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

Acquisition by Descent

Children born in wedlock automatically become Austrian citizens at birth if one of the parents is an Austrian citizen at that time. If one of the parents dies before the birth of the child, the child becomes an Austrian citizen, as long as the late parent was an Austrian citizen at the time of death.

Children born out of wedlock automatically acquire citizenship at birth if the mother is an Austrian citizen at the time of birth, without taking into consideration the citizenship of the illegitimate father. However, the place of birth of the child may lead to dual nationality in certain cases.

Acquisition by Award

In case of an acquisition of the Austrian citizenship by award the general requirements for naturalization [allgemeine Einbürgerungsvoraussetzungen] 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.

Please note: More precise information about the above, and further possibilities concerning the acquisition of Austrian citizenship regulated in the citizenship law are available at the citizenship department of the office of the provincial government [Staatsbürgerschaftsabteilung des Amtes der Landesregierung] of your principal residence.

More Information

Additional information can be found on the German website at

Last update: 04.05.2016
Please note .
Approved by
Federal Chancellery – HELP Editorial Staff

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