HOW TO BECOME A EUROPEAN CITIZEN
Thousands of non-EU nationals are becoming EU citizens all over the world. How to Become a European Citizen: Getting an EU Passport, How do they manage to do this? In this comprehensive guide, we look at how to become an EU citizen if you weren’t born in an EU country or have a family member that is part of the EU already.
What is a European citizen?
A European citizen is a qualifying citizen of a European Union member state that enjoys the right to free movement, settlement, and employment across all 28 countries of the union.
To procure EU citizenship, you must apply for citizenship in an EU country. While the process for becoming a European citizen varies between states, in general, the minimum requirement is for you to live in the country for a certain amount of time, provide proof of legal residence in the country and lodge your European union citizenship application.
Why become an EU citizen?
There are many benefits of being an EU citizen. European citizenship grants you unlimited working rights in an EU state, as well as increased international mobility and freedom of opportunities.
Here are the top ten benefits of becoming an EU citizen:
- Full working and residential rights in 28 EU countries
- Fantastic tertiary education and scholarship choices
- Grow your business with full EU protection
- Right to consular protection by EU member states
- National health care benefits
- Privacy laws to protect you
- A European passport gives you a plan B during times of crisis
- Own property without a permit
- Visa-free travel to 153 countries
- EU passport can be passed down to future generations
Am I eligible for a European passport?
Anyone is eligible for a European passport, provided that they pursue one of the following three options:
1. Get European citizenship through your descent or ancestry
2. Get EU citizenship through naturalization
3. Apply for a European passport through a Citizenship by Investment Program
European citizenship through your descent/ancestry
The easiest way to get European citizenship is if you have parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents (in some cases) from Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and many other countries. This type of citizenship is common and it costs just a few hundred dollars to obtain a European passport.
Become an EU citizen through naturalization
Most countries in Europe give EU citizenship to people who are legal residents in the country. The requirement is for the person to maintain their residency in the country for a set number of years first.
How to become an EU citizenship through Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship by Investment Programs or EU residency programs is the fastest way to get European citizenship. In exchange for qualifying investment in the nation, you and your family can get EU passports in as little as six months, depending on what country program you pick. For example, Cyprus offers passports to investors in just six months, provided that you make a minimum financial contribution of €2,150,000.
Best EU citizenship to have
One of the best EU citizenships to hold is from Austria. It is one of the most attractive countries in the world in terms of the sheer amount of opportunities it offers. From economic stability, low crime rates, clean air, to excellent infrastructure and job opportunities, an Austrian passport gets you far.
Another best EU citizenship to have is Portugal. Its 300 hours of sunshine per year, long stretch of Atlantic coastline, fabulous food, affordable living costs, and excellent property market prices mean having a Portuguese passport is an asset. The minimum amount required to get Portuguese citizenship is a €280K investment in a renovations project, or buying a property worth €500K and a Portuguese passport can be yours in just five years.
How to become an EU citizen via Citizenship by Investment
Becoming an EU citizen via Citizenship by Investment is a relatively straightforward and fast process. Citizenship by Investment allows qualifying investors and their family members to get second citizenship and passports by making an investment. While the type of investment and amount varies, investors usually buy properties and get citizenship in under a year.
One of the best advantages of becoming an EU citizen via Citizenship by Investment is that you can have a passport in your hands in a year, plus your immediate family members are also eligible for passports (for an additional fee).
Become an EU citizen in Malta
Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Program — also referred to as the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services — provides a quick and efficient journey to a European passport.
With a Maltese passport, you can travel visa-free to more than 166 countries around the world, as well as access the right to live in Malta or anywhere else in the EU freely.
One of the best things about owning a Maltese passport is that you can pass it down to future generations.