AUSTRIA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT
Overview The landlocked East Alpine country of Austria, located in the southern part of Central Europe, is composed of nine federated states. Bordered by Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Austria is consistently ranked in the top 20 richest countries in the world and is renowned for having a very high standard of living. Personal safety, peacefulness, and political stability
Education and health Austria enjoys a free and public school system with attendance compulsory for nine years, up to the age of 15. While pre-school education is free, though optional, for all children aged 3-6 years, primary school, from ages 6-10, is obligatory. Secondary education consists of two school types: the Gymnasium caters to more able children heading for University, while the Hauptschule prepares students for vocational education. University fees are highly affordable, just €363 per term. Austria is considered to have one of the best education systems in Europe. Austria has a state health insurance fund that citizens pay into each month to access state healthcare, which is universal to all residents. The standard of healthcare in Austria is excellent and the average life expectancy is high at 80.89.
Transport Austria has one of the most highly developed transport networks in the EU with train considered to be the most efficient way to get around the country. Buses and trams operate in most cities and are inexpensive and safe, while taxis are mainly on call or in ranks. Austria boasts six international airports. The country’s main and largest international airport is in Vienna with direct flights to 226 destinations in 66 countries. Salzburg and Innsbruck also have airports, which are busy for tourists coming to the country for skiing holidays.
Lifestyle A largely mountainous country due to its location in the Alps, nearly 75% of the country is dominated by the Alps and subsequently, alpine skiing is widespread, along with snowboarding and ski-jumping. Additionally, other outdoor activities abound in the Austrian countryside, from biking to hiking. There are also plenty of open-air swimming pools and hillside vineyards. Vienna, which is often voted the best city to live in worldwide, is packed full of culture, from opera to orchestras, and is surrounded by hillsides.
Climate With most of the country in the Alps, the climate in winter is cold, ranging from -10C to 0C, while summer temperatures are quite high, averaging the mid-20s and up to 40C.
Population 8,859 million (2019)
Languages While German is the official language, many Austrians communicate informally in a variety of Austro-Bavarian dialects. Turkish is spoken by 2.28% of the population due to Turks forming one of the largest ethnic groups in Austria and Serbian by 2.21%.
Religion Christianity is the dominant religion of Austria, with three-quarters Roman Catholic and 5% Protestants.
Capital City Vienna, the country’s largest and most cultural city, which is home to 2.6 million inhabitants, is unique in that it is both a city and a state.
GDP Per Capita $50,023 (2019)
Economy Within the top 20 richest countries in the world by GDP per capita, Austria boasts a highly industrialised economy and a well-established social market economy. The country’s industry consists of machinery, construction, vehicles and parts, as well as food, and its biggest exports are motor vehicles and parts, machinery and equipment, paper, metal goods, iron ore, oil, chemicals and timber. After industry, international tourism is the most important part of Austria’s economy, which accounts for nearly 9% of GDP. Among Europeans, Austria people work the longest, an average of 45 hours per week.
Did you know…? Approx. half of all Austrian men are overweight, the highest rate in the EU, while only 20% of Austrian women are overweight, which is the lowest rate in Europe.
AUSTRIA CBI PROGRAMME
- Minimum outlay €10 million
- Processing time 24 months
- Residency or travel requirements One visit.
- Freedom of movement 189 countries
- Investment Options 1
Overview Austria’s CBI programme is unlike others in that it is not a formalised program. Rather than being codified in law, the unofficial program instead positions itself as exclusive, with the Government simply granting citizenship to anyone they want if they are deemed to be of ‘extraordinary merit’ or can ‘demonstrate outstanding achievements’.
Pros Austria’s global mobility is one of the world’s best with visa-free access to 189 countries, the most of any country with a CBI program, inclusive of access to the Schengen Area, and with the ability to live and work in any country in the EU. But that’s not all. The country also has the highest standard of living of all CBI countries with Austria experiencing an increase in gross national income and boasting high GDP per capita. It has a robust history of established education with an average of 16.1 of expected years of schooling. Applicants can retain original citizenship, too.
Cons The slowest and most expensive programme in the industry. It is a difficult, unclear and demanding path to Austrian citizenship. Not only is a huge contribution necessary, either a donation of several million dollars or a minimum investment of €10 million, but the route to citizenship is long, at a minimum of two years, and demanding in terms of requirements including proving substantial business achievement. And that’s if you are accepted. The program is known as one of the least transparent ones with lack of clarity as to who can or can’t apply and it is therefore rate that applicants are accepted. Austria does not recruit due diligence companies to perform independent checks on applicants. Not as family-inclusive as others, no family members of the main applicant’s spouse are included in the application.
USP Austria offers the largest freedom of movement of all CBI programmes with visa-free access to 189 countries, as well as offering the highest standard of living, however it is also the most expensive CBI programme worldwide.
Ease of processing The application process, which takes around 24 months, is tough going with “gruelling applicant requirements”, according to the CBI Index 2021. This involves the applicant filing the application in person in Austria and further involves a great of interaction and communication with a variety of Government officials. The granting of citizenship involves a number of different processes with government approval at various levels. In fact, applicants need to secure the patronage of a high-ranking local politician who will petition for you before the government. And while there are no language or knowledge tests, an interview is necessary and it is the only CBI programme to require a proven track record of business achievement. There is only a one-time travel requirement to process citizenship, which is a trip to Austria to give the oath of allegiance.
Freedom of movement Visa-free access to 189 countries, making the Austrian passport one of the world’s most valuable. And citizens also have the right to reside anywhere in the EU.
Investment options 1
AUSTRIA CBI INVESTMENTS
Option 1 Article 10 (6) of the Austrian Citizenship Act states that the government can reward foreigners with citizenship in the event of extraordinary merit. The requirements for donation/investment options are somewhat vague, therefore, in their makeup, but need to include an investment of €10 million as well as a further significant contribution to the country, such as bringing new technologies to the country or creating a lot of jobs. Applicants are required to invest actively in the economy, such as via joint ventures or direct investment in a business that generates new export sales and/or creates many jobs.
AUSTRIA CBI RANKINGS
Passport Ranking (Henley Passport Index 2021) 5 / 116
CBI Programme Ranking (CBI Index 2020, Financial Times) 52% / 12th out of 14 countries
Ease of doing business Ranking (Doing Business 2019, The World Bank) 27 / 190
Economic Freedom (2020 Index of Economic Freedom) 56 / 178
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