Austrian citizenship

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The Austrian citizenship has someone as a citizen of the Republic of Austria and at the same time as citizens of the European Union from. The legal basis is the Citizenship Act of 1985 with the changes that have resulted from Austria's membership in the EU since 1995.

Acquisition of Austrian citizenship

Acquisition at birth

The Austrian nationality law mainly follows the principle of descent ( Latin ius sanguinis = right of blood). According to this, legitimate children receive the citizenship of one of their parents, illegitimate children that of their mother (§§ 7, 7a and 8). If only the father of an illegitimate child is an Austrian citizen, but the mother is a citizen of another country, the child acquires citizenship through descent if the Austrian father has either recognized paternity within eight weeks or his paternity has been determined by a court.

Evidence community

Until June 30, 1966, the place of birth was the so-called evidence community of the child. Since July 1, 1966, the registry has been the mother's place of residence for births in Germany, and the child's place of birth if the mother lives abroad ; otherwise the municipality of Vienna .

General requirements for naturalization

  • At least ten years of lawful and uninterrupted residence in Austria, of which at least five years of residence permit;
  • Innocence;
  • sufficiently secured livelihood;
  • Knowledge of German and basic knowledge of the democratic order, history of Austria and the respective federal state ;
  • affirmative attitude towards the Republic of Austria and guarantee that there is no danger to public peace, order and security;
  • no existing residence ban and no pending proceedings to terminate residence;
  • basically loss of previous citizenship (there are exceptions).

Naturalization with legal entitlement

If there is a legal claim, a negative decision can only be made if there is a legal obstacle to naturalization (such as judicial convictions, serious administrative offenses).

The granting of citizenship is extended to the applicant's spouse and children under certain conditions.

Even if there is a legal claim, the general naturalization requirements must be met. The legal right to be granted citizenship is therefore given under one of the following conditions:

  • 30 years of uninterrupted main residence in Austria;
  • Fifteen years of legal and uninterrupted residence (main residence) in the federal territory with proof of sustainable personal and professional integration;
  • Ten years of lawful and uninterrupted residence in the federal territory with the status "asylum seeker";
  • six years of lawful and uninterrupted residence provided,
    • there is a five-year marriage to an Austrian citizen and the spouses live in the same household or
    • proof of EEA nationality or
    • the applicant was born in Austria or
    • the award is in the interest of the Republic of Austria on the basis of extraordinary achievements already made and expected in the scientific, economic, artistic or sporting field, or
    • the stranger proves sustainable personal integration. This is the case if you either have German language skills at level B2 or German language skills at level B1 and proof of sustainable personal integration is given.

Naturalization without legal entitlement

An award can take place if:

  • you have been ordinarily resident in Austria for at least ten years,
  • you have your normal place of residence in Austria for at least four years and there are additional reasons worthy of consideration (e.g. relatives with Austrian citizenship in Austria, etc.),
  • extraordinary achievements in the fields of science, sport, economy, cultures, are present or are to be expected in the interest of the Republic of Austria.


For those persecuted during the National Socialist era who were previously Austrian citizens, there is the possibility of regaining citizenship by means of a written notification ( Section 58c StbG). From September 1, 2020, following the amendment of Section 58c, this option will be available for those previously persecuted who were Austrian citizens or who lived in Austria and were in possession of the citizenship of a successor state Austria-Hungary and had to leave the country by 1955, as well as their descendants up to Generation of great-grandchildren.

Loss of citizenship

Section 26 names four ways of losing citizenship:

  1. Acquisition of a foreign nationality (Sections 27 and 29)
  2. Entry into military service in a foreign state (Section 32)
  3. Deprivation (sections 33 to 36), for example, damage to the republic's reputation
  4. Waiver (Sections 37 and 38) (for men only possible if the waiver is younger than 16 years or older than 36 years, or has already completed military / community service, or has had his main residence outside of the republic for at least five years and in addition has no pending criminal proceedings or execution of a sentence for a major criminal offense)

By voluntarily renouncing Austrian citizenship, one cannot become stateless under any circumstances. Without proof of the possession of a foreign nationality, the waiver based on international agreements cannot take effect.

