The information provided is intended to give a general overview on how to obtain Austrian citizenship. Due to the complexity of the Austrian Citizenship Act (1985) (Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz, available in German only) not all specific regulations and exceptions are described in full and in detail. For additional information contact the Austrian Consulate General at info(at)austria-ny.org
All appointments requires a reservation booked through our online registry.
Please use the online reservation system of the Austrian Consulate General New York.
Certificate of Citizenship
The Certificate of Citizenship is the only official document giving proof of your Austrian citizenship and must always be presented when you apply for an Austrian passport. The following documents must be presented in any case:
1. Application form - dated and signed by the applicant or parents for children under 18
2. Affidavit or Affidavit for Minors - completed and signed
3. Original Birth Certificate of the applicant and his/her parents for children under 18 (in case of foreign documents with an apostille)
4. Original Certificate of Citizenship of the applicant and his/her Austrian parent(s) for children under 18
5. Original Marriage Certificate of parents (in case of foreign documents with an apostille)
6. Original Alien Registration Card or valid visa of the applicant and his/her Austrian parent for children under 18
7. Consular fee
8. Self-addressed and stamped envelope (certified mail, return receipt requested) if you want your documents returned by mail. The Consulate cannot be held liable for any loss or theft of documents while handled by a mail/postal service.
Please note: All foreign documents can only be accepted with an Apostille or diplomatic legalization.
I) Obtaining Austrian Citizenship (overview)
1) By Descent:
a) Children born in wedlock obtain Austrian citizenship if
• born before 09/01/1983: father is Austrian citizen at time of child's birth
• born on or after 09/01/1983: one parent is Austrian citizen at time of child's birth
b) Children born out of wedlock obtain Austrian citizenship
• if mother is Austrian citizen at time of child's birth
• by legitimation if child (whose mother is a non-Austrian citizen) is still a minor and unmarried at the time of his/her parents' marriage and the father is an Austrian citizen at this time. If the legitimated child is over the age of 14 (but still a minor), he/she must consent to the acquisition of Austrian nationality.
2) By Marriage:
The alien husband or wife of an Austrian national may be granted Austrian citizenship only after at least six years of lawful residence in Austria if they have been married and being living in a common household for at least five years.
EEA citizen may also be granted Austrian citizenship after at least six years permanent residence in Austria.
Otherwise, Austrian citizenship may be granted to an alien generally only after at least ten years of residence in Austria, subject to certain condition.
Applicants will have to renounce their present citizenship when adopting Austrian nationality. A good knowledge of the German language, Austrian history and current affairs in Austria is essential when applying for Austrian citizenship.
3) By Application:
An alien has the right to obtain Austrian citizenship if
• he/she has lived in Austria permanently for at least 30 years or
• he/she has lived in Austria permanently for at least 15 years and may proof his/her successful integration into Austrian society or
• he/she is married to an Austrian citizen who works for the Austrian Government abroad
Aliens may apply for Austrian citizenship under the following preconditions
• at least 10 years of permanent residence in Austria
• proof of sufficient financial means/secure income (including the past three years)
• no criminal record
• sufficient knowledge of the German language, Austrian history and current affairs
• positive attitude towards the Republic of Austria
4) By Re-Acquisition:
a) A female (Austrian) citizen who lost Austrian citizenship prior to 09/01/1983 because of getting married to an alien may re-obtain her Austrian citizenship if she applies for it within two (2) years after her husband's death or her being divorced from him.
b) An Austrian national who had lost Austrian citizenship may regain it if at this time he/she has lived in Austria (permanent residence) for at least one year and was an Austrian national for at least ten (10) years before losing Austrian citizenship.
5) By Declaration based on Sec. 58c of the Austrian Nationality Act:
All former Austrian citizens who were forced to leave Austria before May 9, 1945 because
a) they had to fear or even suffered persecution by the NSDAP and/or the authorities of the Third Reich or
b) 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; no fee will be charged.
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. Fees do apply.
