Home Travel & Adventure Austrians Demand Citizenship Law Reform, Push for Dual Citizenship Option

Austrians Demand Citizenship Law Reform, Push for Dual Citizenship Option


Austrians are pushing for a reform of the Austrian citizenship law, which does not allow Austrian citizens to take a second citizenship. The legislation has forced many Austrians to give up their Austrian citizenship in order to gain a second one.

The initiative, led by doppelstaatsbuerger.at and beibehalte.at campaigns, aims to set clear and practical criteria that would enable Austrians living abroad to maintain their Austrian citizenship in addition to gaining a new one, SchegenVisaInfo reports.

Austria forces its citizens to give up their Austrian citizenship when they accept foreign citizenship. This leads to the loss of valuable citizens who represent our country worldwide. 

Martin Wallner, Co-Initiator of the Doppelstaatsbuerger.at Campaign

The parliamentary initiative has received support from the World Association of Austrians Abroad.

Dual Citizenship Allowed in Very Few & Specific Cases

Currently, Austrian authorities grant dual citizenship only in exceptional cases, whereas Austrian citizens taking on another citizenship have to give up their citizenship.

Austrian citizenship is only possible in specific cases, which have to be “worthy reasons” and serve the country’s interests and concerns related to the private and family lives of the applicants in order to gain dual citizenship.

According to the alliance of Austrians abroad, the chance of citizenship retention is minimal due to outdated and restrictive criteria that have not been updated for three decades.

The campaigns are calling for concrete criteria for fair assessment to be introduced, and family ties in Austria and professional advantages should not be the main criteria for Austrians to be able to gain dual citizenship.

Our proposals for more transparent guidelines seek a broad consensus without influencing the naturalisation regulations. They are exclusively about Austrians who would otherwise lose their citizenship. 

Stefan Fragner, Co-Initiator

A draft law has already been presented, and if the initiative receives 500 signatures from Austrian citizens above the age of 16, it will be discussed in parliament.

New Applications for Austrian Citizenship Are on the Rise Despite the Lengthy Process

The Austrian Foreign Ministry has revealed that the number of new requests for citizenship has increased by four times in the last two years, reaching around 1,200 applications per month.

Between 2019 and 2021, the average number of applications submitted every month was around 300, while in January 2024, this number reached 1,200.

The average waiting time that a candidate for Austrian citizenship has to wait for a first personal appointment is nearly a year. The main applicants come from Syria and Afghanistan, in addition to Germany.

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