Home Travel & Adventure Austrians Back Stringent Citizenship Criteria, Favoring the 10-Year Waiting Period

Austrians Back Stringent Citizenship Criteria, Favoring the 10-Year Waiting Period


In a recent poll by the People’s Party, it has been revealed that Austrians strongly support the current rules of citizenship and voting, which have often been deemed too strict by foreigners.

The poll also shows that three-quarters want to keep citizenship rules intact. Two-thirds say the ten-year wait for citizenship should stay. And three-quarters strongly support strict conditions for dual citizenship, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

About 90 per cent of them emphasise the importance of successful integration for young citizens. Regarding voting rights, two-thirds agree that citizenship should remain a requirement.

In addition, only a small minority, only a third, are open to giving the right to vote to immigrants who have been in Austria for 15-20 years.

According to the survey, this strong agreement shows how much Austrians value their citizenship and voting rights, considering that these rights are not easily granted; they are acquired through clear rules. Chancellor Nehammer’s vision in the Austrian Plan, which highlights Austria’s culture as a precious national asset, strikes a chord with many.

Austrian citizenship is inextricably linked to our democracy and our values. The granting of our citizenship should never be done lightly. Being granted our citizenship is the crowning achievement of the successful integration process and should, therefore, under no circumstances be the beginning of it.

Secretary General Christian Stocker

Constitution Minister Karoline Edtstadler sees this as a confirmation of Nehammer’s intentions outlined in Austria’s plan. She emphasizes that there will be no easing of citizenship criteria, citing that citizenship is considered one of the most precious assets of a nation and cannot be given randomly; it requires strict and transparent criteria. Successful integration remains a fundamental requirement for this process.

2023 Saw a 3.2% Drop in Austrian Citizenship Grants Compared to 2022

In 2023, Statistik Austria reported that Austrian citizenship was granted to 19,939 individuals, including over 8,000 living outside Austria. This total number was 3.2 per cent lower compared to 2022.

Commenting on these data, Tobias Thomas, Director General of Statistics Austria, pointed out that the trend of increasing naturalization numbers didn’t continue in 2023. The decrease is primarily attributed to a 17.7 per cent drop in naturalizations of victims of National Socialism and their descendants.

At the same time, Austria’s naturalization rate, which compares naturalizations to the number of non-Austrian citizens residing in Austria, remains relatively low at 0.7 per cent. It typically requires a ten-year residency, substantial fees (around €2,000), and renunciation of any other citizenship.

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