3 Ways to gain Eu citizenship and a foreign passport
Yes, it’s possible for foreigners to get a European Citizenship & Passport – even for Britons & Americans … There are three ways to get EU citizenship.
And if you’re lucky and qualify for the first option you’ll be able to get an excellent European passport for almost free in just a few months.
But even if you’re not lucky, if you invest a little bit of time, you can still get an excellent Portuguese passport without spending millions of dollars.
We will cover all three options in this article and several European countries where you can easily get citizenship. First, let’s see the amazing benefits of having this passport
BENEFITS OF GETTING A SECOND PASSPORT
I will never forget the day the FedEx envelope finally came up.
My very first-second passport was on the inside. Officially I was not only a U.S. citizen but also an Italian citizen. It was terrific. And it started one of the things that got me on my journey.
Immediately I knew I was not beholden to one country anymore. That no one government has sole authority over me. I had more chances. I was getting more freedom.
It was a feeling which I would never have had before. For my whole life, it was like I had forgotten something, but I never even knew it until that exact moment.
Then I wondered how without a second passport and citizenship, I had ever come along before.
The ultimate insurance policy is to have a second passport. I can’t overemphasize the benefits.
To minimize the financial risks, we have dental, auto and life insurance. We don’t generally question the value of insurance. And especially when we’re in a car accident, or have to visit the hospital, we don’t question the value.
But, there’s a missing piece of risk mitigation that no too many consider (congrats to you on this page– You’re amongst the few who think of your international options). And so second citizenship and passport is so valuable.
A Second citizenship and passport ensure you’ve always got a place to go, no matter what. Living. To work. To do business. To retire. And in some cases, even seek refuge.
And being a European citizen is especially valuable as it will give you the right to live, work and do business in all 28 countries of the European Union — like France, Spain, Germany, and Sweden.
For example, if you don’t find the right job opportunities at home, you can broaden your search to include Europe.
And if you have children, they’d get access to a fraction of the price of the excellent European education system.
Now, it often takes time to attain a second citizenship –whether in Europe or elsewhere –to establish, sometimes years. So, it is a good idea to start thinking about your options now.
Here are the three ways to get EU citizenship …
OPTION 1: Get European Citizenship by Descent & Ancestry [ Cheapest & easiest Way ]
Your ancestry and descent are the first and easiest way to obtain European citizenship & passport.
If you have parents, grandparents or even great grandparents from Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and many other countries, you may be eligible for European citizenship by descent.
This form of citizenship is referred to as jus sanguinis and is popular in most of Europe.
One of the biggest benefits of descent citizenship is that it often costs just a few hundred dollars in government fees and can typically be completed in only a few months.
That’s why it’s a great option that we suggest to consider EVERYONE first before seeking any other way of obtaining a second passport. Even if you don’t have Italian ancestors this article will give you a better idea of how citizenship works by descent.
But, if you have ancestors from there, Italy is not the only country that will give you a European passport.
For example, Ireland and Poland will grant citizenship if you can show you’ve got a parent or grandparent from there.
If you can show descent way back from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hungary will go even further back.
Your ancestors can also get you one of the world’s most valuable passports:
The German passport is ranked 6th best in the world in the Sovereign Man Passport Ranking and gives visa-free access to 162 countries including all of Europe, the US, Canada, and the UK.
(By comparison, a US passport allows visa-free citizens to travel to 157 countries.)
Germany even has a special citizenship scheme for people who for political, racial or religious reasons have been stripped of their German nationality. And, this system also extends to children.
So, with the right ancestry and documentation, you could be on your way to a second passport the EU in only a matter of months and it could potentially cost you next to nothing.
You can take a look at our in-depth article on citizenship by descent to learn which other countries offer this easy way to get European citizenship.
But even if you’re not lucky enough to be part of the “lucky bloodline club,” you can still get European citizenship without millions of dollars being invested…
Option 2: Get European Citizenship By Naturalization [Anyone Can Do This]
You can gain citizenship in most countries around the world by first being a legal resident, and then retaining the status for a period of years.
The average time is normally at least five years but in some situations, it can be as small as one year.
And keeping a residency doesn’t always mean you actually have to live there full time.
Here are the three easiest European countries to become a citizen to get residency in.
Portugal’s first-class passport comes with visa-free access to 159 countries. That includes the ability to live, work and travel freely in all 28 member-states of the EU (27, if you discount the UK).
You’ll need to become a resident of Portugal to get a Portuguese passport, and after five years, you can apply for citizenship.
Retirement and Online Worker Visa for Portugal is the best way to obtain residency in Portugal. You need to have enough means to support yourself.
It varies by consulate, but “sufficient means” usually requires showing at least € 14,600 in savings or liquid investments–extremely low for a passport of this quality.
You’ll be forced to spend at least four months in the country during the first year of your residency and can’t leave for more than six consecutive months at a time.
Consecutive months on a single occasion.
Your temporary residence permit renews within two-year cycles after the first year.
You have to spend at least 16 months in the country during every two years cycle and can’t leave for more than six consecutive months.
