Austrian citizenship, Application, Citizenship Certificate

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

Certificate of Citizenship

The Certificate of Citizenship is the only official document offering proof of your Austrian citizenship. The issuance of a citizenship certificate for a minor is free of charge within the first two years after the child's birth (application must be filed in time to include processing time).

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 marriage

The foreign spouse can (renouncing present citizenship is required) obtain Austrian citizenship by the following conditions:

  • At least six years of legal and uninterrupted residence („Aufenthalt”) in Austria
  • Intact marriage for five years
  • Sharing the same household

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.

Granting of Citizenship: Requirements for naturalisation in Austria

If Austrian citizenship is your goal, first you will need a lot of patience. The application process takes a long time and involves much paperwork and unfortunately some costs.

Austrian citizenship is granted in most of cases upon application. The competent organ is the provincial government, thus the application must be submitted with the district administrative authority or with the municipality (in Vienna: MA35).

For the granting of citizenship lots of conditions precedent must be fulfilled. First of all the applicant must have stayed for a certain period of time lawfully and without interruption in Austria, dispose of a regulated income, of accommodation and he or she must be sufficiently proficient in the German language.

Persons who want to become Austrian citizens have to meet the following standard requirements:

  • Continuous legal residence (basically ten years)
  • No ban on residence (Aufenthaltsverbot) and no pending procedure to revoke the leave to remain (Verfahren zur Aufenthaltsbeendigung) in Austria or any other EEA country as well as no issuing of an expulsion order (Ausweisung) within the past twelve months
  • Clear criminal record (no convictions and no pending criminal proceedings neither in Austria nor abroad, no serious administrative offences)
  • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence
  • Positive attitude towards the Republic of Austria
  • Renunciation of former nationality (if feasible and reasonable)
  • Knowledge of the democratic system and history of Austria and Vienna
  • Proof of German language skills (German)

If there is no legal claim to naturalisation other relevant factors are considered such as the standard requirements for naturalisation, the general public interest, the degree of integration and the overall conduct of the applicant (Art 11 of the Austrian Citizenship Act (StbG) - German).

Granting in special interest of the Republic of Austria

In the case of the granting of citizenship in the special interest of the Republic of Austria pursuant to Article 10 (6) of the Austrian Citizenship Act, retention of the previous citizenship is also possible so that in these cases, too, dual citizenship may arise. In addition, this special status of awarding the citizenship also includes other, otherwise provided general conditions of granting, that the applicant doesn't need to fulfill, such as the necessary knowledge of the German language and of the democratic order and the history of Austria. A confirmation of the federal government must be submitted to certify that granting the citizenship to the applicant is in the special interest of the state of Austria, due to the extraordinary achievements already made by the stranger and those still to be expected from him.