Before acquiring a foreign citizenship, an application can be made to retain Austrian citizenship; the application can be granted under certain circumstances. ( See: Article "Citizenship", section "Multiple citizenship", subsection "Austria" .)

Citizen's Rights and Duties

The fundamental rights can be divided into civil rights, which apply to all citizens, and human rights, which also apply to foreigners.

The citizen has the right to stay in the country undisturbed, has political rights (active and passive voting rights , participation in referendums, etc.), has freedom of expression and has the right to equality before the law. Furthermore, there is the right to protection by Austrian representation authorities abroad. But the citizen also has a duty of loyalty to the state and has the duty to take on a lay jury or lay jury office . Men are compulsory military service between the ages of 17 and 50 and must complete military service or alternative military service .

For certain professions, possession of Austrian citizenship is a legal requirement in order to be able to exercise it, such as judges, police officers and other professions in the civil service.

Austrian citizens can only acquire additional citizenship of another state with the prior consent of Austria, otherwise the Austrian citizenship is automatically terminated ( ex lege ).

However, the citizen can have dual citizenship since birth if he or she is born as a child of an Austrian in a country in which every person born there is automatically a citizen of this country (example: an Austrian living in Brazil has children there, these are dual citizens).

Granting and proof of citizenship

Awarded in the vow room of the Vienna MA  35 (2013)

Austrian citizenship is awarded by the respective governor .

Confirmation that you have Austrian citizenship, the certificate of citizenship , is issued by the respective municipality . However, these are mostly grouped together to form so-called citizenship associations . As proof of citizenship, a passport , identity card or the less common identity card is usually also valid , since you can only get these documents with a valid citizenship.

Legal historical development


For Austrian law, the General Civil Code (ABGB), which came into force on January 1, 1812, was the first significant codification of the most fundamental provisions on citizenship. Sections 28 to 30 etc. define who is a citizen. "When the General Civil Code came into force on January 1st, 1812, precise provisions on the acquisition of Austrian citizenship were made in its area of ​​application for the first time."

The municipal law of April 24, 1859 defined the concept of homeland law , i.e. the competence of a municipality association for one's own person , to which one permanently belonged. With the right of home, a right to undisturbed residence, the right to vote (from 1906 also for all male citizens) and to social security in the event of poverty or need could be asserted.

From 1863 onwards, all municipalities had to keep a register by law (so-called home roll ), in which the municipality members were listed. People who were not already registered as belonging to a Catholic parish ( parish register) were recorded in a civil register from 1870 onwards. It was determined that "only citizens [...] can acquire the right of home in a municipality", and: "Every citizen should be entitled to live in a municipality." The right of home could be acquired through descent and marriage , through presidency after ten years (and later over four years) or by taking up a public office. It could be withdrawn from the hometown due to a two-year absence. This right of home was, similar to today in Switzerland , subsidiary. Through the right of home in a municipality, one was also indirectly at the same time a citizen of the crown land in which the municipality was located.

After the settlement with Hungary in 1867, the constitutional law on the general rights of citizens was passed in the same year, which stipulated in Article 1 for the kingdoms and countries represented in the Reichsrat : All members of the kingdoms and countries represented in the Reichsrathe have a general Austrian citizenship right . This right of citizenship was valid until the end of the monarchy in 1918. For the countries of the Hungarian crown , Hungarian citizenship has been in effect since the settlement.

Dissolution of the Habsburg Monarchy

Certificate of origin as confirmation of the local law of origin, Austria, 1929

After the proclamation of the republic on November 12, 1918, the Provisional National Assembly issued the German-Austrian citizenship law on December 5, 1918, which came into force on December 13, 1918. All persons who at the time of the promulgation of the law had the right of home in a municipality of the German-Austrian Republic automatically became citizens.

Through a declaration to the Republic, people who had been resident in German Austria since 1914 could also obtain citizenship. Persons who at the time of the announcement were entitled to reside in a municipality in the defunct Austria (with the exception of Galicia , Dalmatia and Istria ) that was outside the German-Austrian Republic also had the right to declare themselves as German-Austrian to the authorities.

