The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (2023)

Many Americans may be surprised to learn they can potentially acquire European citizenship. This is achieved by tracing their ancestors back to Europe. Within the continent, Spain is a popular choice, because the country has a fast-track program for nationals of countries that Spain colonized. Even Sephardic Jews, a community who got expelled from Spain during the Inquisition era, can now claim Spanish citizenship.

Knowing this, Americans and others are going through the process of applying for European citizenship, which has a lot of value and is relatively easy to get for those with the right family roots. This form of citizenship by ancestry is also affordable. Compared to buying a passport through Malta’s citizenship-by-investment (CBI) program, MEIN, which costs roughly $1 million and takes years, the ancestry route is a bargain. However, Malta, an EU member state, is still a good choice for those without the required ancestry, such as wealthy nationals from China and Russia. Malta is currently the only EU member with a reliable CBI program.

Another context to consider is how EU passports are among the most valuable in the world in terms of travel freedom. They’re valued at practically twice that of an U.S. passport. This is primarily due to the fact that EU nationals can live and work anywhere inside the European Union. When combined with the fact that healthcare and education are free, these are added benefits. Europe also seems appealing for its overall high safety rates compared to America’s. Murder rates of main EU cities are five to 10 times lower on average.

We receive many inquires about European citizenship via ancestry from Americans, many of whom are near retirement and want to spend a good chunk of their time cruising around Europe. They want to live the life surrounded by culture and great food. Many also see their European ancestry as part of their identity and want to pass that on to their children. Americans can shop for these types of global mobility assets that will last generations.

Being a country of immigrants, there are easy ways to estimate how many Americans could be eligible for EU citizenship based on their descent. See the chart below:


Ancestry group

% of total population

Pop. estimates

















(Video) How To Acquire Citizenship By Descent/Ancestry | Jus Sanguinis (Right of Blood)






















French (except Basque)
French Canadian





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Getting EU citizenship involves finding the right documentation, a process that can be tricky. Professional help is all but required to locate some more obscure documents, like the birth certificate of a foreign-born grandparent. To trace your lineage, you can use ancestry websites.

Let’s dive into various types of citizenship options, including EU citizenship by ancestry and marriage. Learn how you can obtain EU passport, dual citizenship and citizenship through ancestry & how you can apply for EU Citizenship.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (1)

Spanish Citizenship

Spanish Citizenship By Ancestry

Nearly 70 million Americans may be able to qualify for Spanish citizenship by descent. This figure includes the Latin American community and those with colonial connections to Spain. However, this citizenship process is not necessarily fast. It starts with moving to Spain on a resident permit. In most cases, applicants with Spanish ancestors or colonialist ties can get fast-tracked toward naturalization after two years of residency instead of 10. The naturalization process can take one or two years to get approved. Children of Spanish citizens are instantly considered Spanish citizens as well.

Spanish Citizenship By Descent

By birth: Those born to a Spanish father or mother

After one year of residency: Those born outside Spain to a Spanish father or mother (also born outside Spain), or to a Spanish grandfather or grandmother

After two years of residency: Citizens of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, the Philippines or Sephardic Jews

Spanish Citizenship By Marriage

You can apply for Spanish citizenship by marriage after one year if, at the time of the application, you have been married to a Spanish national for at least one year without separation.

Spanish Dual Citizenship

Spain does not recognize dual citizenship. But nationals of Ibero-American countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or persons of Sephardic origin are not required to renounce their citizenship. For those also holding American citizenship, be aware that during the naturalization process, you are asked to orally renounce your U.S. citizenship. This form of renouncement is non-binding in the U.S. and you cannot lose your citizenship in this way. In practice, this means you will be able to hold another citizenship, such as U.S. or Mexican, without any issues.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (2)

German Citizenship

Germany Citizenship By Ancestry

Over 40 million Americans have German ancestry. It’s the most common ancestry for white Americans. Unfortunately, German citizenship by ancestry is not one that is extended back very far. Only children of German nationals are eligible. The only way this can go further back is if your ancestor’s German citizenship was taken away by the Nazi regime. This option may open doors for Jewish Americans with German roots.

German Citizenship By Descent

By birth: A child has German citizenship by birth if one parent has German citizenship. If only your father was German, a paternity test might be needed before you are 23 years old.

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By repatriation: You can be issued a repatriate’s certificate in accordance with Section 15 (1) or (2) of the Federal Expellees Act. In essence, you can reclaim the German citizenship that your ancestors had taken away under Nazi rule due to political, racial or religious grounds in 1938.

