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The Ultimate Guide How to Get EU Citizenship

The Ultimate Guide How to Get EU Citizenship

 

Becoming an EU citizen was big news in 2016 when the UK became the first country to ever drop out of the European Union. Suddenly, the Internet was full of articles around how to become a member of the EU. It turns out there are quite a few ways you may become an EU citizen, so here are a few methods you can try.

Why It Is Easier To Become An EU Citizen

The EU has a number of different countries that are members, and you only have to become a citizen of one of those countries to become an EU citizen. If you become an EU citizen, you have all the rights and protections that the EU offers, which include the ability to move to another EU country and live there without a visa, and to work in any EU country without a visa.

The European Union is made up of a number of different countries, which means technically it is easier to get into the EU than it is to get into any one of the countries (it make sense if you think about it). For example, if you try one country and they reject your application, you can just try another EU member and keep doing that until one says yes.

Top 21 Reasons Why You Should Have a Second Passport 

Can I Move To A Country I Was Rejected From?

In most cases, you can. Let’s say you applied to become a citizen of France, but they said no, so you move out and live in Austria where you apply to become a citizen. Austria says yes, which means you are an EU citizen, so you may now move back to France to live and work there indefinitely if you wish.

The ability to skip from one country to another is true in many but not all cases. For example, if you are rejected from France because you have drug charges in your home country, then France still has the right to refuse you admission into the country, to work in the country and even to live in the country.

How Does Duel Citizenship Work?

There are some EU countries that ask you to renounce your current citizenship and become an exclusive member of their country. There are other EU countries that allow you to keep your current passport and have their passport too (aka duel citizenship).

It becomes confusing when you become a duel citizen of one EU country, but you decide to live in another EU country that doesn’t allow duel citizenship. Here is a way of keeping it simple:

1 – Flash your EU country passport when you go to other EU countries

2 – Use your EU country passport when signing up for banks and such

3 – Your EU country’s rules apply to your citizenship

4 – The laws of the country you are in are what apply to you

5 – Do your research before making commitments

Point number five seems like a cop-out, but each country has its own rules regarding people that work and live in their country. For example, let’s assume you have a duel citizenship (EU country + another country). Let’s assume that your EU passport is for Belgium, and you want to live and work in Hungary. Now, let’s assume that your other passport is from a country called “WiggleGiggle” and they are the enemy of Hungary. Flashing your Bulgarian passport is fine, but they Hungary may have a few issues when they discover that you are also a WiggleGiggle citizen. That is why you have to do your research first before you commit to investing in another EU country, working and/or living in another EU country.

The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Dual Citizenship

A Run Down Of EU Countries You Can Try for Citizenship

Here are all the EU countries you can apply to in order to get an EU passport. Choose carefully, because most of them ask that you live in the country for a number of years before they will consider your passport application. If you get a passport for any one of these countries, you will then be an EU passport holder with all the associated benefits.

Austria

You will have to stay in the country for around ten years before they allow you to naturalize.

Duel citizenship is not an option; you will have to renounce your current citizenship. There are certain exceptions for some people, but they seem to be rare.

Austria does have a passport by investment program, but you will have to invest around ten million Euros into a country that creates new jobs. It will still take around two years if you go this route, but it is less than ten years.

Belgium

You have to live permanently in the country for five years before they allow you to apply for citizenship by naturalization.

They will not allow you to hold a second passport. You have to give up your current citizenship and become an exclusive Belgium citizen.

Speed things up by making investments and business ties in Belgium. Become a business leader and/or successful self-employed person in the country, and gain residency by investment if you can afford it.

Bulgaria

Reside in the country for five years and they will allow you to apply to become a citizen.

You are not able to hold two passports if you become a Bulgarian citizen. You will have to renounce your current citizenships in order to become Bulgarian.

Bulgaria has come under fire for fast-tracking investors in the country and allowing them to gain citizenship without living in the country. If you have a lot of money, you could do a lot of investing in the country and maybe miss out on some of the residency requirements.

Croatia

You have to live for 8 years in the country in order to naturalize, but if you have Croatian heritage, you may be able to fast track the process.

At the moment, you are not allowed duel citizenship, but some foreigners with Croatian heritage have been known to gain a Croatian passport without having to renounce their current citizenship.

They have installed a citizenship test. Do your research and get the correct visas/documents before trying to live in the country because they demand that people from certain countries produce a return flight/boat ticket upon arrival.

Cyprus

Over the last eight years, if the time you spent in Cyprus comes to five years, then you may apply for citizenship.

They do allow duel citizenship. You may gain citizenship by investing, by naturalization, and by marriage to a Cypriot citizen.

The Internet is loaded with Cyprus fast-track passport scams. You can buy a passport in Cyprus if you go through the correct channels, such as by investing in certain businesses or donating a smaller amount to the charity the government chooses. Do it by the correct governmental channels and not via third parties on the Internet.

Czech Republic

You need to spend around ten years in the Republic before they will consider your citizenship application.

Since the year 2014, they have started allowing people to hold duel passports. There are many cases/circumstances where they may still demand that you give up your current citizenship.

