General information on acquiring property as a foreign national

If foreign nationals acquire ownership or joint ownership in properties, this must be officially approved. This requirement does not apply to nationals of EU and EEA Member States; these are equated with Austrian nationals. In principle, an authorisation procedure need only be carried out for nationals of third countries. Due to bilateral agreements, however, nationals of some third countries may also purchase property without needing to complete an authorisation procedure. However, these usually still require confirmation that no authorisation is needed.

As the detailed rules for acquiring property as a foreign national are regulated by the Foreign Nationals’ Property Acquisition Act of each individual federal state, you will find here only a rough overview of the procedure. In Graz, for example, nationals of third countries do not need to obtain authorisation. In the case of a married couple acquiring a property or a home, authorisation is not required in Vienna if one spouse has Austrian citizenship.

Foreign nationals

  • Natural persons who do not have Austrian citizenship.
  • Legal entities and partnerships with legal capacity with registered office, operational headquarters or principal place of business located abroad.
  • Legal entities and partnerships with legal capacity with registered office located in Austria, in which foreign nationals hold a majority interest.
  • Associations with registered office located in Austria, whose voting members are predominantly foreign nationals or whose management body consists predominantly of foreign nationals.
  • Foundations, funds and similar legal entities whose assets or proceeds, in accordance with the statutory purpose, belong exclusively or predominantly to foreign nationals.

Nationals of third countries

This refers to nationals of countries that are not Member States of the European Union (EU) or contracting parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA).

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 January 2023

Responsible for the content: Austrian Chamber of Civil-Law Notaries