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Austrian Citizenship for Grandchildren

Joshua Pex

Lilian Granovsky

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The new legislation passed by the Austrian parliament in September 2019 grants Austrian citizenship for grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Jews who fled Austria and/or survivors of the extermination camps. The law went into effect on the first of September, 2020.

We specialize in obtaining foreign citizenships for our clients, including Austrian citizenship for descendants of Holocaust victims. Our law office deals with obtaining American, Canadian, British, Bulgarian, and Portuguese citizenships, among others. We will be glad to assist you in obtaining Austrian citizenship under the new law.

Austrian citizenship for grandchildren:

Austrian citizenship for grandchildrenAccording to the new Austrian legislation, not only children but also grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Nazi persecution victims can apply for an Austrian passport. This differs from the previous citizenship law, which permitted only the persecution victims themselves to claim citizenship.

There are many descendants of Austrian Jews in Israel, as well as in other countries such as the USA, Canada, Britain and others, who can obtain an Austrian passport without having to give up their existing passport or to emigrate to Austria. Moreover, Austria is a member of the European Union, and therefore the descendants will also receive a European passport.

Eligibility for Austrian citizenship

Under the previous regulations, the authorities granted Austrian citizenship to Jews who were forced to leave the country up until 1945. The new legislation, which was drafted in part by Jewish representatives in Austria’s capital, Vienna, moved the “deadline” to 1955, 10 years after the war ended. In addition, the new law allows for adopted children to apply for an Austrian passport as well.

One must take note that Austria will not accept applicants with serious criminal convictions, a background of severe financial crimes, a history of terrorist activity, or any previous crime that might endanger the Austrian democracy.

Austrian citizenship – proof of eligibility

The applicant must prove that their parent(s) or grandparent(s) lived in Austria or territories under its control between the years 1933-1955. This must be proved via official documents, as detailed in the following list. Collecting and verifying the documents for the application takes several months, just like any other bureaucratic process involving a foreign country.

The documents required to apply for an Austrian passport are:

  1. A signed application form. This document will provide the detailed story of the Nazi persecution victim/Holocaust survivor, including their time living in Austria. It is recommended to provide details on the person’s army service, professional career, education, nationality, addresses, etc.
  2. Birth certificate.
  3. A valid passport.
  4. An old Austrian or German passport, residence certificate, certificate of exile and additional documents indicating settlement in Austria.
  5. Presentation of a name change based on a marriage license/divorce certificate or any other document that proves connection to the country.
  6. Proof of acquisition of citizenship from Israel, the USA, Canada, or any other country.
  7. Proof regarding the date of emigrating or leaving Austria.

The process of submitting the documents to the Austrian Immigration Authority is free of charge. The Austrian Immigration Authority reserves the right to request additional documents at any time if they are not satisfied with the existing documents.

Benefits for those who possess European citizenship

  1. The option of living and working in the European Union countries.
  2. Subsidized academic studies and the option of receiving scholarships.
  3. Visiting the USA and traveling the world without need for obtaining a visa ahead of time.
  4. Receiving work permits in the USA, Australia and other countries.
  5. Purchasing real estate including tax and customs benefits in European countries.
  6. Receiving medical care for local prices in all the European Union countries including some Scandinavian countries.

All information on Austrian citizenship in one article on our website.

Our thanks to Mr. Jonathan Gabrielov who helped in writing this article.

Austrian citizenship for Holocaust survivors

Our law offices deal with the issue of immigration to Austria for descendants of Holocaust survivors. Israeli clients often call us to ask about their chances of obtaining Austrian citizenship. It is worth remembering that the Austrian government rarely causes problems for Jewish applicants. The only proof required is the official documents of the Nazi persecution victim, which we will review in detail and help you submit properly to the Austrian Immigration Authority.

Austrian citizenship for grandchildren

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