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AUSTRIAN CITIZENSHIP

QUIZ: Would you pass the Austrian citizenship politics and history test?

In most cases, people applying for Austrian citizenship through the naturalisation process must pass a general social, political and history test. Would you pass?

QUIZ: Would you pass the Austrian citizenship politics and history test?
An Austrian and a European flag flutter in the wind. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

Austria is seeing a rising number of naturalisation processes, and many non-Austrians in the country are looking to apply for Austrian citizenship, as The Local reported.

There are many requirements for naturalisation, including living in Austria for a certain period of time (depending on other criteria), proving your German knowledge and passing a general “Citizenship Test”, including questions on a fundamental understanding of how Austria works and its history.

READ ALSO: MA35: Vienna’s immigration office under fire as waiting times increase

What is the citizenship test?

The Austrian citizenship test is an exam designed to demonstrate an applicant’s knowledge of Austria. It was introduced in 2006.

It covers the democratic system, the national history and regional facts about where an applicant lives.

A central committee prepares the questions on Austria’s democratic system and history, and the respective provincial governments design the regional questions.

If a person fails the test, they can retake it until they pass.

Who needs to take the test?

Not everyone applying for citizenship needs to take the test, though. For example, children who are younger than 14 years of age – or those who are underage and attending a secondary school with completion of German in the last school semester, won’t need to take the citizenship test.

Pupils who achieve certain grades in history at school are also exempt.

READ ALSO: How do people prepare for Austria’s citizenship test?

What is the test like?

The test, which is in German, lasts for 120 minutes and you have to answer 18 questions in total. These include six questions on democracy in Austria, six on the history of Austria and six on the history of the respective federal province where you are taking the exam.

Four answer options are offered for each question, at least one of which is correct, but not all.

The citizenship examination is considered passed if, in each examination area, at least half of the points provided have been achieved, or a total of at least 12 points has been achieved (two-thirds of the possible number of points), according to Einbürgerung.at.

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

So, for example, if you get three questions right on each part of the test, for a total of nine correct answers, you pass. Alternatively, if you get 12 correct answers in the 18 questions, even if you got zero points in one area but aced the other two, you also pass.

Would you pass?

The questions are in German, but we have translated them here so more people can try them out. Also unlike the actual examination, there is no time limit to answer the exam. These are sample questions from the official training website for the national test.

Since there are nine different states with their specific tests, we now have brought only parts one and two of the exam, so samples of the democracy and history of Austria.

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

Now it’s time to test you knowledge:

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IMMIGRATION

‘Inhuman speech’: Austria’s far-right blasted for wanting to tie social benefits to German skills

Politicians in Austria criticised a far-right FPÖ leader who called for a suspension of citizenship granted to non-Europeans and for the tying of social benefits to proof of German skills.

'Inhuman speech': Austria's far-right blasted for wanting to tie social benefits to German skills

Austrian politicians criticised Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ) member Maximilian Krauss in Vienna after he demanded proof of German as a prerequisite for social benefits and asked for “no citizenship to be granted to people who come from outside Europe”.

Jörg Konrad, a member of the liberal party NEOS, denounced the “inhuman speech” and said that the sole criterion for receiving the benefits was “need”. “Serious politics and striving for solutions simply cannot be expected from the FPÖ,” Konrad said.

During a Vienna Parliament session on Wednesday, Krauss, chairman of the FPÖ, pointed out that more than two-thirds of the total 260,000 people “collecting” minimum benefits in Austria lived in Vienna. 

READ ALSO: What measures against foreigners is Austria’s far-right trying to take?

According to him, the majority of them, almost 60 percent, did not have Austrian citizenship and were “making themselves comfortable at the taxpayers’ expense” in Vienna.

“The majority of minimum income recipients were social migrants unwilling to work”, Krauss said.

The FPÖ representative stated: “By now, we know that neither rocket scientists nor the urgently needed skilled workers came to our country in 2015”.

Krauss called for obligatory German language skills for tenants of municipal apartments or proof of German as a prerequisite for social benefits, such as the minimum income. He also demanded that Austrian citizenship should not be granted to people who come from outside Europe and said that immigration or family reunifications must be slowed down or suspended.

What is the ‘minimum income’?

The issue was raised because, according to Krauss, migrants came to Austria and, in particular, to Vienna, looking to live off of the country’s social system and the city’s “Minimum Income” (Mindestsicherung).

According to the City of Vienna, the “minimum income” is financial support to secure the cost of living and the rent of Viennese with little or no income. Only Austrians, EU or EEA citizens, persons entitled to asylum or third-country nationals who are long-term residents can apply for this assistance. 

The applicant must also generally prove their willingness to work via registration with the labour office AMS. In addition, there are several other preconditions and required documents to apply for assistance.

The monthly payment amount varies according to each person’s conditions, but, in 2022, it’s not more than € 978 per person, with possible extra payouts of up to €117 per minor child and up to € 176 if the person has a disability.

A sign reading ‘control’ (‘Kontrolle’) stands on the road at the German-Austrian border near Lindau, southern Germany. (Photo by STEFAN PUCHNER / DPA / AFP)

‘Xenophobic instincts’

“The minimum income serves as a social safety net against poverty, especially for children, single parents and people who are particularly at risk of poverty”, said centre-left SPÖ member Kurt Wagner. 

He went further: “The FPÖ rarely contribute to solving a problem but are often the problem themselves because of their populism and xenophobic instincts”.

READ ALSO: Is Austria’s Freedom Party a ‘far-right’ party?

Green politician Viktoria Spielmann said that the minimum income is enough to ensure the most basic needs: “Have you ever had to make do with such an amount? To put the amount into perspective, rents in Vienna averaged €500. So the minimum income was the least that would secure people’s existence.” 

For her, calling recipients “lazy” or unwilling to work is unfair.

So, how much do foreigners take up?

In 2021, 135,649 Viennese received the minimum income, according to Stadt Wien data. The number of non-Austrians receiving the payments was 77,746, accounting for about 57 percent of recipients. 

However, the City of Vienna mentioned that the Austrian capital has a higher proportion of foreign residents and cited a study that concluded that compared to Austrians, migrants from non-European countries had more difficulty getting jobs, even after years of living in Austria.

READ MORE: Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna’s economy

Additionally, foreigners also bring money into the Austrian economy. 

Figures from Austria’s Chamber of Commerce (Wirtschaftskammer) showed that business owners in Vienna with a migration background generate € 8.3 billion in revenue and create around 45,500 jobs. 

Walter Ruck, President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, said: “Companies with a migrant background not only enrich the diversity of the corporate landscape in Vienna, but they are also an economic factor.”

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