How to get an EU passport and get EU citizenship

How to get an EU passport and get EU citizenship

Obtaining an EU passport and EU citizenship has become an increasingly attractive prospect for many individuals worldwide. The benefits of holding an EU passport are numerous, offering unrestricted access to work, study, and reside in any of the 27 member states of the European Union. Additionally, having an EU passport grants the holder the right to vote in European Parliament elections, providing them with a say in shaping the future of the EU.

EU passport, a map of the EU nations and their flags

I obtained my EU passport as a citizen of Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland you can choose to have either British citizenship or Irish being born on the Island. I chose Irish to avoid the pitfalls of Brexit. My husband obtained his Irish Passport via descent as he was born in England but his parents were both born in Ireland.

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While the process of obtaining an EU passport and citizenship may seem daunting, it can be navigated through various avenues. One of the most common ways is by descent, wherein individuals with parents or grandparents who are EU citizens can claim citizenship themselves.

Another route is through marriage or civil partnership to an EU citizen, which can lead to a fast-track process in gaining citizenship. Another popular option is by investing in an EU country, often through a citizenship by investment program. These programs vary from country to country, but typically involve making a significant financial contribution to the economy in exchange for citizenship.

How to get an EU passport and get EU citizenship

What is EU Citizenship?

European citizenship is a concept introduced by the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, which grants citizens of EU Member States certain rights and freedoms. EU citizenship complements national citizenship and gives individuals the right to move, reside, and work freely within the EU territory.

Overall, EU citizenship plays a crucial role in promoting European unity and enabling individuals to fully benefit from the advantages of the EU membership.

Definition of EU Citizenship

EU citizenship is a legal concept referring to the rights and privileges granted to individuals who are citizens of a European Union member state. It was introduced in 1992 with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty and is in addition to national citizenship.

EU citizens are entitled to several key rights, including the freedom to move and reside within the EU, the right to vote and stand in local and European elections, as well as consular protection from any EU country outside their own.

It also guarantees equal treatment in terms of access to employment, social benefits, and healthcare. EU citizenship has provided individuals with additional opportunities and mobility within the European Union.

How to get an EU passport and get EU citizenship

Benefits of EU Citizenship

One of the primary advantages is the freedom to move and reside freely within any member state of the European Union. This means that EU citizens can study, work, or live in any country within the EU without needing to obtain a visa or work permit.

Additionally, EU citizens have the right to vote and stand as candidates in European Parliament and local elections. They also benefit from consular protection and support from any EU embassy or consulate worldwide.

EU citizenship provides access to social security benefits, such as healthcare and education, in any member state. Overall, EU citizenship offers extensive rights and opportunities for individuals, making it highly desirable.

Ways to Obtain EU Citizenship

There are several ways to obtain EU citizenship. One common route is through ancestry. If you have parents or grandparents who were born in an EU country, you may be eligible for citizenship by descent. Another option is through marriage. If you marry an EU citizen, you may be able to acquire citizenship through the process of naturalization.

Additionally, some EU countries offer citizenship by investment, where individuals can obtain citizenship by making a significant economic contribution to the country. Finally, some EU countries offer citizenship through a lengthy period of residency, ranging from 5 to 10 years, during which individuals must live and work in the country before becoming eligible for citizenship by naturalization.

Several European countries grant citizenship to individuals affected by World War II and the Nazis as a way of acknowledging the historical injustices endured by these people. This initiative aims to provide a sense of belonging and restore the rights that were violated during that dark period. Germany, for instance, offers citizenship to descendants of victims of Nazi persecution, including Holocaust survivors, who lost their citizenship due to the policies of the Nazi regime.

Austria is another country that grants citizenship to those who were expelled or forced to flee during World War II. This allows them to reconnect with their heritage and feel a part of the country that once turned its back on them.

Similar initiatives exist in Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, where individuals and their descendants who were forcibly displaced during the war can reclaim their identity and regain the rights and privileges they were once denied. In granting EU citizenship to those affected by WWII and the Nazis, these countries not only acknowledge the atrocities committed but also work towards rectifying the injustices inflicted upon innocent people who suffered greatly during this dark chapter in history. 

