By Birgit Vogt Majarek, Firm: Schima Mayer Starlinger

The Austrian Constitutional Court has ruled that requiring retired citizenship applicants to show the have sufficient means of subsistence is not age discrimination.

A general prerequisite for the granting of the Austrian citizenship is, usually, that the applicant has sufficient means of subsistence, unless this is not possible because of reasons for which he or she is not responsible (e.g. disability or illness of the applicant).

In cases in which it is no longer feasible to expect an applicant to find employment because of his or her age, the applicant has to prove that he or she is entitled to a pension or similar payment to cover his or her subsistence needs.

In a recent decision (VfGH 26. 6. 2019, E 89/2019), the Austrian Constitutional Court clarified that this requirement does not constitute discrimination on the grounds of age. This means that a request for proof of sufficient means of subsistence based on the entitlement to pension payments (for older individuals who are no longer in employment and have no realistic expectation of future employment) is not discriminatory.