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How to get an Austrian passport?

Jordan Levy-Bograd
Jordan Levy-Bograd

An Austrian passport allows for free travel within the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland, and (for the moment) the United Kingdom. Our law office helps its clients acquire Austrian (EU) citizenship. In this article, we will explain how to get an Austrian passport.

How do you get an Austrian passport?

You must be a citizen of Austria to become eligible for an Austrian passport. There are several ways of becoming an Austrian citizen:

  • By descent

Children of Austrian citizens automatically get Austrian citizenship. If either the mother or father of the child is an Austrian citizen, while the other parent is not, then also the child gets Austrian citizenship.

  • By naturalization

People who have lived in Austria continuously for 10 years, at least 5 of which were on a Residence Permit, become eligible for citizenship. However, there are other financial, health, and character requirements they must fulfill before becoming eligible to apply.

  • By entitlement

Some people may be granted Austrian citizenship through entitlement. Spouses of Austrian citizens who have been married for five years or more may be granted Austrian citizenship, provided they have lived in Austria for at least six years on a Settlement Permit. People who have lived in Austria for 30 years may also be eligible for citizenship by entitlement.

People who have been appointed to a professorship at an Austrian University or any higher institute of education in Austria may also be granted nationality. Former Austrian citizens who have lost their citizenship for reasons other than renunciation or deprivation may also get Austrian citizenship by entitlement. However, they must have lived in Austria for at least a year before becoming eligible.How to get an Austrian passport?

  • By award

You may also become eligible for citizenship by an award at the discretion of relevant authorities. However, such people must fulfil all naturalization requirements before they can acquire citizenship.

In October 2019, the Austrian Govt. amended the Austrian Citizenship Act. Under the new Act, victims of the National Socialist regime and their descendants would be able to acquire Austrian citizenship. The application process for the same was initiated in September 2020.

Once you have acquired your Austrian citizenship, you can apply for your Austrian passport.

Can you have dual citizenship in Austria?

Obtaining an Austrian citizenship does not (for the most part) require you to renounce any former citizenship you may have. However upon having acquired Austrian citizenship (by birth, descent, or award), applying for another citizenship for any reason may annul your Austrian citizenship.

The Austrian Citizenship Act does not allow dual citizenship. According to section 27 of the Act, a person loses his Austrian citizenship if he acquires foreign citizenship unless granted the right to maintain Austrian citizenship. These circumstances include:

  • Children who acquire another nationality at birth. For instance, children born to Austrian parents in a different country. Even if one of the parents has Austrian citizenship, the children may be given Austrian citizenship along with the citizenship of the other country.
  • Austrian citizens who naturalize in German-speaking countries like Germany, Switzerland, and Belgium may be exempted from giving up their Austrian citizenship.
  • Austrian citizens who naturalize in other countries after gaining permission may also be allowed to maintain dual citizenship. For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger, the famous Austrian actor, and politician, is a naturalized US citizen who was given special permission to retain his Austrian citizenship.
  • Holocaust survivors and their descendants who fled to other countries and obtained citizenship may also be allowed to maintain dual citizenship.
  • Natural born citizens of some countries like the USA, Canada, and Mexico may also be allowed to maintain their previous nationality along with Austrian citizenship.

If you meet the conditions listed above, you may be able to maintain Austria’s second passport along with the passport of your other nationality.

Obtaining Austrian citizenship and, thereby Austrian passport is a complicated process best handled by experts. Contact us:

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