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News & Knowledge

Austria: New fast track to EU citizenship for descendants of Nazi victims

3rd September 2020

Due to the various crises and uncertainties around the globe, EU passports are in high demand – a new opportunity has just opened up in Austria. Since 1st September 2020, Austria offers a simplified process to acquire citizenship for the descendants of the victims of the Nazi regime. Instead of a full-blown application, a notification is now - under certain circumstances - sufficient. MSI´s Austrian law member Alix Frank Rechtsanwälte GmbH from Vienna have many years of experience in citizenship law and can assist you or rather your clients in order to get an Austrian passport.

According to the recent amendments made to the Austrian Citizenship Act, direct descendants of Austrian victims of the Nazi regime shall receive easier access to Austrian citizenship. The changes in the law also apply to children who were adopted as minors. Before, the advantage of a notification process had only been open to the victims themselves. The new provisions apply to descendants of persons who were forced to leave Austria by 15th May 1955 because they were persecuted (or had reason to fear persecution)

  • by Nazi Party organs, or authorities of the Third Reich, or
  • for standing up for the democratic Republic of Austria.

In order to obtain Austrian citizenship through notification, the authorities must be provided with documentary evidence of the requirements, such as personal documents of the applicant and documents of the ancestor. No disproportionately high standard shall be applied regarding the traceability of the evidence. Given the fact that 75 years have passed since the end of World War II and that most of the Nazi victims have now passed away, the Austrian authorities may call upon the assistance of the National Fund for the victims of National Socialism for research.

The entire procedure for obtaining citizenship is free of charge. In addition, as in the past, no general reasons may stand in the way of the granting of citizenship, such as a final criminal conviction for a prison sentence or terrorist activities.

Generally, under Austrian law, acquiring Austrian citizenship through notification will not necessarily lead to losing the previous citizenship. The question of losing the current nationality, however, should be clarified with the competent domestic authorities.

If you have any questions or need further information please contact Dr. Alix Frank-Thomasser, specialist in citizenship law at Alix Frank Rechtsanwälte GmbH.

About Alix Frank Rechtsanwaelte GmbH - Vienna

Alix Frank Rechtsanwaelte GmbH was founded in 1988 and offers individually tailored solutions for Austrian and international legal issues.

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