As of 2023, the Austrian passport was listed fifth in passport rankings worldwide. With an honorable spot at the top and an entry visa to 188 countries, the Austrian passport is gaining popularity and desirability every day.

Following an amendment to Austrian law, many Israelis, Jews and their decedents around the world are entitled to obtain Austrian citizenship, which is required before applying for a passport. How does the law of Austrian Citizenship amendment help many applicants issue their passports easily? How is the Austrian citizenship request submitted? Find all the information you need to know here.

Why is it important to have another passport?

Undoubtedly, the demand for an additional passport is high and can sometimes change an individual’s reality. A classic example of this is the Corona pandemic period, when many countries restricted entry for certain citizenships. Only those who held an additional valid and unrestricted passport, such as a European passport, for example, were able to enter these countries safely.

For many, having another passport is a safety net for them and their family. Sometimes, simply having a passport raises opportunities for a better future for them and their children. However saddening, there is no doubt that a foreign passport can open new and different options that you would not be able to leverage in your country of origin.

Advantages of an Austrian passport

As we mentioned, the Austrian passport has a high status in passport rankings worldwide. With fifth place on the list of desirable passports and providing an entry visa to 188 destinations, the Austrian passport is very much worthwhile. Apart from the ranking and ability to enter other countries, Austria is a well-regarded and leading country on the European continent, and it’s considered one of the best countries to live in overall.

Holding an Austrian passport has notable advantages

  1. Possessing an additional passport of any kind constitutes extra protection, security, and shelter for every person in the present and future.
  2. Possessing a passport enables one to enter the United States and Australia without needing a visa or an entry visa.
  3. Possessing an Austrian passport offers its recipient many benefits given to European Union passport holders, such as residence, the option to work, ease of living and better quality of life, the possibility of taking academic studies abroad, and more in any one of the EU countries.
  4. Once you receive an Austrian passport, your children will automatically obtain one. Therefore, they will be entitled to many benefits and a better future.

New amendment to Austrian Citizenship Law benefits many Israelis and Jews world-wide

The Austrian law was amended in September 2020. It expanded the eligibility criteria, thus allowing many Israelis and descendant of Jews all over the world to receive Austrian citizenship, along with its countless benefits.

The old Austrian Citizenship Law

If the applicants for a passport are ancestors descended from Holocaust survivors who left Austria before 1945, the law recognizes them as entitled to Austrian citizenship.

The new Austrian Citizenship Law

If the parents of the descendants of Holocaust survivors left Austria before 1955, the law recognizes them as entitled to Austrian citizenship.

What is the difference between the laws?

  1. A new eligibility timeline was opened for descendants of Holocaust survivors who left Austria between 1945-1955.
  2. The law does not refer only to the offspring of fathers but of mothers also.
  3. Those who were not born in Austria to citizens, but lived in Austria as residents until 1955, will also be entitled to citizenship, but only if they were born in the following countries: Hungary, Italy, Serbia, Croatia, or Slovenia.

As you can see, the differences between the laws are very significant. Thanks to the recognition of ten additional years and of the descendants of Holocaust survivors from their mothers’ side and opening the possibility to descendants of residents – many more applicants can obtain Austrian citizenship nowadays.

Additional concessions in terms of eligibility for Austrian citizenship

The amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Law led to greater flexibility on Austria’s part. The Austrians realized that during the period mentioned, a great injustice was caused to descendants of Jews who lived through Nazi persecution and the Holocaust; therefore, they are ready to ease the conditions for citizenship recognition.

Firstly, today the law allows holding dual citizenship. That is, if in the past a person was entitled to Austrian citizenship and had to give it up because he had another citizenship, today Austrian citizenship can constitute an additional citizenship. It is important to note that there may still be certain restrictions regarding dual citizenship, so each case is examined individually.

In addition, today, even those who did not meet the criteria for receiving Austrian citizenship are allowed to apply. The application may go through in light of the newly issued flexible law and the Austrian government’s lenience.

How do you apply for Austrian citizenship?

If you have checked and realized that you are indeed entitled to Austrian citizenship, you must be curious to know how to get confirmation of citizenship, how to get a passport, and what you need to do? As with any application submission, the bureaucratic matter is significant, and the whole process can rise and fall on one document. Therefore, it is very important to approach the process in an orderly, organized manner and with a lot of patience. It’s highly recommended to apply for Austrian citizenship with a trusted lawyer.

What forms are required when applying for Austrian citizenship?

Most of the application consists of proof of eligibility for Austrian citizenship. Therefore, it is necessary to submit forms and documents proving such.

–  Signed application form for obtaining citizenship. In this form, the applicant must include the story of a relative who is a Holocaust survivor and was abused during his stay in Austria. The report must consist of his childhood, career, and military service, including a valid address for each intersection in his life.

You can get Austrian citizenship under the following conditions:

1.  At least 10 years of continuous stay in austria.

2. Proof of the Holocaust survivor’s immigration date from Austria.

3.  Birth certificate of the applicant.

4.  Valid passport of the applicant.

5. Adequate knowledge of the german language

6. No criminal record.

7. Secure income and sufficient financial means

8.  Proof of the applicant’s existing citizenship (Israeli / American or any other citizenship).

9.  Documents indicating a connection to the applicant’s country: military service, academic degrees, marriage/divorce certificates, etc.

It is important to note that, if necessary, the Austrian government may request additional documents to examine the application, usually free of charge.

FAQ – Austrian citizenship for Jewish decedents

How do I find documents to prove eligibility?

The application for Austrian citizenship depends mostly on documents to prove you are indeed a decedent of an Austrian citizen or resident who was persecuted by the Nazi regime. However, it might be difficult to find these old documents and certificates from this era where Jews tried to hide their identity. Our firm has much experience in conducting examinations of various archives that might have kept documents regarding your ancestors, which are crucial for a successful application.

Does it take long to get Austrian citizenship?

It depends. We know this answer is far from satisfactory; however, regarding requests and bureaucratic processes, each request stands on its own and depends on many criteria. The process will be shorter and much easier if you fully meet the requirements. In any case, because of an influx in such applications, we are seeing that the process is taking longer and might even take 2-3 years from start to finish.

Does birth in Austria grant Austrian citizenship?

Birth in austria Not necessarily grant austrian citizenship. Even if a person were born in Austria, they would have to submit a Austrian citizenship application accompanied by additional documents. As with any application, it may not be approved.

How is an Austrian passport issued

Before applying for a passport, you must apply for Austrian citizenship. Once you receive confirmation of your Austrian citizenship, you can begin issuing a passport.

This process includes several steps, including arrival at the embassy with a passport photo, giving a fingerprint, paying a fee, filling out an application form, and more.

Is it possible to apply for the issuance of Austrian citizenship without a lawyer?

In principle, the application can be submitted independently, but this process is not recommended.

Firstly, since the application is sent to the Austrian government, all correspondence and official documents must be in German. Besides the language difficulty, it is essential to understand that the bureaucratic process is not simple, and even one missing copy could cause an application to be rejected.

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Legal help in the process of obtaining an Austrian passport

Our experienced lawyer will be glad to hear your case and determine whether we can help you in the process of applying for an Austrian passport.