German Citizenship By Marriage

Spouses and registered same-sex partners are eligible for naturalization after three years of residency in Germany. They must have been married or in a registered partnership for at least two years at the time of the application.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (3)

Irish Citizenship

Ireland Citizenship By Ancestry

There are more than 30 million Americans who can trace their ancestors to Ireland. Many Irish immigrants came to America the 19th and early 20th century. Ireland has come a long way from the day of the Potato Famine and today stands as a wealthy EU nation with a highly valuable passport. Irish government makes it easier to get the Irish citizenship for descendants.

Obtaining Irish citizenship by ancestry is relatively easy. If you have Irish parents, then congratulations! You are Irish. Simply get an appointment at an Irish representation near you, bring documents to prove it and get your passport. If your parents were not born in Ireland or your claim comes from grandparents born in Ireland, you can register to the Foreign Birth Registration, a process that can take 12 to 16 months before you receive a citizenship certificate. If your claim is farther back or your grandparents were not born in Ireland, you can get fast-tracked to naturalization after three years of residency in Ireland.

Irish Citizenship By Descent

By birth: If you or your parent was born in Ireland before 2005, you are an Irish citizen. You can request an Irish passport without applying for citizenship.

By registration: If your Irish parent was born outside of the island, you will need to register via the Foreign Birth Registration. One of your grandparents needs to have been born in Ireland. If your grandparents were not born in Ireland, your connection is further back or is through adoption, you can claim Irish citizenship after three years of residency in Ireland. You will need to apply for naturalization at the discretion of the minister.

After three years of residency: For those with further back ancestry, Irish associations are at the discretion of the minister.

Here are some things to consider:

  • You need to have at least three years of residency in Ireland to show you have a connection to Ireland.
  • Applications going further back than a great-grandparent are normally refused.
  • Applications based on being a descendent of anther relative (i.e., a brother or aunt) are normally refused.
  • The process can take up to 30 months.

Irish Citizenship By Marriage

If you are married or in a civil partnership with an Irish citizen, you are eligible to become an Irish citizen by naturalization. You must have been married for at least three years and residing at least three years in Ireland, including in the 12 continuous months before the application.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (4)

Italy Citizenship

Italy Citizenship By Ancestry

Over 17 million Americans may have Italian ancestry. This community is very proud of its origins and many Italian-Americans are highly motivated to go through the process of gaining Italian citizenship. Having such a connection feels part of their identity.

An American can qualify by tracing back an Italian ancestor as far back as the Unification of Italy in the middle of the 19th century. There one important detail: Up until the 1992, Italians would lose their citizenship if they picked up another one, meaning every Italian-American, in effect, would lose his or her Italian citizenship when they became naturalized Americans.

To put in simple terms, once upon a time your Italian ancestor came to America as an Italian national. After years of living in the U.S., they applied and received U.S. citizenship. As soon as they became American, they lost their Italian citizenship. Any children they had after becoming an American were not, legally speaking, Italian. They could not pass Italian citizenship on to others.

Don’t lose any excitement over the possibility of being Italian, though. In many cases, children were born in the U.S. before their parents were naturalized Americans. In that case, your ancestor was both American and Italian by birth, and the Italian lineage could not be broken after that.

This is the precise event that you need to figure out for applying for Italian citizenship by ancestry. From our experience, roughly 70% of Italian-Americans have an unbroken connection to Italian ancestry. But for the 30% of those whose Italian connection was broken, you can still apply for Italian citizenship, only through a different process. You will need to first gain residency in Italy, then apply to be fast-tracked to naturalization after three years instead of 10.

In Italian citizenship law, many sources mention the difference between male and female lineage. De jure, the process is different for both. You can only apply at an Italian embassy or consulate if you trace your ancestry from a male lineage. Those with female lineage must petition an Italian court to receive approval. De facto, both can petition an Italian court and it’s much faster. The decision is generally reached after less than a year, whereas the embassy route can take multiple years.

Italian Citizenship By Descent

  • By birth: Under Article 1 of Law No. 91/92, a person acquires Italian citizenship by birth from a father or a mother who are Italian citizens.
  • By descent: Italian citizenship by iure sanguinis is formalized in circular letter No. K.28.1 of April 8, 1991, of the Ministry for Internal Affairs. To ascertain that the Italian lineage is still intact, it must be proven that the Italian ancestor retained Italian citizenship until the birth of the descendants. You need to prove, using a certificate issued by the appropriate foreign authority, the date of any naturalization or lack of naturalization of the ancestor. Descent from the Italian ancestor can be proven with legalized civil status documents of birth and marriage.
  • After three years of residency: Article 9 of the law grants Italian citizenship by Decree of the President of the Republic after three years of legal residency for foreigners whose descendants in a direct line of second degree were Italians by birth.