Obtaining EU Citizenship by Investment

Obtaining EU citizenship by investment is a process that allows individuals to become citizens of a European country by making a significant investment in that country. This can include investment in real estate, business, or government bonds.

The main benefit of obtaining EU citizenship through investment is the ability to live, work, and study in any EU country without any restrictions. It also provides access to social benefits, healthcare, and education in EU member states. Additionally, having EU citizenship offers visa-free travel to many countries around the world. However, the specific requirements and investment options vary from country to country within the EU. 

Obtaining EU Citizenship by Naturalization

Obtaining EU citizenship by naturalization entails fulfilling certain criteria set by each individual member state. Generally, applicants must have resided legally in the country for a specific number of years, typically ranging from five to ten years. During this period, they must have demonstrated good conduct, knowledge of the country’s language, and integrated into the local community.

Additionally, some applicants are expected to renounce their previous citizenship, prove their financial stability, and pass a thorough background check. Once granted, EU citizenship provides rights such as free movement within the EU, the ability to vote in EU elections, and access to various social and economic benefits.

Obtaining EU Citizenship by Descent

Obtaining EU citizenship by descent refers to the process of acquiring citizenship in a European Union country through lineage or ancestry. This means that if an individual’s parent or grandparent is a citizen of an EU member state, they may be eligible to claim citizenship themselves.

The criteria and requirements may vary between different EU countries, as each nation has its own laws and regulations regarding citizenship by descent. Generally, applicants must provide evidence of their familial connection, such as birth or marriage certificates, and may need to prove their knowledge of the country’s language or culture.

It is important to note that acquiring EU citizenship through descent does not automatically grant all the rights and benefits of being a citizen, such as freedom of movement and access to social services. Potential applicants should thoroughly research the specific requirements for their desired EU country before starting the application process.

Obtaining EU Citizenship by Marriage

Obtaining EU citizenship through marriage is a common route for individuals who wish to gain legal residency and the right to work in an EU member country. However, the process can vary depending on the country in which the marriage takes place.

Generally, the non-EU spouse must live with their EU partner for a certain period of time before they can apply for citizenship. They may also need to provide proof of a genuine and ongoing relationship, such as joint bank accounts or utility bills. Additionally, some countries may require the individual to pass a language test or attend integration classes before granting citizenship.

It is important to note that obtaining EU citizenship through marriage does not automatically grant the same rights and privileges as those acquired through birth or descent. However, it can provide a gateway to living and working within the EU, as well as access to public services and benefits.

How to Get an EU Passport

There are several ways to obtain an EU passport, depending on your circumstances. If you have a European ancestry, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship through descent. This typically requires gathering documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and evidence of your relationship to the European ancestor.

How to get an EU passport and get EU citizenship

Another option is to marry a citizen of an EU member state, which can fast-track your eligibility for citizenship. Additionally, some countries offer residency programs that lead to citizenship after a certain period of time. These programs often require meeting specific investment or employment criteria. It is advisable to consult with immigration lawyers or official government websites to understand the specific requirements and processes involved in obtaining an EU passport.

How to plan your trip to the UK and Ireland

Requirements for Obtaining an EU Passport

To obtain an EU passport, individuals typically need to meet a set of requirements. These include having a valid residence permit in an EU country, living there for a certain period, demonstrating a reliable source of income, and having basic language skills. Additionally, applicants may need to provide documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and proof of funds. Each EU country may have slightly different requirements.

Applying for an EU Passport

Applying for an EU passport can open up a range of opportunities. With an EU passport, you can live, work, and travel freely within the European Union. The process usually involves gathering the necessary documents, such as proof of citizenship and identity, and submitting an application form. It is important to check the specific requirements of the country you are applying through, as they may vary slightly. Once approved, you can enjoy the benefits of being an EU citizen.

EU Countries That Offer Citizenship by Investment

Several European Union (EU) countries offer citizenship by investment programs. These programs allow individuals to obtain citizenship and a second passport by making a significant investment in the country. Some EU countries that offer these programs include Cyprus, Malta, and Bulgaria. The requirements and investment amounts vary from country to country, but the benefits include visa-free travel, access to the EU market, and the right to live and work in any EU country.

