Artist Mobility Online Guide - Information on entry, residence and employment of foreign artists in Austria

Arts and Culture Division of the Federal Chancellery
Key objectives of the measure:
  • facilitation of cross-border mobility of artists and other culture professionals…
  • …by providing information for foreign creative artists coming to Austria, as well as for organisers of cultural events who extend invitations to come to Austria, and by supporting them in realising their artistic projects.
Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
Main feature of the measure:

In the interest of assisting foreign artists who wish to work or are invited to work in Austria, the online guide – launched in December 2012 – provides customized information on entry, residence, and employment of foreign artists in Austria. This guide summarizes all regulations and issues relevant to artistic work in terms of entry to the country and staying for durations of up to six months, residence in excess of six months, and employment. It highlights existing exemptions for artists and provides concrete examples that illustrate how the relevant regulations are applied in practice.

The guide is available online in German, English, and French. It was developed and drawn up by the Federal Chancellery (former Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture) in cooperation with the competent ministries (the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Ministry for Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection), the 2005 UNESCO Convention’s Focal Point at the Austrian Commission for UNESCO (ÖUK), and the interest groups representing the arts. It is the outcome of inter-ministerial cooperation in the context of the inter-ministerial Working Group (see Austrian QPR 2012) on Artist Mobility.

18 months after this guide’s launch, the ÖUK held focus group discussions in order to assess this information’s practical value and identify potential improvements. The evaluation of the focus group data, performed by ECE (Institute for Educational Psychology and Evaluation at the University of Vienna), showed that the guide, while being considered very helpful, has considerable potential that is not yet utilised. For example, it was almost unknown among its target audience before the ÖUK started to identify and invite to the focus groups cultural actors who deal with assisting invited artists in visa processes in practice. Further options to adapt and expand this method of information dissemination were also identified, and the ÖUK is working to implement thes

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:
  • development of a guide, compiling all relevant legal and regulatory aspects for entry, stay and employment of foreign artists in Austria in cooperation with the competent ministries
  • operation, maintenance and continuous updating of the guide’s website 
  • targeted communication activities to promote visibility and impact of the guide among its targeted group
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure:

Funding: approximately EUR 20.000 for the development and implementation of the internet site and translations;

All further aspects like project management, inter-ministerial coordination, preparation of the content and editing were carried out by the Arts and Culture Division of Federal Chancellery.


Main conclusions of the evaluation of the measure:

Commissioned by the Austrian Commission for UNESCO, the Institute for Educational Psychology and Evaluation at the University of Vienna analysed the practical value and potential for improvement of the online-guide via focus group interviews. The main results of the focus groups’ data analysis are as follows:

  • Overall, this guide was considered to be a helpful, valuable tool.
  • However, the guide was hardly known among its target audience within Austria, so more awareness raising activities and concerted information strategies are recommended.
  • The guide should be expanded to cover further topics relevant to the cross-border mobility of artists such as taxation and social security issues.

Further recommendations addressed possible improvements to increase the guide’s usability in practice and improve the reliability of the information provided via measures including distribution of a printed version at Austrian representations abroad that process visa applications.

Indicators used to determine impact:
Not applicable, as this evaluation was based on analysis of the focus group interviews, which was structured around the following topics:consulted information sources for questions pertaining to artists’ cross-border mobility and level of awareness of the existence of the online guide,practical experiences with the online guide (usability, content), andproposals for improvement of the online platform.