Asylum Seekers Are Naturalized After Six Years

In the ongoing discussion about the latest refugee flows, one thing is being left out: the legal right of naturalization for foreigners resident in Austria.

In contrast to almost all other EU countries, the Austrian National Citizenship Act has a special feature: a legal right to naturalization. Under certain conditions (such as general conditions of naturalization such as impunity, livelihood, knowledge of German) strangers must be granted citizenship. In these cases, Austria has waived its discretion as to whether or not it would like to have someone as a new citizen.

In the year 2015 4455 new Austrians were created in this way. With a total number of 8144 naturalisations a not to be despicable part. In addition to the well-known and well-accepted reasons (about 30 years of uninterrupted main residence in Austria or 15 years of legal and uninterrupted stay or cases with sustainable personal integration, spouses, etc.), a group of persons surprisingly remained unaffected "Persons entitled to asylum / asylum" and persons born in Austria.

In case of mass flow problems

These two groups already have a right to Austrian citizenship after six years (Paragraph 11a (4) (1) and (3) of the Bürgerungsgesetz - StbG). It is precisely these two groups, however, which are problematic in view of the recent mass flow. It is true that the naturalization of asylum seekers, who have no knowledge of the German language and the local legal system, is in principle excluded (general requirements for naturalization). However, Paragraph 11a StbG opens up other possibilities: the otherwise necessary political integration, or the proof of German knowledge at a higher level, can be dispensed with.

The timing is more or less decisive. The Austrian legislator imagines that six years of asylum status are obviously sufficient to become Austrians. Even the mere assumption that children born in Austria are virtually automatically fit for Austria after six years is probably wrong.

Refugees use law

It is to be assumed that the majority of the current refugees in Austria aspire to citizenship. Official surveys are not known for this, but similar surveys in Germany allow the presumption. In Germany a similar naturalization claim (after eight years) was introduced in 1993. At the beginning of the year 2016, a short analysis by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) showed that about three quarters of refugees and asylum seekers from Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are seeking German citizenship.

However, only the Europolitical link between nationality and Union citizenship opens up the overall context. The EU citizenship (Union citizen who is a citizen of an EU country) is secured, for example, by the cohabitation of parents in an EU country, even if their refugee status is extinguished. In recent years, the ECJ has made a very decent decision to stay in this area. The rights derived from citizenship for third-country members of the family have been successively extended. In 2011, the ECJ ruled in Ruiz Zambrano (C-34/09), among other things, that parents of Belgian citizens of a non-EU country are entitled to a residence and work right derived from EU law even if they have never left Belgium , Union citizenship is intended to be the basic status of the members of the EU Member States (C-184/99 and C-138/02).

Impact on the EU as a whole

Union citizens can not be denied the actual enjoyment of the core stock of those rights which grant them uni- cit citizenship (C-135/08). Therefore, a foreigner may reside in an EU country and work there if his children have become citizens of that country and the stranger pays them; Otherwise the children would be violated in their rights as a citizen of the Union.

Due to the resulting excessive right of free movement of a child and the directly derived rights of the parents, all other EU member states must finally share and accept the legally forbidden naturalization of Austria and Germany.

No matter how "autonomous" some EU member states currently oppose the current inflow and reject any admission: in six to eight years they will no longer be able to deny the "new" Union citizens and their third-party family members the freedom of movement.


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