Beginning December 1, 2023, Austria began accepting applications for its new-and-improved passport. The Austrian government worked with experts from the Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the state police departments of Lower Austria and Burgenland to design the new generation passport.
The new document contains advanced identity protection and anti-forgery features, making it what government authorities claim is “one of the most modern and safest passports in the world.”
The new generation Austrian passport has been completely redesigned, with advanced security in mind.
The passport was last redesigned in 2014.
New design elements at first glance
An initial examination of the new Austrian passport reveals several modifications and upgrades. For example:
- The contactless electronic chip has been moved to the front cover (versus on the back cover, in the previous version).
- When the loose edges of the pages are fanned out, the word “AUSTRIA” becomes visible.
The word “AUSTRIA” appears when the passport pages are fanned out.
- The polycarbonate data page includes a secondary, laser-engraved photo of the holder.
- Also on the data page is a QR code to allow for convenient electronic control via the Ministry of the Interior’s free “CHECK-AT” app.
The data page has been upgraded to include a QR code and a secondary photo of the holder.
- The visual elements on the inside pages are contemporary and relatable to Austrian citizens. These include multiple images of the much celebrated Alps and edelweiss. This contrasts with the previous passport’s more traditional images of coats of arms, government buildings, and stars.
The famous Austrian Alps are depicted in the visa pages, which also integrate security features.
Fighting fraud: Advanced security features
The new generation passport is very secure thanks to its advanced security features. Some of these fraud-fighting features are:
On the cover:
- A pattern on the front and back covers becomes visible under UV light.
A pattern on the passport cover is revealed under UV light.
On the data page:
- A DOVID representing the edelweiss flower changes color when the page is rotated.
- A see-through window shows either “AUT” or edelweiss, depending on how the page is tilted.
- A Multiple Laser Image (MLI) and a waving flag. As the page is tilted, the flag appears to move, and the date of expiry alternates with a photo of the holder.
The OVI outline of Austria changes color when the passport is viewed at an angle.
- The outline of Austria in Optical variable ink appears green when viewed straight on; when it is tilted, the map looks blue.
On the visa pages:
- A watermark contains an edelweiss blossom that is visible in transmitted light.
When viewed under UV light, the threads that bind the passport fluoresce in multiple colors.
- The threads that stitch the pages together appear in multiple colors under UV light.
- A security thread that reads “Republic of Austria” (in English and Austrian) also shows the national flag and microtext.
The Austrian passport was last redesigned in 2014. All previously issued passports will remain valid until their stated expiry date.
Federal Ministry Republic of Austria, Interior
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