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

Acquisition by Descent

Children automatically become Austrian citizens at birth if their mother is an Austrian citizen. The same applies for children whose parents are married if only the father is an Austrian citizen.

In cases where a child's parents are not married and only the father is an Austrian citizen and the mother is a citizen of another country, the child acquires the Austrian citizenship by origin if the Austrian father either makes an acknowledgement of paternity [Vaterschaftsanerkenntnis] within eight weeks after the birth of the child or if the fatherhood is proven by court. Paternity can already be acknowledged before birth. If paternity is acknowledged or fatherhood proven by court later than eight weeks after the birth of the child, the child can acquire the Austrian citizenship by award under facilitated conditions.

Children whose parents have different citizenships (an Austrian citizenship and another one) acquire dual nationality provided that the principle of descent also applies in the country of origin of the parent with the foreign citizenship (as in Austria, see first paragraph above).

Acquisition by Award

In case of an acquisition of the Austrian citizenship by award the general requirements for naturalization must be fulfilled in all cases and an application must be filed. Only then is there a chance of acquiring citizenship by award due to legal claim or at the authority's discretion. 

Further requirements for an award of the Austrian citizenship depend on whether the award is due to legal claim or at the authority's discretion.

General Requirements for Naturalization

  • Minimum of 10 years legal and nonstop residence in Austria, therefrom minimum of 5 years with a settlement permit; there are derogations from this requirement in the case of an award due to legal claim
  • Integrity
    • No judicial condemnation
    • No pending criminal action (both in Austria and abroad)
    • No severe administrative offences with special degree of unlawfulness
  • Sufficiently secured maintenance
    • Proof of one's own fix and regular earnings out of acquisition, income, judicial claim to maintenance or insurance benefits on the basis of the average of 36 months within the last six years prior to the date of application (the last six months within the period claimed must immediately precede the date of application)
  • German language skills and basic knowledge of the democratic system and the fundamental principles derived from it, of the history of Austria and of each province
    • Proof of a written exam unless there are any exceptional regulations (e.g. German as mother tongue, minority, attendance of school with a positive grade in the subject "German")
  • Positive attitude towards the Republic of Austria and warranty that there is no danger for the public peace, order and security
  • No current prohibition of residence and no pending process concerning the end of the residence
  • No return decision [Rückkehrentscheidung]
  • No expulsion decision [Rückführungsentscheidung] issued by another EEA state or by Switzerland
  • No eviction order within the last 18 months
  • No close relationship to any extremist or terrorist group
  • Principally loss of previous citizenship
  • Due to the acquisition of the citizenship
    • The international relations to the Republic of Austria must not be significantly affected and
    • The interests of the Republic of Austria must not be harmed

Responsible Authority

The office of the provincial government [Amt der Landesregierung]

Required Documents

The application can either be filed without an official form or with an application form which you can obtain from the responsible authority.

The actually required documents can only be determined according to your personal details. Please contact the responsible department of citizenship.

All foreign language documents must be presented in the original along with a German translation, certified in Austria.

In order to accept foreign documents, many countries require an apostille or authentication.

If a foreign language document must be presented in the original along with a certified German translation, the translation may only be done by a translator sworn and certified in Austria. Translators from other EU-/EEA-member states can also have themselves registered in the list of sworn and certified translators.

More Information

Additional information can be found on the German website at

Last update: 19.07.2018
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