Support for Nazi victims and their descendants in obtaining Austrian citizenship
In 2019, an amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Act was enacted, enabling easier access to Austrian citizenship for victims of National Socialism and their descendants.
On 1 September 2020, the new legal provisions on obtaining citizenship for descendants of victims of National Socialism entered into effect. From this date, eligible persons are able to acquire Austrian citizenship by submitting a written declaration (i.e. without filing an application).
In Austria, the Magistratsabteilung 35 (MA 35) is the authority responsible for dealing with citizenship matters:
MA 35 Fachbereich Staatsbürgerschaft
1200 Vienna, Dresdner Straße 93, Block C
As the competent authority, the MA35 is the first port of call for questions and concerns regarding the acquisition of Austrian citizenship.
Persons living abroad can submit the written declaration to their Austrian diplomatic representation (embassy or consulate general), which will advise on the submission of the declaration and forward the declaration form and enclosures to the MA35.
There is no deadline for submitting the written declaration and no costs will be incurred.
Legal assistance (lawyer/solicitor) is not required.
What documents are required for filing a declaration?
In order to assist in the preparation of the declaration, the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs has developed an online questionnaire (available in German, English, Spanish and Hebrew) in consensus with the MA35. On the basis of the answers given in the questionnaire, people wishing to submit declarations are provided with personalized advice, in particular regarding the documents that are required in their case.
If it is not possible to submit all of the necessary documents with the declaration, the MA35 will provide assistance by undertaking additional research.
The new provision of the Citizenship Act stipulates that the MA35, as the competent authority, may call upon the expertise of the National Fund. To this end, the National Fund is on hand to support the MA35 in its proceedings and will provide assistance in the search for required documents.