Austria - Consular Information Sheet
June 12, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Austria is a highly developed stable
democracy with a modern economy.
ENTRY 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.
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
In 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.
CRIME: 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
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, D.C. 20402.
MEDICAL 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.
When 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, autofax: (202)
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.
TRAFFIC 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 or circumstance.
Safety of Public Transportation: Excellent
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Excellent
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Excellent
Road 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.
A 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
Austria 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
Austrian 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.
Tourists 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.
Emergency 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
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: 310-477-2038.
AVIATION 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
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.
CUSTOMS 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 email@example.com, or visit
http://www.uscib.org for details.
DRUG 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.
CHILDREN'S 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
REGISTRATION 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 American citizens.
This 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 Consulate location.