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The Ultimate Guide To European Citizenship
What You Need To Know About To European Citizenship
The 1992 treaty formally introduced the legal concept of the European citizenship. A European citizen must hold the nationality of an European nation.
Belonging to the European Union does not replace nationality and each European country is required to come up with conditions for the loss and acquisition of the nationality of the country.
The EU legal order gives European nationality a formal constitutional status through Treaty on the European Union.
The European nationality
is now conferred by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Member states have all the rights to determine the scope of the nationality law. This means that they can control who the citizens of the EU are. However, since the 2010 CJEU ruling in the Janko Rottmann vs. Freistaat Bayern case, each Member State must comply with the status of European Citizenship when it comes to determining nationality.
Citizens enjoy many rights by virtue of belonging to the EU.
These rights are mostly enjoyed by European citizens who exercise the free rights of movement within the Union. Electoral rights us one of the most important of these.
European Citizenship And Your Rights
European citizens have the right to:
- Move and live freely in Europe
- Vote for and participate in municipal and European Parliament elections
- Be protected by consular and diplomatic authorities of other EU countries
- Question the European Ombudsman and petition the European Parliament
- Contact any EU institution in EU’s official languages
- Access European Commission and European Parliament documents
European citizens also have a right to access EU Civil Service
Citizen’s Initiation, a new form of public participation introduced by the Lisbon Treaty allows a million citizens who hold nationalism to more than one EU country to call on the European Commission to push for their interests.
Working, Traveling And Living In Europe
European Citizens have a right to work live and travel in the EU. Citizens who have completed a University course will be accepted in all EU countries because member states believe in the quality of education offered by training systems in the Union.
You can work in education, health, technology and other public service sectors (except for armed forces and military) of any EU country.
It is important that you obtain a European health insurance card before traveling within the European Union.
This will cover your medical bills when you are ill while traveling to another country in the EU.
What The European Commission Is Doing
The European Commission is currently working on the 2016 citizenship report.
The Commission launched a public consultation on 14th September 2015 to gather the experiences and ideas of the citizens on how to make life easier in the Europe.
Your Options If You Do Not Automatically Qualify For An EU Passport
Ingestigate your options – there are a number of immigration by investment programs that will enable to you get European citizenship.
Popular Citizenship Programmes
The European Union consists of 28 member states using the euro single currency.
Seventeen countries also agreed to use the same currency as of January 1st 2011. However, being an member and using a single euro currency doesn’t mean that the European continent has united into one country.
All citizens are classified into four categories:
- Send-home citizens from abroad
- Citizens born in the state
- European Union citizens from other countries
- Non- European union citizen
How To Get Residency
Being a citizen of one of the countries in the EU automatically makes you an EU citizen.
However, each country recognizes its citizens by nationality.
Therefore, each country has its own requirements for making application for citizenship.
Anyone seeking to apply for European citizenship will need to consult with each country to familiarize with the different laws and regulations concerning one’s right to acquire citizenship. It could be through ancestral origin, naturalization or birth.
There are two ways on how to get a European Union passport: through birth, through your ancestors or yourself; residing legally in one country in European Union for a couple of years and through naturalization
Marriage To An Citizen
Nationality cannot be transferred. Therefore, marrying for citizenship is not as easy as it looks.
European citizenship involves legal residency in one of the member states, sometimes speaking the native language and one is required to go through naturalization.
The whole process takes five years.
Dual Citizenship In The EU
To obtain dual nationality with the EU, you must meet all the requirements and apply with one country within the union after confirming that it complies with the current rules of the first citizenship.
You don’t need an agency or a lawyer to help you with making the application.
It is important that you check with countries that allow dual citizenship before making your application.
Benefits Of European Citizenship
Some benefits are uniquely personal but most foreign nationals seek dual citizenship because they want to live and work in the EU.
There are also benefits of healthcare and grants.
Buy A Second Passport
Many countries in the EU are now selling the right to live in another country through a program called citizenship by investment.
These programs allow foreign nationals to invest a certain amount of money in the country’s economy in exchange for a second passport.
What Constitutes European Citizenship?
Any person who is legally a citizen of any participating EU country automatically becomes an EU citizen.
One can legally be a national of a participating nation and an EU citizen because one does not replace the other and the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU directly confers membership on every national from an EU State.
What Are The Rights Of An EU Citizen?
According to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union gives all EU members the following rights:
- To non-discrimination on the basis of nationality when the Treaty applies
- To right to vote and to offer oneself as a candidate in European Parliament and municipal elections
- To be protected by the diplomatic and consular authorities of any other EU country
- To make a petition the European Parliament and make a complaint to the European Ombudsman
- To contact and receive a response from any EU institution in one of the EU’s official languages
- To access European Parliament, European Commission and Council documents under certain conditions
Nationals also have the right to equal access to the EU Civil Service.
The Lisbon Treaty allows European citizens to publicly participate in the Citizens’ Initiative.
This allows one million citizens EU nationals to call directly on the European Commission to bring forward an initiative of interest to them within the framework of its powers.