The question of the status of Jewish war refugees became a political issue between Christian socialists , socialists and German nationalists . Thousands had fled during the First World War, mainly from Galicia , mainly to Vienna. Despite verbal riots between the political camps, however, they were ultimately treated equally like all other citizens of the former Habsburg Empire. The young republic thus had over 200,000 Jewish citizens.

In 1920 the provisional constitutional rules were replaced by the Constituent National Assembly by the Federal Constitution , which is still in force today . The implementation of the Citizenship Act was now the responsibility of the Austrian federal states . In addition to federal citizenship, state citizenship was introduced, the prerequisite for which in turn was the right to live in a municipality.

In 1925 a new citizenship law was passed, in which the state and federal citizenship as well as the home law in the municipalities was newly regulated. In addition to the birth, citizenship could now be granted by award, whereby a four-year residence had to be proven. In addition, teachers at a domestic university were automatically granted citizenship. Married women automatically received their spouse's citizenship.

"Anschluss" in 1938

After the “Anschluss” of Austria, the “Ordinance on German Citizenship in the Land of Austria” of July 3, 1938 gave Austrians German citizenship . The previous juxtaposition of parish and parish registers was abolished in August 1938 and the Viennese system of civil registers was introduced in all parishes. Many Jewish citizens previously listed in these civil registers were stripped of their citizenship; Certain “ Reich citizens ”, i.e. “citizens of German or related blood ”, immediately lost the German Reich citizenship they had acquired until the end of 1938 in the course of the implementation of the Nuremberg Reich Citizenship Law and, like German Jews, were excluded from “voting rights in political matters” as second class citizens . With the "Twelfth Ordinance on the Reich Citizenship Law", the further provision was issued that "Jews and Gypsies [...] do not become citizens" and "cannot be citizens of revocation or protection members" (Section 4 (1)). They were completely disenfranchised and the term “ valid Jew” was also applied to first-degree Jewish half-breeds who were not German citizens. A short time later, on July 1, 1943, the 13th ordinance on the Reich Citizenship Act was issued: According to § 1 Para. V. m. Paragraph 2 could now be punished directly by the police for criminal acts by Jews; henceforth they were at the mercy of naked arbitrariness . Section 2 (1) of the 13th ordinance stipulated that the property of a Jew fell to the Reich upon his death .

After the Second World War and the re-establishment of the Republic of Austria, the Austrian Citizenship Transition Act of 1945 regained Austrian citizenship who were Austrian at the time of the “Anschluss” and who had not taken on foreign citizenship between 1938 and 1945; also those persons who would have obtained federal citizenship through legal succession (descent, legitimation, marriage) during this period.

Citizenship Act 1985

The 1983 amendment to the Citizenship Act pursued the establishment of the principle of equality and eliminated provisions contrary to this in order to fully meet the requirement of equal treatment of the sexes. The legitimate mother was put on an equal footing with the legitimate father in imparting citizenship to her children; Equal treatment of male and female spouses of citizens when acquiring citizenship was also established.

In 1985 the Citizenship Act 1965 was re-issued as the Federal Act on Austrian Citizenship (Citizenship Act 1985 - StbG) and has been amended several times since then (1986, 1988, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998 and in the 2000s and 2010s).

Amendments to the law 2005–2013

The government's draft law in 2005/2006 provided for a drastic tightening of the naturalization law: On the one hand, all exceptions should be deleted, the minimum length of stay increased to six years and children born in Austria to foreign parents should only be naturalized at the age of six. On the other hand, the applicant had to complete a 300-hour German course with a final exam. The draft was largely adopted in the 2005 amendment to the citizenship law.

A government bill to amend the Citizenship Act was submitted to the National Council on April 30, 2013 following the decision in the Council of Ministers and has been in force since August 1, 2013.

