I'm an Austrian citizen living in the US as a Legal Permanent Resident ( ie. Green Card holder). I would like to become a US citizen but retain my Austrian citizenship (ie. US/Austrian dual citizenship). Apparently to do this, I need to apply for permission from the Austrian government first, in order to NOT lose Austrian citizenship when I obtain US citizenship.
However, in the documentation I have found, one of the required documents to submit to the Austrian government is:
"Bestätigung der Einbürgerungsbehörde des Wohnsitzlandes über die Zustimmung zur Beibehaltung der österreichischen Staatsbürgerschaft bei Verleihung der fremden;"
Which basically means "approval from the US government to retain Austrian citizenship when obtaining US citizenship".
I have not been able to find any information that the US government would provide such an "approval", since they are in general opposed to dual citizenship (although they don't disallow it).
Has anyone applied to the Austrian government for permission to obtain US citizenship? Is it possible to obtain "approval" from the US government to retain Austrian citizenship?
Any advice (especially from personal experience) would be priceless!
Here's the information I have found for retaining Austrian citizenship:
Thank you all!
This may or may not be helpful . . .
But my sister has dual US/Canadian citizenship. She was born in the US, and now lives in Canada. Her passport is also Canadian. At the age of 21, if I remember correctly, the American government told her that she would have to choose between Canadian and American citizenship- that she could not have both. Well, when she turned 21 (she's now 28), she chose to keep it dual, and they let her. So it could be possible that they try to "scare" people out of having dual citizenships, but in reality don't "make" you forfeit your other citizenship. This, however, is definaltely unofficial advice.
The OP's situation is different: he doesn't have dual citizenship yet, in which case it is much easier for the two governments involved to stipulate conditions.
Depending on how important this is for you, I suggest you find yourself a lawyer with specific expertise in this area. Even if there are other TP members in this situation, it is extremely unlikely that their stories will match yours exactly. As this is a very tricky area of law (very limited formal legislations, heaps and heaps of bilateral agreements), this is not something to take other amateurs' word for.
What I'm looking for is an Austrian that has obtained dual citizenship with the US who can tell me how the process went for them. In my experience, personal experience has been more useful and accurate than legal advice... Thanks for your inputs so far!
There are some mailing lists (particularly one on yahoogroups) out there for Germans trying to obtain US citizenship (=people who face similar problems), IIRC there were some Austrians on that mailings lists too.
You might want to search for "Beibehaltungsgenehmigung".
t_maia - Thanks a bunch, you're awesome!!!
I found the yahoo group that's got a lot of useful info on US/German and US/Austrian dual citizenship:
Here's a brief summary for future reference:
US/Austrian dual citizenship is possible.
In Austria you have to apply in your home state (Bundestaat), and not in a centralized location as in Germany. Each state has slightly different application requirements so you need to check with your state.
It seems like the letter stating "approval from the US government to retain Austrian citizenship when obtaining US citizenship" that I was concerned about in the original post is not necessary...
Thanks for your help!