Dual citizenship

General information

Generally speaking, Austrian citizenship law does not allow dual or multiple citizenships. This principle is only waived in certain special cases.

Acquisition of foreign citizenship by Austrians

In principle, any Austrian who voluntarily acquires a foreign citizenship loses their Austrian citizenship. In order to retain your Austrian citizenship, you must apply to do so in writing before acquiring foreign citizenship, and this application must be approved by means of a written decision.

Permission to retain Austrian citizenship is granted if this

  • is in the interest of the Republic of Austria or
  • is justified by particularly pertinent circumstances in the applicant's private and family life (e.g. if losing it would be expected to have a severe detrimental impact on their ability to work), and if Austrian citizenship was acquired at birth, or,
  • in the case of minors, where it is in the best interests of the child to retain their Austrian citizenship.

Advice

The application to retain citizenship must be approved before you apply for foreign citizenship; otherwise you will lose your Austrian nationality.

The citizenship department of the relevant provincial government office is responsible for approving applications to retain citizenship.

Acquisition of Austrian citizenship by foreigners

In principle, anyone who acquires Austrian citizenship by conferral loses their foreign citizenship. If the law of the country where the applicant previously held citizenship does not provide for the automatic withdrawal of that country's citizenship upon becoming an Austrian citizen, the applicant will be assured of their right to claim Austrian citizenship in the first instance. Once this assurance is given, the person concerned must renounce their previous citizenship within two years in order to obtain Austrian citizenship. Original proof that they have given up their previous nationality (known in German as an "Entlassungsurkunde") must be submitted as soon as possible and unprompted.

Austria will only waive the requirement to renounce previous citizenship if it is in the special interest of the Republic of Austria to do so on the basis of the foreign national's extraordinary achievements, or extraordinary achievements they may be expected to achieve in the future (in such cases, Austrian citizenship is conferred on the basis that doing so is in the interest of the state).

The citizenship department of the respective provincial government office is responsible for granting Austrian citizenship.

Dual citizenship for children

If a child's parents are married, the child acquires Austrian citizenship at birth, provided that at least one of the two parents is an Austrian citizen.

If the parents are not married and the father is an Austrian citizen, but the mother is a citizen of another state, the child acquires Austrian citizenship by descent if their Austrian father acknowledges paternity within eight weeks following the birth, or if his paternity has been legally established by a court. Paternity can also be acknowledged before the child is born. If only the mother is an Austrian citizen, the child will in any case acquire Austrian citizenship at birth.

If the principle of descent applies in the non-Austrian parent's country of origin (as it does in Austria), the child will be a dual citizen. Under Austrian law, the child does not have to decide on their (sole) nationality upon reaching the age of majority. However, the other state involved may require them to make such a decision.

Legal basis

Sections 10 paragraph 3, 28 of the Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz

Certified Translation
Last update: 16 June 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior