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Austrian citizenship For Members

Can children under the age of 18 be naturalised in Austria?

Aaron Burnett
Aaron Burnett - [email protected]
Can children under the age of 18 be naturalised in Austria?
Children born in Austria aren't immediately entitled to citizenship, but their waiting time might be less than normal. (Photo by Kevin Gent on Unsplash)

Being born in Austria doesn’t by itself confer Austrian citizenship, but children can naturalise as Austrian - here's how.

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There are certainly simpler endeavours than getting Austrian citizenship in general. The good news is there’s no real added complexity when it comes to the rules for children naturalising as Austrian. Depending on their circumstances—there may even be some advantages for naturalising kids.

First, the big difference between naturalising as an adult and naturalising as a minor is that a person under 18 years of age has to have the permission of their parents or legal guardian to naturalise. Most often, naturalising parents can just include their children on their applications for naturalisation, provided the whole family meets the requirements for citizenship.

This can lead to considerable savings in the fees around getting Austrian citizenship, with the cost of naturalising a minor only about a fourth of the cost of naturalising as an adult.

In general, though, naturalising children still have to give up their existing nationality to become Austrian in most cases. Like their parents, they’ll also have to demonstrate ten years of uninterrupted residence in Austria to apply for citizenship. However, there’s one notable exception to this rule.

This exception happens if the child naturalising was born in Austria. Birth on Austrian soil doesn’t immediately grant Austrian citizenship, but a naturalising minor who was born in Austria only has to prove six years of uninterrupted residence in Austria, as opposed to ten.

A naturalising minor also doesn’t have to pass a German language test or the Austrian citizenship test, although parents naturalising with them obviously must do so.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Am I eligible for Austrian citizenship?

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What about children who got Austrian citizenship by descent?

Children born to at least one Austrian parent automatically inherit Austrian citizenship and can keep it alongside any other citizenship they may have—for example, if each of their parents has a different citizenship.

If the child is born out of wedlock, the mother automatically passes on Austrian citizenship to the child if she has it. If the father is Austrian, he can pass on citizenship by acknowledging being the parent of the child.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Who is entitled to Austrian citizenship and how to apply for it?

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