How to get an EU citizenship

The purpose of this post is to help you gain EU citizenship in a legal way.

Dual citizen as an American

Many Americans often talk about the desire to be a dual citizen. We Americans do not always like some of the economic or political policies of Europe, but peace and love we secretly admire the more relaxed lifestyle and cultural richness. Third generations Americans rediscover and connect to the roots that the first generation left and the second generation swore off.

How citizenship is determined

American citizenship is defined by birth, whereas European Citizenship is often connected to nationality. You ca be born in Germany yet not granted citizenship.So how can An American get/claim a dual citizenship, now the USA allows this. You will simply follow the laws of each country you enter and can not claim protect as a USA citizen if you entered on another passport.

Ok so how do you get a drawer full of passports like Jason Bourne?

Rules of citizenship

Generally for most counties these are the rules, – a parent, not a grandparent must have citizenship. If you grandparents came from there your patents must get it first, than you have to apply.

How to get citizenship

You can get all birth certificate on line and sent to you; just check off the box that says you are applying fore dual citizen it costs about 20 dollars at any state online site. Once you have all the birth and marriage documents, create a family tree. Then translate all this by an official translator. Then fill out the paperwork you can get at the consulate. If you parents are citizens then you are all set, if not usually you have to legally live in the country for five years for at least six months out of the year. Last option is write the president with your story and sometimes if you give them enough paper you case will be accepted. Oh and if you speak the language even to some level this will help you case.

Myth: Marry a EU citizen and you will become a EU citizen

People have old fashion TV based ideas. Marriage does not change your citizenship. It will allow you to get a visa easier to stay in the country which in term will allow you get get become citizen after many years and lot of paper.

If you know some of the language, you will see how much easier it will be to be a citizen.

Learn a European language

Published by Mark Biernat

I live in with family between two worlds, US and Europe where I create tools for language learning. If you found my site you probability share my passion to be a life long learner. Please explore my site and comment.

Join the Conversation

454 Comments

  1. I was wondering how difficult it would be to get an EU passport if my mother has her EU passport and her parents (my grandparents) were both born in Hungary but immigrated to Canada after WW2 and still retain their Hungarian citizenship?

    1. I think there was a time, to 1990 they could declare themselves citizens, but I am not an expert on Hungarian law. The good news is I think yes your mother could get an EU passport if she goes to the embassy website and applies for something called confirmation of citizenship. I think if this fails you can get a visa and live there for 8 years or less and get a citizenship. And yes it is worth it, I have live in Eastern Europe for some time now.

  2. Hello Mark,
    This is Al. I am a US citizen, with a permanent residency of Sweden since 2000. Do you know if there is a law that guarantees permanent residents of EU countries to receive citizenship upon application?

    1. No guarantees at all. However, if you have lived there with a green card for ten years there should be no problem to get a citizenship if you apply.

    2. Hello Al, this is Travis. I too am American, and I have been trying to find a way to move to Sweden legally, for some time now. May I ask, how did you get permanent residency? Or how were you able to move to the country in the first place?

  3. hey Mark,

    This is Victor, I’m a Romanian citizen, currently living in Denmark with a residency permit, together with my boyfriend, which is Brazilian (no permit), I was wondering: If we get married in Sweden, were same-sex marriage is legal, will he be able to live in Europe?

    thanks!

    1. I do not know. You have to ask at the embassy and when you find out could be you please post this so it will benefit others who often ask the same question. Thanks

  4. Good evening
    I’m from the owners of inventions, particularly mechanical
    And the Registrar to obtain a patent for several projects
    Can I get my citizenship Amilep easy or difficult
    Thank you

    1. You have zero chance of getting EU citizenship.
      Why?
      What did you do invent something to solve the energy crisis or discover life on another planet and won the Nobel prize, than maybe you might have a chance.
      The reality is anyone can get a patent, like anyone can publish a book. It has nothing to do with anything. EU laws of citizenship are based on specific criteria. Sorry I did not write the laws. For example, if you are ethnically Italian lets say because your parents are Italian citizens than under the right of blood in Europe you can get citizenship. But not based on the ownership of intellectual capital. If that was the case the whole world would apply for a patent and move to the EU.

  5. Hello Mark,
    I am writing because I had questions about the process of obtaining EU citizenship,a green card, or a semi-permanent work visa in the Czech Republic through my wife who is Czech. We are currently in the US, but we plan on returning to Czech in a years time where I plan to start my Phd and also work after I finish my Masters here in the US. I just wanted to find out a little about the process I would need to go thru to do this and maybe what I could do in the meantime before we move back to facilitate the process when we return. Thank you for your help

    1. If you are married to a Czech citizen and you have no background red flags it is really just getting an application and applying. I think it will be no problem for you, but I think they might have a requirement that you are living there for at least 3 years. You are married so you are not like everyone who is just apply off the street. The Czech Republic is a beautiful place, I hope you enjoy it.

  6. I am from Nepal and came here for 6 months in Poland for work with work visa so my questions is am able to apply for Polish citizenship?If yes,than what are the process? Please could you tell me.

    1. Unless you have Polish blood are married to a Polish citizen or a football star, it would take many years and a a very long process.

  7. Hello Mark,

    I am a Canadian citizen by birth. My Mother’s Grandparents (at least her Grandfather) came from Poland to Canada (Polish Born). I’m not sure if my Grandparents were both born in Poland or Canada. Do I qualify for Polish Citizenship, or would I be better off just getting EU citizenship?

    Thanks for your time!

    1. There is no EU citizenship really. You could only get a Polish citizenship. The problem is I doubt you could be confirmed as a citizens, so you would have to get a green card and wait for several years etc. This is what I did.

