Visit to the 'World’s Most Livable City'
Nestmann Group, Ltd.
by Mark Nestmann: Passport
Denials Long a Feature of U.S. Foreign Policy
spent the last three days in Vienna, Austria. Even in Januarys
freezing cold, this city sparkles. And it functions almost flawlessly.
Perhaps thats why Mercers, a human resources consultancy,
rates Vienna the worlds most livable city.
I arrived on
an overnight flight from the Caribbean. My connecting flight from
Frankfort was almost three hours late, due to a nearly a foot of
snow falling at the Vienna airport. Yet, by the time I emerged from
the City Airport Train station into Viennas center,
the streets were already cleared and the citys extensive public
transit system was functioning normally.
three years since my last visit to Vienna. I lived here from 2003
to 2005, while completing my studies at the Vienna University School
of Economics and Business Administration (the Wirtschaftsuniversität
Wien), where I earned a LL.M. in international tax law. Winter
is hardly my favorite time to visit, but with fewer tourists, both
flight connections and hotel are far more affordable.
of my visit was to meet with Nestmann Group partner banks and business
associates. I had two days of meetings with my old friends at Viennas
Valartis Bank, the only Austrian private bank that still accepts
U.S. clients. I also met with Dr. Gabriella Kleeber, who heads up
The Nestmann Groups Vienna representative office.
its central location, EU membership, and outstanding amenities,
Austria has become an increasingly attractive residence option for
high-net-worth families worldwide. EU citizens, along with citizens
of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, dont need
a residence permit to settle in Austria. Citizens of other countries
who wish to reside in Austria must obtain a residence permit, unless
they have a right of residence according to EU law.
Due to the
high demand, residence permits arent easy to acquire. For
many types of residence, quotas apply. Unless you qualify under
several narrow exemptions, its almost impossible to obtain
a residence permit giving you the right to work in Austria. In addition,
many categories of residence permits require you to demonstrate
proof of fluency in German.
changed its regulations in regard to residence permits for individuals
and families with no access to the local labor market (Niederlassungsbewilligungausgenommen
Erwerbstätigkeit). While these permits continue to be
subject to quotas in most cases, you no longer have to demonstrate
fluency in German as a condition for maintaining Austrian residence.
You must be able to prove that you earn a sufficient income to support
yourself in Austria; approximately EUR 1,700 monthly income for
a single applicant, or EUR 2,500 monthly for you and your spouse
or domestic partner.
Once you acquire
Austrian residence, you will have a Schengen visa that
allows you to travel throughout the EU. This is a particularly valuable
document for citizens of countries that dont have visa-free
access to the EU; e.g., Russia. Unfortunately, an Austrian passport
is not easy to acquire through residence. You must reside in Austria
for at least 10 years, demonstrate good conduct, along with with
fluency in German.
is a relatively high-tax country, one popular strategy for residents
is to reside in Austria for less than six months annually. For instance,
you could buy a flat in Vienna and live there from May-September,
when the weather is relatively warm. You could then spend a few
months in another EU country, or leave the EU altogether for warmer
climes in Asia or South America during the chilly European winter.
process for Austrian residence is relatively complex, and negotiating
the quota system can easily result in years-long delays in having
your application approved. If youre interested in living in
Austria as a legal resident, I recommend that you retain Dr. Gabriella
Kleeber, who heads up our representative office in Vienna, for assistance.
She has put together a comprehensive residence package for Austria
resulting in a Niederlassungsbewilligungausgenommen
Erwerbstätigkeit residence permit. Again, this permit
doesnt give you the right to work in the local labor market,
but you also dont need to learn German to maintain your residence.
For more information,
contact [email protected].
Nestmann [send him mail]
is a journalist with more than 20 years of investigative experience
and is a charter member of The
Sovereign Society’s Council of Experts. He has authored over
a dozen books and many additional reports on wealth preservation,
privacy and offshore investing. Mark serves as president of his
own international consulting firm, The
Nestmann Group, Ltd. The Nestmann Group provides international
wealth preservation services for high-net worth individuals. Mark
is an Associate Member of the American Bar Association (member of
subcommittee on Foreign Activities of U.S. Taxpayers, Committee
on Taxation) and member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
In 2005, he was awarded a Masters of Laws (LL.M) degree in international
tax law at the Vienna (Austria) University of Economics and Business
© 2013 Mark
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