List of EU Countries that Offer Citizenship by Investment

There are several EU countries that offer citizenship by investment, providing individuals with an opportunity to obtain a second passport and enjoy the benefits of EU citizenship. These countries include Austria, Cyprus, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Turkey and Portugal, among others.

Each country has its own investment requirements and conditions that need to be met in order to qualify for citizenship. For example, in Cyprus, investors can gain citizenship by either investing in real estate or making a significant contribution to the country’s economy.

Malta also offers a citizenship program whereby investors can make a donation to the National Development and Social Fund and invest in real estate or government bonds. Portugal offers a Golden Visa program, which allows investors to acquire residency and eventually citizenship by investing in real estate or creating jobs.

Beautiful beach at Praia Tres Irmaos in Alvor Portugal

Benefits of Citizenship by Investment

Citizenship by investment programs offer a multitude of benefits for individuals seeking a second passport. One of the key advantages is the ability to obtain citizenship or permanent residency in a relatively short period of time. Traditional means of acquiring citizenship, such as through ancestry or marriage, can be lengthy and complex processes.

Citizenship by investment, on the other hand, typically allows applicants to obtain citizenship within a matter of months. Another major benefit is the freedom of movement that comes with a second passport. Citizenship in certain countries can grant individuals visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a large number of countries, expanding their travel and business opportunities.

Additionally, citizenship by investment often provides individuals with increased security and stability. Political unrest or economic crises in their home country may drive individuals to seek an alternative citizenship as a form of insurance. Overall, citizenship by investment offers a range of advantages that make it an appealing option for those looking to enhance their global mobility and safeguard their future. 

Can US Citizens Get EU Citizenship?

US citizens do not have a direct path to obtaining European Union (EU) citizenship. Each EU member country has its own citizenship laws and requirements. In most cases, acquiring EU citizenship is based on factors such as ancestry, marriage to an EU citizen, or long-term residence in an EU country.

However, US citizens can live and work in an EU country by obtaining a long-term visa or a work permit. Some EU countries offer residency programs that may lead to eventual citizenship, such as Spain’s Golden Visa or Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit.

These programs typically require a significant investment in the country, such as purchasing property or creating jobs. It is important for US citizens to research the specific citizenship laws and requirements of the EU country they are interested in and consult with legal professionals to determine the best path towards obtaining EU citizenship.

Eligibility of US Citizens for EU Citizenship

US citizens are not automatically eligible for EU citizenship. The European Union, made up of 27 member states, has its own set of rules and requirements for acquiring citizenship. In general, citizenship in an EU country is based on birthright, descent, marriage, or naturalization.

US citizens can potentially become EU citizens through descent if they have a parent or grandparent who was a citizen of an EU member state. In some cases, individuals may also be eligible for citizenship through marriage if they are married to an EU citizen.

However, this process can vary in each member state, and certain conditions may need to be met. In terms of naturalization, US citizens would need to reside in an EU country for a certain period of time, typically between 5 to 10 years, before becoming eligible for citizenship. It is important to research the specific requirements of the country in which one is interested in obtaining citizenship to ensure eligibility.

Process for US Citizens to Obtain EU Citizenship

To obtain EU citizenship, US citizens must first meet the eligibility criteria set by the EU member state they wish to be a citizen of. In general, this involves having a legal and continuous residence in the chosen EU country for a specific period, usually five years.

During this time, US citizens need to demonstrate their integration into the society by acquiring a good knowledge of the language and culture, as well as obeying the country’s laws. After meeting these requirements, US citizens can apply for EU citizenship through naturalization. This process typically involves submitting an application form, providing relevant documents such as a valid passport, proof of residence, and evidence of language proficiency.

Additionally, an interview and a citizenship test may be required to assess the applicant’s knowledge of the country and its values. Once granted EU citizenship, US citizens enjoy the benefits of free movement within the European Union, including the right to live, work, and vote in any EU member state.