The Work Of Тhe European Commission
The Commission is presently compiling the 2016 report.
In order to effectively do this it implemented a public consultation on 14 September 2015 which was aimed at documenting the experiences of nationals and their ideas on how to improve EU laws to better serve their interests.
The Commission is also monitoring the implementation and application by Member States of the passport holder’s rights as provided by the Treaty.
Achievements Of The EU Commission
In 2014, the Commission issued a handbook entitled “Did you know? for citizens 10 EU rights at a glance”, as announced in its 2013 European Citizenship Report.The Commission adopted this in May 2013 which was declared the European Year of Citizens.
This report examines the progress of the 25 initiatives put forward in 2010 and presents 12 new initiatives in 6 key areas to promote membership and remove remaining hindrances preventing citizens from receiving the full benefits of European citizenship.
It is accompanied by a Report on progress towards effective European citizenship 2011-2013 and fact sheets regarding this was submitted by all member states.
The Best Immigrant Investor Programs
A large number of people from nations that have unfavorable international image often seek nationality of another country, which would grant them visa-free travel to many countries around the world.
Other leading non-European programs include St Kitts and Nevis and Canada.
Foreign nationals are required to make the investment before applying for the citizenship.
While there is no constitutional requirement for the amount to be invested, you will need to make a minimum deposit of €2 million to €3 million to qualify.
Passive investments such as real estate and government bonds do not qualify.
Second Passport In Belgium
Before you make a application to any country, it is important that you learn it’s laws. Dual citizenship in Belgium started on 28th April 2008.
As foreign national, you can be naturalized as a Belgium citizen after 3 years of residence in the country.
A permanent residence in the country allows free movement and resident in any country within the European Union.
To qualify for Belgium citizenship, an applicant must have ties to the country, business or personal. You also need a long stay visa and arrive in the country within eight days to register with the relevant authorities.
Once you have a regular income and a fixed address, within 2 weeks of moving to permanent residence, you can apply for a Belgium identity card and get a permanent residence permit.
After years of residence in the country, you will be entitled to nationality through naturalization. The Registrar will sign the nationality declaration in the municipality of the applicant in Belgium.
The declaration cannot be approved by the consulate or Belgian embassy. You will need to provide proof of residence in the country along with other documents to support your case.
Your documents will be processed by the national House of Representatives and Service des Naturalizations. Your application for naturalization will then become part of a legislative act that will be certified by the King and published in the official journal of the national legislation.
European Union Passports
The laws governing naturalization are similar in most European countries.
Of course there will be provisions in place for each member state giving these privileges to foreign nationals or refugees who can apply for nationality without prior resident requirements.
It’s only the number of years of residence that are different from one country to another.
For this reasons, it is advisable to hold a legally issued permanent residence permit.
How To Get A Passport & The Requirements
Generally, you can only get an EU passport if you are an EU citizen.
Therefore, it is in your best interest to apply for residency before you apply for a EU second passport. Every country has their own requirements regarding citizenship, so it is best to do some thorough research and be informed about the process before you apply.
Italy for instance is one of the countries grants membership on the basis of heredity.
For example if you can prove that you are Italian and can specifically provide evidence that a great-grandparent was born in Italy ( but in the case of a great-grandmother, you must be able to prove that she was still an Italian citizen in 1948, and her child — your grandparent — must have been born after 1948.) For Italian great-grandfathers there is no such time limit.
Are You Eligible?
The European Union has 27 member states including countries like Ireland, Italy and Germany that possess some ties to the United States and many nationals from these countries have settled there in the past.
You should first try to ascertain which country your grandparent came from, then check with that country’s embassy in the United States to find out whether you are eligible to apply for citizenship and a passport based on your grandparent’s history.
You should do an online check ( the State Department website includes an up-to-date list of foreign embassies in the United States to help you locate the relevant office.)
Requirements For A European Passport
Every state reserves the right to determine who is eligible and an accompanying passport and citizenship will not be granted solely upon the grounds that you have strong family ties.
For example, Ireland presently stipulates that you can only be eligible for citizenship and a passport if your parents were born in Ireland.
Therefore, simply having an Irish grandparent does not automatically qualify you for a passport.
On the other hand, despite the complexity of the laws governing British citizenship, you may be eligible for British citizenship and a passport if you have a British grandparent and you were born before or in the year 1982.
How To Apply For Citizenship
Once you have established that you can obtain citizenship from any European country through your grandparent. Simply apply for citizenship.
It is however very important to note that it can be a very long and tedious process; in fact, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs warn that it can take up to several years before you are granted citizenship.
Once your citizenship is confirmed, you will be able to apply for your passport. Typically you can do this via the country’s embassy in the United States.
While European passports share the same design, layout and color, they are not issued by the EU.
Instead, each member state of the issues its own passports.
For this reason, although you may obtain a European passport through ancestry, you will be required to make your application to your ancestor’s country of origin.
Here are ways on how to get European passport through grandparents.