  8. Hi Mark!
    I have been reading your posts all afternoon and I am really impressed!! So much help from you without the lawyer’s office charges that are enormous!
    That is why I decided to write, although I am not is a rush to solve my problem yet. But maybe you can help me a little in making future decisions.
    I am Polish (born, raised in Poland) moved to the US 4 years ago and married to American Citizen 2 years ago.
    I just got my 10years Green Card, but was thinking about going for citizenship next year (I can do it after being married for 3years min.) Since US allows dual citizenship (Poland has it unclear in their law I heard and I can somehow have both Polish and American, if I don’t formally deny my Polish citizenship-is that true?). The reason why I am planning on becoming “American” is to get American Passport, stop worrying about traveling issues and visas and be able to leave US for long time and come back without problems one day (not like with a green card where you have to be in the US most of the year).
    In the next year or two (I am hoping to gain my ‘fresh’ American citizenship by then) I would really want to move to Europe for couple years, maybe longer, maybe forever?. Shooting for England, since my husband’s polish language skills narrow to saying: thank you and goodbye:)
    Do you think it is a good idea to leave US right after getting ‘American papers’? Or should I leave myself some ‘grace period’ and stay longer. And is it correct to think that having American citizenship gained through marriage I can come back to the US in 10,20 years and be OK at the border?
    Also how would it work for my husband to move to the UK with me? I can automatically live and work there, right?, how about him? I have been reading about the EEA Family Permit – that means we can apply for it before we leave the US and he can freely go to England and look for a job there? or he has to have a job before we leave?
    And how am I proving my EU ‘citizenship’? Do I have to have polish passport? (it is so much hustle to have it done through Polish Embassy in the US!)

    Sincerely
    Aleksandra

  9. Hi Mark,
    I’ve read through all your comments advising people on how to make the move or how to attain a EU citizenship and whatnot. I was curious if you could help me out too. I’m 20 years old living in the U.S. and I recently decided that I wanted to up and move to Amsterdam. I’ve visited before for a week or so and fell in love. So in order for me to move there and find a place to live such as a studio apt, do i need EU citizenship? I have no plan on how long i would like to stay there, and who knows, maybe i’ll discover another country in Europe I enjoy even ore and I decide to move there. I guess what I’m really asking is, is it possible for someone like me to up and move overseas? Or are there multiple legal things i’m overlooking here? If you can help me out at all, I would be very appreciative. Thanks!

  10. I appreciate that you have this service on here. If you can answer this question you would save me a great deal of work.

    I am waiting for my forms to arrive in the mail. I am in California and will be marrying my Spanish girlfriend, who is here on a tourist 3 month visa which will expire in 6 weeks. She will be staying here and extending her stay and eventually become a citizen.

    But, what about me? What do i have to do to ensure that i am able to work in Spain, and to become a EU citizen after a year? Can i travel when i like? Where do i find this information? i thought you were a great first step to contact.

    Thank you so much for your help.

    1. Contact the Spanish embassy. That is your first, second and third step. They have all the applications. Spain has one of the easiest laws for getting citizenships for, via marriage so you are lucky you feel in love with a Spanish girl. But if you are doing it just for the visa the EU is really cracking down on this as they have too many fake marriages, as Europe is a very cool place to live.

  11. Hi Mark. I am from Armenia and I am 16 years old. I need to live in Europe until I will become 18,because after 18 I must go to army,when I am sure I will die, because i think am gay.please help me ,and tell me the ways, because I don’t know what to do with my life, I am very desperate. I need your help so much..

    1. Armenia is a beautiful country. If you do not want to go to the army do not most people, study aboard of get some sort of student exemption. Other people get a medical exemption, they just get some doctor to say something like you have something that would excuse you from military service. I think if you are a student you can stay in Europe pretty easy as the EU has very good relations with Armenia and it is considered a EU future country.

  12. Hi Mark,
    I’m a U.S. Citizen, and I was born in Cuba. My grandmother was born in Spain in 1871. I’m interested obtaining Spanish/EU citizenship. I have made an appointment with the spanish consalate in January 2011 (before the filing period expires), but I have been having trouble obtaining my grandmothers birth certificate, due to the year she was born, it seems birth certificates were registered in churches in those days, and that makes it even more difficult to find. Can you offer any advise on my situation, and an easier way to obtain my grandmothers birth certificate?

    Thank You.

    Felix

    1. You have to go to the Church then. I did and found my grandfather’s records from the 1800s. The Church keeps very good records.

  13. Hey Mark, My friend and I have been wanting to move to Europe for a while.we are both only 16 but have been constantly researching how to possibly get a visa to stay in the country for 5 years. This whole process confuses us both and have been looking for directions on how exactly to get citizen ship in better terms for us to understand. We are afraid to ask our parents because of how they will react. me and her hate the American life. please help us.

    1. Two ways, the easiest is if your family or grandparents came from Europe. The second way is a student visa. Europe accepts American students no problem if you fill out all the forms.
      America is a great country, but I have been living in Europe for 7 years and I am not complaining. 🙂

  14. I am an American and going to marry an English man and we want to reside in France. He currently lives there and has a carte de sejour which allows him to work and reside. I need to know what paper work I need to complete before I can legally stay in France.

    1. If you will be married to an EU citizen it will be no problem. However, you need to go to the French embassy website and get the application and information as it can get complex to fill out all those forms. You basically have to apply for a visa.

