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All You Need To Know To Become An Austrian: Naturalisation Policy And Citizenship Testing In Austria

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Chapter Summary

Naturalisation testing was introduced within the framework of an amendment to the Nationality Act, restricting access to naturalisation in many ways, including by introducing stricter language requirements and naturalisation tests. The debate about testing focused on issues of integration, but the main rationale for the restrictions in the naturalisation law were based on migration control. Since family reunification with third-country nationals was limited by a yearly maximum, but family reunification with Austrians was not limited at all, for many immigrants naturalisation became the easiest way to (re)unite with or form a family. This chapter analyses the introduction and implementation of 'citizenship testing' in Austrian nationality legislation. It first gives an overview about the debate on naturalization. It then analyses the content of the tests at federal and provincial levels and the dominant understanding of citizenship they reflect. Finally, the impact of testing on naturalisation behaviour will be discussed.

Keywords: Austria; Austrian nationality legislation; citizenship testing; family reunification; integration; language requirement; migration control; nationality act; Naturalisation policy



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