Am I the only one taking Austrian citizenship?

Sometimes it has felt like a lone furrow being ploughed, as most friends and acquaintances have preferred to either wait and see, or prefer not to give up their citizenship. From the outset, I have believed that Austrian citizenship is the appropriate step for me and my family, especially as we intend to continue living in Austria permanently. Having asked a few friends in recent months, about how they feel about naturalising, there are mixed thoughts, some of which are captured below.

Male A is close to retirement age and has decided not to take citizenship, due to the fact that pension from the UK will be paid out over here, and he will stay here into retirement, and has an Austrian wife.

Male B has a long-term partner and a young child, and has recently gained German citizenship in addition to his British citizenship.

Female C is waiting and seeing. Her children have Austrian citizenship through their father, C’s husband.

Male D is currently trying to get over the hurdle of incomplete insurance periods (Versicherungszeiten), from having had a number of short-term jobs with gaps, to get permanent residence.

Male E has been in Austria 20+ years and is actively pursuing citizenship.

Female F is applying for Irish citizenship.

Female G has recently married her partner from another EU Member State and will qualify for EU citizenship in three years.

Male H is looking into citizenship by award and might be lucky enough to be able to hold dual citizenship.

Male I does not hold out any chance of getting citizenship and is considering returning to the UK.

Male J is currently applying for citizenship, having been in Austria for many years and with an Austrian wife, and needs citizenship to be able to continue to work in his profession.

Female K wants to apply, but is unsure about how her divorce might affect which route she goes down.

Male M is retired and is currently deterred from applying due to the prohibitive cost, in particularly once all paperwork that needs to be translated is taken into account.

Female N is not going to apply, as she is not willing to give up her British citizenship.

Female O has realised she won’t qualify in time, so has decided to move to another EU27 country for a fresh start and intends to naturalise there.

Couple P have been seconded to Austria from France for a short-term secondment and have already applied for additional French citizenship.

Female Q has permanent residence and thinks that will be enough.

5 Replies to “Am I the only one taking Austrian citizenship?”

  1. I’m from the usa, but out of curiosity, have you ever heard of Austria allowing anyone to keep their first passport because it cost too much to renounce? I know of friends who made a case for that in Germany. It costs 2500$ to renounce USA, and in DE there is a stipulation if you make less than 2000$ a month you don’t have to give it up because it costs too much. Have you come across this in Austria?

    1. I haven’t personally heard of a concrete case in which it happens, but there is a provision (Art 20 para. 4 StbG) in the Austrian Citizenship Act that says citizenship can be awarded when it is proven that the cost of renunciation is disproportionate to the effort involved. Eg. To avoid a country saying: “Sure you can… Provided you pay say € 50000.”

      1. Thanks so much. That seems like what I am talking about. Is there a link to the full AC Act? BTW, I felt like I was the only artist applying for permanent residency a few years ago and was able to get MA35 to change their practices. Its so hard to get info and it conflicts. Appreciate the info you have gathered. Wondering if I can do it myself, get foreign help advice, or somehow pay a lawyer to relieve the stress.

        1. There is only a German version of the Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz – the current consolidated version of it being available at
          Given the hourly rate of a lawyer, if you can afford a lawyer, then MA35 are likely to say you can afford to renounce your citizenship – particularly if they try to make out that waiving of FATCA reporting is likely to be rapidly recoup the increased outlay. Trying it could also prove detrimental to your naturalisation, in that they might think you to be an unnecessary burden on the state system (it is not a blackbox system fortunately), but bear in mind they will want a lot of paperwork from you before they conclude the procedure. It is a difficult one when you consider that of you say from the outset you can’t afford to renounce. Relatively the fee will at most probably double the total cost of naturalisation, and they will likely ask for proof of financial means to make their decision.

          1. Yes, I thought about that lawyer logic immediately as well. Thanks for your comments. Will continue to peruse your site.

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