EU citizenship

EU citizenship

EU citizenship is a status that is assigned to every passport holder of any of the countries of this association. European Union legislation, including Directive 2004/38/EU, establishes equal rights for citizens of all treaty states. Russians and other foreigners can obtain an EU country passport by right of birth, repatriation, for special merits, within the framework of general or accelerated naturalization. Depending on the basis, it takes the applicant from 12 months to 10 years to obtain the status.

An applicant for EU citizenship in most cases must be of legal age, law-abiding, and also have documentary confirmation of the right to obtain the requested status. An EU country passport gives the owner the opportunity to live in the territory of any of the states of this union without restrictions on the term and on an equal footing with the indigenous population (for example, official employment or opening a business). The article details the current programs for obtaining EU citizenship in 2023, the advantages of the status, terms, cost, and other important aspects.

What does EU citizenship give

Obtaining EU citizenship gives the applicant access to the following rights and benefits:

  • relocation to any of the treaty states without additional documentary requirements;
  • official employment without the need to obtain a permit, with the right to subsequently receive social benefits and a pension by age;
  • registration and conduct of commercial activities in the Single European Market with simplified logistics and customs norms;
  • service in the best European clinics for free or at the expense of the standard EU medical insurance;
  • purchase of real estate, land plots, inaccessible for acquisition by foreigners;
  • services of banking institutions on preferential terms (low loan rates, simple mortgage approval) in different EU countries;
  • registration of an EU passport or residence for family members.

How to obtain EU citizenship

A foreigner can get an EU citizen’s passport by right of birth if his mother or father owns a similar document. The country of origin of the applicant in this case does not matter. An immigrant can become an EU citizen by repatriation - the procedure for restoring status by roots. This method is relevant for residents of Russia and applicants from other countries, in whose family up to 2-4 generations there are or were owners of an EU country passport.

Applicants without ethnic or territorial affiliation to EU countries can claim citizenship of the union through the naturalization procedure. This method implies the preliminary legal residence of an immigrant in the selected state for 5-10 years from the moment of opening the first residence permit. Naturalization can be accelerated, for example, when an EU citizen’s passport is provided faster in exchange for investments in the economy, or if the applicant marries a local resident.

EU citizenship by naturalization

Naturalization in the EU is the process of acquiring civil rights by observing the established census of sedentary life in the legislation. The issuance of an EU passport is preceded by a 5-10 year period of residence of an immigrant in the selected state with a residence permit (temporary and / or permanent). The general conditions for naturalization in EU countries usually include the absence of convictions, age over 18, financial security, proficiency in the state language at a certain level.

The procedure for obtaining European Union citizenship for naturalized applicants looks like this:

  1. Choice of grounds for legal immigration.
  2. Moving and obtaining a temporary residence permit.
  3. Living with a residence permit and its extension (if applicable).
  4. Registration of permanent resident status.
  5. Living in the country with a permanent residence permit and applying for citizenship after observing the census of sedentary life.

For relocation and registration of the initial residence permit, Russian citizens and other foreigners can use one of the following reasons:

  • reunification with family members (spouse, children, parents, in exceptional cases - other relatives);
  • official employment in a local firm or branch of an international company, including long business trips, internships, and intra-corporate transfer;
  • admission to a university, college, academy, or other educational institution in the EU, as well as participation in a student exchange program;
  • registration and conduct of a new business in an EU country or purchase of shares of a ready-made enterprise;
  • investing in the local economy (including the purchase of residential and commercial real estate);
  • carrying out special activities (scientific research, volunteering, working as a journalist, coach, artist, participation in religious communities);
  • financial independence, that is, the presence of a permanent active (for example, the work of a “digital nomad”) or passive (rentier, pensioners) income from abroad in the amount not lower than the subsistence minimum of the selected state;
  • humanitarian reasons (undergoing treatment, obtaining refugee status or victims of human trafficking).

