Austria - Consular Information
DESCRIPTION: Austria is a highly developed stable
democracy with a modern economy.
REQUIREMENTS: Passport required. A visa is not
required for business or tourist stays up to three
months. For further information concerning entry
requirements for Austria, travelers should contact
the Embassy of Austria at 3524 International Court,
NW., Washington, D.C. 20008, Tel: (202) 895-6767,
or the nearest Austrian Consulate General in Chicago,
Los Angeles, or New York. The
Austrian Embassy to the United States maintains
a webpage in English that answers in detail, questions
concerning the laws and regulations of Austria,
including residency, driver's license requirements,
and permission to work. For additional information
an effort to prevent international child abduction,
many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit
points. These often include requiring documentary
evidence of relationship and permission for the
child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian
not present. Having such documentation on hand,
even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.
Austria has a low crime rate, and violent crime
is rare. However, crimes involving theft of personal
property have increased in recent years. Travelers
can become targets of pickpockets and purse-snatchers
who operate where tourists tend to gather; favorite
spots include Vienna's two largest train stations
and the pedestrian shopping area in the first district.
The loss or theft of a U.S. passport overseas should
be reported immediately to the local police and
the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. U.S. citizens
can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet
A Safe Trip Abroad
for ways to promote a more trouble-free trip. The
pamphlet is available from the Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
FACILITIES AND INSURANCE: Good medical care
is widely available. The Department of State strongly
urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance
company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether
their policy applies overseas and whether it will
cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.
U.S. medical insurance plans seldom cover health
costs incurred outside the United States unless
supplemental coverage is purchased. Further, U.S.
Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment
for medical services outside the United States.
However, many travel agents and private companies
offer insurance plans that will cover health care
expenses incurred overseas including emergency services
such as medical evacuations.
making a decision regarding health insurance, Americans
should consider that many foreign doctors and hospitals
require payment in cash prior to providing medical
service and that a medical evacuation to the U.S.
may cost in excess of $50,000. Uninsured travelers
who require medical care overseas often face extreme
difficulties. When consulting with your insurer
prior to your departure, please ascertain whether
payment will be made to the overseas healthcare
provider or if you will be reimbursed later for
expenses you incur. Some insurance policies also
include coverage for psychiatric treatment and for
the disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad,
including overseas insurance programs, is provided
in the Department of State's Bureau of Consular
Affairs brochure Medical Information for Americans
Traveling Abroad, available via the
Bureau of Consular Affairs home page or autofax:
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on
vaccinations and other health precautions may be
obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention's hotline for international travelers
at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via their Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov.
SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions
that differ significantly from those in the United
States. The information below concerning Austria
is provided for general reference only, and may
not be totally accurate in a particular location
of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Excellent
conditions in Austria are generally excellent. During
the winter, however, roads in alpine areas may become
dangerous due to snowfall, ice, or avalanches. Some
mountain roads may be closed for extended periods
and tire chains are often required. Drivers should
exercise caution during the heavily traveled vacation
periods (December-February, Easter, July-August).
Extra caution is recommended when driving through
autobahn construction zones, particularly on the
A-1 East/West Autobahn. Reduced lanes and two-way
traffic in these zones have resulted in several
deadly accidents in recent years. Traffic information
and road conditions are broadcast on the English
language channel fm4, located between 91 and 105
fm depending on the locale.
U.S. driver's license alone is not sufficient to
drive in Austria. The U.S. driver's license must
be accompanied by an international driver's permit
(obtainable in the U.S. from American Automobile
Association and the American Automobile Touring
Alliance) or by an official translation of the U.S.
driver's license, which can be obtained at one of
the Austrian automobile clubs (OAMTC or ARBO). This
arrangement is only acceptable for the first six
months of driving in Austria, after which all drivers
must obtain an Austrian license.
requires all vehicles using the autobahn to display
a highway tax sticker "Autobahn Vignette" on the
inside windshield of the vehicle. The sticker may
be purchased at border crossings, gas stations in
Austria, as well as small "Tabak" shops located
in Austrian towns. Fines for failing to display
a valid autobahn vignette on the windshield of your
car are usually around $85.00.
autobahns have a maximum speed limit of 130 km/hr,
although drivers often drive much faster and pass
aggressively. The use of hand-held cell phones while
driving is prohibited. Turning right on red is also
prohibited throughout Austria. The legal limit for
blood alcohol content in Austria is .05 percent
and penalties for driving under the influence tend
to be stricter than in many U.S. states.
driving rented vehicles should pay close attention
to the provisions of their rental contract. Many
contracts prohibit drivers from taking rented vehicles
into eastern European countries. Drivers attempting
to enter countries listed as "prohibited" on the
car rental contract may be arrested, fined, and/or
charged with attempted auto theft. The vehicle can
be held by Austrian police for the car rental company.
roadside help and information may be reached by
dialing 123 or 120 for vehicle assistance and towing
services (Austrian Automobile Clubs), 122 for the
fire department, 133 for police, and 144 for ambulance.
additional general information about road safety,
including links to foreign government sites,
see the Department of State, Bureau of Consular
Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
For specific information concerning Austrian driving
permits, vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory
insurance, contact the
Austrian government website at http://www.austria.org/visa.html.
Additional official tourist information can be obtained
from the Austrian national tourist office in New
York at tel: 212-944-6880 or in Los Angeles at tel:
SAFETY OVERSIGHT: The U.S. Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) has assessed the Government
of Austria's Civil Aviation Authority as Category
1 -- in compliance with international aviation safety
standards for oversight of Austria's air carrier
operations. For further information, travelers may
contact the Department of Transportation within
the U.S. at 1-800-322-7873, or visit the
FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa.htm.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately
assesses some foreign air carriers for suitability
as official providers of air services. For information
regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers, travelers
may contact DOD at (618) 256-4801.
REGULATIONS: Austria customs authorities encourage
the use of an ATA (AdmissionTemporaire/Temporary
Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of
professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or
goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. ATA Carnet
Headquarters, located at the U.S. Council for International Business,
1212 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036,
issues and guarantees the ATA Carnet in the United States. For additional
information call (212) 354-4480, send an e-mail
to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.uscib.org
PENALTIES: U.S. citizens are subject to the
laws of the country in which they are traveling.
Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in
illegal drugs in Austria are strict, and convicted
offenders can expect jail sentences and fines.
ISSUES: For information on international
adoption of children and international parental
child abduction please refer to our Internet
site at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html
or telephone (202) 736-7000.
AND EMBASSY/CONSULATE LOCATION: U.S. citizens
are encouraged to register at the Consular Section
of the U.S. Embassy in Vienna or at the Consular
Agency in Salzburg and obtain updated information
on travel and security within Austria. The U.S.
Embassy in Vienna is located at Boltzmanngasse 16
in the Ninth District. The Consular Section of the
U.S. Embassy is located in the Marriott Building,
on the fourth floor of Gartenbaupromenade 2, in
the First District. The telephone number for both
the Embassy and the Consular Section is (43)(1)
31-339. There is also a Consular Agency in Salzburg
at Alter Markt 1, Telephone (43) (662) 84-87-76,
open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9:00 A.M.
to 12:00 noon. U.S. citizens in Salzburg who require
assistance outside of these hours may contact the
U.S. Embassy in Vienna. The Embassy also maintains
a website, at http://www.usembassy-vienna.at with
security updates and other information helpful to
replaces the consular information sheet dated January
19, 2000, to update the sections on Entry Requirements,
Medical Facilities and Insurance, Traffic Safety
and Road Conditions, and Registration/Embassy and