Every year, the Austrian Council of Ministers approves between 30 up to 60 citizenship application based on special merits for the Republic of Austria. Citizenship applications must be filed at the Federal State Governments of one of the 9 provinces of Austria and two times per year the Council of Ministers decides upon such applications in non-public meeting. It must be noted that, even if the requirements are met, there is no absolute guarantee whether or not such kind of Citizenship is granted and in any case, pure passive investments do not qualify.
According to Art 10 (6) Austrian Citizenship Act (“Staatsbürgerschaftsgesetz”) requires that the granting of citizenship is in the special interest of the Republic because of the extraordinary services already rendered by the foreigners and to be expected from the foreigner in the future, which can also have activities of the foreigner with an economical character.
Regarding the investment, there is no fix threshold, however, the investment volume that needs to be presented to Authorities normally starts at EUR 2 Mio. For the main applicant, no language skills are necessary, the duration is about 12 up to 18 months. Family members (married spouses and children up to 18 years) can be included in the application. From the Austrian perspective, dual citizenship is possible.
The Austrian Ministry for Interior Affairs (www.bmi.gv.at) explicitly refers to the following points:
- Owner of a company or person with managing function with significant influence in the company; a membership in the board of a company alone is not sufficient;
- High economic efficiency of the company;
- Creation and safeguarding of jobs on the Austrian labor market to a significant extent, especially in economically weak regions of Austria;
- Already made investments or carried out projects of the enterprise in Austria; mere cash flows are not sufficient;
- International Reputation of the company also abroad;
- Promotion of the bilateral and multilateral external relations of Austria in the relevant economic sector
As a consequence, Austrian citizenship Law makes it easier for those persons who have made and will make special contributions to the Republic of Austria to gain access to citizenship for such persons. Therefore, beyond the interest of individuals in granting citizenship, this provision is also very much in the interest of the Republic of Austria.
Extraordinary benefits are only those that are currently well above the average in the respective area. Furthermore, the granting of Citizenship on the basis of these services must also serve the special interest of the Republic up to a special degree. This means that a person in no case can be granted a Citizenship as "honorary", but only on the basis of the services provided and expected by the applicant in the future. Therefore, for example, even the mere awarding of decorations is not enough to justify a special interest of the Republic.
Besides the legal requirements an investment should be chosen which contains an active and sustainable character and the investment requires also accompanying measures. For more information, please let us a message.