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Austrian Citizenship by Marriage

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

The descendants of Austrian Jews can obtain Austrian citizenship without having to give up on their former citizenship, something our office has helped many clients achieve. But what about getting Austrian citizenship by marriage? This process is quite different from that of obtaining the citizenship by descent.

Our office specializes in the process of the acquisition of foreign passports, with an emphasis on Austrian and German citizenship. If you are a descendant of a Jewish ancestor who lived in Austria, then you might be eligible for Austrian citizenship. You are welcome to contact us and we will be able to assist you on your journey.

Austrian Citizenship by Marriage

How can you get Austrian citizenship by marriage?

The spouses of Austrian citizens are eligible to get Austrian citizenship by marriage. However, to receive citizenship the spouse must follow specific requirements that the Austrian government has set.

The first requirement is that the spouse of the Austrian citizen must live in Austria for at least six years, with a valid family reunification visa and without spending a great deal of time abroad. A Family Reunification visa can be issued to the minor children of the couple as well.

The second requirement is that the couple must be married for at least 5 years. Also, the couple must share a household in Austria.

These requirements are unique for naturalization through marriage. However, other naturalization requirements apply to all naturalization processes:

First, once the spouse has become eligible to receive Austrian citizenship, they must renounce their previous citizenship (which is not the case for descendants of Austrian Jews). Second, the spouse must have no criminal record and no judicial condemnation made against them.

Another requirement is that the spouse must present proof of income. Also, they must have a basic knowledge of the German language and must know Austria’s fundamental political principles.

Other ways to get Austrian citizenship

As noted above, many descendants of Austrian Jews are now entitled to acquire Austrian citizenship.

In September 2019 the Austrian parliament made amendment made to the original Austrian Citizenship Law, which broadened the eligibility criteria significantly. The criteria were broadened even more with a new amendment established in 2022, in particular allowing those who were descended from an Austrian and a foreign citizen to apply for citizenship by descent.

The new amendment stipulates that the descendants of Austrian citizens or the citizens of the former Austro-Hungarian empire or stateless people who lived within the Austrian borders as they are today, who had a center of life in Austria, are eligible for Austrian citizenship. There are however further requirements to this law. The ancestors of applicants must have left Austria before May 15, 1955.

Another change the new amendment introduced involves those who served in a non-Austrian army. Former soldiers may apply for Austrian citizenship with no obstacle, and Israelis who hold an Austrian citizenship and are drafted into the IDF will not be stripped of their dual citizenship. However, it is important to note that those who already hold Austrian citizenship, and volunteer to serve in a foreign army have their citizenship revoked, with no option to obtain it once more.

How can descendants apply for Austrian citizenship?

The descendants of former Austrian citizens, Austro-Hungarian citizens who resided in Austria, or stateless people, can request to receive Austrian citizenship. The request process demands proof of eligibility, by providing the relevant documentation.

In many cases, the requestors do not possess the required documentation. In this case, there is a need to perform an archival search to obtain the documentation proving eligibility. Our law office provides clients who wish to request Austrian citizenship with the service of performing the archival search. Through our experience we can determine which archives need to be contacted, and which documents have to be found to prove eligibility.  Austrian Citizenship by Marriage

After obtaining the relevant documentation, the applicants’ personal documentation must be collected in their origin country. For example, documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and more. These documents must be translated into German by a notary. T

All of the documentation, along with the request forms, filled in in German, will be submitted to the Citizenship Department in Vienna. The approval process takes up to 2 years.

Once the requests have been approved, the new Austrian citizens will be invited to the Austrian embassy in their origin country to receive their naturalization certificates. During the appointment, they can also submit a request to issue an Austrian passport.

Why you should get Austrian citizenship?

Many descendants wonder if they should obtain Austrian citizenship if they have no plans to move to Austria. However, the Austrian passport can be very beneficial, even for those who are not interested in relocation or immigration.

The Austrian passport is one of the most powerful passports in the world. Those who hold it are granted entry to more than 192 countries without having to issue a visa. Moreover, since Austria is part of the European Union, Austrian citizens can work, live and study in any of the EU countries that are part of the union with no restrictions.

Austrian citizenship by marriage – consult with an expert

As you can see, getting Austrian citizenship by marriage can be a complicated process. It of course requires one of the spouses to hold Austrian citizenship. Therefore, if one of the spouses is eligible for Austrian citizenship, that will be the first step towards obtaining Austrian citizenship by marriage.

Our law firm located in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv has many experts in the different Austrian citizenship laws and the application process.

If you are considering obtaining Austrian citizenship, we welcome you to consult with one of our lawyers.

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