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Military For Members

Do dual citizens need to complete Austria's mandatory military service?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Do dual citizens need to complete Austria's mandatory military service?
(Photo: ALEX HALADA / AFP)

Not only those born with an Austrian passport need to complete military service. If you're a dual citizen or if you are naturalised as an Austrian, here's what you need to know.

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Austria is known for its military neutrality: since the 1950s, the country can’t join a military alliance, allow the establishment of foreign military bases within its borders or participate in a war. 

Austria might be military neutral, but it still has conscription, as military service is mandatory for some of its citizens – namely all men over the age of 18.

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The Wehrpflicht, or military obligation, lasts until they turn 50, in special cases, until their 65th birthday.

Austrian men can complete either mandatory military service or civil service. More information about that is available at the following link. 

EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s mandatory military service work?

Do dual nationals need to do military or civil service?

For dual or multiple citizenship Austrians, the obligation to participate in military service is subject to a series of agreements. 

Most of them are made to avoid people having to perform military service in several states, so, in general, young men might need to participate in mandatory service in the country where they are residents.

Here is a list of the current agreements Austria is a signatory of.

Austrian citizens who perform mandatory military service in another country where they are residents and citizens will not lose their Austrian citizenship.

However, if they go on voluntary military service for another country, they will lose Austrian citizenship.

In the case of mandatory military service abroad, an exemption from the obligation of service in Austria is possible. Still, an examination is carried out in individual cases.

This might also exempt naturalised citizens who have served abroad from service in Austria after they become Austrian citizens. 

In general, basic military service is mandatory until the 35th birthday.

That means that if an Austrian who lived abroad moves to the country before that date or a man naturalised Austrian before he is 35 years old, they will likely need to do the six-month military service or the nine-month civil service if they are eligible and do not acquire an exemption.

If you are an Austrian citizen who lives abroad and is subject to the military obligation, you need to register with the local Austrian representative authority, embassy or consulate.

In general, there is no service or evaluation for non-residents, but if the person later moves to Austria, he must report to the military command responsible for his place of residence within three weeks. 

 

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