As reported in several international newspapers, last week the Austrian Parliament voted unanimously to give descendants of the Holocaust who fled the country before 1955, eligibility for citizenship under the new law. The amended change in the law is the date of 1955 rather than 1945, the year  World War ll ended. Previously only Holocaust survivors were eligible for citizenship. The reason 1955 is important is because the definition of a victim of Nazi persecution has been extended to include people who left the country for up to ten years after the end of the Second World War.  This allows those interned in concentration camps who did not leave immediately after the end of the war can now regain their nationality. The law becomes effective September 1, 2020.

The bill was originally voted by a broad majority last May as previously reported, but due to former Chancellor Kurtz’s coalition collapsing earlier this year its passage was prevented. As reported, children, grandchildren, and great- grandchildren of those who fled may apply for citizenship. 

The only people prevented from Austrian citizenship are those convicted of a violent crime or financial misdemeanors or those with ”a negative attitude towards Austrian democracy.”

Descendants of nationals from other countries of the now defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire who lived in Austria are also eligible. Today that is from the Czech Republic to beyond Croatia in 1918.

The bill also makes an exception to strict rules about dual nationality,  granting passports without the need to reside in Austria or give up previous nationality.

All parties agreed to the law.

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I If you need more information contact the Austrian General Counsel in your county.

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