Which European country is best for citizenship

New citizenship rules in Germany

The amendment to the German Citizenship Act (StAG), which came into force on August 28, 2007, makes it easier for Austrians abroad to become German citizens without having to give up Austrian citizenship.

The amendment to the German Citizenship Act has deleted without replacement the reciprocity requirement for giving up previous citizenship when acquiring German citizenship for other EU citizens and Swiss citizens.

Therefore, Austrians living abroad can retain Austrian citizenship in accordance with German law if they acquire German citizenship. For this, however, according to Austrian law, before applying for German citizenship, the application and approval of the retention of Austrian citizenship is necessary (Section 28 Citizenship Act [StbG 1985] as amended). Otherwise Austrian citizenship would automatically be lost when acquiring German citizenship (Section 27 Citizenship Act [StbG 1985] as amended).

According to German law, in order to acquire German citizenship, above all, eight years of legal habitual residence in Germany, the commitment to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law, an unlimited right of residence, the ability to earn a living without social benefits, sufficient knowledge of the German language and knowledge of the law - and the social order and living conditions in Germany are necessary, which is usually proven by a naturalization test (§ 10 [D-] Citizenship Act [StAG]). Information on this would have to be obtained from the German authorities.

There are no changes to the regaining of Austrian citizenship by German citizens. The main cases concern the regaining of Austrian citizenship

1) up to a maximum of five years after the death of the spouse or the dissolution of the marriage, if Austrian citizenship was lost in connection with this marriage (Section 13 Citizenship Act [StbG 1985] as amended); and

2) the re-naturalization - since March 23, 2006 now without notice - of former Austrian citizens on the occasion of a stay in Austria who have held the citizenship for at least ten years without interruption and who have lost it in a way other than by withdrawal (§ 10 para. 4 no. 1 Citizenship Act [StbG 1985] as amended).

In principle, however, the regaining of Austrian citizenship involves giving up the previous citizenship. This does not apply to victims of Nazi persecution who emigrated before May 5, 1945 and who can regain Austrian citizenship by simply notifying the competent authority (Section 58c Citizenship Act [StbG 1985] as amended).

There are also no changes to the initial acquisition of Austrian citizenship by German citizens: This is only possible after several years of lawful uninterrupted residence in Austria. This means that Austrian citizenship is generally not obtainable abroad (since March 23, 2006), except through parentage (ie at birth). - At birth, ie through descent, several nationalities can be acquired without further ado. However, if you acquire Austrian citizenship at a later date, you generally give up your previous citizenship.

All Austrian citizenship law provisions can be found on the AÖ-Ratgeber www.aoe-ratgeber.at under 'Citizenship' - see in particular under 'Retention' and 'Re-acquisition'.

T. M. Boxwood m.p.

Head of the Austrians Abroad and Citizenship Department