  15. I am American and I need to make many businesses in different EU states. I need to get citizenship from one EU state to be granted the right to make businesses in all the other EU states. What EU state is easiest to get citizenship in. I can learn any language fast and have money to accompany any legal documents. What would be the fastest and easiest state to apply for citizenship in? I am a mut and don’t know my family tree, would original family immigrant citizenship be faster? I just need it done and fast.

    1. You can only get a citizenship based on right of blood not money. Citizenship is not about that. However, you can get a business visa. That any country will accept you if you have enough capital and set it up legally.

  16. I want to become a citizen within the EU and recently found out one of my grandparents was a citizen on one of the countries before immigrating to the US but my father died when I was young and never applied for citizenship himself. Would I be able to apply for citizenship through my grandparent?

    1. It is not possible to get EU citzenship based on grandparents except for a few European countries. Which country was he from? However, you can often get a visa and if you live there and learn the language you can get citzenship eventully. Which country is the important information.

  17. I’m a natural born American Citizen. Currently, I’m working as an aupair in Germany with a schnengen(sp) visa that will expire Oct 2011. I really would like to study in the Netherlands for my Bachelors, but non-EU student tuiton is ridiculously high, and at least 6-7000 more euro than what Dutch or EU citizens are required to pay. Unfortunately,I’m not so financially endowed. Most universities have scholarships, but only for Master programs. I am currently in a serious relatioship with a Dutch citizen, but would not want to marry just for financial reasons and not love.

    What are my options and or do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Sheeva

    1. My friends in your same situation, took loans or went to school in a cheaper country like in Krakow, Poland. Why pay three times for an education in Western Europe when you could get a great European education in Poland and live with a student visa and travel Europe on your free time. Krakow is loaded with Swedish and Norwegians etc who do this by the way.

  18. I am africa man but i marry polish girl we have been living together for 7 months but we have some difficult life because she is not working because she is pregenat and I don’t have job too but she was tell me that we can go to office and ask goverment to support us but I don’t like the ideal because I hard that if i use to take money from goverment for my living that it will affect me negative if I want to apply for citenzenship, I want to know if is true and what I must do.

    1. I would not worry about citizenship. I would start thinking about how to support the child in the long run. There must be something you can do for work. You can teach English, you can be a street performer, whatever it takes. It is all about the innocent child. If you can support the child and mother, then the citizenship question is a secondary issue.
      I worked on the loading docks, worked 3rd shift 7 days a week, do anything. At your age you should beable to move moutains. Ask God to help you tobe a good father. If you do all these things the citizenship issues will sort themselves out. Having a child is a plus for citizenship as well as being married for many years, but also they look at economic considerations.
      Look I am an American guy and if I wanted to bring my wife who is an EU citizen to the USA and our child who is American, I have to prove that I can support my family economically by showing my income and it has to be a certain level. I also have to sign document of support about not taking money from the government.
      So I would try anything you can to make money honestly and legally. If you need ideas let me know. I would put out 100 job applications a day until I found something and ask God to guide you in this search.

  19. I was born and brought up in india and I want EU citizenship,
    I am 19 year/male single.
    What are the best legal ways to get it?

    1. If you do not have any ties to Europe, you need to excel at the Univerisity and land a good job. First a student visa, then a work visa. Being a doctor for example. Then you can get a visa. After many years you can get a citizenship, but your first goal is to excel and make yourself invaluable to the host country you live in. Be something that it would contribute to the society and people would be thankful that you are there. Excel in learning and business. I know that sounds hard but nothing in life every comes easy.

  20. I am an Australian with EU citizenship (Irish). I live in the United Kingdom and France. I am marrying an American in July. Due to our marriage will she automatically (immediately) have the right to live in the EU?

    1. She will have the right to and I seriously doubt they would ever deny her unless she had some dark background. However, she can not authomatically live in the EU. She has to go through a visa process. I have been married to my wife for a while and our child is American as I am born and raised, but it is not a given that she will get a visa for the USA. I have to exceed certain income requirements etc.
      However, in your case I think it will be pretty easy if you start the paperwork right away. They will give you some temporary visa and then a full visa latter. They will not seperate a husband a wife, unless it is something very unsual.

  21. Hello,
    The simple way is to buy a real estate property in Latvia or invest in some Latvian project.
    The only one limitation is that property should cost more than 100,000 LVL.

  22. My husband’s parents met and married in Spain in the 1960’s. My father in law was an American stationed in Madrid and my mother in law is a natural born Spanish citizen. After a few years they moved back to the US and my mother in law was not allowed to claim dual citizenship. I believe that she curretly only has a US passport. My husband was born in 1971 in the US, but after his father died in 1972 they moved back to Spain for 10 years. At that point my MIL decided that the school system in the US was much better and moved him back here. He spent most of his life going back and forth. My MIL maintains residences in both countries. She spends half the year here and half there- although she can only sound 3 months there at a time.
    My husband would like to be able to apply for dual citizenship, but we aren’t sure how to get the ball rolling. Would my MIL have to reestablish Spanish citizeship first? Would our children be able to claim citizenship as well? Any help pointing us in the right direction would be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    1. citizenship laws go by what happened at the time of birth. If your parents or parent was a citizen at the time of birth then you get confirmed a citizen, mostly before the age of 18 but sometimes after.
      Yet if you show European blood you do not get confirmed a citizen, but you have rights for living in Europe in most cases, even if the blood (not in laws) is second or third generation.
      That with time can turn into citizenship.
      Since your case is more removed, I would talk to and the Spanish Embassy, they will guide you. I think since you are Americans (I assume) and the USA as good ties with the EU they will help out a lot and tell you exactly their law and how you can get an EU citizenship, even better than an immigration lawyer.
      Let me know what you find out if you can.

