Austrian citizenship For Members

Does having a baby in Austria make it easier for parents to become Austrian?

Amanda Previdelli
Amanda Previdelli - [email protected]
Does having a baby in Austria make it easier for parents to become Austrian?
Illustration photo. Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

Does the fact that a child is born in Austria mean the parents will find it easier to become an Austrian citizen or get permanent residence status?


If you're a foreigner - mainly if you are not an EU citizen - in Austria and see it as your home for the foreseeable future, you might have thought about becoming an Austrian citizen to guarantee your residency rights and gain some new ones in the process. 

The naturalisation process in Austria is complicated; you usually need to be a resident for ten years, but in some cases that show you are well integrated, that time is cut down to six years.

Is having an Austrian-born child one of those cases? No.

Plus, your child being born in Austria does not mean they will be Austrian either.

READ ALSO: Five surprising Austrian citizenship rules you should know about

A child of two foreign citizens born in Austria has only one advantage: being born in Austria is considered one of the factors for integration, and they will only need to be residents for six years before they can apply for citizenship. Even if the child is born here and moves out, if they return and live consecutively for six years, they are eligible to apply for naturalisation. 

However, as in all Austrian naturalisation processes (with few exceptions), they will be required to give up any other citizenship they might hold.


What if I have an Austrian child?

If you are not an Austrian citizen, your child can still have Austrian nationality as long as the other parent is Austrian, because citizenship is conferred by blood. If your country allows dual citizenship, your child will be a dual citizen and won't need to choose between nationalities later.

However, that does not change your entitlement to citizenship. Having an Austrian child won't fast track or guarantee your naturalisation process.

One thing that will speed it up, though, effectively allowing you to apply for naturalisation after six years of residence, is marrying the Austrian mother or father of the child. This is because marriage to an Austrian citizen is considered an integration factor and shortens the minimum residence time.

Does it change my residence rights?

Having a child born in Austria does not change your rights to residence, either. You will have the same permit you did before, and if it was linked to employment, for example, you might lose it if you lose your job.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Will my children get an Austrian passport if born in Austria?

Foreign parents must also apply for a residence permit (or an Anmeldebescheinigung if they are an EU citizens) for their babies before they turn six months old. 

Technically, having an Austrian child but not being Austrian yourself also does not change your residence rights. Residence permits based on "family reunification" are granted only for spouses, registered partners or unmarried minor children. This means that your Austrian child cannot be a sponsor on your residence permit process.


A Matter of Human Rights

However, real-life cases and jurisprudence, along with international laws, make a big difference regarding children's rights. The respect for the child's best interests is enshrined in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which deals with the right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence. 

This can be argued when not granting a permit to a third-country national parent would endanger a child's welfare due to loss of contact. Even if a child is not Austrian, if they cannot be expected to leave their host country (in this case Austria) because, for example, they are attending school there, a case for granting of residence could be argued.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Will a dual-citizen child in Austria have to choose between nationalities?

One notable example was the case of twelve-year-old Tina, who had been born in Austria to parents seeking asylum. When, years later, in 2021, her parent's application was denied in the final instance, her family and her were picked up in the middle of the night and deported to Georgia. 


Austria's Supreme Court ruled the deportation unlawful, particularly because of her birth in Austria, her extended stay in the country and her "excellent integration, including at school". Since it would also be unlawful to separate family members, the court also declared the deportation of her mother and younger sister unlawful. 


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