There is lawful residence and permanent resident status. Apply for permanent resident status and you will need to stay in the country five years. Otherwise, they require legal residence for ten years unless you have special circumstances.

Denmark

You will need to live in Denmark for nine years before your application for citizenship will be considered.

Denmark does allow duel citizenship, but they do not like it. They tend to allow duel citizenship when there is a marriage, or when a person is born with duel citizenship in Denmark.

Getting a Danish passport is very complicated because there are many requirements, so do your research first. You may try applying after five years of residence, but you usually need around nine years. They do discriminate against people that have been in prison and people that owe debt to public authorities.

Estonia

You have to reside in the country for at least five years before they will consider you for citizenship. Usually, people have to have stayed for eight years where at least five were as a permanent resident.

Estonia will ask that you renounce your current citizenship before it allows you to become a citizen. Estonia makes it easier for younger people to become citizens than other EU countries do.

Estonia currently offers a special program called ‘e-residency’ where you can, as a non-resident, apply a sort of word residency. You get a unique number, are legally allowed to open a bank account, you can incorporate a business. However, this conveys no actual residency benefits — only business ones. An e-residency is not a path to citizenship, or a path to legal residency. You cannot use your e-residency to move to Estonia or to live there full time. You cannot use an e-residency as a valid travel document or photo ID.

Finland

The baseline is five years of residence, but you may apply after four years if you are a refugee or the spouse of a refugee. People with strong ties to Finland have applied and succeeded earlier than five years. Nordic citizens (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) only have to wait two years.

Finland allows duel citizenship, and you will be required to defend Finland if you are present when they make the call. Failing to do your duty when drafted will lead to imprisonment.

Finnish authorities will accept you as a Finnish citizen when you are abroad, even if you have duel citizenship with another country. There are no clauses in law that say you can have duel citizenship, but there are also no clauses that say you cannot.

France

You need to legally spend at least five years in France to because considered. Legally staying is a big deal because France has lots of illegal migrant problems.

Duel citizenship is allowed, and now that the UK is out of the EU, France is has the strongest military in the EU, which makes it a good place to stay in terms of world security.

Don’t bother trying to marry your way into citizenship because the French will still insist that you stay for three years before they will accept your application to become a citizen, so you will still have to find a way of staying three years before getting your passport.

Germany

You will have to stay in the country for around 8 years, but that may be reduced to as few as 6 years if you take integration and language courses.

They will not allow you to hold another passport, though there are some exceptions where people hold two EU passports where one is German.

Invest one million Euros into a German business, have health insurance worth 300,000 Euros and prove you can support your family, and you may apply for a temporary residence permit and apply for citizenship in as few as five years.

Greece

It is very difficult to naturalize into Greece, you are going to have to find a way of legally living there for at least ten years before they will consider you.

Duel citizenship is allowed, but you will need to have a relative in the country before they will consider your application.

Greece has spent most of the 00’s and onwards getting into more and more debt because they have a culture of benefits. In other words, the country is so far left it is almost a communist state, and they are not keen on having any other people join their country to go on benefits and get them further into debt. You may need a Trojan horse to sneak into the embassy to get a Greek passport.

Hungary

You will have to stay in the country around eight years before you are able to naturalize, but there are fast-track routes for citizenship by descent.

They allow you to have duel citizenship because they have a Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP), which allows you to buy a passport if you have enough money.

You have to stay in the country for eight years if you are working or an entrepreneur. You can fast track this process with a big investment where you are granted a residency within as few as six months, where you then only have to live in the country around five years before you can apply for citizenship.

Iceland

Stick around in the country legally for nine years where at least five are as a permanent resident, and they will accept you as a citizen so long as you meet their (fairly standard) requirements.

You are allowed duel citizenship if you become an Icelandic citizen. You must be a full-time resident for at least 365 days prior to making your application.

The country you originate from may dramatically affect your application times. For example, if you are from an EU country, you will have to live in the country for less time before you may apply to become a citizen. For some countries of origin, you may have to live in Iceland for as many as ten years.

Italy

You have to reside for 3 years if you are a descendant in the second degree. It is 4 years if you are already an EU citizenship and 5 years for refugees and stateless people, as well as people over the age of 18 that were adopted by Italians. It is 7 years of residency for children adopted by Italian citizens (the law is fuzzy on this one, check out law number 184/1983, and do further research on Esteri). If you are a non-EU citizen, then you need to reside in Italy for 10 years.

Duel citizenship is allowed for most people that become citizens, and this includes people that have previously renounced their Italian citizenship.

Citizenship by descent is the easiest way to gain citizenship, followed by sponsorship from an Italian person that you marry.

Latvia

If you spend 10 years in Latvia, then you may apply for a Latvian passport. With your residency permit, you may also visit all Schengen states without a visa.

You will have to renounce your current citizenship if you wish to get a Latvian passport.

You need to legally spend five years in Latvia to apply for a permanent residency permit. Once you have that, you will need to spend a further five years in the country as a permanent resident before applying for citizenship.

Lithuania

It is very difficult to become a Lithuanian citizen by naturalization. You will have to stay in the country around ten years before they will consider you.