  23. Hello,
    I’m an American looking to be an Au Pair in England. How would I go about getting an EU passport or citizenship?

    1. You need to have ties to Europe ethnically or legally. If you have either such as a parent or grandparent you have a basis, if now you do not. I need more information about your family history.

  24. I have great grandparents born in England, came to U.S. in 1907. I have grandparent born in U.S. in 1927 (I believe). I don’t know whether or not she applied for British Nationality by Descent (how can I find out?). My father (her son) and grandmother returned to London in 1956, all I have is ship manifest which lists their intent to remain permanently in England. How can I find out if grandmother registered as British by Descent, and if this was granted to my father for purposes of registering me now as EU citizen? Both father and grandmother are deceased. Is there a records registry for this information.

    1. This is too far back for England in my opinion to claim based on blood. You might get a visa but not confirmed English citizenship. Start checking records from the immigration office, passports, English records. If you know the location you can start putting it all together. This is what I did to get Polish citizenship.

  25. You misunderstand me. I don’t want to claim based on great grandparents, or even grandmother.

    My grandmother went to England in 1956 with my father after a divorce, she returned to live in her parents home there. My father grew up in England, and I am hoping obtained dual citizenship, and my claim would be based on his status. What I don’t know, is how to find that out. Is there a registry somewhere?

  26. Hi, both of my parents were born in Kazakhstan (which is in Asia) but they are Russian and obviously have Russian blood. But I was born in America, but would it be possible for me to get an EU citizenship since I have European blood? Because I would love to move to Italy to work.

    1. You might be able to get a Russian or CIS citizenship but not EU. If you have a Russian citizenship you can get a visa easier I think but it is a stretch. Look why do you not get try to connect with a language school and either teach or be a student. I have know many people who have done both. The issue is Russia is not an EU member, but Americans are generally welcomed in Europe so a visa on other grounds are very doable.

  27. My father was born in Austria and moved to the US at the age of 12. When his parents became naturalized citizens, he automatically was naturalized. Am I to understand he needs to acquire dual citizenship first and then I can? How would he go about doing that?

    1. If your father was born in Austria you can get citizenship. Citizenship in Austria is determined by blood not birth location. So basically you and your dad are already citizens and only need to be confirmed. Just go to the Austrian Embassy website or call them. Do not give up. If you can not get it directly you can get it indirectly. I am sure of this. I did it with Polish citizenship, it just took longer.

  28. I am from Puerto Rico which means that we have American citizenship. My Biological mother moved to Spain when I was 7 (more than 25 years ago) and now she lives there with citizenship. I want to know how to claim it. The only thing is that I was adopted by her mother so legally I am her sister but by blood she is still my mother. Any advice?

    1. I think your situation is complex but you might have a case. You will have to contact the Spanish embassy to find out exactly what your possiblities are for citizenship.

  29. I am an american currently living in Spain with spanish residency for more than 3 years now married to a French national who also lives with me. I wish to obtain an EU passport and am unsure the time it requires to apply for one. I constantly hear different things from different people. Can anyone give me a concise answer? Thanks in advance for your help.

    1. Four years living in France or Five years living abroad. So I would apply for French Citizenship today and in a couple of years you could get it.

  30. My grandmother was born in Sweden, she came to USA in 1918.
    Can I claim my Swedish nationality and EU passport?

    Thanks
    A

    1. For Swedish citizenship it would have to be your parent that was a citizen at time of your birth. It does not mean you can not get a Swedish citizenship, it just means it would be a long process and a case your have to be built up. This would be based on a lot of things such as your connection to Sweden and even your ability with the language. If you are willing to go the long road, including living in Sweden legally I think with time you can get a Swedish passport.

  31. I am marrying a Swede in July and we live together in London, England. I am I am on an Ancestry Visa but I don’t qualify for Citizenship due to the time I spend out of the country. I am wondering if it is possible to get EU citizenship through my husband, even though we don’t live in Sweden nor ever intend to.

    1. You need to live in the country of Sweden with a legal visa status in that country like a green card for five years, not exceptions. The process of application is about a year so it brings it to about six years total of nice living in the country of Sweden before you can get a passport.

  32. I am American & my wife is Lithuanian. We are planning to spend a few years in europe, probably Switzerland/Italy. since she was born in Europe/Lithuanian, does that give me allowance to EU citizenship/recognition or at least the same rights for working in European countries?
    We also have an American born daughter & would like her to have dual citizenship(allowance) as well.
    Thank You very much.

    1. If you work with the Lithuanian government you can get a visa to live in Europe. Or the host country you intent to live in will grant you a visa based on your wife’s citizenship. But just like a US citizenship the EU does not hand these out. You have to live in Lithuania and pass a test of the laws and language before they grant you citizenship. So if you want to study the Lithuanian language you can get an EU passport. If not only a visa.

  33. I tried getting to the UK the student route, but didn’t work for me. I was there for five years on a visa, but couldn’t afford to get the work visa in time. I have a 3 month old daughter with a man with permanent residency in the UK. I’m back in the USA and my daughter was born here. Her father remained in the UK. He doesn’t have a nationality (born in Estonia, but not considered Estonian). We’re both pretty poor and now stuck in different countries. From what we’ve been told, there isn’t much to be done until he can make enough money to show he can support us and that’s not going very well. Sometimes the system really frustrates me.

    1. I think it is disgraceful countries break up families based on money.

      Amanda do not fret about being poor. Everyone is, or at least perceived to be. Unless you have a high-powered corporate job most people are just paying the bills. This is OK. Think of the Amish, they are not greedy. Do not ever feel bad about a perceived lack of relative wealth.