According to this, foreigners are allowed to be naturalized after a lawful and uninterrupted stay of at least six years in the Austrian federal territory if they are well integrated ( § 11a StbG). In addition to the general requirements for granting citizenship ( Section 10 StbG), it is to be granted to the alien according to Section 11 (6) if

  • (Item 1) he, in deviation from § 10a Paragraph 1 Item 1, provides evidence of German language skills in accordance with the B2 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages ​​(GERS), or
  • (Z 2) he provides evidence in accordance with Section 10a, Paragraph 1, Item 1 and proves his lasting personal integration, in particular through
    • a) at least three years of voluntary, honorary engagement in a non-profit organization that complies with the requirements of Section 35 of the Federal Tax Code (BAO), Federal Law Gazette No. 195/1961 , or
    • b) at least three years of an occupation in the education, social or health sector, provided that the income generated has consistently reached the monthly marginal earnings limit in accordance with Section 5 (2) ASVG , or
    • c) holding a position in an interest group or an interest group for at least three years.

In addition, the activity of the foreigner, with which sustainable personal integration is to be proven, must serve the general good in a special way and represent an integration-relevant added value for his integration in Austria. This must be justified in detail by the foreigner and the respective institution in the context of a written statement.

University professor

Due to the fact that the appointment as a university professor at an Austrian university or art school in Austria also represented the appointment as a civil servant , a foreign citizen acquired Austrian citizenship at the same time as he took up employment without notice.

With Austria's accession to the European Union in 1995, as a result of which the citizens of the member states were granted the same professional access rights as Austrian citizens within the framework of European integration , this automatic citizenship acquisition was only valid for non-EU citizens. Since, from September 1, 2001, university professorships are only to be advertised for employment under private law, this provision of Section 25 (1) StbG has now become obsolete due to the discontinuation of the public service contract for new university teachers and therefore through the First Federal Constitutional Law Cleansing Act (1st BVRBG ) of January 4, 2008 as no longer valid.

The regulation for professors (entry into service as a university professor, Section 25 (1)) was thus repealed by a 2008 amendment to the law.

In addition, the spouse and unmarried underage children of foreign university professors appointed as civil servants also received Austrian citizenship (Section 25, Paragraph 2) by declaring that they “want to belong to the Republic as a loyal citizen” within one year of commencement of employment and 3). In this particular case of naturalization, dual citizenship was tolerated. A parliamentary question on the number of people naturalized in this way showed that no statistics were kept on this.

Illegal dual citizens

At the Turkish constitutional referendum in 2017 , some Turks with an Austrian passport tried to appear in the Turkish electoral roll as eligible to vote. Her illegal dual citizenship was discovered, which was particularly in the media focus. Thereupon, on the initiative of the FPÖ , alleged Turkish voter registration lists were passed on to the respective state authorities; it was assumed that there were 20,000 “bogus citizens”. The verification turned out to be difficult; In August 2018, 70 Turks were sent notices from the citizenship authorities in which the loss of Austrian citizenship was determined. The VwGH confirmed in a decision the determination of the loss of citizenship.

Award in special interest

In Austria people can be naturalized "in the special interest of the Republic" in an urgent procedure. So far, their names have been published annually as a list. For 2017, this was done with a kind of exception, in which the consent of the persons concerned was obtained individually. This is no longer possible with the application of the General Data Protection Regulation . The Interior Ministry currently sees “no viable legal basis” for this, but would like to create one if the government so decides. Peter Pilz continues to demand publication in order to counter the risk of corruption.