A Spanish Visa

Become a Digital Nomad

Get a Digital Nomad Visa. Each country issuing digital nomad visas has its own policies and regulations in place, most of these visas are only valid for a period of one year. A Nomad visa is subject to various rules including a minimum level of income and a health insurance plan. These can be provided for countries including Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, and Spain, with more being arranged every day.

Digital Nomad Freelance Visas In Germany. In Europe, the first nation to create a freelance visa was Germany. There are 2 types of freelance visas (also called freiberufler visas): one for artists and one for other professionals. Digital nomads must register with the German tax office and submit a series of documents such as their portfolio, bank statements, and in some cases, evidence of their expertise. Freelancers must have clients based in Germany.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I become an EU citizen?

A: There are several ways to become an EU citizen. One way is through citizenship by descent, if you have ancestry from a European country. Another way is through citizenship by naturalization, which generally requires living in an EU country for a certain period of time and meeting specific criteria set by that country.

Q: What are the benefits of EU citizenship?

A: EU citizenship grants you the right to live, work, and study in any EU country. It also gives you access to various benefits and services, such as healthcare, social security, and education, across all EU member states. Additionally, EU citizens have the right to vote and stand as a candidate in European Parliament elections.

Q: Can I get EU citizenship as an American?

A: Yes, it is possible for Americans to obtain EU citizenship. The process typically involves meeting the requirements set by the individual EU country you wish to become a citizen of. These requirements may include living in the country for a certain period of time, having a stable source of income, and demonstrating knowledge of the country’s language and culture.

Q: How can I get a European passport?

A: To get a European passport, you need to become a citizen of an EU country. This can be done through various means, such as citizenship by descent, citizenship by naturalization, or citizenship through marriage. Each country has its own specific requirements and process for obtaining citizenship and a passport.

Q: What is a golden visa?

A: A golden visa is a residency by investment program offered by some EU countries, such as Portugal and Malta. It allows individuals to obtain residency and, in some cases, citizenship by making a significant investment in the country, such as purchasing real estate or investing in local businesses.

Q: Can I have dual citizenship as an EU citizen?

A: Most EU countries allow dual citizenship, which means you can be a citizen of both your home country and an EU country. However, there are some exceptions and restrictions, so it is important to check the specific laws of the countries involved before acquiring dual citizenship.

Q: How can I obtain citizenship through ancestry?

A: If you have ancestry from an EU country, you may be eligible for citizenship by descent. This typically involves providing documentary evidence to prove your ancestral connection and meeting other requirements set by the country, such as language proficiency or proof of financial stability.

Q: Which countries in Europe offer citizenship by investment programs?

A: Several EU countries offer citizenship by investment programs, including Cyprus, Malta, and Portugal. These programs allow individuals to obtain citizenship by making a significant investment in the country, such as purchasing real estate or contributing to the local economy.

Q: What are the requirements to get citizenship in Europe?

A: The requirements to obtain citizenship in Europe vary depending on the country you are applying to. Generally, these requirements may include residency, language proficiency, knowledge of the country’s history and culture, and a clean criminal record. It is advisable to consult the specific requirements of the country you are interested in for more accurate information.

Q: What are the ways to obtain a passport in Europe?

A: There are various ways to obtain a passport in Europe, including obtaining citizenship through ancestry, marriage, or naturalization. In some cases, individuals may also be able to obtain a European passport through residency by investment programs offered by certain countries.


In conclusion, EU citizenship offers numerous benefits and opportunities for its citizens. It provides the right to freely travel, live, and work within any EU member state, fostering mobility and cultural exchange. EU citizenship also grants individuals the right to vote and stand as candidates in local and European Parliament elections, a crucial element in promoting active civic participation. Additionally, EU citizens benefit from consular protection from any EU member state when outside the EU, ensuring their safety and wellbeing. Furthermore, EU citizenship entitles individuals to social and economic rights, such as access to healthcare, education, and social welfare. These rights are crucial in ensuring equal opportunities and social inclusion for all EU citizens. However, the concept of EU citizenship is not without challenges, including issues related to national sovereignty and the potential for abuse. Nonetheless, the advantages bestowed by EU citizenship far outweigh any drawbacks, making it a valuable and significant status for individuals across the European Union.

