IMPORTANT FOR THE APPLICATION:
Documents, e.g. birth- or marriage certificates issued in the US must be certified copies. Documents issued by other countries need to be officially legalized and translated according to the Hague Convention.
The Consulate recommends to provide all US-documents with an Apostille from the Secretary of State. Information about Apostille
Obtaining Austrian Citizenship (overview)
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.
by granting to illegitimate children of Austrian fathers
A child whose parents are not married to each other and whose Austrian father acknowledged paternity later than eight weeks after birth or whose paternity was determined by court later than eight weeks after birth can obtain citizenship until his/her 14th birthday by a very simplified procedure. If the children have no residency in Austria, the father has to have his center of life and his permanent and legal residence abroad for at least 12 months.
by granting to adopted children
Children under the age of 14, who were adopted by an Austrian citizen, obtain Austrian citizenship by a simplified procedure. The competent authority should come to a decision within six weeks. If the children have no residency in Austria, the respective parent has to have his center of life and his permanent and legal residence abroad for at least 12 months.
Illegitimate children under the age of 14 who have not obtained citizenship by descent (at birth), obtain citizenship at the moment their parents marry, if the father of the child is Austrian at this moment. The acknowledgement of paternity is required. In special and very rare cases and limited until 2016 the Federal President can – by application of a parent or the child – legitimize the child.
Persons who have been wrongly treated as Austrians by Austrian authorities for at least fifteen years (e.g. by issuing of passports), but have never legally possessed Austrian citizenship (so-called “putative Austrians”), obtain citizenship by declaration. The declaration has to be submitted within six months after the authority notified the person about the error. This regulation does not apply to persons who have deliberately caused the error.
Persons who were informed about the error by a competent Austrian authority prior to August 1st, 2013 and who have also been wrongly treated as Austrians by Austrian authorities for at least fifteen years, can also obtain the citizenship by declaration by the above mentioned requirements. The application must be submitted before January 31st, 2014.
In both cases the 15-year-deadline is void if the basic military service or “Zivildienst” have been done in Austria.
Until April 30th, 2014, legitimate (or legitimized) children of an Austrian mother, born prior to August 31st, 1983 who – due to the legal framework in place at that moment – at birth obtained (only) a foreign citizenship through their father, can apply for Austrian citizenship by declaration (“Anzeige”). The children must have been unmarried and under the age of 19 on September 1st, 1983. The mother must be alive and must be Austrian at the moment the declaration is submitted.
by (regular) application
Without meeting the above mentioned requirements, foreigners can submit an application for Austrian citizenship under the following conditions (§ 10 Abs. 1):
· At least ten years of legal and uninterrupted residence (“Aufenthalt”) in Austria of which at least five years in settlement (“Niederlassung”) or
· At least six years legal and uninterrupted residence (Aufenthalt) in Austria if
o knowledge of German (B2-level) can be proved or
o knowledge of German (B1-level) and a thorough personal integration (e.g. by at least three years of voluntary activity) can be proved
clear criminal record, positive attitude towards the Republic of Austria and sufficiently secured means of subsistence
[Austrian citizenship is not touched by marrying a foreigner. The foreign spouse can – provided he/she gives up his/her foreign citizenship – obtain Austrian citizenship by the following conditions (§ 11a):
· At least six years legal and uninterrupted residence („Aufenthalt”) in Austria
· Intact marriage for five years
· Sharing the same household]
by granting in the interest of the Republic (§ 10 Abs. 6):
If the federal government confirms that the granting of citizenship to a foreigner, because of extraordinary performances already rendered AND extraordinary performances still to be expected, is in the special interest of the Republic, then the requirements of residence and settlement in Austria (Abs. 1 Z 1), secured means of subsistence (Abs. 1 Z 7) and giving up of foreign citizenship (Abs. 3) are waived.
. Female Austrian citizens who lost the Austrian citizenship prior to September 1st, 1983, because they married a foreigner, can re-gain the Austrian citizenship if they apply within two years of their husband’s death or divorce.
· A person who lost Austrian citizenship (e.g. by voluntarily obtaining a foreign citizenship) can re-gain the Austrian citizenship if he/she had been Austrian at least ten years prior to losing the Austrian citizenship. An application for re-gaining Austrian citizenship can be done at the competent Austrian authority for your citizenship (“zuständige Landesregierung”) in connection with your next stay in Austria.
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
•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; 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) criminal records (certificates of good conduct) from all countries where one lived for more than six months. From the US, a fingerprint-record must be ordered from the FBI.
e) proof of legal change of name (if applicable)
f) proof of academic degree (if applicable)
g) valid passport
h) proof of Austrian citizenship at the time of emigration from Austria (Heimatschein, Heimatrollenauszug, old Austrian [or Nazi-German] passport)
i) U.S. (or other) naturalization papers
j) proof of date of emigration from Austria
Obtaining Austrian citizenship by descent for a child born by a surrogate mother is still restricted. The Higher Administrative Court has in the interest of the child agreed to obtaining citizenship by descent in the recent past. The amendment to the citizenship law does not completely follow the court’s ruling, but remains restricted to those cases where a child born abroad would be stateless.
Losing Austrian citizenship
Acquiring foreign citizenship:
An Austrian citizen applying for foreign citizenship will automatically lose his/her Austrian citizenship upon obtaining foreign citizenship.
Entering the armed forces of a foreign country:
An Austrian national voluntarily entering the armed forces of a foreign country loses the 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 citizenship. In addition, newly naturalized Austrians who do not renounce their previous citizenship within two years (as required) lose their newly acquired Austrian citizenship.
Giving up Austrian citizenship:
An Austrian citizen may, under certain circumstances, renounce his/her Austrian 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 has his residence in Austria. If the main residence is outside of Austria and the applicant was born before July 01, 1966, the province where the applicant was born would be in charge. If the applicant was born after July 01, 1966, the province where the mother had her main residence at the time of birth according to the birth certifcate, will be in charge. If the Austrian was born abroad, the "provincial government of Vienna" will handle the case.
The application to keep one's Austrian citizenship is a written request addressed to the "Amt der Landesregierung", which may either be submitted directly at the Austrian Consulate General or the competent provincial government.
The following documents have to be included (we recommend originals).
All documents, e.g. birth-, marriage certificates, issued by the US, must be authenticated after the Hague Convention, by an Apostille, issued by the Secretary of State. Information about Apostille
a) certified copies of the birth certificate
b) the certificate of citizenship,
c) the marriage certificate (if applicable),
d) a detailed curriculum vitae, and
e) criminal records (certificates of good conduct) from all countries where one lived for more than six months. From the US, a fingerprint-record must be orderd from the FBI.
will be forwarded to the provincial government handling the case.
Application and informationsheet for keeping the Austrian Citizenship (for the other provinces)
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.