You will be eligible for permanent residency and citizenship after five years of temporary residency in Portugal (in mid-2018, the naturalization period was reduced from six to five years).
Portugal is by far the easiest way to obtain EU citizenship (without ancestry) given the low entry barriers, the loose residency requirements and the short-term naturalization criteria.
Keep in mind, however, that although it may be the easiest European passport to obtain, it takes at least five years of residency from Portuguese residency to full citizenship.
Belgium offers a fantastic, Tier 1 passport with visa-free access to 158 countries if you are looking to start or relocate a business.
Just like Portugal, you have free access to the European continent with a Belgian passport. You could be living and working in any part of the EU.
First, you’re going to need to establish economic ties in Belgium to get residency through one of three options …
- Set up a Belgian company
Set up a Belgian company and run it for a few months to prove it’s an actual operating business. Then apply for a Professional Card that grants you Belgian residency.
- Get a job with a Belgian company
Get a job with a Belgian company! You’ll need your employer to fund a work permit.
- Use a hybrid option
If you are already a member of our flagship service, Sovereign Man: Confidential, you will be able to access our step-by-step intelligence report on how to obtain Belgian residency.
Inside we cover a third, unknown option our vetted, highly respected Belgian law firm has come up with.
This option is faster than establishing a Belgian company and more tax-efficient.
(In fact, our premium members get a big discount from our preferred law firm.)
Once you have gained residency through economic ties, to be eligible for naturalization, you will need to retain the residency for five years.
In Belgium, the minimum time spent in the country is not defined per se, but a “reasonable enough time to prove strong ties to Belgium.” So you should keep your business open and active… Not commit crimes, learn a little French, Flemish or German and participate in the community.
Spain is by far the fastest and cheapest option for citizens of countries that used to be Spanish colonies.
Citizens of every Spanish-speaking nation in the Americas, including Brazil and the Philippines, can gain Spanish citizenship with only two years of residency and do not have to give up their old citizenship.
If anyone else wants to become a Spanish citizen, they have to spend 10 years living in Spain and give up their old citizenship.
A Spanish passport ranks among the top 10 in our international passport ranking, with visa-free access to 161 countries including all European Union countries.
To apply for your initial entry visa into Spain from your local consulate at home, you will need to prove € 25,816 or more in savings or liquid investments. Once you have arrived in Spain, you will collect your residence permit.
After two years, you will become a Spanish citizen and passport eligible for naturalization.
Option 3: Get European Citizenship By Investment [ The Quickest Option]
The best option is to buy an EU nationality.
Many governments are turning to selling citizenship to well-heeled foreign investors as they scramble for money.
There are two types of schemes:
- Citizenship By Investment Options This means you get your European citizenship very quickly and without first having to reside for several years in the country. But it will also cost a lot of money for those options.
Malta and Cyprus represent two options. The governments in these countries have taken on the naturalization of foreigners who make a very large investment in the economy and meet other qualifications.
For example, in Malta, they require the main applicant to contribute € 650,000 to the National Development and Social Fund (and € 25,000 for a spouse and small children each). This is a gift you won’t be getting back.
Additionally, you must purchase a house worth € 350,000 or pay a total of € 16,000 per annum for five years. Finally, you must invest at least € 150,000 in financial instruments approved by the government-stocks, bonds, etc.
This may seem like a high hurdle to clear, but you’ll get citizenship and a passport for visa-free travel to 169 countries within 15 months of maintaining Maltese residency.
Furthermore, future generations will gain… by descent they are eligible for Maltese citizenship.
In our in-depth article on citizenship by the investment you will read more about how and where to purchase a passport.
The second type of investment scheme is…
- Golden Visas This means governments trade permanent residence in exchange for a substantial investment (in real estate, for example) and after several years of residency allow you to naturalize as a citizen. This program, offered by Spain and Portugal.
The minimum investment in real estate for both Spanish and Portuguese Golden Visas is € 350,000… plus expect government and legal fees to add another € 20,000-30,000, depending on the size of your family.
But, you’re not stuck just sitting there with half a million cash. For example, in Portugal, you can rent income from your residential or commercial property. Portugal also requires investors to combine the value of a number of properties to attain the minimum investment needed by investment for citizenship.
You can apply for citizenship, after a total of five years in Portugal. In Spain, you have to be a two-year resident if you are a citizen of an ancient Spanish colony, or if you are not.
A Golden Visa is significantly cheaper than citizenship-by-investment, but you still need to wait several years.
We think Portugal’s Retreat and Virtual Employee Visa is a better deal.
The one advantage that Portugal’s Golden Visa has is that during the five years of residency you may not have to spend any time in Portugal.
But so far the Portuguese Golden Visa program hasn’t existed long enough to be sure this will work.
Conclusion and further resources
Keep in mind that while some ways are much quicker than others to gain second citizenship, none of them are instantaneous.
Even citizenship-by-investment, such as the Cyprus program, will take up to two years.
And, sooner rather than later it pays off getting started in the process.
After all, it’s hard to imagine you’d be worse off for taking advantage of that–particularly if you’re a member of the lucky bloodline community.
More options mean more liberty, and that is always healthy.