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  • Faith was born in Ireland raised in Canada and has lived in over 10 countries in Europe including England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Spain, Northern Ireland, Wales, along with Mexico, Antigua, the US and has slow travelled to over 40 countries around the world. Graduating with a degree in Anthropology and Women's Studies Faith is a student of history, culture, community and food and has written about these topics for over 40 years.

80 thoughts on “How to get an EU passport and get EU citizenship”

  1. This is fascinating and highly informative information. As the holder of a British EU passport (but not for long though – the less said about that the better :-)), it’s really interesting to look at this subject from a different perspective.

    1. It’s pretty cool right? I have heard from lots of folks in the US and Canada who are now actively searching for EU relatives lol

  2. This is extremely useful information. Sadly, it’s my great-grandparents not grandparents or parents that are from Europe so I guess I don’t qualify.

  3. That’s a most interesting read! You did some extended research there! It’s quite an issue to travel in and out Europe every three months resp. as George is South African, we went half a year to the United Kingdom and then back to Europe to extend is allowed stay. We have now a visa in France for a year, because I’m a legal partner of him (and I’m Swiss). That helps. George’s roots are historically in Greece and the Netherlands, but that is probably too long ago, somewhere in the early 20th century.

    1. The good thing about being a Swiss national is the ability to live and work anywhere in the EU. He may be eligible for Greek citizenship as it is the one country that does extend pretty far back in time though.

  4. Very informative piece! I actually looked into getting a Lithuanian passport by ancestry a couple of years back but it seemed like a complicated process. I should look into it again!

  5. This is a great guide! Im going to share it on my FB page as lots of people always ask how I became Irish! Easiest way to live in EU for sure

  6. Yay – This is a great guide! Im going to share it on my FB page as lots of people always ask how I became Irish! Easiest way to live in EU for sure

    Thanks for the guide 😉

    1. LOL yep luckily I was born in Ireland, the North but it entitled me to Irish citizenship which is brilliant. I so want to retire to Ireland someday when I have finished travelling but a bit torn right now between Ireland and Spain.

  7. This is absolutely fascinating, but probably would not help me. I know the birthplace of my paternal grandfather (Belarus), which is not a member. For my maternal grandfather (born in Austria), I have a town name but I have not been able to find it. I fear (from some research a fellow blogger did) that the birthplace of my maternal grandfather was liquidated by the Nazis and its citizens of my religion slaughtered. I would have no idea how to try to go about looking further into trying to get a record.

    1. Alana, if you can prove that you had a Jewish Grandfather in Germany/Austria (which was one country under the Nazis), applying for (at least a German) passport is just a formality. And as far as I know you would not have to give up your current nationality to obtain German citizenship. Having German citizenship, you’d be be free to to live and work in any of the 28/27 EU countries. See official info here:

      1. Are you saying that if my grandfather was from Austria and was forced to flea in 1938 that I could be eligible for German citizenship? I can definitely prove this. How sure are you that it extends to people who where not from Germany? Im an American living in Prague, I want to stay in the EU permanently and this would make my life a lot easier.

  8. Amy Rebecca Krigsman

    I’m excited to learn that I may be eligible for dual citizenship in Poland. I’ve always wanted EU citizenship. Definitely something to look into.

  9. Do you have any info on Austria? Turns out my husband’s grandfather was from Austria! I am Spanish so it would be fantastic if he could get the passport.

    1. Yes and thanks I guess I missed Austria so here are the rules

      Children automatically become Austrian citizens at the time of their birth, when the mother is an Austrian citizen. The same applies in case the parents are married and only the father is an Austrian citizen.

      If the parents are not married and only the father of the child is an Austrian citizen, however the mother is a national of another country, the child acquires Austrian citizenship, when within 8 weeks the Austrian father recognizes his parenthood or the fact that he is the father is determined by court. In all cases where recognition of fatherhood or the determination by court is done after his timeframe, children may be awarded Austrian citizenship in a simplified procedure.

  10. Sadly if you choose to get the Dutch nationality you will, in most cases, have to give up your original nationality. The Netherlands will only allow dual nationality in certain cases such as when you are from a country that doesn’t allow you to give up its nationality. In other cases, you can be born in the Netherlands and having lived there almost all your life, you will have to give up your Dutch nationality if you take on another one. Dutch expats are very upset about this, because this way you might need a visa to visit your own home country. It’s just outrageous!

