Today, with the Conservatives sweeping to power with a clear majority, there has been considerable renewed interest in this blog. This morning alone, I received more enquiries from anxious Britons seeking advice about parts of the process, so I will be working with others to also look at parts of the process that might vary from one Bundesland to another.
In addition, I will also be working on transforming this site from one that deals primarily with my experience in Vienna to one that covers the experience in Austria’s Bundesländer.
I will also look into the amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Act that enters into effect from 2020 that will allow the descendents of those who fled the Nazis to now retake their Austrian citizenship without needing to renounce their previous citizenship (§ 58c enters into force in September 2020).
I will also be trying to make the blog more accessible in terms of trying to create a path for those naturalising to follow as a sort of checklist, updating expected costs, how to complete various steps in the procedure and make the blog more helpful for users.
I’ve decided to give this question a separate answer in light of the fact that there seems to be some confusion still, possibly arising from the fact that people are mixing information between naturalising as an Austrian and naturalising with another EU citizenship that allows British citizens to retain their British citizenship as well as taking another EU citizenship for which they are also eligible.
The answer is simple. If you take Austrian citizenship you no longer have either the Anmeldebescheinigung (this is part of ensuring you this ability to exercise the freedom of movement), which you get after three months of living in Austria. If you have done a Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts you turn in this form in any case. If you naturalise as an Austrian you surrender whichever of these you hold when you become an Austrian citizen (for pre 2006 arrivals your Meldezettel or Bestätigung der Meldung covers the Anmeldebescheinigung).
If you are taking an additional citizenship of another EU country to supplement your British citizenship, the advice is to update your registration to reflect your new status i.e. amending your current residence documents to reflect your supplementary nationality.
This advice was confirmed by the HM Embassy in consultation with the Innenministerium as per the tweet exchange below.
At the start of August, I received a note in the letterbox to say that I had a package waiting. I went to the collection point and it turned out to be my returned renunciation documents back from Liverpool. My British citizenship was officially renounced on 24 July 2018, and my son’s application was rejected, as I had suspected would be the case when I wrote the covering letter, being rejected on the simple and categorical grounds of his being a minor as set out in the British Nationality Act of 1981. In addition, in a superfluity of modal verbs the letter advised that I “should return any valid travel documents that I may still have“. With the legal second having been named, I duly filed my British passports in a safe place (since they contain visa information that might be useful for applications for future visas), although they are of course no longer valid for travel. There is sadly no option for having them cancelled and returned.
I went into MA35 shortly thereafter to deposit this new information with them, but the specialist person I had been advised to see was away. Her colleague took my forms (a copy of the applicant’s RN form stamped as registered is what MA35 required to be able to conclude my process, including the removal of “British” from my nationality on my Melderegisterauszug, so that I was formally only listed as Austrian (this was important for reasons that will only become apparent in another future post). For my son, I deposited the correspondence regarding the rejection of his renunciation, which her colleague would look at upon her return and promptly went to the Altes Rathaus to have my Personalausweis issued.
I had already got my Austrian passport through the post and the ID card arrived a couple of days after ordering it in the same way. I’ve never got the UK’s opposition to ID cards, which seem to simplify a lot of day-to-day tasks – a credit card-sized document which allows me to get a phone contract, sign for a parcel and many other errand-related tasks, and which can even be used within the Schengen area in lieu of a passport, although I intend to still cross borders with my passport.
I haven’t done a Personalausweis for my son yet, due to the fact that doing one of course takes time and at the age of two would only be valid for a couple of years (Personalausweise are available for minors, but are not valid for the full ten years, as with mine, instead usually being for two or five years). I also wanted to wait for the conclusion of his process (to be handled in another post).
As this post is published, I will be seeing my case officer to finish off the naturalisation process for me and my young son. My case officer called last Monday and has requested that I come with my British passport, as well as my son’s and my Bescheinigung des Daueraufenthalts and my son’s Anmeldebescheinigung. We will be required to surrender these documents (since our circumstances have changed and we will no longer be UK citizens) and our Staatsbürgerschaftsnachweise will then be issued, and we can arrange for passports and Personalausweise to be issued, for which we again enlisted the services of Bildermacher on Tuchlauben (they are great with babies and toddlers) to sort us out with a new set of passport photos (once again the photos need to be recent (i.e. under six months old)). In addition, I have to bring just shy of EUR 1,500 to MA35 (in cash, hence why I delayed this post so will not be carrying the cash on me by the time this post goes online) to cover the costs of our naturalisation, in what I hope should be the final Behördenweg (in February 2017, when asked about Austria as a hub for business and what could be the pitfalls of trying to do business here, I mentioned the lengthy Behördenwege. The quote ended up on the national news, coupled with a rebuttal by the then Minister of Finance).Continue reading “The final steps on the road to Austrian citizenship”
Today I received the first form of confirmation of receipt of my renunciation form being under consideration. It is worth adding that the cost of couriering the papers with an overnight courier service may have proven itself to be an unnecessary expense, given that the paperwork was received by UKVI six working days before receiving a response by e-mail, thereby indicating that Registered Delivery from Austria to the UK may be perfectly sufficient in terms of ensuring safe delivery and that it is signed for upon delivery. Continue reading “Update from UKVI on renunciation of British citizenship”
According to UPS, my forms were signed for on Monday 18 June before 9am, and I had as requested, not received any acknowledgement to my mail from my case officer acknowledging the copies that I submitted electronically on 14th of the forms that went to the Home Office. I decided to go to MA35 on Thursday (21st) and queued up before the 8am opening time to ensure that the queue in front of me was not too long. Continue reading “With my renunciation forms at the Home Office, what next…”
A recent post that I received through the feedback form left me scratching my head slightly, until I realised what the source of the confusion was. A long-term Briton living in Vienna (arrived pre-2006) with an Austrian spouse and children was looking for a solution akin to “indefinite leave to remain” rather than naturalisation, in the hope that this would be enough when Britain leaves the EU, without naturalising. However, they had been told that they could not apply for it while Britain is still in the EU. [Note:redacted to anonymise the source].
One of the peculiarities of my case, given that I have my son naturalising with me, is that there was an additional piece of paperwork requested in relation to my son’s naturalisation. The situation might be similar to international couples where husband and wife have different nationalities (until naturalisation in case both are naturalising) and where they have a child that has not taken up both nationalities through its parents, for whatever reasons. Continue reading “A parental declaration – useful for those naturalising with their children to bear in mind.”