Austria citizenship by investment

Article Breakdown

Austria Passport CoverThe Austria citizenship by investment program allows international applicants to earn Austrian residency and citizenship by actively investing in the economy.

The investment must be large, contribute to the economy, and create jobs in exchange for Austrian citizenship and a subsequent second passport.

A minimum investment of €10 million is normally placed directly into a business or €3 million as a contribution to the government development fund. The investment must be active, and cannot be passive investments like government bonds.

Benefits of Citizenship in Austria

Austria is a great destination to settle within the European Union because it is the only Western European country that allows you to gain citizenship by investment and an EU passport without first establishing residency. As an Austrian citizen and an EU citizen, you are free to live and work anywhere in the EU at any time.

The Austrian passport has a high reputation and provides comprehensive visa-free travel or visa-on-arrival travel options, including visa-free access to the United States. It is without a doubt one of the world’s top travel books.

When you obtain citizenship by investment under the Austrian Citizenship Law, you and your family gain full citizenship for life, which can be passed down by descent to future generations.

The Austrian passport grants you visa-free travel to an astonishing 199 places worldwide, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Austrian citizenship by investment allows you to live, work, travel, and study anywhere in Europe’s Schengen zone.

Austrian CBI requirements

Rounded Austria Flag IconWhile other countries have citizenship by investment schemes, like as Switzerland’s, Austria’s program is unique in that, rather than having predefined investment possibilities on the table, investors have more options to choose their investment, as long as it is substantial and supports the Austrian government.

Austria, in addition to being an incredibly affluent country, offers numerous options for investors to start anew and access a plethora of lifestyle perks.

A candidate for citizenship by investment must make an active investment in the Austrian economy, such as through a joint venture or direct investment in a company that creates jobs or increases export sales. In most circumstances, substantial direct investment is required.

In most cases, significant direct investment is necessary. Passive investments, such as government bonds or real estate, do not qualify.

In addition to standard documentary requirements (such as passports, birth certificates, and marriage certificates), all applicants must provide a completely clean personal record (certificate of no criminal record), a comprehensive CV, and business background information, as well as impeccable references.

As a general rule, Austria requires applicants to give up their current citizenship before being given Austrian citizenship. However, if citizenship is granted under the requirements of Article 10 (6) of the Citizenship Act, successful applicants can maintain their prior citizenship legally, which means that the applicant may not be obliged to relinquish their current citizenship after being granted Austrian citizenship.

Austrian citizenship application procedures and timeline

Citizenship based on a capital donation under the citizenship by investment program in Austria entails a number of steps and requires government approval at multiple levels.

As a result, it is critical that the applicant is adequately counselled from the start, that each unique case is meticulously prepared, and that informal clearances from key ministries are secured before the investment is made and the formal application process begins.

An application typically takes between 24 and 36 months to complete. By decision of the Government of Austria, successful applicants are granted full citizenship of the Republic of Austria and can apply for a passport immediately. Passports are issued in a few of days.

As it falls under government regulations relating to privacy or official secrets, the grant of citizenship is not published and is not disclosed to any other country.

Austria Country Landscape Photo

Why would you consider Austrian citizenship by investment?

Austria offers its residents a great standard of living as well as several benefits. Austria is an excellent country to live with your family because of its breathtaking natural scenery and stable economy.

Not only that, but Austrian nationals automatically have the same rights as any other EU citizen, allowing them to freely live, work, study, and travel throughout Europe and the Schengen Zone.

Qualification for an Austrian Passport

Government provisions relating to the Austrian Citizenship Act, have created a few guidelines to follow when applying for an Austrian passport.

Foreign nationals must follow the following rules for the Austria citizenship application:

  • When applying, you must be at least 18 years old.
  • Maintain a clean criminal record
  • Have sufficient finances to make the necessary investment
  • Demonstrate that the investment is both legal and legitimate.
  • Proof of German language proficiency (basic knowledge at the very least)
  • Understanding of Austria’s democratic system as well as the history of Austria and Vienna
  • Renunciation of current citizenship (Austria does not accept dual citizenship, hence you must give up your past citizenship)
  • Continuous legal residency in Austria

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Citizenship is granted only at the discretion of the Government of the Republic of Austria, and there is no certainty that your application will be approved. Read this article more information on Austrian citizenship by descent, which is also covered under the same citizenship law.

Dual Nationality in Austria

Although Austria does not recognize dual citizenship and requires foreign nationals to surrender their current passport, there is an exception: if citizenship is granted in accordance with Article 10 (6) of the Citizenship Act, the prior citizenship can be lawfully preserved, which means that the applicant may not be required to abandon their current citizenship.

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Citizenship is granted based on extraordinary services rendered by foreigners in the past and the expectation of extraordinary services performed in the future, according to Article 10 (6) of the Austrian Citizenship Act. Exceptional benefits are those that are now much above the national average in their respective field.

Questions and Answers About the Austria Citizenship by Investment Initiative

The primary applicant must have a completely clean personal record, as well as actively invest in the Austrian economy and demonstrate that their investment has exceptional worth.

Investing in an active business or other innovative business, donating to a government fund, or investing in venture capital are all choices.

The significant direct investment must be lawfully maintained in order for citizenship to be given, and the decision to grant citizenship is made entirely at the discretion of Austrian authorities.

You cannot qualify for the program by purchasing real estate or government bonds, as you may with other citizenship schemes in numerous nations. You must invest actively in the Austrian economy rather than passively. In exchange, the Austrian government grants citizenship.

Apart from some rare cases, unfortunately, Austria does not accept dual citizenship. You will be required to renounce your previous citizenship. 

Yes, Austria's Investor Visa scheme allows for Austrian citizenship through marriage, which means that your spouse and dependant children under the age of 21 can also become Austrian citizens if their current citizenship is surrendered.

A foreign national seeking citizenship in Austria must pay a federal Austrian citizenship fee of 700 euros, as well as a provincial administrative fee of 76 euros. Married couples will pay a federal fee of 1,400 euros and a provincial administrative fee of 152 euros.

To obtain Austrian citizenship by naturalization, you must have lived in Austria for at least ten years (five as a permanent resident), have no criminal record, sufficient financial resources, and a decent command of the German language.

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