Hi, I have a few questions and hopefully someone in Austria can tell me, or perhaps someone knows.
Basically, My Grandmother was born and Raised in Austria, she had my Dad in Salzburg and from there they took the ship to North America when my dad was just over a year old. His father left my grandmother, post war after a night of drinking... my dad has never met his father, nor does he know his name or where he came from. All we know about him is that he spoke fluent German and was a merchant.
My dad has Austrian birth certificates, and is on my grandmothers passport.
More or less, my dad is nearing 60 now and would love to spend the rest of his days in Salzburg and I do as well. For whatever reason he was told by the Austrian consulate in Toronto that he can only get citizenship with proof of the father being Austrian... now obviously this isn't possible.. But my Grandmother is born and raised Austrian, my dad was born there... How can he not be eligible for an Austrian citizenship?
I know I should find some kind of international message board but who knows. I'm 24 now, and would love nothing more then to see my 60 year old dad retire to where he was born, where his ancestry is from, and I want to be part of it, learn the language fully and live a better lifestyle...
Wikipedia tells me the following:
Birth in Austria
Birth in Austria does not in itself confer Austrian citizenship. However it may lead to a reduction in the residence requirement for naturalisation as an Austrian citizen.
Descent from an Austrian parent
In principle, a child born to an Austrian parent (either the mother or father) is an Austrian citizen.
---So the way I read that is that say two American people are on vacation in Austria and have a child, the child born there has no chance of being austrian citizen. But in my Dad's case he should have it because his mother is Austrian.
Spitfire, you came to the right place with your questions
I work as a legal adviser for migrants with citizenship and immigration problems.
You say your grandmother was born in Austria, but which citizenship had her parents when she was born? In Austria it doesn't matter where you were born, if one of your parents is Austrian (when your parents are married before your birth, otherwise only if your mother is Austrian) you are Austrian.
Your family could have lived in Austria for generations, if non of them ever obtained the citizenship, even if a child is born in Austria, it is not Austrian.
If your grandma had the Austrian citizenship when your Dad was born, then yes he was Austrian by birth, but he could have lost his citizenship for some reasons, for example if he obtained the Canadian citizenship or if he served with the Canadian military
The only reason I could think of, would be that you need to come up with relatives who are currently Austrian citizen, living in Austria.
I'll give you an example of what I mean: Charlize Theron. Theron filed for German citizenship, because she had German ancestors and was interested in the German culture. She was denied, because she couldn't name a single relative who was a German citizen at that point, thus invoking a clause which prevented her from getting citizenship.
Though I'm not sure if this law is still in effect in Austria as well.
Even if that's the reason, I can't see why it would be used for someone who has an Austrian mother and an Austrian birth certificate.
Wow, somehow it took me way too long to write that answer
I'm not an expert on that matter anyway.
My Grandmother's sister is still living in Austria although quite elderly at this point.
My Grandmother is definetely Austrian when he was born.. and my dad is on her Austrian passport from 1950.
The military thing could be a problem then, they re-located to the U.S. from Austria and when my dad turned 18 he did join the U.S. Military for a couple of years.
That is pretty frustrating if he cannot gain Austrian citizenship because he served in the U.S. military... as an office worker in Germany...
I think this is different than the Charlize Theron deal.. Unless her Parent/s were born and full blooded German's. Which is the case with my Dad.. Not only that was Charlize Theron born in Germany?
My Great Grandmother and Grandfather: Born in Austrian
My Grandmother: Born in Austrian
My Dad: Born in Austria
If getting U.S. citizenship voids all previous bloodlines... that is a pretty messed up circumstance.
Unfortunately that's the case (although it would have been different, if he for example obtained the foreign citizenship by simply being born there).
That's the two biggest reason for losing your Austrian citizenship - actively obtaining a foreign citizenship and serving with a foreign military (the are exceptions if you are obligated to serve in the army). This is stated explicitly in the Austrian Citizenship Law.
The only exceptions I have seen in such cases was for highly regarded pro athletes (public interest).
I suppose your family left Austria post war (e.g. they didn't flee the National-socialism, because there are different rules if you had to leave Austria between 1938-45)?