Obtaining Austrian citizenship for victims of National Socialism and their descendants

Claudio Arturo, from our Austrian member firm, PFKA, has written an article describing a recent amendment to the Austrian citizenship act, which allows simplified access to Austrian citizenship for victims of National Socialism and their descendants.

This new procedure went into effect in Austria in 2020. Recently, the scope of eligible applicants was broadened. Below, an extract:

“1. Introduction

Since 1 September 2020 victims of National Socialism and their descendants enjoy easier access to Austrian citizenship. The amendment of the Austrian Citizenship Act has broadened the scope of people eligible to apply for Austrian citizenship and additionally extended it to include descendants in direct line of victims of National Socialism. An important feature of this procedure is that Austrian law in this case – as an exception – does not require a renunciation of the previous citizenship before obtaining Austrian citizenship.

This amendment attracted attention in many countries and was positively received internationally. Within the first six months upon introduction of this new procedure, more than 10.000 applications for Austrian citizenship were submitted, mainly from Israel, the USA and Great Britain.

Starting from May 2022 an additional amendment came into effect, which once more broadened the scope of eligible persons.

2. Stipulation for Victims of National Socialism

Already before the amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Act, taking effect on 1 September 2020 there was a simplified procedure for obtaining Austrian citizenship open to persons who fled from the Nazi regime before 9 May 1945.

The amendment that entered into force with first September 2020 extended the relevant time period for leaving Austria, which now also includes people who left after the end of the war until 15 May 1955.

Another change in effect since September 2020 is that the simplified procedure is also open to citizens from states of the former Danube monarchy who left Austria if they had their main residence in the federal territory of Austria. This means that victims who held Polish, Czechoslovakian, Hungarian, Italian, Romanian or Yugoslavian citizenship at the time of leaving Austria are eligible to obtain Austrian citizenship under this simplified procedure as well, provided they fulfill the remaining legal requirements.”…

You can download the rest of the article here: 20220719_Simplified Acquisition of Austrian Citizenship for Victims of National Socialism and their Descendants