      Do you want to get married to this man? Why not if you have a child together. If you are husband and wife – the US will not break up a family based on money. I think they will tell you this and that about money, but from what I understand if you get a lawyer, even a free one, there are agencies of the US government that can partition homeland security and immigration to waive the financial requirement based on the welfare of the child.
      I do not know the details. But I believe this is the way people do it. Also can he get a justification for political asylum as a stateless person?
      Can you get a job that makes about 30k a year and you are all set?
      Can you get your folks to help sponsor you?
      Do not give up. This is important and your life and a family should not be broken up because of money. That is sinful.

  34. My grandfather was born in Italy and immigrated to Canada (never renounced italian citizenship). I helped get my uncle (grandfathers son) his Italian citizenship but never asked if I as a grandson could obtain Italian citizenship. My mother (grandfathers daughter never applied). I have read where grandchildren may obtain for citizenship in Italy is this correct?

    1. There is no generational limit on Italian jure sanguinis after 1861. However, you have to document a continuous lineage without anyone renouncing Italian citizenship. If you are willing to do the paper work it is worth the work to get citizenship.

  35. My grandparents on my mother’s side were both born in Estonia and immigrated to the US in the late 40’s. We have legal birth documents of both of their births from the internal offices of Estonia (Eesti Vabariik Perekonnaseisu Ametnik). Is this enough proof/information to claim citizenship by blood? Mark, would you happen to have any information on specific countries requirements or could you point me in a direction? What I’ve gathered after skimming is that often you need a parent to have citizenship,which I believe my mother could do. My aunt would also like to do the process.
    Any information you can provide would be great. You seem very knowledgable about the subject, great information here.

    1. Estonia is a hard place to get citizenship from. One of your parents had to be Estonian citizen at the time of your birth. If you can prove this then you are confirmed. So it is not a matter of achieving citizenship for your mother but she must be confirmed. Which is different. It means she always was an Estonian citizen because of her birthright. If you can do this, then you will get citizenship.

  36. Hi Mark
    I hope You will be able to help me. I am Polish citizen living in UK. My fiancé is Indian (temporary living in India ), we want to get marriage in Poland in a civil ceremony. Can You tell how difficult it’s going to be .What sort of documents need to be provided and how long this process is for. How long My fiancé have to be in Poland for.

    Thank You for any replies.

    1. I am seeing more and more Indian and Polish marriage. Basically, he needs to have court approval for the marriage license. What does this take? If you are Polish call the Uząd. It will take a lot of documentation as I have outlined in this post and other posts on my website. Please explore my website in that regard. Basically he has to obtain a document that he is free and clear to marry from his country as well as birth documents.

  37. Hi Mark,well I have been reading your replies to people, than is so appreciable so even I have a question, I’m swedish citizen and i got married recently to my wife from india. I am planning to go to Scotland and work there, can I apply for my wife from india to Scotland since I will be working in Scotland. What are the possibilities for my wife to come to Scotland since she is indian citizen and me being swedish citizen and working in Scotland, thank you.

    1. Yes you can work in Scotland and so can she if she is married to you and all the papers are in order. The main things is her visa status not her citizenship. As a wife of an EU national it would be easy. What visa does she have?

      1. Well I have not applied for her visa yet she is in India at the moment. So I want to move to Scotland and work and if I apply for her will she directly able to come to Scotland and live with me? And should I go through the Swedish embassy or UK for the applications?

        1. If you are married and all th paperwork is in order, you want to live in the UK go thought the UK department of immigration for her. This will require you both to fill out an application, it would be a marriage visa basically. That is if you have a job already in the UK, she can apply for a spousal visa.

          1. Well I have last question when she is in tourist visa in uk can she do the paper process from UK or she has to go back to India and do it? She was in Scotland as a student for four and a have years now she completed her studies so she will be coming to Scotland to visit me as a visitor visa so can she apply from Scotland and live with me while the paper work is in process?

          2. She can apply from Scotland or anywhere else in the world. It does not matter, if she still has a visa and does not go over the 3 month limit for a tourist visa in the EU.
            They might give her an extension as they gave me. I applied for a long-term visa but they gave me a temporary extension on my 3 month stay until the paper work was approved.
            But you and her have to talk to the embassy about this directly as it might be different in your case, and country. But for me they gave me the OK to stay in the EU until the paper work was complete.

  38. I am a US Citizen trying to find out information regarding acquiring EU citizenship through ancestry. I read online, “The easiest path to living and working in the EU is to claim EU citizenship through descent or origin should you have an ancestor born in one of the current European Union member states”. None of the sites I found, however, actually tell me how do that. My goal is to live and work in Spain for a company named Vaughan systems but was informed Non EU citizens have difficulty obtining a NIE and social security number without a EU passport. But, they mention,
    “•The first thing you should do is to check if you have EU ancestry. Each country within Europe functions differently- though the majority of nations will only grant citizenship with close links to previous 1 or 2 generations, some countries in the EU, such as Italy, consider applications from non-EU citizens who descend from Italian ancestry even if the ancestor is from a number of generations back.”

    I found several websites but none actually tell me how to do this. Both my Maternal Grandparents were born and raised in England. Would this help me to obtain what I need to get a EU Passport? I am very confused about all of this. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

    OR,is there an easier way to go live and work in Spain?
    Thanks.

    1. What is EU citizenship but an application and a passionate argument? The good news is I think maybe you could get an EU citizenship based on blood if your grandparents came from Europe.

