If you have read my blog you know I am a dual US and EU citizen. EU citizenship has many benefits believe me. The purpose of this post is to briefly tell you how to have a passport from more than one country, or at least my personal experience on how I achieved this.
First off EU citizenship from any country is a privilege. It is not something that is to be taken lightly. It is only for those who have a sincere interest in contributing to the nation they are living and working in. Usually this is reserved for people who have a historical connection or association with the country. My family for example live in Poland since the beginning of the nation. The only reason they left was Poland was partitioned and war was breaking out. After the war they wanted to come back for re-nationalization. However, the politics were too difficult, and so it was I who was repatriated.
I have written a post on how to get a EU citizenship, this is a good starting point. However, beyond that if you have any questions please ask. The following was my story.
10 Steps to EU citizenship
- Family tree – My first step was in Excel create a detailed family tree. Use birth, marriage etc dates and locations. Be detailed but readable. Mine was on one page. It does not have to be a work of art, but it does have to be factual and clear to an ordinary person.
- Original documents - Try to collect as much information as you can from original documents. You can get US birth certificates etc no problem. They even have on the form a question why you need it, you can check off dual citizenship. US municipalities get these requests often. Get your parents and anyone else you can also. Collect all US documents then focus on foreign documents. The Polish government in Warsaw had my grandparents records from 1900 even thought they were from and area which is today Ukraine. I went to the local church priest and found documents. I basically built a case of original documents that supported my family tree. Paper is everything. Before I live in Europe I paid someone, he tried to rip me off I got my money back, when I threatened to sue the middle man. There are many honest people that can help in local countries. I prefer to do things myself.
- I got applications from the embassy - I let the foriegn consulate represntive guide me, as well as talked to the people who worked there to the right government offices to go to. They will tell you what you need.
- Legal help – I considered a lawyer but by the time I talked to one I knew more than they did.
- EU visa – My first step was a visa. From there I was in the system. I got this based on the right of blood. Jus sanguinis – You are who you are.
- Dual citizenship – Unless you want a Ukrainian citizenship, you can keep your US citizenship for almost any country in Europe in the European Union or not. Countries do no care if you are a dual citizenship as long as you obey the laws of the country your in. You are a citizen of that country only, where you are and can not go crying to the USA for help if you get into legal trouble.
- Buying a citizenship – You can basically buy a Russian citizenship legally if you have the cash to set up a business, but it is not the way to go. A CIS citizenship is not as good as a EU citizenship. Buying an EU citizenship is not possible.
- Getting official translations – Putting your doucments into the language you need is a moot point, there are a lot of official translators.
- The citizenship application - When you apply, write from your heart, you have to personally write a strong case of why you want to be a citizen. It can not be for frivolous reasons, like it is cool. Write how you have a historical connection that goes way back. Write what is true and honest. That you have an interest in the culture and the language and the people. If possible you would like to add to the society someday. Be sincere and into the country you are trying to get a citizenship for.
- The EU government – Be patient. It may take years but is worth the wait. Remember every coutry in this Union is an individual country and where you apply is important not the Union as a whole. Your passport will come from one of the member countries.
You can read more about the European Union citizenship on their home page. Or better yet as a question to a real person, me. If you have any questions regarding citizenship or even questions like citizenship of babies born in a foreign country, or marriage and citizenship questions, please ask. I am not an expert but I can tell you based on my personal experiences.