    Rambling a bit, but I just meant to say that if your ancestors were Dutch, unlucky you, because even us real Dutchies don’t get to hold two different passports… But anyway, being Dutch is not a bad thing so life could have been worse 🙂

    1. Interesting I know the Dutch have pretty stringent rules – but if you were born in another country for example Canada you cannot give up your citizenship as it is acquired by birth. There are other countries that you cannot give up your nationality (I have put those into the original post) and this does not mean you had to be born in that country. So yes while this is true to a certain extent for many who may want Dutch citizenship (as in those born in N. America) they don’t need to become a “non-citizen” of their country of birth but they can have dual nationality with their Dutch citizenship.

  11. WOW! I had no idea that you could get an EU passport by descent. My grandpa was from Ireland so I’m about to look into this! My husband’s grandparents are from Malta, but it looks like he wouldn’t be able to get a passport since his mother was born in the US. This article is super useful! Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. You are very welcome – when you apply for your Irish passport you can go online and order copies of the birth certs and wedding certs that you need quite easily. They will mail them to your home address and you can apply from where you are living.

  12. Rachel silverwood

    This post is super helpful! Learnt so much reading – I shall refer anyone to this post who asks about getting a EU passport! Thanks for sharing

  13. This is a very useful blog post! I’m already an Italian citizen so I really don’t have to apply anywhere (other than the US where I currently live – three more years!). However, many of my friends here in the US are currently trying to gain one of these citizenships!

  14. Very thorough post thanks! I tried to get a Greek passport as my grandfather was born there but as you say, it’s difficult to get documentation and there was actually no record of his birth or anything about him. I was so disappointed!

  15. Wow this is so impressive and comprehensive. Thanks for breaking down such a complex process!

  16. Really interesting article. I’m living in Ireland (temporarily on working holiday visa. A lot of people have asked if I’d want to stay longer, but getting Irish citizenship is quite hard. Unfortunately I’m fifth generation Canadian, so I can’t get any kind of EU citizenship from my parents/grandparent. I do like my Canadian passport, but it would be nice to have dual citizenship with an EU one as well.

  17. This is really useful citizenship information! I’m lucky, because I already have my dual citizenship (my mom is German and dad’s from the US), but we actually get asked about this at work from time to time — so I’ll have to keep your website in mind as a resource for more information on the topic. Thanks!

  18. This is such good information! I long to live in Europe, my family hails from England, Ireland, and France. I am also planning when and where I will be giving birth to my not-yet-planned children!

  19. Wow, this is an impressive collection of information. I’ll be passing it on to my Czech boyfriend since I’ve been nagging him to get his dual citizenship!

  20. what a great and informative post! I am European so I don’t really need to worry about it but my husband is American and I wish he’s grandparents were European ( well they had European parents but they were born in USA) as it would make some stuff easier for us 🙂 As for now he has family visa which is also a solution for getting European passport 🙂

  21. My best friend finally got her dual citizenship all sorted out for her and her son (husband not so lucky). She’s Polish and her grandmother and both of her parents were born there so it was easy for her. I’d love to look into the process of getting dual citizenship in Portugal through property ownership. Maybe that can be your next post, lol!

    1. LOL I am actually working on a post now about how to get residency as a property owner or as a retiree so keep an eye on this space.

  22. This is such a great post! It really in depth and you did a lot of research. I hope some people figure out they can expand their nationality! I know so many people that could claim some of these. I already have triple citizenship, and I’m looking at starting a business in Estonia, which includes E-citizenship to Estonia and the EU. It doesn’t look like I have any more options based on this, so I think I’m good at three. haha Thanks again for doing all this research!

    1. Good for you – I follow your blog and SM channels love your stuff. So what type of business are you planning on? Always fascinated by entrepreneurial stories.

  23. I was born in the UK and hold a passport, but it was very interesting to read your post, I will recommend it to friends that we have made around the world who have expressed an interest in this. Thanks for sharing all of this information!

