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What You Need to Know About Austrian Citizenship Law

Jordan Levy-Bograd
Jordan Levy-Bograd

The most common pathway to Austrian citizenship is through descent. If at least one of the parents is an Austrian citizen, the child acquires Austrian citizenship by default.

The other common pathway is through naturalization. From 2014 to 2018, there has been a steady rise in number of people acquiring Austrian citizenship with 9,450 persons being naturalized in Austria in 2018. Under Austrian citizenship law, a person who has lawfully resided in Austria for specified period of time is eligible for naturalization.

Here is a closer look at Austria citizenship law that helps you make an informed decision:

Austria citizenship law

What You Need to Know About Austrian Citizenship LawThe main law that relates to Austria citizenship is the Citizenship Act of 1985. While the Act uses both “nationality” and “citizenship” in its terminology, nationalization is a legal bond between states and people outside of Austria. Citizenship is used in context to the legal bond between Austria and persons seeking citizenship.

The Citizenship Act 1985 is also influenced by other international agreements such as the UN Convention of 1961 on Reduction of Statelessness as well as European Convention on Nationality.

The Citizenship Act lists different pathways to Austria citizenship.

Pathways to citizenship under Austria citizenship law

When citizenship by birth is not possible, the Austrian citizenship law makes provisions for ‘conferral’ of citizenship for foreign nationals. A person who fulfills any of the below criteria becomes eligible for ‘conferral of citizenship.’

  • Foreigners who were citizens of a state under the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy who fled from Austria owning to persecution by National Socialist German Workers’ Party or to defend the Republic of Austria.
  • Foreigners who are expected to or have contributed outstanding achievements that further the interests of Austria
  • Spouses of a citizen of Austria
  • Citizens of a European Economic Area member state born in Austria or made outstanding contribution in Austria’s interests.
  • Uninterrupted residence in Austria – spouses of Austrian citizens need a minimum of six years of residence to quality for citizenship. Applications can also be made by people who have had 15 years of continued residency in Austria who can demonstrate successful professional and personal integration in Austria. Individuals who have lived for ten years continuously in Austria and fulfill the below criteria can also apply for Austria citizenship as per Austria citizenship law.
    • Have secure income and sufficient financial means
    • no criminal record
    • adequate German language knowledge
    • positive attitude towards Austria.
  • In 2019, a resolution was passed expanding facilitated citizenship acquisition for descendants of individuals threatened by persecution or persecuted during the Holocaust. By submitting official documents or other proof that shows the individual is a direct descendant of a persecuted citizen, it is possible to get Austrian citizenship. If your ancestors fled Austria prior to 15 May 1955 owing to Nazi regime’s persecution, their Austrian citizenship can be restored. If you are a direct descendant of such a citizen, you can get dual citizenship in Austria without giving up your Israeli passport as per Austrian citizenship law.

Contact our emigration experts

A key area of focus at our law offices lies in providing comprehensive assistance for obtaining Austrian citizenship. We begin every consultation with a thorough assessment of your unique situation, family history, financial condition and other needs. Following the consultation, we outline the most suitable pathway to Austria citizenship permitted under Austria citizenship law.

We also advise you on whether you are eligible for taking the investment route to Austrian citizenship based on your entrepreneurship goals and financial situation. Under Austria citizenship law, actively investing in Austria’s economy is another route to apply for an Austrian passport. We also offer assistance in obtaining Greek, Portuguese, Bulgarian and Dutch passports among others.

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