Austrian Immigration Rule affects Japanese School in Vienna

The Japanese School in Vienna is facing a dilemma concerning immigration control and its Japanese teachers’ legal stay. Two of its teachers failed to obtain visas before their visa-free stays in Austria expired forcing them out of the country.


The school, which was established in 1978, has a total of eight full-time teachers coming all the way from Japan and 46 students in the elementary and high school divisions. With the sad turnout of events, the administration copes by asking the other six teachers to cover for their colleagues’ classes as well as ask parents who may have teaching licenses to help in the school’s academic load.


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The two teachers involved arrived in Austria last spring under the bilateral visa exemption arrangements. They were allowed to stay in the country for six months while they wait for the issuance of a long-term visa. As they wait, immigration authorities have required a family of foreigners to have public insurance that is around €200-€300 (about ¥26,500-¥40,000) per month. The public insurance, however, takes about six months to become effective after its purchase. Local authorities then further require the families to get private insurance to cover for the six-month gap. That is an additional €1,300 (about ¥170,000) dent to the family’s wallet. These circumstances made it too much for the Japanese teachers to comply with the visa application on time.


Austria has been tightening its immigration rules this year amid rising unemployment and increasing complaints about giving too much protection for Syrian refugees since 2015. One of the latest grips issued by the Austrian immigration authorities was last October 1 obliging foreign workers and their spouses to submit certifications of basic German proficiency or diplomas showing the completion of secondary education.


Reference: Stricter immigration rules, insurance costs hamper hiring teachers for Japanese school in Austria


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