Alternative civilian service

Alternative civilian service is an alternative form of national service (substitute service). The length of ordinary alternative civilian service amounts to nine months.

Those who for conscientious reasons object to the use of armed force against other persons have the right to perform alternative civilian service. To this end, a Zivildiensterklärung (alternative civilian service declaration) must be submitted, which has to meet certain formal requirements. The declaration may be submitted at the earliest after receipt of the initial medical fitness certificate, which is issued after the enlistment procedure. However, the deadline for submitting the declaration to the Military Command in charge is three days prior to the service of the draft notice for basic military service.

It is only possible to perform alternative civilian service on the territory of the Republic of Austria; alternatively, a voluntary social year or a voluntary year in the field of environmental protection may also be completed to fulfil the obligation to perform compulsory national service. There is also an option to perform foreign service abroad (twelve months), service in the field of development assistance (two years) or memorial, peace or social service (twelve months) as a substitute for compulsory alternative civilian service.