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Austrian Citizenship - Austrian Citizenship Law

Requirements to obtain Austrian citizenship, Requirements for naturalisation in Austria, Austrian Citizenship Act (1985, Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz, StbG)

Nationality law in the Republic of Austria is based on the principle of jus sanguinis. This means that one usually acquires Austrian citizenship if a parent is Austrian.

To obtain Austrian citizenship itself by application, the usual requirements are:

  1. Continuous legal residence: Basically ten years’ continuous residence in Austria.
  2. Clear criminal record / No previous convictions for crimes.
  3. No ban on residence / no pending procedure to revoke the leave. No refusal of a visa to reside in Austria.
  4. The applicant’s conduct to date must show a positive attitude to Austria and that he/she is not a danger for the peace or security of the public.
  5. Financially secure / Proof of sufficient means of subsistence.
  6. Positive attitude towards the Republic of Austria / Relationship with any other state is not of such a nature as to jeopardise the interests of the Republic of Austria.
  7. Take suitable steps for giving up any foreign citizenship.
  8. Knowledge of the democratic system and history of Austria. Proof of German language skills

Waiver of requirements - Special value to Austria

As mentioned, both the residence requirement (1. above) and renunciation of any foreign citizenship (7. above) may be waived in cases where the Austrian government certifies that the grant of citizenship is in the particular interests of the Republic of Austria in view of outstanding services which the foreigner has already provided and is expected to provide to Austria (this usually applies to sports champions, businesspeople, scientists, artists etc.).

Forced to flee by the Nazis, Re-acquisition of Austrian Citizenship, Declaration based on Sec. 58c of the Austrian Nationality Act

Holocaust survivors of Austria and their descendants maintain an interest in having Austrian citizenship reinstated to their families. All former Austrian citizens who were forced to leave Austria before May 9, 1945 because they had to fear or even suffered persecution by the NSDAP and/or the authorities of the Third Reich or they had to fear or suffered persecution because of defending the democratic Republic of Austria may re-acquire their Austrian citizenship by declaration. Neither permanent residence in Austria nor renouncing present citizenship are required.

By virtue of a 1999 amendment to the Austrian Nationality Act it is now possible for persons who meet the above-mentioned criteria (lived in Austria and had to flee the country) and who were not Austrians but citizens of successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to also become Austrian Citizens.

Thus, the residence requirement  (1. above) may also be waived by the authorities (Austrian Citizenship Act) if the applicant was:

  • a victim of the Nazis and
  • a citizen of one of the successor states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and
  • had his/her main residence in Austria prior to 9th May 1945.

> Find more information about Austrian Citizenship & Residence Permits here.

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