Individual evidence

  1. § 49 Citizenship Act 1985
  2. Granting of citizenship on the basis of a legal claim. Retrieved April 6, 2019 .
  3. Acquisition through award , (, as of January 1, 2019.
  4. § 28 ff. ABGB
  5. Quoted from Waltraud Heindl, Edith Saurer (ed.), Grenz und Staat , Böhlau, Wien 2000, p. 108 .
  6. Citizenship system ( Memento of July 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), legal and legal historical explanations and legal texts on citizenship, civil status and population system, status 2007, up to and including the 2005 amendment, on the Salzburg state government (PDF; 795 kB).
  7. Waltraud Heindl, Edith Saurer (ed.), Border and State: Passports, Citizenship, Home Law and Aliens Legislation in the Austrian Monarchy 1750–1867 . Among employees by Hannelore Burger and Harald Wendelin, Böhlau, Vienna / Cologne / Weimar 2000, ISBN 3-205-99199-0 , p. 168 .
  8. § 2 of the law of December 3, 1863, RGBl. 105/1863.
  9. ^ Aeiou-Österreichlexikon: Heimatrecht
  10. StGBl. No. 142/1867 (= p. 394)
  11. Dieter Gosewinkel : Naturalization and Exclusion. The nationalization of citizenship from the German Confederation to the Federal Republic of Germany. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-35165-8 , p. 40.
  12. StGBl. No. 91/1918 (= p. 129)
  13. ^ Democracy Center Vienna: Development of Citizenship in Austria
  14. Federal Law Gazette No. 285 of July 30, 1925 (= p. 1007 ff.)
  15. ^ Ordinance on German citizenship in Austria of July 3, 1938
  16. Note that “the Reich citizen” as “the sole bearer of full political rights” ( Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the Reich Citizenship Act ) should not be confused with the ordinary Reich citizen under the Reich and Citizenship Act of 1913. See in particular Ingo von Münch : German citizenship. Past - present - future . De Gruyter Recht, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-89949-433-4 , pp. 61-62 .
  17. RGBl. 1935 I, p. 1146
  18. ^ First ordinance on the Reich Citizenship Act of November 14, 1935 (RGBl. 1935 I, p. 1334). For more details, cf. von Münch: German citizenship. De Gruyter Recht, Berlin 2007, pp. 61–65 .
  19. ^ Twelfth ordinance to the Reich Citizenship Law of April 25, 1943 (RGBl. 1943 I, p. 268)
  20. Cf. von Münch: The German citizenship. De Gruyter Recht, Berlin 2007, pp. 72–74 .
  21. RGBl. 1943 I, p. 372
  22. Austrian Citizenship Transition Act (St-ÜG) of July 10, 1945, StGBl. No. 59/1945
  23. Citizenship Act 1985 in the current version in the legal information system of the federal government (RIS).
  24. See also: Granting citizenship based on a legal claim. In: - Austria's digital office , accessed on June 22, 2019.
  25. Entry into a public-law employment relationship as a university (college) professor (§ 154 Z 1 lit. a and Z 2 lit. a of the Civil Service Service Act 1979, Federal Law Gazette No. 333)
  26. ^ Citizenship system, status 2007 ( Memento from July 24, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) (Salzburg State Government), p. 19 f. (PDF; 815 kB).
  27. StbG 1985 § 25 (1) , website of the Greens
  28. Civil Service Law Act (BDG), Section 6, Section 162 (3)
  29. BGBl. I No. 2/2008 : 1. BVRBG § 2 (3) Z. 11.
  30. Federal Law Gazette I No. 2/2008
  31. ^ Parliamentary question by NR Josef Auer of May 20, 2009, accessed on March 27, 2010.
  32. Authorities want to check Turkish electoral lists . April 21, 2017 ( [accessed October 4, 2018]).
  33. Turkish dual citizenship dismissed . May 8, 2018 ( [accessed October 4, 2018]).
  34. michaela.rittenwein, katharina.zach, wfriedl: Before the Turkey election: It will be tight for dual citizens . ( [accessed October 4, 2018]).
  35. FPÖ assumes 20,000 “bogus citizens” . In: The press . ( [accessed October 4, 2018]).
  36. ^ Dual citizenship: First withdrawals for Turks. In: Retrieved October 4, 2018 .
  37. 70 Turks lost their Austrian citizenship . In: The press . ( [accessed October 4, 2018]).
  38. VwGH confirms withdrawal of citizenship for dual citizens . ( [accessed October 15, 2018]).
  39. Decision of the Administrative Court of 25 September 2018 on Ra 2018/01/0364 .
  40. Granted citizenships: Pilz makes an inquiry ,, August 1, 2018, accessed on August 1, 2018.

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