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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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For members

POLITICS

Reader question: Can I vote in Austria’s presidential elections?

On October 9th, Austria will vote to elect a new president, but who can vote in these national elections?

Reader question: Can I vote in Austria's presidential elections?

Austria’s presidential election will take place on October 9th, with seven candidates vying to take over at the Hofburg – the official workplace of the country’s president.

According to opinion polls, the favourite to win is the current president Alexander Van der Bellen, who is running for reelection.

READ ALSO: Austrian presidential elections: Who are the seven candidates?

A presidential candidate must be an Austrian citizen, be eligible to vote in the National Assembly and be at least 35 years old on election day.

Members of ruling dynasties or families that reigned in the past are not eligible to run in the presidential election. This is to avoid a return to monarchy in Austria via the role of the Federal President.

Who can vote in these elections?

The only people allowed to vote in Austrian federal elections are Austrian citizens aged 16 or above.

That means foreigners – even those born and raised in Austria, are not entitled to choose a new president. Unless, of course, they take up Austrian citizenship (usually giving up their original citizenship).

Since Austria has a large proportion of foreigners in the population, many people will not be able to vote in these elections.

READ ALSO: ‘I pay taxes in Austria’: Anger as foreigners barred from Vienna council vote

In fact, some 18 percent of residents (or 1.4 million people) in Austria over the age of 16 do not have the right to vote because they are not citizens, with the highest concentration of ineligible people in Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg.

In comparison, 20 years ago, Austria had just 580,000 people without the right to vote.

Statistics Austria data evaluated by the APA shows that around 30 percent of the voting-age population in Vienna, Innsbruck and Salzburg are not entitled to vote. In Linz and Graz, it is about 25 percent.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How does Austria’s presidential election work?

However, there are some smaller communities in Austria where the number of people without the right to vote is even higher.

In Jungholz in Tyrol, 66 percent of the population are not eligible, followed by 51 percent in Mittelberg in Vorarlberg. Kittsee in Burgenland and Wolfsthal in Lower Austria also have high proportions of Slovakian residents who cannot vote.

Austrian citizenship

Currently, in Austria, if someone wants to take up citizenship via naturalisation, they must undergo an extensive and expensive process and fulfil specific criteria.

Generally, there needs to be at least ten years of lawful and uninterrupted residence in Austria. But there are exceptions for those with citizenship of an EU or EEA country, those born in Austria, or married to an Austrian, for example.

READ ALSO: Could Austria change the rules around citizenship?

The main hurdles, however, include having to give up any other citizenships, as Austria doesn’t allow for dual citizenship in naturalisation cases with few exceptions, and the payment of a high fee, which depends on the municipality, but could reach thousands of euros.

And though the topic of easing the requirements has come up several times in Austria, the country doesn’t seem any closer to changing its citizenship laws.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Where in Europe can non-EU foreigners vote in local elections?

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