AN AMERICAN in Austria

Support and information in English for U.S. Americans living in Styria, Austria


I am providing this series of blog articles to share knowledge and tips* that I have acquired during my 17 years of living as a U.S. American expat in the city of Graz, located in the province of Styria in Austria. I love to help people and support social networking! Three organizations that have been very helpful for me during these years are the International Women’s Association of Graz, the Austro-American Society for Styria, and the Graz Internations expat community platform.

I am also the administrator of the US Americans in Graz and Styria Facebook group and warmly welcome US citizens who are living in Graz or other parts of Styria to join my group!

* Because information about bureaucratic processes, official regulations, and other formal issues related to living in Austria as an expat is continually changing, I encourage people seeking this kind of information to visit the website of the U.S. Embassy in Vienna.

Remembering 9/11 – 20 Years later

Remembering 9/11 – 20 Years later

I believe that most US Americans who were alive at the time remember where they were and what they were doing on September 11, 2001. Here in Graz, two articles were issued in local newspapers that featured the thoughts and memories of US Americans living in the...

MigrantInnenbeiratwahl – Vote for MFG!

MigrantInnenbeiratwahl – Vote for MFG!

    Migrant:innen für Gleichberechtigung (Liste 8) Kandidatinnen: Bolortsetseg Baljinnyam, Sara Crockett Wir wollen Sie repräsentieren und dem MigrantInnenbeirat beitreten! Wer kann wählen gehen?? MigrantInnen mit Nicht-EU-Staatsbürgerschaft, die am Wahltag...

Migrants’ Advisory Council Election – Vote for MFG!

Migrants’ Advisory Council Election – Vote for MFG!

    Migrant:innen für Gleichberechtigung (Liste 8) Candidates: Bolortsetseg Baljinnyam, Sara Crockett We want to represent you and join the Migrants' Advisory Council beitreten! Who can vote?? People who are NOT EU (or Austrian) citizens (= 'third-country...

Who are the US Americans in Styria?

Did you know that 643 U.S. Americans call Styria their home and that 475 of these US Americans list their main residence as Graz (as of 1.1.2021)? Who are all these Americans and why have they chosen to live in Styria? To learn more, check out this recent article that...

The US Americans in Graz and Styria Facebook group

In March 2020, I decided to start a Facebook group for US Americans who were living in Graz and other parts of Styria. I created the group to provide access to information that is of specific interest to U.S. Americans living and/or working in Graz. The blogs on this...

Self Employment in Austria – How to Begin?

Today, I’d like to tell you about a website I recently found that provides helpful information for people who are considering self-employment in Austria: The Berufsanerkennung in Österreich website from the Austrian Integration Fund. Professional...

Flying INTO Austria – Ordinance Updated 13 Feb 2021

Over the past year, the regulations regarding flying into Austria have changed many times. This affects many people, including self-employed persons living here. I would like to make you aware of an update to the Einreise VO (Austrian ordinance on FLYING INTO Austria)...

Choose Your Own Adventure: The Austrian Hardship Fund

The Austrian Federal Government has made it possible for people with businesses to apply for support from the Austrian Hardship Fund (Härtefall-Fonds) up until 31 December 2020 on a monthly basis. However, it’s sometimes really hard to figure out whether you...

Flying INTO Austria – New Ordinance

Many people living in Austria, including self-employed persons living here, have had questions about the regulations related to FLYING INTO Austria lately. I would like to make you aware of a recently published Austrian ordinance. This ordinance was published on...

Update for the “Second Corona Month”

On May 15, the WKÖ sent out a notice that stated that it will be possible to apply for support from the Hardship Fund for the second "Corona Month" (from 16 April to 15 May 2020) using the application form from 16 May 2020 and on.Here is a link to the form. Further...

Update on Phase 2 of the Hardship Fund (Härtefall-Fonds)

Emergency aid of up to 1,000 euros was provided during Phase 1 for self-employed people, and Phase 2 of the Hardship Fund (Härtefall-Fonds) will be initiated 20 April. The WKÖ reports that Phase this will allow significantly more entrepreneurs receive money from the Hardship Fund. The funding amount has been doubled to two billion euros.

WKÖ experts discuss the hardship fund (Härtefall-Fonds): circle of recipients broadened

After providing rapid assistance of up to 1,000 euros for self-employed persons during the first phase (of the hardship fund / Härtefall-Fonds), the Austrian government announced the key points today [1.4.2020] for the second phase of the hardship fund and increased the fund to 2 billion euros. “In doing so, the Federal Economic Chamber’s (WKÖ’s) essential demands were considered. For example, the circle of recipients has been broadened so that significantly more entrepreneurs can receive money from the fund,” emphasized Harald Mahrer, President of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKÖ).

How the SVS calculates your contributions

The SVA distinguishes among different groups of contributors. Each of these groups is assigned its own contribution base. The amount of the contribution is derived from this contribution base. As a general rule, self-employed persons are required to invest about 27% of their annual profit into pension and health insurance. However, the SVS needs to receive your income tax assessment (from the tax authority / Finanzamt) to calculate the exact amount.

Social Insurance for Self-Employed Persons (SVS)

Anyone who is directly or indirectly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to illness and/or quarantine or who expects massive business losses and, therefore, is experiencing difficulties making SVS payments (contributions) will receive the best possible support from the SVS. Those affected should contact the SVS directly. If necessary, the SVS can offer all SVS-insured persons the following options.

Effects on contracts between businesses because of COVID-19

In principle, contracts are still legally binding. However, the COVID-19 pandemic can result in certain situations in which it becomes impossible for the business partner to provide contractually agree- upon services for either legal reasons (e.g. official restrictions on business operations) or for similarly serious reasons (e.g. sufficient risk of infection).