      However, what you need to do is understand you will not get an EU passport in a snap. It took means years of work, but now that I have it I have it and it is great.
      I did not use a lawyer, I just did the paperwork myself based my own brainpower. That is I reasoned they want a case for citizenship, that is a strong argument supported by a lot of documents, paper and even emotional appeal. The law is pretty clear, however, that does not mean there is not leeway as humans not machine look over the documents.

      The second thing to understand is, unless your parents are from the EU it is harder to claim citizenship at once. That would be confirmation of citizenship.

      What you might have to do is become a naturalized citizen, as confirmation is hard unless certain requirements are ment.

      Italy is easy, UK is harder, in my opinion.

      Step 1 is go to the embassy website in your target country. It will explain a lot but not everything.

      Step 2 Get organized and build a full case with all birth and marriage certificates and a family tree in excel for example with names and dates. This will take research and interviewing your family.

      Buy a folder and start to stack and photocopy documents, request originals when you can.

      Step 3 talk to the embassy about what they advise based on your case the best way to get a visa or citizenship. Call them on the phone or hang out there and keep going back.

      I went to the office of foreigner affairs three times a week for about a year until I got every answer I needed, OK maybe not that much but often.

      In my case it took years of living in Europe, which is actually a good thing. first got a visa then a citizenship through naturalization. The visa came because I had an application in for citizenship and I argued Jus sanguinis. I read the law and the constitution and got an understanding of it as it related to citizenship.

      I had over 100 pages of documents I put together as well as written arguments,proved I had money in the bank and a master’s degree. So they were pretty welcoming as I could support myself no problem. But the law is based on blood so that does not matter it makes it easier that is all.

      So if you want a citizenship my point is build a case based on our life and family history and why you would be a positive part of the country you want citizenship for and work with the embassy with the application. It comes down to an application after all.

      Let me know if you have any questions about EU citizenship.

  39. I lived in Germany for 4 years from 1983-87 and had dated a German girl during that time there. After my father was stationed back to the states when I was 18, she and I lost touch. After 25 years we actually found each other through a popular social network. We are discussing marriage. We are both open to moving to the others country, but I believe it would be more beneficial to her and her children to remain in Germany where they already have family and their father around them. But there are issues that I believe may interfere from me being able to reside in Germany, even after a marriage with her. I have a felony conviction on my record. I’d love to go back to Germany and live there with her, but if the conviction will deny me from living there, we’ll be forced to live in the U.S. That would be a great strain on her and even IF the children’s father would even allow her to bring them with her. Either way seems to lead to very hard choices to be made. It may even prove to be very overbearing on our renewed relationship. I appreciate any and all advice yu have to give us in this desperate situation.

    1. I do not have the wisdom on this one. I think a felony does you from ever immigrating to Germany according to German immigration law. So unless you were to get a very good immigration lawyer to help, I doubt it is possible. On the other hand, in the USA for her to immigrate even after marriage you have to show financial support. They look at your bank records and income. I think if there is a will there is a way, but you need to work with someone as your case is special.

    2. Depending on the Felony and the state which convicted you, you may be eligible to get it expunged, which in most immigration cases is enough for you to qualify.. the process can take from 6 months to a year but it’s well well worth it. I’ve been through the process and it’s done wonders for my career opportunities.. I’ve been looking at moving to the UK and the UK has a similar rule in that they do not require you to report convictions that under UK law would be considered “Spent”.. their version of expunged but mostly based on time and seriousness of the offence..

      if you are 45 and you boosted a car when you were 18 and have never been in trouble since, most EU countries I’ve researched will overlook that.. .. Talk to an immigration atty in germany and best of luck.

  40. I am Czech descent. My great grandparents emigrated from Czechoslovakia. They only spoke Czech never English. They are dead now and so are my grandparents on my mother’s side. They were also Czech and it was an arranged marriage.

    I wanted to know if I can obtain dual citizenship with Europe. I have traveled but I wanted to stay longer. I returned to school this year and I am studying teaching and nutrition.

    Thank you for the info!

    1. You can not get it confirmed because your parents would have to be Czech citizens. However, if you moved and lived there for ten years you could get naturalized if it is a legal and continuous residence. You could get a visa maybe through right of blood, but you need to prove all this.
      If you think I sound hard, I am not, I did this with Poland but the naturalization requirement was less.

  41. Hi,

    I have a friend whose grand parents were German. In order to get German citizenship she asked her father to become a German citizen and then she, in turn, was able to become a German citizen. She said they went together to submit their documents and the whole process was very easy.

    I am wondering if I could do the same thing with Sweden. My grandmothers parents were born in Sweden. Therefore, could my grandmother, my mother, and myself all apply at the same time for Swedish citizenship? Or, if you know any countries besides Germany where this is possible, I´m sure people would appreciate the information. I suppose the best thing for me to do would be to ask the Swedish embassy.. but I haven´t gotten that far yet. I´m just in the “curious” stage 🙂

    1. I think your best chance is to build a case like I did, by living in your target county legally and working and supporting yourself and learning the language. This way they will be open to naturalizing you, but confirmation of citizenship I do not think it is possible.

  42. Hi Mark,
    I am wondering if it is possible for me to receive EU citizenship from Germany as my ex wife and I have two children together who currently reside in Germany where we were married and lived until I divorced.

    Where this gets complicated is I left Germany during the divorce proceedings to set up a business in the Czech Republic and need to keep renewing my Visa every two years until I can either have a full 5 years continuous living in the CZ as well as pass their fluency test. Is there some way I can obtain EU citizenship based on my children living in Germany and myself living in Prague (self-employed)?

