By the acquisition of Austrian citizenship the subject of another country will become an Austrian citizen. This naturalisation will take place either via descent or via the granting of Austrian citizenship, if the conditions precedent enumerated in the Citizenship Act prevail.
Citizenship via Descent
Children can acquire the Austrian citizenship via descent according to the current citizenship law, if at the date of birth one of the parents (father or mother) was a citizen of Austria. If the citizenship by descent is based on the father and the child is not born into marriage, normally it is necessary that the fatherhood is either formally accepted by the father or determined in a court procedure.
Austrian citizenship is granted in most of cases upon application. The competent organ is the provincial government, thus the application must be submitted with the district administrative authority or with the municipality (in Vienna: MA35).
For the granting of citizenship lots of conditions precedent must be fulfilled. First of all the applicant must have stayed for a certain period of time lawfully and without interruption in Austria, dispose of a regulated income, of accommodation and he or she must be sufficiently proficient in the German language.
According to Section 27 of the Austrian Citizenship Act, a citizen loses Austrian citizenship if he acquires a foreign nationality uppon the basis of his application, his declaration or his express consent, unless he has been granted the right to maintain his nationality. As a rule, the acquisition of a foreign nationality leads to the "automatic" and immediate loss of Austrian citizenship. Basically dual citizenship is thus excluded under Austrian citizenship law. However, an admissible and relatively frequent case of dual citizenship is the acquisition of two citizenship by descent (for example, if the father is an Austrian citizen and the mother is a Hungarian citizen).
A further substantial exception to the inadmissibility of the dual citizenship is the possibility that the person who wishes to apply for a foreign nationality has been granted the right to retain Austrian citizenship in advance. For this purpose, the citizen who wishes to accept a foreign nationality must first obtain a declaration of compliance in Austria (ie before he files an application abroad or even acquires nationality).
In the case of the granting of citizenship in the special interest of the Republic of Austria pursuant to Article 10 (6) of the Austrian Citizenship Act, retention of the previous citizenship is also possible so that in these cases, too, dual citizenship may arise. In addition, this special status of awarding the citizenship also includes other, otherwise provided general conditions of granting, that the applicant doesn't need to fulfill, such as the necessary knowledge of the German language and of the democratic order and the history of Austria. A confirmation of the federal government must be submitted to certify that granting the citizenship to the applicant is in the special interest of the state of Austria, due to the extraordinary achievements already made by the stranger and those still to be expected from him.
Austrian citizenship can be lost in different ways. As a matter of principle, a person loses Austrian citizenship if he acquires a foreign nationality, unless he has previously been guaranteed the right to maintain his Austrian citizenship (see above). Other cases of loss are the entry into the military service of a foreign state, the voluntary renunciation (for example in case of application for a foreign citizenship) and the withdrawal.
While renunciation of citizenship requires a renouncement of the citizen himself and is only permissible under certain restricted circumstances, the withdrawal of citizenship takes place in a government-initiated withdrawal procedure.
The Esztegar Law Office has been dealing for long years with the Austrian nationality law, Mag. Esztegar is co-author of a commentary on the Citizenship Act. He will provide you advice for the submission of the application and he will represent you in the proceedings before the naturalisation authorities.