In a previous post, I already touched upon the citizenship test attached to applying for citizenship – and the citizenship test is not unique to taking Austrian citizenship. The content varies from country-to-country, but this week there was media coverage about the absurd case of a candidate naturalising in Switzerland, who spoke the local dialect and living and working in Aarau (roughly equidistant from Basel and Zürich), but who failed the test.
A number of groups on Facebook have discussed the kind of knowledge required for the citizenship test in respective countries. One group disputed the fact that there seemed to be a skewed balance in the British Test towards knowing about the Reformation and Henry VIII (in the latter case about his marriages, both in terms of number and who survived him). Invariably there is a degree of consternation of whether natives of the respective countries would be able to pass such a test – from the several UK tests I did, I got over the pass mark on all occasions, but was never in danger of getting full marks.
Austria’s test focuses both on democratic procedure and Austrian history (with there being a booklet published by the BMI (Skriptum zur Vorbereitung für die Prüfung gemäß Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetzes), which is given to candidates by MA35 once the candidate has his/her appointment for the test (candidates have a minimum of 8 weeks to learn the 52 page booklet) although formatting/highlighting devices uses and the not particularly closely set type mean that this is more manageable than it may seem to.
In addition there is also a second part, specific to the individual province in which you live. Prior to Erwin Pröll’s resignation, it was sometimes quipped that you just had to pick out “Kaiser Erwin” from a line-up of pictures. The current version (last update: July 2016) of the test for Vienna is broken down into sections on the following areas:
- The history of Vienna up to 1918
- Vienna during the First Republic 1918-1933
- Vienna as a Corporative State and under the Nazis 1933-1945
- Vienna during the Second Republic 1945-
- Vienna as capital city, province and local authority
- Schloss Schönbrunn
- The Prater
- The Donauinsel
- Vienna’s Water Supply
- Medical Care in Vienna
- Public Transportation
- Vienna as the headquarters of International Organisations
This book is nicely interlaced with questions – making the amount to learn also more manageable than might appear at first. The respective versions for all the provinces can be downloaded here.