  24. This is really fascinating. I’ve never really considered getting anything like this. I don’t think I would qualify anywhere for a passport. When I did a little research, it seems my family has been here for awhile. It was still pretty interesting to read about all the rules, and I find it interesting that they have all of the exceptions for times of war or political strife. Thanks for the information!

  25. This is great information on how to apply for EU passport. As mainly very less information is available on internet, it becomes very difficult to know which country suits according to us. Many of my friends are looking for dual citizenship and so I will share this post among them.

  26. I was hoping that either the Dutch or Scottish heritage would work for me, but alas, such is my lot it is far too difficult. Plus I think my Scottish heritage is too remote (1800’s) in order to claim that at this point. I really enjoyed reading this, and feel like it is a HUGE resource for those looking to move overseas.

  27. Very useful and informative article for those who are striving to get these citizenship. Rules have to be followed and so good that you have elaborated on them too. Interesting that males of Greece have to enroll in Army there.

  28. This is such a detailed and informative article, well done! I believe it contains more information than the official sources and websites. May I ask you more about housesitting? I am thinking to do the same, but I am not sure if the offers are worth the investment for the membership.

    Thank you in advance!

  29. This is such an enriching article. I would love to spend a few years in Europe for sure. But getting is passport is a tough job. UK has been very tough with its immigration rules, though I love UK. Thanks for sharing it.

  30. I was born in the UK and am married to my Australian husband. He has great grandfathers from the UK.

    Does this mean that I cannot go back to live with my husband in the UK ?

    If we cannot, I don’t know if I can stay in Australia, as even after 11 years, I still don’t like it and miss my friends and family!

    It is a huge decision that I have to make!

    Any advice or information would be so appreciated!

    Thank you so much for all your help … you are making a difference:)

    1. Hi Norah – you can easily return to the UK all you have to do is ask the British Embassy in Australia what information they need to process a visa for your husband to live with you in the UK. This should be a pretty straightforward thing to do. Because you are from the UK and you have been married or living together for over 11 years it will be very easy to get him a visa to live in England.

  31. Judi Wilkinson

    Such a helpful post, thank you.

    I am not sure what is the best way to go about doing an enquiry without costing a fortune. My Grandmother was Welsh (born in Whales and later moved to Rhodesia), my adoptive father has a British passport, my Husband was born in Newcastle and I was born in Rhodesia in 1968 (I am still trying to get an unabridged birth certificate). We would really like to get British passports but I would love to have some solid advice from a reliable source before I take on this mammoth task. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Well your husband is entitled to British citizenship automatically through being born in the UK. As for yourself where was your mother and birth father born? Generally speaking if your mother or father was born in the UK you would be entitled to a British passport via descent. If they weren’t born in the UK it might be trickier. Because your husband is a UK citizen and can get a passport you could live in the UK as his spouse but not get a passport until you have lived there I believe for 5 years, then you would be entitled to apply for citizenship.I hope this helps, it shouldn’t be too expensive just the cost of all the birth certificates etc – you don’t say where you live now or where your birth parents were born so its hard to say.

  32. Hi there , been searching for answers re my family History. I am South Africa born, my father also South African and Southern Rhodesian citizen , British National . Fathers mother born in New Zealand including her father who would be my Great grandfather. My father biological father born in South Africa his father who is my Great grandfather born in Scotland UK. On my mothers side my Great grandfather born in Whales UK. From my investigation I am eligible to apply for British citizen as my father was a Southern Rhodesian citizen and British National act registered . Any information re same would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    1. This can be a difficult process for the most part whereever your grandparents were born is not important as they don’t count for citizenship. It is your father whose birth might affect your citizenship. You don’t say whether or not you live in S. Africa or where you are currently living. But I would follow this link which should help you figure out if you can claim British citizenship I hope that helps a little.

    2. You can only gain UK citizenship by descent if either your father or mother are born in the UK. If your grandparents were born here you can get a 5 year ancestral visa, and once you have lived in the UK for 5 years apply for your indefinite leave to remain and then 1 year after that you can apply for citizenship.
      When it comes to southern Rhodesia, as far as I am aware i think that everyone had to renounce their citizenship to become a Zimbabwe citizen, so this could be hard especially given that Southern Rhodesia was a colony.

