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How much does it cost to become an Austrian citizen?

Not only is becoming an Austrian citizen tough, but it can be pretty pricey. Here’s how much Austrian citizenship is likely to set you back.

How much does it cost to become an Austrian citizen?
Photo: Wikicommons

Becoming an Austrian citizen is not cheap or easy, but it is possible and results in becoming a citizen of an EU country with a high standard of living.

Austrian citizenship, or naturalisation, is one of the least applied for in the EU. This is put down to strict eligibility requirements on the length of time spent in the country and, in most cases, renouncing original citizenship.

It doesn’t mean becoming an Austrian citizen is impossible though and last year more than 10,000 people went through the process of naturalisation in Austria.

How much does it cost to become an Austrian citizen? 

The cost of becoming an Austrian citizen can vary depending on the citizenship route. 

As a guide, the cost of the application is around €130 and the fee for granting citizenship is typically between €1,100 and €1,500. 

However, this does not include other costs, such as fees for the translation of official documents and taking the German language test.

Also, it is important to remember that you have to pay the costs regardless of whether your application is approved or rejected – so please try and make sure all your paperwork is in order before you apply. 

We’ve prepared this handy guide with more information for you. 

READ MORE: What you need to know about applying for Austrian citizenship

What are the specific costs? 

As we said above, costs can vary widely and it will largely depend on the specific route you take towards citizenship. 

The City of Vienna has broken down the expected costs in an itemised format at the following link

While this is not a complete and exhaustive list, it does summarise what you can expect to pay in different circumstances of ‘acquiring’ Austrian citizenship. 

To retain your Austrian citizenship, the application costs €14.30. If it is successful, you’ll need to pay between €100 and 200 to actually retain your Austrian citizenship. 

To extend your Austrian citizenship, adults will pay €950 while children will pay €330. 

But it is not only attaining, extending or retaining your citizenship which is likely to cost you. 

You’ll also need to spend money to waive your citizenship: approximately €25. 

Not sure if you are an Austrian citizen and want to find out? You’ll be charged €50 just to check the register to see if you are or if you aren’t (and you’ll need to pay the money either way). 

Need documentary proof that you’re an Austrian citizen? That’s going to set you back €45.  

What about other ways of obtaining Austrian citizenship? 

There are some other relatively rare categories of obtaining Austrian citizenship. 

If you have done a lot for the country, you may receive honorary Austrian citizenship for “extraordinary achievements in the interest of the Republic of Austria”. 

What do you have to pay for this honour? A cool €1,600. 

Then there’s acquiring Austrian citizenship for people who were persecuted during the Nazi regime and needed to flee the country. 

This will cost you a nominal fee of €7. 

What other costs are there? 

There are a range of other costs which you may be required to pay in order to become an Austrian citizen. 

The cost of the passport itself is not included in the above amounts. 

For instance, you will need to pay for a German course to ensure your Deutsch is up to standard. The cost of this can vary widely. 

You’ll also need to take a test to prove your German – again, the cost of which can vary widely. 

Finally you may need to have certain documents notarised or witnessed, all of which can cost you money.  

How can I pay? 

While cash remains king in Austria, fortunately you can pay with card – or with cash – when procuring your citizenship. 

This includes debit cards and most commonly accepted credit cards. 

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AUSTRIAN CITIZENSHIP

EXPLAINED: Who is entitled to Austrian citizenship by descent and how to apply for it?

Austria's nationality law is based on the principle of "jus sanguinis", with citizenship is given to sons and daughters of Austrian parents, but this can get tricky.

EXPLAINED: Who is entitled to Austrian citizenship by descent and how to apply for it?

As in many other European countries, Austria’s citizenship rules are based on blood (jus sanguinis). A child is considered Austrian if at least one of their parents is Austrian, irrespective of place of birth.

