Now that I’ve been living in Austria for over three years and married for w, I often have people asking me when I’m going to become a citizen.
The answer: Never.
It’s not that I don’t want to be. The red EU passport is something I’d love to have in my hot little hand.
But the thing is, I don’t want a red one, if I can’t keep my blue one.
Being in the EU and part of the Schengen area, you’d think that all the rules were the same – here’s something you may not know – they’re not.
Austria is one of the few countries within the EU that doesn’t allow dual citizenship, that is unless you have a couple of mil. to throw at the government. And although it doesn’t really affect everyday life, it does cause the occasional headache: sorting out visas for difficult foreign countries can be a nightmare because some of these (eg. Russia) require that you apply in your home country; renewing a passport requires me to take a 5 hour round trip to Vienna so I can visit the Australian embassy; and travelling together often causes confusion – because you’re generally meant to go through passport control together – yet in EU areas this is not always possible.
Like I said, nothing earthshattering or ruinous – just an occasional pain in the ass.
Technically once we are married for five years I would be eligible to apply for citizenship, but unless they change the laws I just never will. I realise that I could give up my Australian citizenship and probably get it back later no worries… but I really don’t want to take that risk. I would hate to be in the kind of situation where I desperately need to get back there, and for whatever reason, I am not allowed.
And besides, it would no doubt mean a lot of annoying paperwork and payment of money. And who needs that?