Can you hold Israeli and Austrian dual citizenship?

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By Jacob Maslow

In some situations, individuals who acquire new foreign citizenship may be required to renounce their original citizenship. However, for many Jews whose families were affected by the Second World War, it is possible to obtain new citizenship while retaining Israeli citizenship. This article will explain whether you are eligible for Austrian dual citizenship.

This option does not apply to all methods of obtaining Austrian citizenship. You won’t have to surrender your other citizenship only in cases where Austrian citizenship is granted due to being descended from an Austrian who lost their citizenship due to persecution.

In this article, we will explore the process of obtaining Austrian citizenship without relinquishing your Israeli citizenship. We will also discuss situations where you may lose your Austrian citizenship and alternative pathways to acquiring Austrian citizenship.

Our law firm, with offices in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, specializes in helping Jews to obtain Austrian citizenship. If you are eligible to receive Austrian citizenship, we can help you go through the request process in the most streamlined manner. We can help you become the proud owner of dual Austrian and Israeli citizenship. 

Who is eligible for dual Austrian and Israeli citizenship?

In Austria, millions of Jews suffered from persecution during World War II, and many Jews perished at the hands of the Nazis as a result. The Austrian government acknowledges the atrocious acts and has decided to take responsibility. As part of the endeavors to make amends, the Austrian government enables those of Jewish descent to retrieve the Austrian citizenship that was revoked from their ancestors.

Although, in many cases obtaining Austrian citizenship requires one to give up any other citizenship, this case is the exception to the rule. 

According to the country’s law, the descendants of Jews who lived in Austria between 1933-1945 are eligible for Austrian citizenship. For the descendants of those who survived the Holocaust, the period extends to 1955. The reason is that the Austrian government acknowledges that many survivors had to recuperate for what was done to them during the war before leaving Austria. 


What is the process of obtaining dual Austrian citizenship?


The process of obtaining Austrian citizenship has no limitation on generations. If your great-grandmother, for example, was an Austrian citizen in the relevant years, you will be eligible for an Austrian passport even if no other family member was Austrian. Furthermore, the law also allows skipping on generations. This means that your mother or father will not be required to obtain Austrian citizenship for you to be able to obtain it as well. 


The first step of the process is to find documents proving that your ancestor was indeed an Austrian citizen. You can present documents such as passports, birth certificates, and more. If you cannot locate the documents required to present proof, you can conduct an archival search to locate them in Austria. If you choose to conduct this process with professional aid from a law firm specializing in obtaining Austrian citizenship, the archival search will be done for you. 

Having found the relevant documents to establish your ancestor was an Austrian citizen, there will be a need to collect relevant documents in Israel to prove a connection to the Austrian in question, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, extract of registration in the population registry, and more. 

Documents written in Hebrew must be translated into German and approved by a notary. Furthermore, the translated documents must have an apostille stamp to prove their authenticity. Another step of the process is for the requesters’ Israeli passports to get authenticated by the Austrian embassy in Israel. 

When will my request be approved?

Once the request is complete, it will be sent to the Department of Citizenship in Vienna. There the request will be reviewed and eventually get approved or denied. The request’s review process may take 12-24 months. 

If the request has been approved, the requesters will get invited to the Austrian embassy in Israel, where a naturalization certificate will be granted. This certificate allows the requesters to request and receive an Austrian passport. 

Is there a way to lose your Austrian citizenship?


If you have already obtained Austrian citizenship, there is one way in which you could lose it with no option of retrieval. In Israel, many people, after completing their mandatory army service, continue to serve in the standing army. This decision will result in the loss of Austrian citizenship with no option to acquire it again. 

Furthermore, those currently in the standing army are not eligible to obtain Austrian citizenship but may submit a request after the service has ended. 

It is important to state that people with a criminal record will also not be eligible for Austrian citizenship. 

Other pathways to receiving Austrian citizenship

If you are not eligible to obtain Austrian citizenship as a descendant of a holocaust survivor, there are other ways to receive citizenship. However, obtaining citizenship in other ways will require the individual to relinquish all other citizenships. 

One way to get Austrian citizenship is through naturalization. If you have lived in Austria for ten years, or five years while holding a residence permit, you will be eligible to get Austrian citizenship. 

Another way to get Austrian citizenship is through entitlement. If you are a spouse of an Austrian citizen and you have been married for five years, you will be eligible to receive citizenship. 

Austria dual citizenship – contact our office

As you can see, the process of obtaining Austrian citizenship as a descendant of Austrian Jews affected by World War II is an incredible opportunity that will grant you dual citizenship. If you are indeed eligible, you will benefit greatly from going through the process with the services of a law firm specializing in obtaining Austrian citizenship. 

Our lawyers and legal assistants have vast experience helping many clients get their Austrian citizenship. You, too, can be one of those clients and enjoy all the benefits of holding an Austrian passport. Contact our offices to embark on your journey towards Austrian citizenship with us, and enjoy a streamlined process and peace of mind at all times. 

Image Courtesy: DepositPhotos

Images Courtesy of DepositPhotos