EU citizenship for investments

Buying EU citizenship through the contribution of financial resources to the economy of the selected country in 2023 is impossible. The “golden passport” programs are canceled in all EU states, however, the opportunity to claim resident status on the fact of investing remains. The applicant receives a residence permit or permanent residence on the basis of investments of the amount specified in the legislation in a certain industry and can subsequently become a naturalized citizen in general or in an accelerated manner. Current programs for granting EU residency for investments are presented in the table below.

Country Minimum investment amount, thousand € Term of receiving a passport, years
Greece 250 7
Spain 500 10
Portugal 250 5
Romania 1 000 4
Malta 150 000 5
Cyprus 300 000 7
Latvia 280 10
Bulgaria 512 5
Ireland 500 000 5

Maltese citizenship for investment

The procedure for granting a Maltese passport through financial investments previously existed but was stopped at the initiative of the Euro Council. As of 2023, Malta Residence by Investment is relevant - a state program that allows foreigners to obtain citizenship of a European country through the opening of a residence permit for investments in certain areas in Malta. The applicant must own a minimum of 500 thousand euros of personal assets, of which 150,000 must be financial. The applicant rents housing worth 10-12 thousand euros, or buys real estate for 300-350,000 EUR. For obtaining resident status, a foreigner will also need to make some payments (in euros):

  • administrative fee - 40,000;
  • state fee - 28 (purchase) or 58 (rent) thousand;
  • donation to a voluntary organization - 2000;
  • surcharge for each family member - 7500.

The purchased or rented property must be owned by a foreigner for at least 5 years. The program for granting residence for investments is relevant for relatives of the applicant up to 4 generations. The term of the residence permit is 5 years with the possibility of re-registration, or entry into citizenship by naturalization.

Cypriot citizenship for investment

The program for obtaining a Cypriot passport through financial investments is closed as of 2023. A person wishing to obtain a second or dual citizenship in European countries while retaining the first identity card can first open a residence permit on the island for investment. The applicant has the following investment options from 300,000 EUR:

  • purchase of residential or commercial real estate;
  • share capital of a company with activities and personnel on the island;
  • securities of the Cypriot collective investment organization.

A foreigner must be without a criminal record, have a personal insured annual income of at least 50,000 EUR. A residence permit for the applicant and dependents (spouse, children) is issued indefinitely, but with the need to replace the resident card every 10 years. A foreigner can apply for EU citizenship in the general naturalization procedure after 7 years of relocation.

EU citizenship by repatriation

Repatriation to the EU is a program for granting citizenship based on the ethnic or territorial affiliation of the applicant to the chosen state or its people. The main condition put forward to applicants for a European passport is documentary confirmation of the presence of indigenous residents of the corresponding country in the genus. Usually, repatriates become relatives of a former citizen of the chosen EU state in a direct descending line up to great-grandchildren.

The procedure for restoring civil rights by roots is the cheapest and fastest way to get a European Union passport. Repatriates usually do not have to live in the corresponding country at the time of application and after receiving a passport, demonstrate knowledge of the state language and level of income, refuse from the existing identity card of their native state. A comparative analysis of European programs for easy acquisition of citizenship by roots is given in the table below.

Country Minimum term for obtaining citizenship, months
Romania 12
Bulgaria 12
Poland 12
Lithuania 3–6
Hungary 3–6
Latvia 6–12
Germany 6–12
Portugal 12

Repatriation to Romania

Persons who have indigenous residents in their pedigree up to the third generation in a direct ascending line can obtain European Union citizenship in Romania. The borders of the state until 1940 extended to some modern territories of Moldova and Ukraine, so many residents of the post-Soviet space have a chance to become a repatriate. Restoration of citizenship by roots does not require the applicant to refuse from a similar status at home, preliminary stay in Romania and demonstration of income.

The procedure for repatriation to Romania takes about a year if immigration lawyers help the applicant. With a passport of an EU country, a foreigner has the right to visit 170 world states without a visa, including Canada, Australia, Japan, Great Britain. The applicant can prove his belonging to Romania with the help of a birth, marriage, death, divorce certificate of the corresponding relative. The applicant must be over 18 years old and demonstrate law-abidingness, consent to take an oath when entering EU citizenship.

