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Residency permits For Members

EXPLAINED: Can simply being born in Austria grant you residency rights?

Michael Stuchbery
Michael Stuchbery - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: Can simply being born in Austria grant you residency rights?
Depending on the citizenship of your parents (or in some cases, your grandparents), you can claim the right to reside in Austria. Photo: Alberto Casetta / Unspash

Can being born in Austria grant you residency rights later in life? That depends on several factors, including your parents' citizenship and your legal recognition.

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Suppose you were born in Austria to an Austrian mother or father. In that case, you will have been conferred Austrian citizenship at birth or shortly after, even without receiving a passport. The right to residency is quickly established with the correct documentation, and you can receive your passport.

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Children born to non-Austrian parents within the country are not automatically granted Austrian citizenship upon birth. Instead, they are usually considered under their parent's legal right to reside in the country.

However, being born in Austria can reduce the time it takes for the child to undergo naturalisation - if the family remains in the country for the required period for that to happen. Generally, the rest of the family will undergo naturalisation simultaneously, and it may take over a decade for this to happen considering the time requirements.

EXPLAINED: When is dual citizenship allowed in Austria?

If you renounce the Austrian citizenship you obtained at birth or childhood, however, as some other nations may demand, you will lose the automatic right to residency within Austria. You must obtain a work permit, study visa, or some other form of legal means to remain in Austria.

READ ALSO: What rights do I have if I'm married to an Austrian citizen?

Therefore, unfortunately, unless you have a parent with Austrian citizenship, the answer is, generally, no. You cannot obtain the right to residency in Austria later in life purely by being born there.

There are a few important exceptions, however, such as if you are a citizen of another EEA/EU country. In that case, you have residency rights in Austria, providing that you can meet the basic requirements laid out by law - usually a corresponding nationality, proof of health insurance and proof of income.

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You can also obtain residency rights - and citizenship - if you can prove direct descent from an individual forced to flee Austria during the National Socialist dictatorship. This is due to a change in the law made in 2019 to recognise the many Austrians impacted by the Holocaust and other Nazi persecutions.

It's essential, therefore, to know precisely your family history, including the citizenship status of both parents, when investigating your options for residing in Austria.

A good immigration lawyer based in Austria will be able to review your existing documentation and advise you whether you can live in the country due to your circumstances.

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