Before anyone wonders about the punny title, I am not exhorting people to “let me know!”- although it does remind me to reiterate that I am of course interested in hearing about others people’s experiences, and to contact me with questions or information about their experience. Indeed this post draws on someone else’s recent experience.To get to the stage of taking the citizenship test (as discussed most recently in my last post, as well as having been mentioned in an earlier post too), you’ve already had to undergo a large number of steps.
Step 1: The information appointment, at which you are instructed what documentation is needed for your application appointment (the time between the information appointment and the application appointment will be six months in my case, although this varies from province to province).
At the information appointment you will be informed based on the information you supply (duration of residence in Austria to date etc.) what or whether you are required to take a German language test (in my case a degree in Modern Languages and working as a government translator exempted me from needing to get a B1 or B2 qualification, although I will have to submit my degree certificate). Similarly at the information appointment you will also be told which documents are required to be submitted and where necessary translated (sworn / certified translation).
Step 2: The application appointment: this is where you submit all your documentation as part of your application. Make sure of course that you have all the documents – with sworn translations as necessary. Once the application has been made at your application appointment, the submitted documents are then checked, and there may be a request for follow-up information (e.g. on the grounds of the countries you have lived in for an extended period), where they might need police record checks statements.
For Austria there is no need to request an ECRIS statement (EU-wide criminal record statement that began in 2012) especially for the citizenship application since the processing authority (in the case of Vienna, MA35) will have access to this information. Incidentally, other circumstances under which you might need an ECRIS statement include as a job-seeker for a permanent position, in renting a flat (not always though!), for employment working with children, and it can be obtained at the same time as getting a Strafregisterauszug (for Austria).
Once all information has been submitted, the behördliche Ermittlung (investigative checks conducted by the processing authority) is conducted – at which time they will check criminal records and various other databases. The duration of this process depends on the complexity of your life to date (in this regard the curriculum vitae you submit will probably serve as a blueprint for the investigation in terms of what they choose to check up on). The case-by-case nature of the investigation will take into consideration marriages and divorces, where you lived and worked, and potentially an educational background check. Personal circumstances will determine how quickly this takes place.
Step 3: Follow-up appointments as necessary – usually if more documentation is required for the investigative process to be concluded. Once the investigative process has finished,
Step 4: Date for Citizenship Test: the next appointment will be regarding the citizenship test – and usually you are given approx. 6-8 weeks to revise from the Lernunterlagen that are supplied.
Step 5: Take Citizenship Test: once you have taken the test and pass, you are then given a certificate stating this to be the case.
Step 6: Appointment to receive the Bescheid about assurance over conferring of Austrian citizenship The next step is that you receive a letter, sent out by post (it might take a few days from the date the letter was issued), inviting you to attend an appointment for the physical handing over of the administrative decision (Bescheid) containing an assurance about the conferring of Austrian citizenship (Ausfolgung des Bescheides über die Zusicherung der Verleihung der österreichischen Staatsbürgerschaft). You need an official photo identification document and an original birth certificate as well as a EUR 50 processing fee (MA35 currently accepts cash, debit card or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Diners, JCB), and see your case officer (ReferentIn / SachbearbeiterIn).