In theory, this should be a simple concept. But, in Austria, it can get tricky depending on the year a child was born, whether the mother or the father is an Austrian citizen and whether or not they were married at the time of birth.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to get Austrian citizenship or stay permanently in Austria

Here is a simple guide to understanding how Austrian citizenship by descent works, who is entitled to it and how to apply.

Children born to married parents

A child that was born in wedlock, meaning that their parents were married at the time of birth, is entitled to Austrian citizenship by descent if at least one of the parents is an Austrian citizen at the time of the child’s birth.

However, children born before September 1983 are only entitled to Austrian citizenship if the father is Austrian. This is because, before a change in the law, the country considered that the woman would automatically “take” the citizenship of her married partner.

Things are the opposite for unmarried partners.

Children born to unmarried parents

A child that was born out of wedlock can obtain Austrian citizenship by descent if the mother is Austrian at the time of the birth.

Since August 2013, children born to unmarried parents can obtain Austrian citizenship if the father is Austrian, and an acknowledgement of paternity is made within eight weeks of the child’s birth.

In all cases where recognition of fatherhood or the determination by the court is done after his timeframe, children may be awarded Austrian citizenship by award in a simplified procedure. However, this means that the child will still have to go through specific requirements for naturalisation.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How to apply for Austrian citizenship

Adopted children

Children of adoptive parents can obtain citizenship through a simplified and accelerated award process up to 14.

When things get tricky(er)

Things get a little bit more complicated if a person is trying to acquire Austrian citizenship by descent from a distant ancestor.

This is because they will need to prove that every person in the “bloodline” is entitled to Austrian citizenship, following the rules and considering the year.

For very distant relatives, with many family members born before 1983, each person must have been born either to married parents with an Austrian father or unmarried parents with an Austrian mother.

A birth, marriage, and death certificate (when available) will have to be shown for each relative in the Austrian bloodline. Additionally, the State will require proof that none of the persons has renounced Austrian citizenship before the birth of a son or daughter.

READ ALSO: How foreigners can get fast-track citizenship in Austria

Finally, there is an issue of whether the ancestor really was Austrian at all.

Between 1867 and 1918, Vienna was one of the capitals of an immense empire, the Dual Monarchy of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

The territory extended through what is now Austria and Hungary but also Slovenia, the Czech Republic, parts of Italy, Croatia, Serbia, parts of Poland, Romania, Ukraine, and Montenegro.

After the First World War, the Austro-Hungarian empire was dissolved. But, then, not all people who first considered themselves Austrians still kept Austrian citizenship. Thus, it is not uncommon for families that believe a grandfather came from Austria to find out they actually were Romanian or Polish, for example.

austria flag austrian flag austria

Austrian flag: who is entitled to citizenship by descent? (Photo by Sandra Grünewald on Unsplash)

How to apply for it?

If you are entitled to Austrian citizenship by descent, there are several ways to apply for it, depending on your residency. For people who live outside of Austria, the Embassy or consulate is the place to go.

For those who live in Austria, the provincial government’s office is where you can get more information and submit the documents.

Exceptions and different rules

In 2020, the Austrian federal government introduced an amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Act also to allow descendants of victims to apply for dual citizenship and become citizens in a simplified process.

All former Austrian citizens who were forced to leave before 15th May 1955 can apply for dual citizenship. This includes citizens of successor states of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy who were residents in Austria.

READ ALSO: How descendants of victims of Nazism can apply for Austrian citizenship

The law extends to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, including those that were adopted as a child.

Dual citizenship

In general, Austria does not allow for dual citizenship. Therefore, when people naturalise Austrian, one requirement is to renounce other citizenships.

READ ALSO: Austrian citizenship: Do you really have to renounce your original nationality?

However, people who acquire citizenship by descent do not have to renounce other citizenship. If, in the case of parents of different nationalities, the country of citizenship of the non-Austrian parent also foresees a jus sanguinis (citizenship “by blood” like Austria), the child will have dual citizenship.

According 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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