Repatriation to Bulgaria

A citizen of the Russian Federation and other post-Soviet countries can apply for a European passport through the procedure of repatriation to Bulgaria without preliminary observance of the census of sedentary life. The applicant must be of legal age and without a criminal record. A person who is a hereditary Bulgarian up to the third generation can become a repatriate. The applicant confirms his civil affiliation to the state with the corresponding certificate (his own or a suitable relative).

Repatriates from Russia in Bulgaria can obtain a second, but not dual citizenship (possible in the presence of appropriate bilateral agreements between countries) of Europe and their native state, which does not contradict local legislation. The procedure for obtaining a second passport takes from 12 months from the day the applicant applies to international law specialists. An EU citizen with a Bulgarian identity card has the right to visit 170 countries without a visa, including all of Europe, South America (except Guyana), Caribbean Basin states, Canada.

Repatriation to Slovenia

EU citizenship in Slovenia can be obtained by persons who previously held a Slovenian passport and lost it as a result of forced deprivation. Requests are considered by the authorities on an individual basis, taking into account the national interests of the State.

Obtaining a Slovenian passport by ancestry is available to applicants who have or have had persons holding a similar identity document up to the 4th generation. The applicant's ethnicity must be confirmed, for example, by the birth certificate of a suitable relative, as well as other documents substantiating the applicant's connection to the person concerned. An EU citizen with a Slovenian identity card may visit more than 170 countries without a visa, including the whole of Europe, China, the USA, Canada and other countries.

How to get an EU passport: an action algorithm for quick obtainment of European Union citizenship

For a simple acquisition of a passport of a European Union country, the applicant can seek help from international law specialists. Immigration lawyers analyze the individual situation of the applicant and recommend the best programs for obtaining a second citizenship abroad. Experienced specialists regularly study the norms of EU countries’ legislation to guarantee clients a positive result in obtaining the requested status without unnecessary efforts and expenses.

The algorithm for obtaining the status of a European Union citizen with the participation of international law specialists looks like this:

  1. Making an appointment for an initial consultation.
    The specialist studies the client’s request, analyzes his pedigree, and offers the best options for obtaining a second EU country passport.
  2. Formation of a dossier.
    Company representatives independently request the necessary certificates (if applicable) from state archives, translate and apostille them.
  3. Applying for citizenship.
    The assigned specialist records the client for visiting the migration management on a convenient day and accompanies him at the stage of submitting documents and passing an interview.
  4. Waiting for an answer.
    The company’s lawyers regularly track the progress of the request online and inform applicants about changes in the case status.
  5. Entry into citizenship.
    After the petition is approved and prepared by the assigned specialist, the applicant visits the authorized body to receive a certificate of citizenship, sometimes also takes an oath.
  6. Passport registration.
    Immigration lawyers help the applicant obtain EU country documents based on a certificate of citizenship.

How it`s impossible to get citizenship in Europe

The following methods of obtaining EU citizenship are not real and legal:

  • Birth of a child
    It is impossible to get an EU country passport through childbirth in 2023. None of the states of this union implies automatic granting of citizenship to persons who were born on its territory in a family of foreigners.
  • Purchase
    It is not legal to buy an EU passport. Investing in the economy of the chosen state allows you to claim a reduction in the census of sedentary life by naturalization, but it is not a direct way to buy citizenship.
  • Sham marriage
    Migration authorities are wary of marriages of EU citizens with foreigners and can initiate a detailed check of the reality of the concluded union and family relations between husband and wife. If the marriage is recognized as fictitious, the citizenship obtained by the immigrant on this basis is annulled, and the applicant can be deported.

All the nuances and features of obtaining a second citizenship in a European country is possible to know at a free consultation with international law specialists. Immigration lawyers help clients quickly obtain a passport from one of the EU countries in a legal way.

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