Italian Citizenship By Marriage or By Civil Partnership

A foreign-born spouse is eligible for Italian citizenship after two years of legal residency in Italy after marriage or after the three years after marriage if living abroad. These terms can be halved if you have:

  • Children born or adopted with the Italian citizen
  • Registered the marriage with the relevant Italian municipality
  • An absence of convictions for offenses
  • An Italian language certificate at a level no lower than B1

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (5)

Polish Citizenship

Poland Citizenship By Ancestry

Close to 10 million Americans can claim Polish ancestry. Polish citizenship by ancestry is fairly accessible, but like Italy’s law, it requires an unbroken Polish connection. It’s important to note that the connection could have been broken if Polish citizenship was given up to become a citizen of another country (which is not usually the case for Americans). Nevertheless, due to a Polish 1922 nationality law, your ancestor must have been born in a territory that was under Polish jurisdiction after 1899 or simply in the 20th century. If you qualify, know that the process can take one or two years.

Poland Citizenship By Descent

Most people whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were born in Poland qualify for Polish citizenship through descent. In essence, you need to have at least one ancestor who:

  • Was born in Poland (or a territory that at the time was part of Poland) and resided there after 1920; or
  • Left Poland before 1920 (but your ancestors’ residential address can be found in the Polish, Prussian, Russian or Austro-Hungarian registers) and maintained their Polish citizenship until the day of your birth.

Poland Citizenship By Marriage

To obtain Polish citizenship by marriage, a foreigner must be married to a Polish citizen for at least three years, have permanent residency in Poland for at least two years, and have knowledge of the Polish language. To obtain a permanent resident permit, the foreigner can first obtain a temporary resident permit based on marriage.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (6)

Dutch Citizenship

Netherlands Citizenship By Ancestry

Close to four million Americans have Dutch ancestry. If you are one of those, be aware that Netherlands citizenship by ancestry can be limited to your male lineage. For those born after 1985, you are a Dutch citizen if one of your parents was Dutch. Before 1985, this was only true from your father’s side. On the mother’s side, you would have to go through the option process to acquire the citizenship. That means that if your Dutch ancestor was a male and had only sons, this will most likely be passed down to you since these men were considered Dutch citizens at birth (even without their knowledge).

Now the key part: Just as for any country that did not recognize dual citizenship, it is important to know if the ancestry lineage was broken at the birth of your first U.S.-born ancestor. When a Dutch person became a naturalized American, he automatically lost his Dutch citizenship. Any child he has after that date will not be Dutch. But if the child was born on U.S. soil before his father was a naturalized American, the child would be both an American and Dutch citizen. From then on, it’s unlikely that the Dutch ancestry was broken, as the U.S.-born descendant would retain Dutch citizenship all the way to you.

Dutch Citizenship By Descent

By birth: You are a Dutch citizen by birth if your father was Dutch at the time of your birth (born before Jan. 1, 1985). You are a Dutch citizen by birth if you meet one of the following conditions (born after Dec. 31, 1984):

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  • On your birth your mother was a Dutch citizen
  • On your birth your father was a Dutch citizen and married to your non-Dutch mother
  • On your birth your father was a Dutch citizen and was not married to your non-Dutch mother but he did acknowledge you before your birth
  • Your father is a Dutch citizen and after March 1, 2009, he acknowledged you before your seventh birthday

Citizenship by option: If you are born from a Dutch mother and a foreign father, you did not become a Dutch citizen by birth. You can acquire the Dutch citizenship through the option procedure.

Netherlands Citizenship By Marriage

A person can apply for naturalization after three years of marriage or registered partnership and cohabitation. This means at least six months per year must have been spent under the same roof. This needs to remain as long as the request for naturalization is being researched.

Netherlands Dual Citizenship

If you apply for naturalization, you are normally asked to renounce your citizenship, but this doesn’t apply to spouses and Americans since they will be exposed to paying a large sum of money to the authorities in his or her country (the exit tax).

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (7)

Norwegian Citizenship

Norway Citizenship By Ancestry

Over four million Americans can trace a Norwegian ancestor in their genealogy. According to the Act on Norwegian nationality, a child born to a Norwegian mother or father acquires Norwegian citizenship automatically at birth. This applies if the child is born in Norway or abroad, and no matter if the parents were married or not. If you were born before 2006, the only detail you need to look for is to make sure your male ancestor was married so that ancestor could pass Norwegian descent down to you.

