Reflections on the value of citizenship – explaining naturalisation practices


  • David Reichel
  • Bernhard Perchinig International Centre for Migration Policy Development



Naturalisation, Citizenship, Immigration, Nationality, Settlement


The article raises the question of why immigrants become or do not become citizens of their destination country. Political incorporation of immigrants through naturalisation is driven by several factors, including opportunities to naturalise on the one hand and the (perceived) added value of naturalisation on the other hand. We argue that naturalisation propensities are almost exclusively driven by policies, while settlement in a country raises the value of citizenship and leads to the acceptance of higher costs. Based on data from the Austrian Mikrozensus we examine the factors that drive citizenship status of immigrants from the main countries and regions of origin in Austria. We find that indicators related to the settlement of immigrants as well as indicators for having easier access to citizenship, most notably higher socio-economic resources, reduce the likelihood of being a foreign citizen.






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