      I gained UK citizenship very easily because my mother is Welsh, and have been living here for 5 and a half years now.

  33. My ex husband’s family is Italian. I live in SA with my daughter and my ex husband in Australia. Can I apply for my daughter’s EU passport in South Africa if he lives in Australia or does he have to be present?

    1. I would check with the Italian consulate in SA to be sure. If you have the correct documentation you should be fine to apply from there, many people apply for their EU passports from different countries.

  34. Jennifer Bowra

    My daughter and her partner would like to live and work in Europe for a time .. both were born in Australia, however her partner’s father is Irish born. My daughter’s grandmother was Lithuanian and fled to Australia as a refugee after the war, and I myself as her mother was born in Germany. There is no birth certificate available for her grandmother but I do have my German birth certificate from 1947. We came to Australia in 1949 and were granted citizenship several years later. Please advise.

    1. Her Partner will be able to get an Irish passport easily all they will need is the birth certificate of her partner’s father and then contact the Irish consulate in Australia to get the correct application form. I believe because you are German by birth your daughter can gain German citizenship very easily. Again she would need to contact the consulate to obtain the correct paperwork for her German passport application. Because you are German all she will need is your birth certificate as one parent can bestow citizenship on their child. Once the passports are obtained they confer citizenship automatically and they will be able to move freely around the EU with those passports.

  35. Both my parents and grandparents etc were all born in Lithuania. They came to Australia as refugees after the war. I have a certificate from Denmark for permission to travel to Australia as both my mother and grandmother fled to Denmark first.
    I recently found my mothers Lithuanian passport as she travelled back there in the 90s, but many other documents are hard to find due to the fact much was destroyed during the war.
    Would HER passport be adequate support, obviously I would need identifying documents for my relatioship to her etc.
    I had looked into getting a Lithuanian passport by descent…but I am confused is an EU passport something different?
    Please could you recommend what i should do. Also there are no Lithuanian embassies in Australia.

    1. There are two consulates in Australia that I can find that should be able to help you with this one in Melbourne Lithuanian Honorary Consulate in
      39 The Boulevarde
      Doncaster, VIC 3108
      TELEPHONE(+61) 3 9840 0070
      (+61) 411 769 717
      FAX EMAIL [email protected]

      and one in Sydney

      Lithuanian Honorary Consulate in Sydney, Australia

      11 David Street
      Clifton Gardens, NSW 2088
      TELEPHONE(+61) 2 9969 6232
      FAX EMAIL [email protected]

      Give them a call and find out more. A Lithuanian passport is essentially an EU passport it isn’t something different they are one and the same but I know that can confuse a lot of people.

  36. Good day.

    My step father (born 1955, South Africa ) legally adopted me as a child. His mother and/or grandfather was from Italy. Would I be able to apply for citizenship?

    1. It is possible as adopted children can become Italian citizens as you can see from the quote. However, you will have to contact the nearest Italian consulate to find out what papers will be needed to be able to apply.

      “The minor adopted by an Italian citizen becomes an Italian citizen automatically, but the adoption must be recognized by the Italian Court for Minors and then transcribed in the registers of the Italian Municipality.”

    1. Yes, you should be eligible for Citizenship, but you will have to contact the nearest Latvian consulate to find out what paperwork you will need to be able to apply.


    1. If your grandfather was born in Italy and was an Italian citizen when your parent was born, it’s possible to apply for Italian citizenship through grandparents. However, you can only qualify in this way if your parent has not since renounced their right to Italian citizenship.

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  39. Siegfried Guenther

    What and who f do o I have to contact for dual citizenship I am a citizen of the US and have a passport of the United States I and my parents where German citizen till we moved in 1956 to the USA . I became a US citizen and my wife was born in the USA and has a passport I would like to know if and how we could get a second passport a German one so we could go back and forth also who would I have to contact and get all the info

    1. A lot depends on whether or not your German citizenship by birth was renounced. I would contact the closest German Consulate to you and get an opinion from them. They may be able to assist you in obtaining your German passport.

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