You might think you are likely to qualify for Norwegian citizenship, but unfortunately the dual-citizenship rule drastically reduces the probability of you being eligible for Norwegian citizenship by ancestry. Any Norwegian who became a naturalized American (or any other citizen) would automatically lose Norwegian citizenship. Even U.S.-born children had to spend at least two years in Norway and request to remain Norwegian before turning 22. In brief, if your parents were Norwegian at your birth, you were Norwegian at birth, but you most likely lost that citizenship if you didn’t petition to retain it. If that’s your case, you might be able to get it back.

If your grandparents were Norwegian or further up the lineage line, you are unlikely to qualify for Norway citizenship by descent. If you have Norwegian ancestry but do not meet the requirements for becoming a Norwegian citizen, you may apply for a resident permit if you had a Norwegian parent when they were born. You can apply for naturalization after seven years.

Norway Citizenship By Descent

By birth: Children with a Norwegian mother or father (born after 2006). A child with a Norwegian mother or father (born before 2006) became a Norwegian citizen at birth if:

  • The mother was Norwegian, or
  • The father was Norwegian and was married to the mother when the child was born, or
  • The father died before the child was born, but was a Norwegian citizen and married to the mother at the time of his death.

If the father was Norwegian, but he was not married to the mother, the child did not automatically become a Norwegian citizen. However, if the child is under the age of 18, the child can easily become a Norwegian citizen by handing in a notification of Norwegian citizenship.

Norway Citizenship By Marriage

Spouses, non-married cohabitant partners and homosexual partners in civil unions of Norwegian citizens can become Norwegian citizens after four years, provided they live in Norway for at least three years. They will need to pass a language and civics test to become naturalized.

Norway Dual Citizenship

Since 2020, Norway recognizes dual citizenship. Those who lost their citizenship before that date can request a reinstatement.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (8)

Greece Citizenship

Greece Citizenship By Ancestry

A few million Americans can claim Greek citizenship by ancestry. Many Greek Americans wear their Greek heritage proudly, but very few actually hold Greek citizenship. Greek citizenship by descent is one of the easiest to get. The child of a Greek national can acquire Greek nationality by birth. Others of Greek origin must apply for naturalization, and there are no years of residency in Greece required. But be ready to wait for a long bureaucratic process that can take two to three years.

This is why many Greek Americans go ahead and apply for a Greek Golden Visa while they wait for the naturalization process to be completed. The Greek Golden Visa only takes a few months to process and provides permanent residency to those who buy property in Greece worth at least 250,000 euros.

Greece Citizenship By Descent

By birth: Children of Greek parents

By naturalization without residency: The application for naturalization of individuals of Greek origin living abroad shall be submitted to a local Greek consul, who shall then forward it to the Minister of Interior. That will include a report with documents used to prove Greek ancestry. The minister will issue a decision and return it back to the consul. The applicant will then need to take an oath at the consulate before becoming a Greek citizen.

Greece Citizenship By Marriage

Those who are married to a Greek citizen have to have resided in Greece for three to seven years if they have a child to become naturalized.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (9)

Portugal Citizenship

Portugal Citizenship By Ancestry

Over a million Americans claim Portuguese ancestry in their genealogy. Portuguese citizenship can be passed down from your parents or grandparents. Dual citizenship is allowed under Portuguese nationality law passed in 1981.

Portugal Citizenship By Descent

Portuguese citizen's child: Any child of a Portuguese citizen is Portuguese at birth

Portuguese citizen's grandchildren: Only grandparents (second-grade ascendant in the straight line) who have original Portuguese nationality may extend this right to their foreign-born grandchildren who have an effective connection to the national community. However, the requirement of "effective connection" can now be verified by the applicant's sufficient knowledge of the Portuguese language.

Portugal Citizenship By Marriage

The foreigner who has been married for more than three years to a Portuguese national can acquire Portuguese nationality by means of a declaration made at the time of the marriage and by demonstrating the effective connection to the national community. However, the "effective connection" becomes presumed when the marriage or civil partnership exists for at least six years, and also when there are children of the couple with Portuguese nationality.

