Skip to main content
17 Apr, 2024

Austrian citizenship can be granted to descendants of victims of National Socialism

Reisepass Oesterreich

Austrian Citizenship for victims of National Socialism: On 1 September 2020, an amendment to the Citizenship Act came into force in Austria, which also allows direct descendants of persons who had to leave the country before 15 May 1955 due to persecution by organs of the NSDAP or by authorities of the Third Reich or because of their commitment to the democratic Republic of Austria, or who were deported abroad before 9 April 1945, to be granted Austrian citizenship without having to give up their previous citizenship.

Extension of the application options

The amendment to the law extends the possibility of obtaining Austrian citizenship to nationals of one of the successor states of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy or stateless persons who had their main residence in Austria and had to leave the country due to persecution by the Nazi regime. These persons can obtain Austrian citizenship by applying to the competent authority. In addition, this possibility has now also been extended to descendants in the direct descending line and adopted children who were adopted as minors.

The ancestor to whom the descendant refers when applying must be considered a persecuted person within the meaning of this law. This person must have acquired Austrian citizenship or at least have been able to acquire it. In view of the fact that the vast majority of those persecuted during the Nazi era have already passed away, the authorities must not place disproportionately high demands on the traceability of the requirements.

Refusal to grant citizenship to victims of National Socialism

The reasons for refusing Austrian citizenship to victims of National Socialism are basically the same as those for granting Austrian citizenship for other reasons. Accordingly, citizenship may not be granted to persons who have been convicted of serious criminal offences or serious financial crimes or to persons who pose a threat to public peace, order and security or who are affiliated with extremist or terrorist groups.

The role of the National Fund in the application for citizenship for victims of National Socialism

In order for an applicant to be able to prove their entitlement to Austrian citizenship, they must submit certificates and documents from which their claim can be derived. As this can be associated with considerable difficulties, the law expressly stipulates that the authorities can consult the National Fund of the Republic as an expert. The task of the National Fund is to provide benefits to victims of National Socialism, in particular to persons who have received no or completely inadequate benefits, who are in particular need of help or for whom support appears justified due to their life situation. The National Fund also supports both survivors of the Nazi regime and their families by offering to carry out family research and thus already has comprehensive documentation at its disposal. As a result, it may also be able to provide the competent authority with the relevant evidence for a claim to Austrian citizenship.

Competent authority

If the requirements are met, the applicant acquires Austrian citizenship retroactively to the date of notification to the authority. The competent authority is generally the provincial government of the province in which the applicant has his/her main residence. Persons who do not live in Austria can submit the application to the Austrian representative authority responsible for their main place of residence. This authority will then forward the application to the competent authority in Austria.

Dr. Alexander Raidl, BA

Pramergasse 21, 1090 Wien

Pramergasse 21
1090 Wien

© Dr. Alexander Raidl. All rights reserved.
Powered by Nail It.