    1. Kurt, I am sorry you had to go through all that trouble. I am certain that if you have two children in the EU you can get a visa. However, a citizenship would take more time. I think you would it would be like the USA. That is citizenship does not pass from the child to the adult but the other way around. However, if you are active in your children’s life Germany would be hard pressed to separate you based on a visa. This is the same with the USA. Technically you can not get a visa this way, but talking to people who are in the know they have told me if you are clever and go though the right channels, such as family services and rights, you can get some sort of family visa and this can lead to naturalization. The problem is I do not know the details of all this.
      Further, I think if you have a business in the Czech Republic it would not be a problem. I know guys in Poland who have a language school or hostels and have had no problem living here for many years. Again I do not have the details. I am sorry. However, my experience has been to build a case. That means the laws are there but they are flexible and there are humans behind the laws. If you can make a strong case, for example about your family, or business, I do not think it would be a problem. So the only message I can give you is a hope and positive feelings, but not concrete information.

      1. Thanks Mark, I will be making many, many phone calls and getting the assistance of a lawyer to see how best to approach this situation.

        1. Again I am really sorry you went through all this, I know it was hard, but the good news is I got a visa to live here and citizenship and so can you. I am pretty confident of it, I think you just need to take a different approach then I did.

  43. Hi, I have a huge question. Okay, so my name is Anastasia. I’m gay and I want to move to England to be with the girl I am in love with. Is it possible for me to stay in England if I am in a relationship with her?

    1. You need a legal basis and being in a relationship is not one. After I spent many hard years getting a Polish citizenship, and I mean a lot of work, an American friend of mine told me she was going to pick up a Polish citizenship or visa because her partner was a Polish citizens. I said what? How can that be? She said it is already taken care of. Well, 5 years latter it is not taken care of and she is living on a student visa. So the idea of relationship does not mean anything to governments. They need family connections.
      Maybe you could try a student visa?

      1. It’s not so true any more.. the UK now recognizes Civil Partnerships for the purposes of immigration and the home office considers gender irrelevant.

        If you are not in the UK, my recommendation would be to apply for a marriage (civil partnership visa) for the purpose of entering the UK specifically for the purpose of getting married.

        Then once you’re civil partnership is official and registered, while in the UK, you can apply for a spousal visa, which would also grant you the right to work.

        If the relationship is in tact for 2 years after that, you have to right to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (or Permanent Residency)

        The moment you have been granted ILR (after going through the above process) you can apply to be a UK citizen.

  44. Hi,Mark! I have couple questions myself. I’m from Estonia originally, but I don’t hold Estonian citizenship,not yet. What I have is an Alien Passport with permanent resident ship,that gives me right to live and work in Estonia. Well, the thing is I’m currently in Germany and I found a really good job and I even got a contract. Can you please help me find info on how to get a work permit in Germany,without all the hassle of getting back home and apply for work visa in Estonia? My employers are not willing to wait, and also I can not get a clear answer from anybody,because of me being stateless. Also,my husband has citizenship of Moldova and holds work Visa Type D from Czech Republic,can he work in Germany with it? Thank you!

    1. I understand your situation about Estonia and the residence card as I am familiar with Estonian law in that regard and why you do not have citizenship.
      Polish people that worked in Germany before Poland was EU or a full member with no restrictions on work, had to apply at the German city government where they were getting the job. It was just a matter of filling out paper work as Germany has many foreign workers.
      To apply you know what you need, a letter from your company and all your relavant documentation like passport and identification cards and work history etc. But the main thing is you have to go to the town hall in Germany to start the application for a work Visa.

      • You have to be filling a postion that an Eu national can not fill
      • You need to usually have some technical skill or degree
      • Your company has to be registarted with the German labor board
      • You have to apply with a letter from your company

      Besides that it should be pretty easy.

      1. Hi,Mark! Thank you for your respond! U gave me an idea on what I should do next. By going to town hall you mean Einwohnermelderamt, right? What about the next part of my question,about my husband. Do you know anything about him be able to work in Germany on these conditions?

        1. Yes the Einwohnermelderamt 🙂 that is what people have told me from Poland they had to do before Poles could work there. It really was not a big deal because Germany has had a long tradition of foreign workers and you coming from Estonia, an EU country even if your passport is something else like Russia or Ukrainian they are friendly to these nations.
          I think the main thing is to get one of you a visa to live legally there and the other one can get a spouse visa, but I do not know all the complex details of the law there.
          I was talking to someone today who was from Israel and he got an EU visa first by teaching at a language school, then by applying for residence after many years and now he is becoming a citizen. Most EU countries will be open to you if you can demonstrate that you can work and contribute and learn the language. Being a citizen is not like earning a University degree, it is more about civil and social contribution and integration. And if you can prove this and make a strong case for this they will agree.

  45. Hello Mark, my name is Cari I am american and the x wife of an Italian EU national married in Florence, and the mother of 2 Italian EU nationals(Daughters) I have been living abroad between Italy and Spain for the past 16 years legally, I got divorced in 2002 here in Spain, Valencia where I currently reside with my girls, unfortunately the solicitor who took care of our civil case misinformed me when I asked him what will my status be if I divorced my husband, So as mentioned living in Spain with my 2 children for the past 12,I have not been accredited all 12, when renewing my residency, I had to process everything all over again for not meeting their deadlines here, due to the legal advice given to me from our lawyer, therefore I have only been recognized 5 years where I am finally acquiring permanent residency here in Spain, as the sole provider of my 2 italian children, my question is can I apply for EU citizenship so that I may work and reside in the UK with my 2 daughters?

