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Immigration to Europe: Citizenship Requirements to Know

Are you considering immigration to Europe?


The process may seem complicated and time-consuming, but fear not– there are a handful of European countries that are actually really easy to become a citizen of. We put together a useful guide to help you decide which European nation to move to. Check out what we found!


Key Terms To Understand


When it comes to understanding citizenship requirements, it helps to grasp some key words you will probably hear quite a bit in preparation for immigration to Europe.


Jus Soli

Jus soli is Latin for “right of the soil”. This element of national law contrasts with jus sanguinis. Jus soli, also known as “birthright citizenship” is the right of anybody born in a particular territory to automatic nationality and citizenship. Jus soli is a very unconditional, strict matter of citizenship. Some countries abide by both jus soli and jus sanguinis principles, though the combination tends to make the immigration process more difficult than if a country just abides by jus sanguinis.


Jus Sanguinis

Jus sanguinis is Latin for “right of blood”. It is an element of nationality law that says that citizenship can’t be determined by where one was born, but rather by having one or both parents who are citizens of the country in question. Some jus sanguinis states automatically make children citizens by birth if one or both of their parents are citizens of that particular state. Children whose parents have identities of cultural and ethnic origins in a particular country may also be considered citizens, e.g. one’s parents were victims of diaspora generations ago. Jus sanguinis is the general rule for citizenship in most European countries. If you have any ancestry in a particular country that uses jus sanguinis guidelines for citizenship, it will significantly help you get citizenship in that country.


Immigration to Europe imageImmigration to Europe


Are you ready for this handy guide? Here’s everything you need to know about immigration to Europe for each country, and the details you need to know about the easiest countries to move to.


The Citizenship Statistics


Some countries do not allow dual citizenship (Example: One can have citizenship in Belgium as well as the United States, but cannot have citizenship in Austria and the United States at the same time.) and most countries require a period of naturalization. Naturalization essentially means that a person has to live in a country for a certain amount of time before they can become a citizen.


Here are the basic immigration to Europe statistics, country by country:


  • Austria – Permanent residence for 10 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Belgium – Residence for 5 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Bulgaria – Residence for 5 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Croatia – Residence for 8 years., No dual citizenship, unless you have Croatian heritage.
  • Cyprus – Residence for 5 years total out of 8. Dual citizenship.
  • Czech Republic – Residence for 10 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Denmark – Residence for 9 years. Dual citizenship,
  • Estonia – Residence for 5 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Finland – Residence for 5 years, and only 4 years for refugees and spouses. Dual citizenship.
  • France – Residence for 5 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Germany – Residence for 8 years, 7 if you take integration and language classes. No dual citizenship.
  • Greece – Residence for 10 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Hungary – Residence for 8 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Iceland – Residence for 7 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Ireland – Permanent residence for 5 out of 9 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Italy – Residence for 10 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Latvia – Residence for 5 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Lithuania – Residence for 10 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Luxembourg – Residence for 10 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Malta – Permanent residence for 5 years or a single year plus a 1,150,000€. Dual citizenship.
  • Netherlands – Residence for 5 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Norway – Residence for 7 out of 10 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Poland – Residence for 5 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Portugal – Residence for 6 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Romania – Residence for 5 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Slovakia – Residence for 8 years. No dual citizenship.
  • Slovenia – Residence for 10 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Spain – Residence for 10 years or 2 if you come from a former colony of the country. Dual citizenship for colony immigrants only.
  • Sweden – Residence for 5 years. Dual citizenship.
  • Switzerland – Residence for 12 years, and the years between age 10 and 20 count as double. Dual citizenship.
  • United Kingdom – Residence for 6 years. Dual citizenship.



The Easiest Countries To Gain Citizenship In


These countries are at the top of the list to gain citizenship in, and should be your top consideration for immigration to Europe.


If You Have Investment Money – Romania


To become a Romanian citizen, one will need residency for five years. Dual citizenship is allowed in the country. However, you can invest in Romania in order to speed up the citizenship process. All you’ll need is €100,00 to invest in a limited company or €150,000 to invest in a joint stock business within a year of getting residency. If you have the cash to spend, Romania is the cheapest place get citizenship for pay.


If You Are From A Former Colony – Spain


As stated above, you can become a Spanish citizen after residency for 10 years, and dual citizenship is not allowed. However, if you’re from the following countries, that naturalization period is cut down to a very short two years, and you will be allowed to have dual citizenship.


  • Iberoamerica
  • Andorra
  • The Philippines
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Portugal


If you are a Sephardi Jew, you can also access the two-year naturalization period for Spain.


If You Have Heritage – Italy


If you have family or an Italian ancestor, there’s a good chance you have Italian citizenship already. Better go get that passport asap! If you can find out the birth year of every family member between you and your Italian ancestor, as well as the date your Italian ancestor became a citizen of your current country, the process will be simple as pie. If you have an Italian parent that didn’t revoke your citizenship at birth, you’re probably a citizen of Italy right now.


The #1 Easiest European Country To Gain Citizenship – United Kingdom


That’s right– Great Britain and Northern Ireland are very easy to gain citizenship in. To become a British citizen, you must be eighteen years old, have a clean criminal record, know basic cultural concepts, and be able to speak passing English. The five-year residency is required and dual citizenship is allowed. The rules in United Kingdom citizenship are very simple, making this the easiest place to gain citizenship in Europe.


Get The Help You Need


When considering a permanent move abroad, you should consider the benefits of a second passport.  Experts are available that understand common mistakes one may make while attempting to earn permanent residency and a second passport. Getting the help you need is easy! If you are considering a second passport, contact us. We’ll help navigate the process so you can get where you need to go.