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.

Retention of Austrian citizenship

Permission to retain Austrian citizenship is granted if this

  • is in the interest of the Republic of Austria because of services already rendered and still to be expected or for a reason particularly worthy of consideration, or
  • is justified by particularly pertinent circumstances in the applicant's private and family life or,
  • in the case of minors, where it is in the best interests of the child to retain their Austrian citizenship.


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

The citizenship department of the relevant provincial government office is responsible for examining and approving applications to retain citizenship. Applications for retention of citizenship may also be submitted abroad to the competent professional representation authority (embassy or consulate general of the profession) according to the place of residence.

Acquisition of Austrian citizenship by foreigners

In principle, anyone who acquires Austrian citizenship by conferral must generally give up the previous 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 – as far as this is possible and reasonable – 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. The assessment as to whether the withdrawal is at best not possible or reasonable shall be the sole responsibility of the competent office of the provincial government.

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.

Exception: Dual citizenship for children

An important exception to the principle of avoiding dual or multiple citizenships in Austrian citizenship law is the acquisition of Austrian citizenship by descent. If the child acquires automatically another citizenship in addition to Austrian citizenship at birth – e.g. by descent from the other parent ("ius sanguinis") or by birth in a state (e.g. USA) where the territoriality principle ("ius soli") applies  – then there is no loss of Austrian citizenship, but the child has two citizenships (dual citizenship).

It is important to note that no positive declaration of intent to acquire foreign citizenship (for example application) is required, but that the relevant foreign law provides for automatic acquisition at the birth of the child, for example by descent or by birth in the foreign country. If in doubt, obtain information from the competent Austrian citizenship authority (provincial government office) in advance. 

Under Austrian law, the child does not have to decide on their (sole) nationality even 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: 26 April 2024

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of the Interior