Former Austrians should present the following documents (originals):
a) signed notification form
b) birth certificate
c) marriage certificate
d) proof of legal change of name (if applicable)
e) proof of academic degree (if applicable)
f) valid passport
g) proof of Austrian citizenship at the time of emigration from Austria (Heimatschein, Heimatrollenauszug, old Austrian [or Nazi-German] passport)
h) U.S. (or other) naturalization papers
i) proof of date of emigration from Austria
II) Losing Austrian citizenship
1) Acquiring foreign citizenship:
An Austrian citizen applying for foreign citizenship will automatically lose his/her Austrian citizenship upon obtaining foreign citizenship. Minor children born in wedlock usually also lose their Austrian citizenship (because of their parents' losing theirs).
2) Entering the armed forces of a foreign country:
An Austrian national voluntarily entering the armed forces of a foreign country loses his/her Austrian citizenship.
An Austrian citizen both working for a foreign state and adversely affecting the interests and reputation of the Republic of Austria loses his/her Austrian citizenship. In addition, newly naturalized Austrians who do not renounce their previous citizenship within two years (as required) lose their newly acquired Austrian citizenship.
4) Giving up Austrian citizenship:
An Austrian citizen may, under certain circumstances, renounce his/her Austrian citizenship.
III) Dual Citizenship
In general, the Austrian Nationality Act does not allow dual citizenship except for persons who obtain two citizenships at the time they were born (e.g. a person born to Austrians living in the US acquires both Austrian and US citizenships at the time of birth).
Thus, if a person acquires US citizenship, he/she usually has to renounce the actual citizenship he/she is holding. The only exception is stated in Section 28 of the Austrian Nationality Act:
A person shall be permitted to maintain Austrian citizenship
a) if the maintenance is in the interest of the Republic of Austria, or
b) if personal reasons are worth considering (the law does not provide for examples of specific reasons that are worth considering but one may think of older relatives living in Austria, career prospects, reasons related to property issues etc.).
Only born Austrians may make use of this legal provision stated under b).
The authorities in Austria charged with deciding on the granting of dual citizenship are the Ämter der Landesregierungen (provincial governments) of the province where the applicant was born, for those born before July 1, 1966. For everyone born after July 1, 1966 the provincial government of the province where the mother of the applicant had her legal residence at the time of the applicant's birth, will decide. If the Austrian was born abroad and never lived in Austria, the provincial government of Vienna will handle the case.
The application to retain the Austrian citizenship (= a written request addressed to the provincial government), together with the listed documents below, will be forwarded by the Austrian Consulate General to the provincial government handling the case.
a) Original Citizenship Certificate
b) Original Birth Certificate
c) if applicable: Original Marriage Certificate
d) Certificates of good conduct (criminal records) from all countries where one lived for more than six months (please be aware that the issuing police department(s) could ask you for a letter from the Consulate in which it is stated that the certificate is required by the Consulate). You can obtain a FBI certificate of good conduct in Clarksburg, West Virgina.
e) detailed curriculum vitae
All foreign documents (except the certificate of good conduct) can only be accepted with an apostille.
PLEASE NOTE: An Austrian citizen who wants to keep his/her Austrian citizenship in the case of acquiring US citizenship must be granted the right to keep the citizenship before he/she pursues any steps directed at obtaining US citizenship. The right to keep one's citizenship is granted (if it is granted) under the condition that US nationality is then acquired within a period of two years. As soon as it becomes known that US citizenship will (most likely) not be obtained within these two years, please file for an extension immediately.
Records of citizenship are kept by the competent local authorities:
a) Persons born before 1 July 1966:
• in case of birth in Austria, the local authority of the place of birth
• in case of birth in a foreign country, the City of Vienna
b) Persons born on or after July 1, 1966:
• the local authority of the municipality, where the relevant person's mother had her domicile (according to the certificate of birth of the relevant person)
• if the domicile of the mother was in a foreign country, the city of Vienna
• if the domicile of the mother was in a foreign country, but the relevant person's place