Austrian citizenship is among most powerful in 2020 – Learn how to acquire it

In 2019, Austria ranked 6 on a list of the world’s strongest passports. Citizenship and planning firm Henley & Partners measured the index by counting the countries where holders of a country’s passport can enter visa-free or obtain one upon arrival. We will discuss how to obtain Austrian citizenship in this article.

How difficult is it to become an Austrian citizen?

Austrian citizenship is difficult to obtain. According to Deutsche Welle, Austria has the most difficult citizenship process in the EU.

AFP reports that if Austrian female blue-collar workers had to apply for Austrian citizenship, 60 percent of them would be disqualified due to insufficient income. It costs thousands of euros to have one’s citizenship application considered. A foreigner may be required to renounce his or her existing citizenship to get Austrian citizenship. Foreigners may also be required to perform volunteer work to become citizens.

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Acquisition by descent

When their mother is an Austrian citizen, a child automatically becomes an Austrian citizen. The same applies in case the parents are married and only the father is an Austrian citizen.

The child may acquire Austrian citizenship only when the Austrian father recognizes his parent status within 8 weeks of the child being born, or when the court determines that he is the father even if the parents are not married. In all cases where the court recognizes fatherhood after the child’s time frame, the processing of citizenship can be simplified.

Having dual citizenship is mandatory when parents of different nationalities have citizenships that also recognize jus sanguinis (such as those found in Austria). If in case of parents of different nationality the country of citiAccording to Austrian law the child does not have to decide between Austrian and the other nationality upon becoming an adult – the other state might require such a decision.

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Acquisition by award

The general requirements for naturalization must be met to acquire Austrian citizenship by the award. A naturalization application must also be submitted. A citizen may also acquire Austrian citizenship if a legal claim is made or if the authority deems it appropriate.

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General requirements for naturalization

  • A residence permit is required for residents of Austria for a minimum of five years following ten years of legal and continuous residence in Austria
  • Continuity in Austria
  • Judiciary has not condemned (Neither in Austria nor abroad)
  • No criminal cases pending
  • An average of 36 months’ fixed and regular earnings of 36 months within the last 6 years Transfer payments, such as child care support and family benefits, are considered as income
  • You should know the German language, the democratic system, as well as Austrian and each province’s histories.
  • Assuring that there are no dangers to the public order, peace, and safety of the Republic of Austria
  • Citizenship loss is the most prominent consequence as a result of gaining citizenship

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Author: Sofia Ivanov is a blogger at She holds a MA in international business and also contributes photography to

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