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Citizenship

Austrian citizenship can be acquired by descent, award, extension of the award, etc.

Acquisition by descent

Children automatically become Austrian citizens at the time of their birth, when the mother is an Austrian citizen. The same applies in case the parents are married and only the father is an Austrian citizen.

If the parents are not married and only the father of the child is an Austrian citizen, however the mother is a national of another country, the child acquires Austrian citizenship, when within 8 weeks the Austrian father recognizes his parenthood or the fact that he is the father is determined by court. In all cases where recognition of fatherhood or the determination by court is done after his timeframe, children may be awarded Austrian citizenship in a simplified procedure.

If in case of parents of different nationality the country of citizenship of the non-Austrian parent also forsees a jus sanguinis (like Austria), the child will have dual citizenship. According to Austrian law the child does not have to decide between Austrian and the other nationality upon becoming an adult – the other state might require such a decision.

Acquisition by award

In case of an acquisition of the Austrian citizenship by award the general requirements for naturalization must be fulfilled and an application must be filed.

Further requirements for an award of the Austrian citizenship either depend on the acquisition due to legal claim or on the authority's discretion.

General requirements for naturalization

  • In general 10 years legal and continuous residence in Austria, therefrom minimum of 5 years with a residence permit
  • Integrity
    • No judicial condemnation
    • No pending criminal action (both in Austria and abroad)
    • No severe administrative offences with special degree of unlawfulness
  • Sufficiently secured maintenance
    • Proof of one's own fix and regular earnings out of acquisition, income, judicial claim to maintenance or insurance benefits over a period of 36 months on average within the last 6 years before the time of application. In any case. the last claimed 6 months must be immediately before the time of application. Transfer payments, such as family benefits, child-care support etc. are considered income
    • Exception: No proof of one’s own fix and regular earnings is required in case one’s livelihood cannot be durably secured without one’s fault (eg. disability, permanent serious illness)
  • German language skills at B 1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages basic knowledge of the democratic system and the fundamental principles deriving therefrom, as well as the history of Austria and of each province
    • Evidence in form  of a written examination (multiple choice questions) before the Provincial Government or a degree in "History and Social Sciences" at 8th grade level of a lower secondary school
    • Exceptions for minors under 14 years of age and persons who claim bad mental or physical health condition (in particular speech and hearing impairment)
  • Positive attitude towards the Republic of Austria and warranty that there is no danger for the public peace, order and security
  • No pending proceeding regarding the termination of residence
  • No current prohibition of residence or enforceable return decision
  • No return decision of another EEA country or Switzerland
  • No eviction order within the last 12 months and no upright entry prohibition
  • No close relationship to any extremist or terrorist group
  • Principally loss of previous citizenship
  • Due to the acquisition of the citizenship
    • The international relations to the Republic of Austria must not be significantly affected and
    • The interests of the Republic of Austria must not be harmed

Responsible authority

The office of the provincial government.

Required documents

The application can either be filed using the form "Verleihung bzw. Erstreckung der Verleihung der österreichischen Staatsbügerschaft" or without an official form.

The actually required documents can only be determined according to your personal details. Please contact the responsible department of citizenship. More detailed information for citizens with residence in Vienna can be found on the website of the City of Vienna (Staatsbürgerschaftsangelegenheiten und Services"). All foreign language documents must be presented in the original along with a German translation, certified in Austria.

Please note:
In order to accept foreign documents, many countries require an apostille or authentication. For more information please refer to the pages of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs.
Please note:
If a foreign language document must be presented in the original along with a certified German translation, the translation may only be done by a translator sworn and certified in Austria. A list of such translators is available on the pages of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

More precise information and further possibilities concerning the acquisition of Austrian citizenship regulated in the citizenship law are available at the citizenship department of the office of the provincial government of your primary residence.

 

Further information and useful links

  • Additional information on citizenship can be found on help.gv.at (German).
  • Information concerning the European Union (EU) can be obtained at Europe Direct (leading to sites in different languages). Your questions will be answered by phone (free of charge).

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