Many people want to live legally in two countries. But not everyone can afford the luxury of having two homes. And people want to enjoy great opportunities and freedom of movement in the European Union, to live an entire life, work, and teach children without abandoning their homeland. According to Immigrant Invest specialist Evgeniya Morozova, in order to obtain a second passport, a number of requirements and conditions must be met.
What is dual citizenship?
A citizen of two different countries holding their passports holds dual citizenship. Both states recognize a person’s rights and obligations towards another country in this case. But it should not be confused with dual citizenship. These are entirely different concepts.
Obtaining second citizenship also gives one person a second identity card. But there is no official recognition of his rights and obligations concerning another state. So, for example, if a Ukrainian has Ukrainian and Polish passports in his home country, he will be recognized only as a citizen of Ukraine, in Poland – only as a Pole. So it is crucial to decide which status you need.
Countries with dual citizenship in Europe
You can get a second passport in the European Union in Albania, Bulgaria, Belgium, Britain, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. But there are some reservations.
For example, Britain does not grant official status to residents of its colonies and overseas territories without renouncing their former citizenship. Ireland allows one to become Irish by descent, while Cyprus allows one to become Cypriot by investment alone.
Before submitting documents, you should study the laws and conditions of the process in the respective country. They may differ. Therefore, if you have not yet decided which EU state and under which program you would like to move, seek advice from specialists. Consider all possible dual citizenship countries. They can help you with the application process and with the preparation of documents.
Paths to get dual citizenship in the EU
There are several legal ways to move and reside in the European Union. EU dual citizenship countries offer applicants one of these programs:
It is allowed to obtain the cherished status by descent if the applicant has close relatives (in the first or second line) who are EU citizens. It is not even possible to live in this country. You can get a passport under this scheme in about a year. But such a scheme can take longer.
This way is the best option if:
- the applicant has a work visa and at least five years of work experience in the European Union;
- the applicant has been married to an EU citizen for at least three years;
- the applicant permanently resides and works in the country for 5 to 12 years and has a temporary residence permit.
In the latter case, you may have to pass exams. But it all depends on the country where you plan to move to.
The most costly way is to invest in the country’s economy. It can be opening your own company, investing in an existing business, or opening an account in one of the banks. In this case, the applicant is issued a temporary Golden visa, which can be extended. But you have to live in the country for at least five years, sometimes more than ten. The amount of investment can be different.
- The right of the soil
The right of the soil entitles the applicant to become a citizen of the country where he was born. But this status can be denied if his parents did not live in that state for 3 to 10 years.
Benefits of dual citizenship
Among the main advantages are:
- visiting 170+ countries without a visa;
- favorable conditions for doing business and buying housing;
- official employment;
- the more accessible entrance to universities;
- access to the highest level of medical care;
- legal residence in Europe without restrictions.
Certain members of the EU offer other advantages. They are considered separately on a state-by-state basis.
Thus, dual citizenship in Europe doubles a person’s opportunities and makes the prospects of life, work, and study more inspiring. If you are ready for such a step, start gathering information. Once you have chosen a country close to you and conditions you can abide by, it is important to start acting. Contact a law firm that will help prepare all the necessary documents. And its employees will accompany you from the idea of getting the desired identity card of the EU country.
Specialists with experience in such work will make the process easier and faster. This issue is covered in more detail at immigrantinvest.com. Nothing is impossible if you set a goal, develop a plan, and carry it out step by step. Let your dream of living in one of the civilized European countries come true sooner.