The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage (10)

Czech Citizenship

Czech Citizenship By Ancestry

Over a million Americans can trace themselves to having Czech ancestry. This ancestry can be passed down from a parent or grandparent. If the ancestor was unmarried at the time, certain additional information might be required to prove paternity. You might have to verify if your parent or grandparent retained their Czech citizenship due to laws preventing dual citizenship until 2014. During the communist regime, many Czechs were stripped of their nationality because they immigrated to the West. It’s now possible for those ancestors to get their nationality back by petitioning the government.

Czech Citizenship By Marriage

Only married people are eligible for Czech citizenship by marriage. Spouses of Czech citizens can apply for temporary residency in the country. They get fast-tracked to permanent residency after two years instead of five years. Once they are a permanent resident, they can apply for citizenship without any further residency period required.


The Ultimate Guide To EU Citizenship by Ancestry and Marriage? ›

The first and easiest way to get a European citizenship and passport is through your ancestry and descent. You may be eligible for European citizenship by descent if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland and a number of other EU countries.

Can I use my ancestry to gain EU citizenship? ›

The first and easiest way to get a European citizenship and passport is through your ancestry and descent. You may be eligible for European citizenship by descent if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland and a number of other EU countries.

Can you get EU citizenship from marriage? ›

You can also receive EU citizenship through marriage. If you are in a partnership and can prove your partnership to the respective state you wish to gain EU citizenship by marriage from, including a marriage certificate, then it's perfectly possible to become an EU citizen.

What is the easiest way for an American to get EU citizenship? ›

European citizenship through ancestry is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to obtain a passport in the EU— provided that you qualify for this option. In order to pass citizenship to you, your ancestors (parents, grandparents, etc.) must not have lost or forfeited their nationality.

What is the easiest country in the EU to get citizenship? ›

Portugal is, overall, the easiest country to get citizenship of the EU. That's due to the following factors: Short residency period of just five years before applying for citizenship. One of the world's most powerful passports.

Can an American become an EU citizen? ›

How to get a European Passport as an American citizen? There are several ways of claiming or applying for citizenship in Europe as an American: You can have citizenship by descent, by naturalization, by investment, or by exception. Citizenship by descent requires you to have a family history tied to the second nation.

What is the best way to get EU citizenship? ›

Naturalisation is the most common way to obtain citizenship of an EU country for foreign nationals. To be able to apply for naturalisation, one has to live in the country, have a residence permit and prove their ties to the country.

What EU countries offer citizenship by descent? ›

At present, the following European Union and European Economic Area countries offer European Union citizenship to grandchildren or even more descendants of European Union citizens.
  • Austria. Austria grants citizenship by ancestry to the first generation only. ...
  • Belgium. ...
  • Bulgaria. ...
  • Croatia. ...
  • Cyprus. ...
  • Czechia. ...
  • Denmark. ...
  • Estonia.
Feb 28, 2023

How do I prove my ancestry for passport? ›

Your birth certificate. A copy of your passport. The birth certificates of your ancestors (those relevant to your claim to citizenship) Related marriage, divorce, naturalization, and death certificates.

What happens when you marry an EU citizen? ›

What happens when you marry an EU citizen? If you marry an EU citizen, you will be granted certain rights under EU law. This will make it easier for you to join your new spouse if they are living, working or studying in an EU country different from the one they come from.

What is the fastest European citizenship to get? ›

Portugal is the easiest European country where you can get citizenship. The easiest way to become a Portuguese citizen is by obtaining a Portugal Golden visa; all you have to do is invest in a house, a business, or a property of €500,000 value. You have to stay only seven days a year for five years.

What is the most difficult European citizenship to get? ›


Austria is located in the heart of Europe and is bordered by eight other countries, making it one of the most difficult places to become a naturalized citizen. The process requires 12 years of continuous residency, including three years of marriage to an Austrian citizen, and passing a language test.

Can you have dual US and EU citizenship? ›

U.S. law does not mention dual nationality or require a person to choose one nationality or another. A U.S. citizen may naturalize in a foreign state without any risk to his or her U.S. citizenship.

What is the best European country to move to from the US? ›

Switzerland: Although many European countries offer a better quality of life than the U.S., Switzerland takes the cake. It's globally ranked for its safety, infrastructure and natural beauty. All of this, of course, comes at a cost: Switzerland is one of the world's most expensive countries to live in.

