My name is David.
I’m a foreigner. I’ve been a foreigner for most of my life. If I end up staying in Austria, I will most likely remain a foreigner ’til I die. Regardless of what passport I have.
When I first went through the process of getting legal here, I was told I could stay, as long as I didn’t work. If I could survive with no income for 6 months, I would then be allowed to get a job.
Some other people said this was nonsense, and since I was married to an Austrian I should be able to start working immediately. The bureaucrats didn’t agree, and I ended up turning down several offers of employment because it wasn’t possible to get the paperwork done.
After 5 months of no-income living I was told I could work. Not only that, I was told I could have worked the entire time, and the 6 month waiting period didn’t apply to me.
The jobs were already gone though, along with 5 months worth of income that I could have used to help support my wife and child.
Oh well. I still had it better than most foreigners here. Since most people thought I was from eastern Europe, they were only assholes until they found out I was from the US. Then they were nice.
Since my preferred line of work was graphic and media design, I also had a certain advantage. Now that I had papers stating I could legally work here, no one ever asked me to work illegally.
Instead, I was offered a position based on a werkvertrag. It’s supposed to be something like a freelance contract. This form of employment was developed, or at least encouraged, in the nineties by the current government. As far as I know both the Socialists and the