European countries only grant passports to people who hold citizenship; therefore, before you apply to become a citizen of the country where your grandparents came from.
Application requirements vary from country to another. For example, Italy grants the right to become an Italian national to offspring of a great-grandparent born in the country.
If it’s your great-grandparent then you must prove that she was Italian in 1984 and her children (your grandparent) must have been born after 1948.
In the case of Italian great-grandfathers, the time limit doesn’t exist.
The EU has 27 member states, including countries like Germany, Italy and Ireland that have strong histories of migration to the US.
Once you have the country of your grandparent’s origin, you can check with the embassy of the county in the US to find out if you are eligible to apply for a passport on the grounds of your grandparent’s history.
The US State Department website is regularly updated with the latest foreign embassies in the US to help you find the relevant office.
You should keep in mind the fact that each European Union member state has its own methods of determining who is eligible for a second passport and grandparent’s origin is a country may not be enough.
For example, the current rules in Ireland say that only people whose parents who were born in the country can hold Irish citizenship and are eligible for a passport.
A link to Irish grandparents is not sufficient.
The reality is that British citizenship laws are complicated, but foreign nationals can claim citizenship through British grandparents if they were born before 1982.
Applying For Residency
You can make your application for citizenship once you have done you research and established that you are entitled to citizenship of an EU country through your grandparents.
You should, however, keep in mind the fact that a longer time.
For example, Italian residency can take a few years to process according to the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Once you have become a national, you can apply for a passport through the country’s embassy in the US.
If you have any questions then you should consult directly with the official government authority on how to get European passport.
The European Union comprises 28 individual member states. Nationals can work and move freely in any country within the European Union Federation.
Citizenship is automatically given to anyone who belongs to any of the 28 member states.
You must first of all learn how to become European citizen.
While all citizens of the 28 countries are citizens of the EU, each country recognizes its citizens by nationality.
For this reason, specific requirements differ from one country to another.
Foreign nationals should consult with individual country’s laws.
Anyone who wants to travel or live in Europe should consider its tremendous benefits, including voting rights, freedom of movement, political rights, freedom from discrimination and consular protection rights.
Ways To Become A European Citizen
Become European Citizen Through Ancestral Links
Foreign nationals who have ancestral link have a short waiting time, making it one of the easiest methods to become European citizen.
Those with ancestral links do not need to speak the country’s native language, obtain residency, travel within the country or pay a fee.
For example, a foreign national can obtain Denmark citizenship through a Danish father or mother.
Decedents of Italian grandparents are required to live in the country for 3 years before applying compared to 10 years residency requirement for non-Italian decent.
Naturalization is a good alternative to foreign nationals that do not have an ancestral link.
All the 28 member states recognize citizenship through naturalization. However, the length of residency differs from one country to another.
To become European citizen through naturalization, you should remember that it is not based on meeting residency requirements.
Applicants should be 18 years and above, be of good character, meet residency requirements, possess sufficient knowledge of the country and speak the country’s language.
Become European Citizen Through Marriage
This is one of fastest method to become European citizen, but the regular naturalization steps are necessary.
Estonia, Czech Republic and Bulgaria don’t recognize marriage as a means of becoming a citizen.
However, having a child or marriage to an EU citizen automatically grants any foreign national the right to live and work in the EU.
This essentially puts you on the path for naturalization and residency.
Before you apply, it is important that you consult with your countries and the EU’s law about dual citizenship and citizenship by investment.
If you are looking to enjoy travel and other benefits then you should consider applying for an investor immigration program.
Immigration investor programs are becoming increasingly becoming popular in Europe.
As a matter of fact, all countries in the European Union have been given the right to sell residency to foreigners.
The price tag varies from one country to another depending on the economic situation of each individual country.
Marriage To An EU Citizen
Most countries grant membership to applicants who are married to an EU citizen.
However, you must have been living in a country with a legal visa.
The application process takes up to 3 months to get everything together, after which you will submit your documents for review.
For that date, you will have to wait for three to five years.
You will, however, be required to live in the country you have made the application and you will be police checked to see if your marriage is real.
If your marriage is not real then you will face criminal charges. However, there have been cases where people have been messed up.
They find themselves in legal and text problems when their partners change their minds over the year about the marriage agreements, claiming it was a fake marriage.
It is basically about providing legal documents such as marriage certificates and birth certificates, all supported by ancestry.
Once you acquired a visa, you can work and live legally in the new country for five years.
Make sure you are well informed before making decisions for your future.
If you are on the run because of your political or religious beliefs, you can apply for refugee status to an EU government.
All you need is commitment and proof, but it is possible to get European citizenship via this means.
Countries like Bulgaria allow immigration investment where foreigners bring in capital and establish a business that would create employment. This then opens the door for European citizenship.
Bulgaria has a new fast track system that allows foreigners to get the right of all European citizenship.
The country asks for an equivalent of £150,000. You will also need to go for a two day visit to Eastern Europe.
European citizenship by investment used to be for rich foreigners but the recent financial crisis has opened doors to a large number of less wealthy investors from foreign countries.
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