worked in a year.

Accordion Sample Description

Application Procedure

Please note: The Austrian Embassy or Consulate General will accept only complete visa applications:

  • The consular fee has to be paid at the time you submit your application and is non-refundable if the Visa application has been accepted.
  • Allow 15 days for processing. 
  • If applied for less than 15 days before departure, visas cannot be guaranteed to be ready on time.
  • Visa applications should ideally be submitted at least 3-4 weeks prior to departure but no more than 3 months prior to departure.
  • ALL visa applicants must appear in person at the Austrian Embassy/Consulate.
  • The Austrian Embassy and Consulates General do not accept visa applications by mail.
  • If you wish to have your documents returned by U.S. mail, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (including the Certified Mail Receipt) with your application.
  • The Austrian Embassy or Consulate General will not be responsible for documents after they were mailed.

The following documents must be presented when applying for a visa:

A valid and signed passport or travel document (Passport/travel document must be valid for at least three months after the date of departure from the Schengen zone. Further, the first issue date of your passport must not be more than 10 years ago, and it must provide at least two empty pages. In the case of minors, a notarized signature of parent or guardian is required.)

  • The visa application form, completed and signed (download application form here)
  • Two recent passport pictures. They strictly have to meet the following criteria:
    • Max. head size 1.4 inch (36 mm),
    • Min. eye distance 0.3 inch (8mm)
  • Original letter issued by your educational institution (From HPU)
  • Original proof of registration (from host institution)
  • Travel itinerary/ airline reservation (showing dates of travel) for entire journey
  • Proof of lodging in Austria (from host institution)
  • Proof of travel insurance or health/accident insurance providing coverage in the Schengen countries:
    • stating name of insurance company,
    • type of coverage (medical emergencies including repatriation)
    • amount of coverage (minimum USD 50,000)
  • Proof of financial means (e.g., scholarship, letter of grants, bank statement of last two months, other proof of income) [parent’s account accepted including supporting letter]
  • Statement of Financial Liability – unless you are self supporting – which must be signed by parents and notarized.
  • Most recent bank -and/or income statement must be attached
  • One set of photocopies of all supporting documents, including copy of the passport
  • Conuslar fees: payment must be made in US$ per money order (payable to Embassy of Austria) or cash (exact change only please) The consular fee must be paid at the time you submit your application and is non-refundable if the Visa application has been accepted.

Full-Year Students

Stays longer than 6 months require a temporary residence permit or “Aufenthaltsbewilligung” (i.e., temporary stay in Austria for a certain purpose = Temporary Residence Permit).

Please Note: 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.

Application Procedure

Please note: The Austrian Embassy or Consulate General will accept only complete visa applications:

  • If the applicant is a minor, the application must be signed by both parents or legal guardians. These signatures must be notarized by a notary public.
  • Applications must be submitted in person (no exceptions).
  • Please allow at least one month processing time since all applications must be sent to Austria.

The following documents must be submitted:

  1. Valid and signed passport (passport must be valid for at least three months beyond date of return and must have a blank page to affix the residence permit)
  2. Copies of previous passports (if applicable)
  3. Part of the consular fee must be paid at the time of your application and part of the fee has to be paid at the time of the pick up in Austria
  4. Application form– completed and signed (available only in German)
  5. One recent picture (passport format, color, front view)
  6. Original or notarized copy of birth certificate including apostille
  7. Original Certificate of Good Conduct/Criminal Record with apostille (available at local police station; not older than three months)
  8. Proof of health/travel/accident insurance (original letter from insurance company confirming coverage in Austria)
  9. Proof of sufficient financial means (e.g., scholarship, letter of grants, bank statement of last two months [parent’s account accepted for students only], other proof of income) (bank statement- for students up to 24 years old, at least EUR 481,75/month, for students over 24 years old, at least EUR 872,31/month)
  10. Proof of lodging in Austria
  11. Statement of Financial Liability – unless you are self supporting – which must be signed by parents and notarized. Most recent bank -and/or income statement must be attached
  12. One set of photocopies of all supporting documents

Please note: All foreign documents can only be accepted with an apostille.

How to find Student Housing in Austria

Most universities in Austria  do not provide students with accommodation.  It is the students responsibility to find housing.  However, many universities have cooperative agreements with Halls of Residences.  In any case, students should begin early enough with the search for suitable accommodation.

Students have several options to choose from when booking housing for their stay. These options include but are not limited to:

Dormitories

In all cities with a university, there are a number of student dormitories [Studentenheime] which are built and administered by various associations, foundations, and public corporations. The monthly rent for a room varies between $188 and $529, depending on the facilities and if you prefer a double or a single room. The minimum period of rent in a dormitory is one semester.

Halls of Residence

Student halls of residence are an easy option when moving to a new city; they’re also a great way to make friends and contacts in a short time period. An easy way is to apply to the Austrian Exchange Service (OEAD) for a place in a student residence is online www.housing.oead.at.

Student Apartments

Students have the opportunity to apply for a moderately priced apartment through the Non-profit Student Housing Service (SWS) [Studentenwohnungsservice SWS]. Appropriate apartments in older buildings including furniture can be rented from the SWS for one year, which may be extended as long as positive marks are achieved.

Students are required to show adequate study progress at the university (freshmen only need to present their A-levels), as well as their income situation and/or that of their parents.

Flat Share

The advantage of choosing to rent or share a flat with other students is that usually you do not need to pay commission fees. On the other hand, there is  a risk that you won’t  find the right place or even a place at all.  In addition, flat exchanges are a good source for finding a room in Vienna. You can start searching before  you arrive and make contact with the landlady/landlord and/or future flatmates. In general, rooms cost between € 300 and € 450 per month.