Legal Update: Amendment to the AT Citizenship Act

Legal Update: Novelle zum österreichischen Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz

Legal Update: Novelle zum österreichischen 
Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz

Acquisition of Austrian citizenship through notification for persons persecuted by the NS regime and their descendants

An amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Act came into force on September 1, 2020.

Until now, it was possible for former Austrian citizens who fled before May 9, 1945 because of persecution by the National Socialist regime to regain Austrian citizenship by "notification" under simplified conditions without losing their own citizenship.

Since September 1, 2020, this facilitated possibility of acquiring Austrian citizenship has also been available to descendants in the direct descending line of those persecuted by the Nazis. The ancestor must be among those entitled to it: he or she must either have actually acquired Austrian citizenship by "notification" or could have acquired it.

Specifically, the law applies to victims of National Socialism who had their main residence in Austria and who left Austria by 15 May 1955 due to persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution by organs of the NSDAP or the authorities of the Third Reich. The new regulation took into account not only former citizens, but also citizens of one of the successor states of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy or stateless persons. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc. of these victims of Nazi persecution as well as adopted children of the victims of Nazi persecution who were adopted as minors in their place are also entitled to acquire Austrian citizenship in this way by notification.

Reasons for exclusion from the acquisition of Austrian citizenship, such as, among others, convictions for criminal offences, serious financial offences, terrorist activities or a negative attitude towards Austrian democracy, also apply to the acquisition of Austrian citizenship by reporting persons persecuted by the Nazi regime and their descendants.

If a person persecuted by the Nazi regime or his or her descendants acquire Austrian citizenship by denouncing it, the current citizenship can be retained. Withdrawal from the previous state association for the acquisition of Austrian citizenship is not required, although multiple citizenships are excluded in Austria in most cases.

In order to prove the eligibility for the acquisition of the Austrian citizenship through notification, many documents must be submitted to the authorities.

Lansky, Ganzger + partner Rechtsanwälte GmbH is available for questions and supports applicants in their citizenship procedure (office@lansky.at).