What is the cheapest way to get EU citizenship? ›

6 Ways to Get a European Passport
  1. Citizenship by Descent. Citizenship by descent (aka ancestry) is by far the easiest and cheapest way to become a European citizen for those who are eligible. ...
  2. Citizenship by Naturalisation. ...
  3. Work. ...
  4. Marriage. ...
  5. Business. ...
  6. Investment.
Oct 24, 2022

Which country gives fastest citizenship by marriage? ›

The easiest way to obtain citizenship through marriage is in Argentina. You can apply for a passport the very next day after the wedding.
Where and what's the fastest way to get a passport by naturalization.
CountryHow long you need to live
Argentina2 years
USA3-5 years
Brazil4 years
Russia5 years
7 more rows

Can a U.S. citizen live permanently in Europe? ›

Yes, US citizens can move to Europe, but how easy it would be depends on which European country you want to live in. Every country has its own immigration rules. You'll need either a work permit (for a job in your target country), or another kind of residence visa.

What is the easiest EU country to immigrate to as an American? ›

The easiest country for obtaining a residence permit in Europe is Portugal. There are options like a D7 visa for financially independent persons, a StartUp visa, a visa for retired persons, and the Golden Visa for investors.

Why would an American want EU citizenship? ›

The perks of holding EU citizenship are plentiful, including the unrestricted right to live, retire, work, study, and run a business in Europe. The process of obtaining an EU passport varies depending on the country. Generally, EU nationals are entitled to a passport if they are citizens of an EU member state.

What are the top EU countries to get citizenship? ›

Spain granted the highest number of new citizenships in 2021, welcoming 144,800 new residents. The country was closely followed by France and Germany (130,000 new citizens each), Italy (121,500) and Sweden (89,400). Becoming a citizen can be a long and arduous process - but it's not equally difficult across the bloc.

What is the best European passport? ›

While the two first spots in the index are occupied by Japan and Singapore, which have a passport score of 89.76 and 89.65, respectively (out of the possible 100-score), the Italian passport is listed world's third most powerful, which makes it Europe's best passport to have, at the same time.

What is the strongest passport in the world? ›

These are the most powerful passports in the world in 2023
  • Japan has the most powerful passport in the world for the 5th year in a row, according to the Henley Passport Index. ...
  • The Index ranks all of the world's passports by the number of destinations their holders can access without obtaining a visa in advance.
Jan 26, 2023

Can I obtain citizenship through descent or ancestry? ›

Citizenship by descent is a form of birthright citizenship. It means that if you have ancestors (such as parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents) from a country, you may be eligible to become a citizen of that country yourself.

Can you get Swiss citizenship by ancestry? ›

Switzerland recognises the acquisition of Swiss citizenship through paternal or maternal descent, through jus sanguinis, regardless of place of birth.

How many generations back can you claim citizenship? ›

Most countries go back only one generation, meaning at least one of your parents must be from the country in question to be eligible for citizenship. But in a few countries, grandchildren can qualify.

What is the easiest citizenship by Ancestry? ›

Italian citizenship by descent is one of the easiest to obtain. You may be eligible for citizenship if you have Italian heritage. To acquire citizenship, you must have an ancestor who was a citizen of Italy on March 17th, 1861 or was born in the country after that.

Can I hide my DNA results on Ancestry? ›

If you'd like to receive an ethnicity estimate without being listed as a match to potential relatives, you can choose not to see your DNA matches or appear to them as their match. The option to hide DNA matches provides you with more control over your own data and privacy.

Is my US marriage valid in Europe? ›

Marriages performed overseas are considered valid in the country where they take place if they are entered into in accordance with local law.

What is the easiest European country to get married in? ›

Denmark is the easiest place to get married for any couple in Europe. For many ages, Denmark has been following very simple legislation related to civil marriage to let any couple in love tie knots with ease. Multiple reasons make Denmark the easiest place for marriage.

How long do you have to be married to get EU citizenship? ›

Marriage. If you marry an EU citizen and live in the EU for at least five years, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship. If your spouse is a non-EU national and has lived in the EU for three years before marriage, they can also use it on your behalf.

How can I move to Europe without a job? ›

Six fail-safe ways to move to Europe without a job
  1. Enroll in a university program. ...
  2. Work as a freelancer remotely. ...
  3. Find a job in your country first that can be done remotely. ...
  4. Go as a visitor while living off of your savings. ...
  5. Join a volunteering abroad program. ...
  6. Visit on a tourist visa and use a home swap service.
Jan 29, 2023

What is the easiest country to get a second passport? ›

If you're looking for the quickest way to get a second citizenship, go with Dominica. Its program has been around since 1993 and is part of their constitution. More than half of their country's revenue comes through foreign investment so they're always looking to develop good innovative programs for investors.