Duel citizenship is not allowed. It is very difficult to get a passport, and you will have to renounce your current citizenship before they finalize your Lithuania citizenship.

There are plenty of scammers online that will fool you into thinking you can get a Lithuania passport when you cannot. Citizenship by descent is the most common method, and most foreigners have no ancestry in Lithuania at all.

Luxembourg

You will have to spend around ten years in Luxembourg before you will be able to apply for a passport.

Duel citizenship is allowed because there is a big demand for Luxembourg passports because it makes getting a Luxembourg bank account easier.

Luxembourg is a powerful offshore banking location, which is why passports from Luxembourg are so powerful. It is now the third most valuable passport to have since the UK has dropped out of the EU and made its passport less valuable as a result.

Malta

Apply for permanent residency, get it and spend five years in Malta before you apply to become a citizen.

Duel citizenship is allowed because the country has a CIP program that allows you to invest your way into the country.

If you invest over one million Euros, you may be able to cut your residency time. Some people have invested around one and a half million Euros and have only had to spend a year in the country before having their passport application approved.

Netherlands

Spend five years as a Dutch resident and they will consider your passport application. You need to pass citizenship tests and have a permanent place to live.

Duel citizenship is not allowed, but anecdotal evidence suggests that exceptions are common. It may be worth researching duel citizenship exceptions.

You can apply to become a permanent Dutch citizen and simply renew your permit every five years, but this doesn’t give you the benefits of an EU member passport. You need to live in the Netherlands for a full five years of uninterrupted time before you will be considered for citizenship.

Norway

Of the last ten years, you need to have spent seven of them in Norway (legally) before they will consider you for a passport.

Duel citizenship is not allowed, and do not fall for the Internet scammers that claim they can fast track you a Norwegian passport because they cannot.

As a point of interest, www.norway.org.uk is a good place to get further information on becoming a Norwegian citizen (it also has its fair share of spelling mistakes). Your Norwegian passport includes biometric data and a 31-page report on you that is electronically stored.

Poland

You need to stay in Poland for five years before they will allow you to apply for a passport.

You are not allowed to be a duel citizen within Poland, which is a big reason why you probably shouldn’t consider a Polish passport because you are tying yourself to a very corrupt administrative system.

Naturalization is one of the most difficult routes to becoming a Polish citizen. Most of the accepted applications come from people with ancestors/family in Poland. You may be granted Polish citizenship by the President of the Republic of Poland, but it requires a very large and very secret donation.

Portugal

You will need to spend six years as a permanent residence of Portugal before you are granted citizenship.

You may hold a Portuguese passport and the passport of other nations if you wish, they have no restrictions on how many citizenships you hold.

If you apply to become a citizen and you have minor dependents that are under the age of 18yrs old, then you may declare them and transmit your Portuguese citizenship to them.

Romania

You need to spend around eight years in the country before they will consider you for citizenship.

They no longer allow duel citizenship. It is harder to get a Romanian passport these days and the Romanian government insists that you renounce your current citizenship if you wish to become Romanian.

Corruption in the government and administration has led to them tightening up how they grant citizenship. They are not willing to give away passports anymore, and they are especially dubious of people that claim they have ancestors in the country. They eliminated the duel citizenship idea because it made their passports less valuable and so less likely to attract corruption and scammers.

Slovenia

Getting a Slovenian passport is rather tricky. You will need to spend at least ten years in the country before you will be considered.

They do allow duel citizenship, which means you may keep your current passport if you become a Slovenian citizen.

Unless you can prove some sort of ancestral/family tie to the country, they are not going to allow you to become a citizen. The Slovenian rules on naturalization may be read here, and they clearly state that you need some sort of tie to the country to be considered.

Spain

You will have to spend ten years as a legal resident of Spain before they will allow you to become a citizen.

You are not allowed to hold another passport unless you are from another Latin country.

You may spend as few as two years in Spain if you currently hold a passport from a former Spanish colony, which is typically any Latin country. The Philippines and numerous Latin American countries are counted as Latin countries. If you have a passport for one of them, you may have a duel passport with Spain, and you only need to stay there two years (uninterrupted) before applying for citizenship.

Sweden

You may become a Swedish citizen by birth, adoption, legitimization (marriage of parents), application (naturalization) and by notification (children, young adults aged 18-20, and Nordic citizens).

Duel citizenship is possible since the year 2001, and this is one of the many reasons why a Swedish passport is rather valuable.

For the love of carrots, there are a lot of online scams about Swedish passports. Be very careful what you trust online because Google will spawn hundreds of different results and it is very difficult to see which are legitimate government websites and which are scams. Sweden returns your application fee if you are rejected.

Switzerland

Spend twelve years in Switzerland to be considered for a passport. If you spend any years living there between the age of 10 and 20, then those years count twice.

You are allowed to hold a passport for another country along with Swiss passport.

It is very difficult to get a Swiss passport. Do not believe the companies that say they can get you a passport via investment and/or without you having to live there. The Swiss want to see that you have lived there for at least ten years, and even then, you may only get a permanent residency permit rather than a passport. It is tough to get a Swiss passport.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. ' He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could. And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

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