If your parents or grandparents are from the EU, you probably already know that EU citizenship makes it possible for you to reside, study, own property and gain employment in the European Union countries. To help you navigate the bureaucratic maze that acquiring citizenship is, we’ve put together answers to commonly asked questions about EU citizenship and EU passports.
Frequently asked questions
What is the EU (European Union)?
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 27 member states. It has 447 million residents (5.8% of the world’s population) and encompasses an area of 4,233,255.3 km2. The union and EU citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993.
What is an EU citizenship?
Any person who holds citizenship of an EU country is automatically also an EU citizen. EU citizenship is additional to national citizenship and does not replace it. This means that while they are citizens of their home country, with the rights and responsibilities that citizenship involves, they are also citizens of the European Union. EU citizens have freedom of movement, settlement and employment across the EU. They are free to trade and transport goods, services, and capital through EU state borders with no restrictions on capital movements or fees. They have the right to vote in and run as a candidate in elections in the state where they live, while also voting for EU elections and participating in a European Citizens’ Initiative. An EU citizen has the right to live, work, study and retire in any of the EU member states and has diplomatic and consular protection.
What countries are members of the EU?
EU citizens are citizens of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden. Similar rights also apply to nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, and to nationals of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland who are covered by Part Two of the Withdrawal Agreement (Brexit).
What is an EU passport?
An EU passport is a passport issued by one of the 27 member states of the European Union. You need to be a citizen of one of the member states to qualify.
How do I get an EU passport?
here are three common ways to acquire EU citizenship as a non-EU citizen:
Jus soli (right of soil) – through your place of birth
jus sanguinis (right of blood) – also known as citizenship by descent
naturalization – through residence
In some countries being born within its boundaries is sufficient to acquire citizenship but EU countries do not automatically grant citizenship to children born in their territories. The most common condition for citizenship through birth is that at least one of the parents must have been a citizen of that country before the child was born.
You may be eligible for EU citizenship if your ancestors come from an EU country. EU countries that offer the most flexible avenues for citizenship through blood are Germany, Ireland, Italy Poland, Portugal, Latvia and Lithuania. Other EU countries allow it as well but under stricter conditions, including ability to speak the language. Each EU country has its own rules, application processes and required documentation.
If you legally reside in an EU country for a specific period of time, you can acquire citizenship rights. Each EU country has different regulations regarding the application process, duration of the residence and required documentation. You may also need to prove language proficiency.
What is dual citizenship?
Dual citizenship, or having a second passport, has become very popular in recent years since it gives people security and flexibility. An EU Passport as a second passport gives you the highest level of safety as gives you freedom of movement with the 27 countries of the European Union.
Which EU countries allow dual citizenship?
Germany, Greece, France, Ireland, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia.