Due to recent changes to the Austrian Citizenship Act, a path has opened for persons persecuted in the Second World War and their direct descendants to obtain Austrian citizenship without residing in Austria or demonstrating knowledge of the Austrian official language, culture, or history.
BENEFITS OF SECURING AUSTRIAN CITIZENSHIP UNDER THIS NEW PATHWAY
Successful applicants may not only secure an Austrian passport and gain visa free or visa-on-arrival access to nearly 190 destinations around the globe, but they may also live, work, or study freely in Austria or any other European Union ("EU") member states. Notably, although the Austrian law does not typically recognize dual citizenship, those claiming Austrian citizenship through this pathway are permitted to retain their foreign citizenships, making this pathway particularly attractive for those looking to secure a powerful second citizenship.
QUALIFYING AS A VICTIM OF PERSECUTION
In recognition of Austria's historical responsibility towards victims of Nazi persecution, the following categories of people and their direct descendants may qualify to apply for Austrian citizenship through the ancestral persecution pathway:
(i) Persons who went abroad as Austrian citizens, citizens of one of the successor states of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy or as stateless persons with their primary place of residence in Austria before May 15, 1955 due to persecution or fear of persecution;
(ii) Former Austrian citizens who did not have their primary place of residence in Austria between January 30, 1933 and May 9, 1945 due to fear of persecution upon their return to Austria;
(iii) Former Austrian citizens who died due to persecution or were deported abroad before May 9, 1945; and
(iv) Persons who died, as citizens of one of the successor states of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy or as stateless persons with their primary place of residence in Austria, due to persecution or were deported abroad before May 9, 1945.
Moreover, adoptive children of the above-mentioned categories of persecuted persons are entitled to claim Austrian citizenship under simplified conferment rules as a result of the recent amendments.
Applicants residing outside of Austria are also permitted to submit their citizenship applications to a nearby Austrian embassy or consulate and have their applications processed by the Vienna Provincial Government without visiting Austria. If all requirements are met, a positive decision awarding the Austrian citizenship would be granted and successful applicants may then apply for the Austrian passport and enjoy all rights and freedoms typically conferred on EU citizens.
If you are interested in applying for Austrian citizenship or learning more about the Austrian citizenship by ancestral persecution program, please do not hesitate to contact us at https://harveylawcorporation.com/contact/. Our lawyers would be delighted to conduct a free eligibility assessment and advise if you may qualify to apply for Austrian citizenship through this pathway.
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