    1. Cari I am sorry you had such trouble with your lawyer. In my experience Lawyers are wrong many times about the law. In Europe even more. I do not know why, maybe they come from a position of ‘I know’ and they do not know. I found doing research myself even if it is time-consuming the better way.
      The fact that you have lived legally so long in my understanding does give you right for citizenship. You just need to apply. I do not understand why they would not count all your years of legal residence. They should and you should make a detailed and factual but passionate case for why this is your home and you would make a good citizen. There should be no trouble at all. The process might take time but you will get it.

      You know Spanish citizenship requires ten years of legal residency for naturalization. But the law also states ‘under exceptional circumstances’ (usually for sports stars etc) citizenship can be granted. I think if you build a case and spend a lot of time building it in detail about how you have learned Spanish and have children to care for and lived in Spain many years, you make this case to the ‘office of the President’, you have a reasonable chance. It might take two years for them to grant you citizenship, but I think you can get it on an accelerated basis.

      Talk to the office of foreigner affairs in Spain. See if they can guide you. They have specialists that know the law better than lawyers, at least they should and this was the case for me in Poland. Also read everything you can about various cases of people who achieve citizenship.

      Remember citizenship is not like a univeristy degree, something you earn but rather a legal thing that is connected to you being part of Spanish society.

      If you have European blood this could help for another country. Your daughters should be Italian nationals I think and again explain the situation in detail.

      Spain right is underwater economically and I have no idea how long it will take to pull itself out. I guess you know how to live there economically, certainly teaching English you can pay the bills.

      Are you sure that you can not live in the UK with a EU resident card? If you can get an employer to sponsor you than not problem, my brother did and is now an UK citizen.

  46. Hi I am currently working as an Au pair in Netherlands.I still have visa for 5 months, I would like to know if what is the procedure for me so I can remain to Eu like Germany and we wish to live together.. if we are planning to Marry.Do i have to wait for my visa as an Au pair be done or is it ok to get marry before my visa ends? If that is not possible do you think the Embassy can give me a permission to stay with my fiancee so we can make all the process of getting married?Thank you very much.

    1. You need a fiance visa, but this is very temporary and you must get married generally in most countries in 6 months or less. Then you can stay in the EU. But a visa is not reason to get married of course. Only love and commitment so do not rush it based on this.

  47. I’m a Canadian who has been looking researching and attempting ways to be a citizen of Ireland.
    My paternal line is Irish but 4 generations back and although I was told irish Immigration cannot limit generations, they require full proof. All I have is the Canadian census as birth certificates and baptismal were scarce back then. Otherwise, I find the work permit route ,etc. hard to attain, as the employer must advertise for the position throughout the EU at least 8 weeks prior to offering it to you.
    After all this to do, I took a look at my maternal side where I find my mother’s mother ( yes, my grandmother) was austrian. If I can prove that she did not get naturalized (Canadian) until after my mother’s birth ( now deceased ) does this allow possibilities for Austrian passport for myself?
    Do you know if Austria follows the blood line of both mother and father/ grandmother and grandfather if in both generations there was wedlock?
    You are providing an amazing service to a lot of lost souls, like myself out there. It’s very heartening. I wonder how many of you there can be to get through all these life stories?
    Grace&Courage,

    1. I think Austrian citizenship is strict, Irish is not. You can get all church and civil records to get Irish citizenship if you do the research and in addition build a passionate case about how you feel Irish etc.
      I had no problem getting ancient records in Eastern Europe and you should have no problem in Canada or Ireland. You must go to the parish Priests and they have a book of all recorded actions going back from the beginning of time almost, really.
      Do not tell me these are scares, because I have done this type of research myself. You have to go there and search through it. The Church does not through out records like this. Similarly the government also keeps records they do not burn them. You can hire someone or do it yourself but I think even though it goes far back you can do it. Start with a family tree in excel with all the details you have. This is important. Let me know how you are doing.

  48. My wife’s grandfather and his father (wife’s great grandfather) were German Jews who fled Germany during the holocaust and ended up in Venezuela where my wife was born. She is now a US citizen would Germany honor her claim to German citizenship and we could get German passports and be able to work in the EU?

    1. Your story is a common story I hear and dramatic.
      Unfortunately, there was a window of opportunity way back to claim German citizenship but that has expired long ago. You needed to register as a citizen. However, if you were to apply for repatriation which is a long process of living in Germany legally and working and learning the language you might be able to get it. You have to talk to the German embassy about how best to approach your case. I personally think it is not possible in an easy way, but at the embassy they night know a way to get German citizenship.

  49. I am an Australian citizen and I am marrying a Polish citizen in Poland I am lodging all the paper work needed to give me residency and work rights within Poland, however as my Polish is very poor and the wages and job opportunity is not great in this country I am wanting to work and live in the UK, As I understand my wife to be can do this with no problem I am unsure if I can.
    What do I need to do to get work rights and residency rights in the UK I am a trade qualified welder and I am 29 years old.

    1. I question i Poland is poor, I have lived here a good part of my life and from Boston and you have to look not just at the income side but the cost side. I live a better life here in Poland than I did in Boston being a six figure guy. But if you want to live in the UK it will be no problem, under a spousal visa. I do not know all the documents but go to the British consultat and they have a form you can fill out.

  50. My mum is a naturalized British citizen. If she stayed and work in france or spain for three months or more, she will gain her EU citizenship right? can she use that (thru the treaty right of free movement) to help us for our application in the UK? Me and my wife are overstayers here for five years now and have a child who’s now three years old. Do we stand a chance? would really appreciate your response.

    1. You stand a good chance if you did not over stay your time in the EU. Since you have I can not advise you, you would have to talk to an immigration lawyer sorry as your case is complex.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.