Can a US citizen work in Europe? ›

As a US citizen, you do not have an automatic right to work in Europe. You need a valid Schengen work visa or a work visa for a specific non-Schengen country. Many Americans looking to work in Europe will use their 90 days per 180 days visa-free period to apply for jobs before obtaining a work visa.

What are 3 countries in Europe that do not allow dual citizenship? ›

List of EU Countries Prohibit Dual Nationality for Naturalization
  • Austria.
  • Bulgaria.
  • Czechia.
  • Denmark.
  • Netherlands.
  • Spain.
Feb 4, 2023

What is the rarest dual citizenship? ›

North Korea

North Korean (DPRK) citizenship awarded to foreigners is the rarest, and most difficult citizenships in the world.

Which is the easiest citizenship in world? ›

List of Easiest Countries to get Permanent Residency
  • Canada. Canada is largely considered the easiest country to immigrate to and acquire citizenship status. ...
  • New Zealand. New Zealand offers a Skilled Migration Program for individuals aged under 55 years. ...
  • Portugal. ...
  • Thailand. ...
  • Ireland. ...
  • Australia.
Dec 26, 2022

What country does the US not allow dual citizenship? ›

Yes, some countries don't allow dual citizenship with America. Among them are China, United Arab Emirates, India, Austria, Japan, and some others. If you want to obtain citizenship of these countries, you need to renounce your American passport.

Which country does not allow dual citizenship? ›

List of countries that do not allow dual citizenship
AfghanistanIranSan Marino
BahrainNorth KoreaSlovakia
10 more rows

Will I lose my U.S. citizenship if I become a citizen of another country? ›

Yes, the U.S. allows dual citizenship by default. The government does not require naturalized U.S. citizens to give up their citizenship in their country of origin.

What is the most American friendly European country? ›

Poland. About 73% of respondents gave the United States a favorable response. This favorability rating is the highest in Europe. Poland's positive attitudes toward the United States is rooted in President Reagan's stance against the USSR and America's help when Poland left the Soviet bloc.

Is it cheaper to live in Europe or America? ›

Overall, Europe has a lower cost of living due to lower healthcare expenses, a weakening euro currency, and low inflation. Europeans, however, tend to pay more of their income to taxes, and average wages tend to be lower than in America.

What country are most US citizens moving to? ›

Where are people going?
  • 40% opt for the Western hemisphere — Canada, Central and South America.
  • 26% move to Europe.
  • 14% head to East Asia and the Pacific — think Australia and New Zealand as well as China and Japan.
  • 14% head to the Middle East.
  • 3% travel to Central or South Asia.
  • 3% choose Africa.

What is the easiest way for an American to get a European citizenship? ›

The easiest way to apply for European citizenship is by ancestry or descent. You can apply for citizenship if you have parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents from EU nations such as Italy, Poland, Hungary, Ireland, and others.

How can an American become EU citizen? ›

There are several ways of claiming or applying for citizenship in Europe as an American: You can have citizenship by descent, by naturalization, by investment, or by exception. Citizenship by descent requires you to have a family history tied to the second nation.

What is the easiest European country to move to? ›

Spain. Spain is one of the easiest European countries to move to as a US citizen. Since you are from an English-speaking country you can easily get a temporary visa via the North American Language and Cultural Assistant program.

What is the best second passport? ›

The best citizenship program by far is Dominica's citizenship program. Individuals are given dual citizenship in exchange for a qualifying investment worth at least $100,000 in four months. The Dominica passport also offers visa-free travel advantages to over 120 destinations.

Which is the longest naturalization in the world? ›

Austria has the longest process which makes becoming a citizen there a long and tiring job. After someone stays there for more than 24 months. To get permanent residency the person should live in the country for continuously 10 years.

Does marriage automatically give citizenship? ›

After marrying a US citizen you will not immediately become eligible to apply for US citizenship. However, as the spouse of a US citizen, you will be classed as an “immediate relative” and, accordingly, you will be eligible to apply for permanent residence, or what is commonly known as a green card.

What countries in Europe can Americans move to? ›

What is the best European country for an American to move to? Depending on your preferences, some of the best countries in Europe to move to are Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, and Malta. With warmer climates, friendly people, and a more relaxed way of life, these places are favorites for America's citizens to relocate to.

Can I retire to Europe from US? ›

US citizens can retire in Europe if they meet the eligibility criteria for retirement. Once the criteria are met, you need to apply for a long-stay visa to be allowed to stay in the country of your choice for a long-term period.

