Citizenship in Austria
Background and Legal Considerations
There are several countries now who have permitted foreigners citizenship in the exchange of an investment and/or a direct contribution to the state, in attempt to increase the development of the country. The government, as stated in the Austrian Citizenship Act, can award foreign persons with citizenship in the event of extraordinary merit. However,
citizenship is not assumed upon the investment alone. The potential immigrant must make a large contribution to the state alongside his investment, for example bringing new technologies to the country and/or creating a substantial number of new jobs for citizens.
Applicants are required to, under the citizenship-by-investment act, invest actively in the Austrian economy. An example of this would be a joint venture or direct investment in a business that generates jobs or generates sales. Significant direct investment is generally required. Passive investments in government bonds, real estate, etc. do not qualify.
A clean record (zero criminal record), a resume/CV and business background information as well as positive, reliable references must be provided by all of those applying for the citizenship-by-investment program.
It is generally a prerequisite, prior to receiving Austrian citizenship, that the applicant abandons his/her current citizenship. In case of a grant of citizenship under the provisions of Art. 10 (6) of the Citizenship Act, the former citizenship can be legally maintained, i.e. the applicant is not required to give up his/her present citizenship.
The grant of citizenship on the basis of an investment involves various procedures and requires Government approval at several levels. It is therefore essential that the applicant is properly advised from the beginning, that each individual case is carefully prepared and that informal approvals from the key ministries are obtained before the investment is made and the formal application process is started.
Alghoul Law and Associates advises on suitable investment opportunities, liaises with the various government agencies and ministries, and finally prepares and lodges your application with the Government. As with other citizenship programs, the procedure involves a thorough background check, and applicants are normally required to attend an interview in Austria. Citizenship documents are issued after the citizenship application has been approved.
The average time frame for an application is 12 – 18 months. Successful applicants receive full citizenship of the Republic of Austria by decision of the Government of Austria, and can apply for a passport immediately afterwards. Passports are issued within a few days.
The grant of citizenship is not published and not reported to any other country, as it falls within the Government provisions relating to privacy/official secrets.
As a citizen of Austria you can live and work in the country as well as anywhere in the European Union at any time. In addition, as an EU citizen you also have the right to live in Switzerland, which is a very attractive place for tax-advantaged residence.
Unless you decide to actually reside in Austria, you are not subject to tax in Austria.
The Austrian passport enjoys an excellent reputation and offers very comprehensive visa-free travel, including visa-free access to the USA. The Austrian passport is without a doubt among the very best travel documents in the world.
When you acquire citizenship under the Austrian Citizenship Act, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.
The granting of citizenship is at the sole discretion of the Government of the Republic of Austria, and we are unable to guarantee that applications will be approved. However, great care has been taken to provide the best possible safeguards for persons entering the program. Prior to taking on any mandate, a written agreement is made between the applicant and Alghoul & Associates Law defining the responsibilities of both parties.
Advantages of an Austrian Passport:
- Upon making a substantial investment, you may become a EU citizen
- Access to most countries worldwide
- You have the right to reside anywhere in the EU and Switzerland
- There is no need to spend any particular time actually residing in Austria
- There are no tax consequences unless your main (tax) residence is moved to Austria
Contact us today!
If you are interested in one of our Citizenship by Investment programs and would like more information, please fill out our questionnaire form here.
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