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Obtaining documents to prove eligibility for an Austrian passport 

Michael Decker
Michael Decker

What documents do you need to prove eligibility for an Austrian passport? As part of the process of obtaining an Austrian citizenship and passport for the descendants of Jews persecuted by the Nazis, you are required to prove (among other things) that the relatives, based on whose relation the application is submitted, were Austrian citizens residents during the period granting eligibility for naturalization. Sometimes, an archival search is required to locate documents proving eligibility for citizenship and a passport. In this article, we explain this issue and provides details.

The recent amendment of the Austrian Citizenship Act has greatly extended the eligibility of Jews who lived in Austria between 1933-1955, and of their descendants, to receive an Austrian citizenship and passport. The new Act canceled discriminatory criteria for the grant of a citizenship, which were applied in the past, and has relaxed the conditions for the obtainment of a passport. For example, now you are no longer required to undergo a language test in order to receive a passport. There are several reasons to enter the process and obtain an Austrian passport. This is one of the strongest passports in Europe and around the world. A European passport allows you to immigrate to Austria and all other European Union countries for the purposes of work or academic studies, to enter the United States without requiring a visa, and even to obtain work visas in high demand destinations such as Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and more. You can even transfer eligibility for citizenship to family members (children, grandchildren, and spouses).

Those wishing to obtain an Austrian passport are required to prove that they are eligible to receive it. This is not always simple, especially for the descendants of eligible persons. This is because in many cases, they submit the application based on a family relation who has passed away. In many other cases, the applicants don’t have the necessary documentation to prove their eligibility, and don’t know how to obtain such documents. In light of this difficulty, many delay their application, or even lose hope completely. In addition, it’s important to note that that there’s no knowing the future, and eligibility conditions for an Austrian passport may certainly become more stringent (as has recently happened in Portugal). Therefore, it’s important to become familiar with the process required to obtain an Austrian citizenship and an Austrian passport, and with the ways in which eligibility for this process might be proven. We provide detailed explanations below.

Eligibility for an Austrian passport

What is the process required for obtaining an Austrian citizenship and an Austrian passport?

Generally, those wishing to obtain an Austrian citizenship and passport are required to submit a detailed application, in which they must provide many details about their own and their ancestors’ family background. This application must be attached with documents indicating eligibility and family affiliation, in accordance with a list of documents requested by the Austrian authorities. Some of the documents would have to undergo notarial translation into German. Prior to the submission of the application, you would need to investigate your eligibility for an Austrian citizenship, in accordance with the updated Citizenship Act.

How to prove eligibility for an Austrian passport?

In order to enter the official process of applying for an Austrian citizenship, you will need to present the Austrian authorities with proof that the relatives on whom the application relies, or those submitting the application, were Jewish citizens of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, or non-citizen Austrian residents, between the years of 1933-1955, and that they had left Austria within the eligible period. Documents which might serve as proof include old passports, confirmations of studies in Austrian academic institutions, marriage certificates, etc.

What can you do if you don’t possess documents that might prove eligibility for an Austrian passport?

In many cases, such documents were not kept by those who had them, or they were not given to their descendants. One possible solution in such cases is to perform an archival search. As part of this search, a query is made to archives and authorities in Austria in order to locate such proofs. Our law firm assists clients with this, as part of the process of obtaining a citizenship. In addition, in cases where the applicants are descendants of Austrian residents or citizens of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, there is a need to provide proof of familial relation, establishing eligibility to receive an Austrian passport.

This requires the submission of additional documents, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, and name change certificates (if relevant). Some of these documents would have to undergo notarial translation into German. Presenting these proofs to the satisfaction of the Austrian officials could allow you to officially enter the process, at the end of which, subject to compliance with the conditions of the Austrian Citizenship Act, the applicants would be granted an Austrian citizenship and passport.

Proof of eligibility to receive an Austrian passport – contact a lawyer specializing in Austrian immigration and citizenship law.

In this article, we have provided extensive details about the conditions and requirements for proving eligibility for an Austrian passport, including the documents which may serve as proofs required by the Austrian authorities, and the option to perform an archival search for this purpose. If you have any additional questions, or if you need advice and help with this issue, we would be happy to be at your service, and provide you with comprehensive and professional assistance. The lawyers from our law firm, located in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, specialize in Austrian immigration and citizenship law and have extensive and proven experience in representing applicants through naturalization procedures in Austria. Click here to contact us and schedule a consultation meeting with a specialist lawyer from our law firm.

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