Austria: The long road to citizenship | European Journal | DW | 24.04.2013
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European Journal

Austria: The long road to citizenship

The rules on gaining Austrian citizenship are among the toughest in Europe. Anyone wanting to become Austrian, for example, needs to speak good German and engage in voluntary work.

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Austrian citizenship will in future be awarded on an applicant’s level of integration into society as well as how long a person has lived in the country. Those who are particularly well-integrated and sign up, for example, as a volunteer firefighter, will be eligible for citizenship after six years instead of the standard ten years. People on low incomes, on the other hand - such as part-time workers or single parents - do not fair so well under the new legislation.