How long can you live in Europe with an American passport? ›

To stay longer than 90 days, you must have a visa. Apply for a visa through the embassy of the country where you will spend most of your time.

What is the easiest English speaking country to immigrate to? ›

Canada is one of the most welcoming countries to immigrate to. It is also one of the easiest because it has a vast landmass and a small population. Canada covers several programs for immigrants to move to attract new residents.

Is the US the hardest country to immigrate to? ›

Austria, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States are five nations that make it especially difficult for foreigners to establish permanent residency or obtain citizenship.

Which EU country speaks English? ›

The English language is the de facto official language of England, the sole official language of Gibraltar and of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, and one of the official languages of the Republic of Ireland, Malta, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and the European Union.

Are Americans using their ancestry to gain citizenship in Europe? ›

A growing number of Americans are applying for EU citizenship, taking advantage of their ancestry to gain a new passport and expand their options for work, life and travel.

Does ancestry work for Europe? ›

Europe: Portugal, Latvia, Iceland, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Monaco, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Serbia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, North Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro. Asia: Philippines, Singapore, Japan. Africa: South Africa.

Can you get French citizenship through ancestry? ›

French Citizenship by Ancestry. If you can provide the proof of your French parentage, you could qualify for French citizenship by descent. Historically, France's citizenship has been governed by the principle of jus soli which means the 'right of soil.

Can I get Dutch citizenship through ancestry? ›

If your mother or father is Dutch, you may automatically be Dutch by birth or the acknowledgement of parentage. Certain conditions apply.

What is the most common European ancestry in America? ›

U.S. Census Bureau statisticians estimate that approximately 62 percent of European Americans today are either wholly or partly of English, Welsh, Irish, or Scottish ancestry.

Which genealogy site is best for Europe? ›

30 Free Genealogy Sites for Researching Your European Ancestry
  • Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives.
  • Scottish BMD Exchange.
  • LitvakSIG.
  • The National Archives of Ireland.
  • Avotaynu.
  • EastEuropeGenWeb.
  • German Genealogy Server.
  • FreeREG.

Which AncestryDNA is best in Europe? ›

The best UK DNA tests to buy in 2023
  1. Ancestry: Best DNA test. Starting price: £79 | Buy now from Ancestry. ...
  2. LivingDNA: Best-value DNA test. ...
  3. 23andMe: Best DNA test for health screening. ...
  4. MyHeritage DNA: Best DNA test for tracking heritage. ...
  5. Family Tree DNA: Best DNA test for detailed results.
Apr 13, 2023

Can an American get dual citizenship in France? ›

French law permits dual nationality and does not require foreigners who obtain French nationality to give up their original one.

How do I prove my ancestry for citizenship? ›

Usually, the required documents are the following:
  1. Your birth certificate.
  2. A copy of your passport.
  3. The birth certificates of your ancestors (those relevant to your claim to citizenship)
  4. Related marriage, divorce, naturalization, and death certificates.

Can a U.S. citizen get French citizenship? ›

How do I obtain French citizenship? To obtain French citizenship, you can apply through various routes, including by descent, marriage, naturalization, birth, or adoption. You must meet specific eligibility criteria, including residency requirements and language proficiency, and provide supporting documents.

How to get German citizenship based on ancestry? ›

German citizenship is mainly acquired and passed on through descent from a German parent. The parent has to be German citizen at the time of the birth of the child. Children who are born to former German citizens do not acquire German citizenship.

Can an American get citizenship in the Netherlands? ›

Foreign citizens can apply for Dutch citizenship if they have lived in the Netherlands legally for at least 5 years.

Can you get British citizenship through ancestry? ›

UK immigration rules allow an automatic claim to British Citizenship if you have a grandparent (and, in rare cases, a great-grandparent) born in the UK. This is known as British Citizenship by descent, or more specifically, British Citizenship by double descent.

Does Sweden give citizenship by ancestry? ›

The law has changed throughout time, and according to the most recent amendments, children born after April 1st, 2015, will automatically be given Swedish citizenship by ancestry, regardless of their place of birth, provided that one of the parents is a Swedish citizen.

Does the US allow dual citizenship? ›

Does the United States allow dual citizenship? Yes, the U.S. allows dual citizenship by default. The government does not require naturalized U.S. citizens to give up their citizenship in their country of origin.

Can an American get Swiss citizenship? ›

Ordinary naturalisation is the option for foreign citizens who have lived for at least 10 years in Switzerland, three of which must be in the five years before they file their application for citizenship, and who hold a permanent residence permit (C permit);


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