Why I’ll not be turning Austrian in a hurry

I think you will spend 72 seconds reading this post

My Facebook post mentioning that my blog was up and running elicited a question about the possibility of dual nationality. Unfortunately it is not that simple.

Dual nationality (in the specific British/Austrian flavour) is only a realistic possibility for the children of parents are of the respective nationality, and there is no automatic right to naturalise if a parent naturalises after the child’s birth.

To otherwise become Austrian I would have to surrender my nationality, and while I have heard of people surrendering nationality to take a new one, then retaking the original nationality (British theoretically can be surrendered once and retaken – at great cost!), I will not risk that approach – the time frame involved is likely to be measured in years to decades!

I could qualify through residence – as someone with higher than B2 level German, I could have qualified back in late 2006 (6 years residence). Were my German only of B1 level it would have already been possible back in late 2010. A co-requisite would be passing a citizenship test.

Had I exercised the right at either of the cut-off points, I would have enjoyed the character-building privilege of serving in the Austrian military or doing civilian service – I would have tried to join the coastguard service. The only exemption for males under 35s is in the case that you have done some comparable service in your previous home nation.

H/T to Friedrich Bruckner for the information.

Author: mdgb

45 years old, came to Austria in 97/98 for nine months and then moved permanently in July 2000. At the time of starting this blog, I have been in Austria for more than half my lifetime.