The easiest country in EU to get a citizenship

Published on 9 February 2024 | Last updated on 14 February 2024

Are you wondering which European country is easiest to immigrate? Relax, you are not alone, and this guide will help. Many people desire to get European Union citizenship mainly because of the benefits you get when you move and live in European countries. Despite European citizenship being highly sought, it is not a very simple process. However, the procedures differ significantly from country to country. Continue reading this guide to the end to find out the most accessible countries you can acquire fast tracked citizenship.

What is European Union citizenship?

Any person who acquires nationality in EU countries automatically becomes an EU national. Citizenship from any European nation enables you to meet residency requirements and enjoy the full benefits as a European-born citizen. You will have the right to European passports, move and settle in the respective country. Also, you can cross borders within the 28 EU member countries for free. With this citizenship, you will access visa-free travel and get employed in all the EU countries.

The Benefits of Getting a European Union Citizenship

There are tons of benefits when you acquire citizenship, as listed below

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  • Find employment in 28 countries- Another benefit of becoming an EU citizen is getting the right to work across the EU nations.
  • Ability to live and have permanent residency
  • Visa-free travel- Although citizens in other states, such as Canada, the US, New Zealand, and Australia, can enter the EU without visas. They cannot reside, study or work in the EU for more than 90days out of every six months. But with citizenship, you can freely move across the 28 EU countries without a visa and live, work and study without restrictions. Furthermore, when you have an EU passport, you can enter 153 countries without having a visa.
  • Great universal healthcare system- When you acquire citizenship, you will enjoy universal healthcare across the EU. That means you can access free medical care in all 28 countries anytime.
  • Right to consular protection- as an EU citizen even outside the region, you will have a right to consular and diplomatic protection outside the EU.
  • Excellent Education with subsidized tuition-EU is one of the regions globally with reputable institutions. As an EU national, you will benefit from accessing high-quality studies at subsidized tuition fees or even free.
  • Ability to start a business and own property- With citizenship, you can start a business, establish a permanent residency and even own property. Furthermore, you can achieve all that in any country without looking for additional permits. This is one reason investors who desire to diversify their portfolios in European real estate seek citizenship.
  • Right to vote- When you get your citizenship, you will also have the right to vote in EU elections.

How to become an EU Citizen?

Do you want to know which the easiest country in EU to get citizenship? There are several ways you can obtain your citizenship. However, you must first prove you can integrate adequately into European society and meet several qualifying criteria. Here are the three ways you can get citizenship.

Citizenship by Descent

One of the ways of getting your citizenship is by Descent. It is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to become a citizen of the EU. You acquire this type of citizenship by ancestry. If you have an ancestor, parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents, etc., who were EU citizens, you can also be an EU citizen. However, depending on the country you are applying for citizenship, you must satisfy the eligibility criteria to be eligible. Also, to qualify, you must still be entitled to citizenship even if you are not living there.
Here are some of the EU countries that permit citizenship in Europe by parentage up to the 3rd generation (great-grandparents to you)

  • France
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Greece
  • Belgium
  • Ireland
  • Greece
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Poland
  • Italy
  • Finland
  • Spain
  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Latvia
  • Estonia
  • Czech Republic
  • Luxembourg
  • Lithuania

How to get a citizenship by parentage (Descent)?

You will have to follow several steps when applying for eu nationals by ancestry. If you want a fast tracked procedure, adhere to the following steps which include:

  • Collect all the necessary documents. Such documents include proof of your ancestor’s citizenship, like birth certificates, death certificates, passports, marriage certificate, and many more.
  • Complete the registration form in the nearest embassy near you and await a response.

However, depending on the verification process and workload of the embassy, the processing time can take months to a year depending on eu country you reside.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of processing European citizenship by parentage does vary from country to country. However, the approximate processing fee is around 1000 Euros, including service and admin fees, But it does not consider documentation and legal fees.

Citizenship by Naturalization

You can also get citizenship by naturalization. You can acquire citizenship by naturalization either through live work or marriage.
EU Nationalisation Through Work
If you have previously live work in any EU nation with a work visa for 5 to 10 years, you qualify to apply for naturalization. When applying for naturalization, you must prove you have worked for a minimum of 5 years or more, depending on the country you are applying to. In addition, you must provide evidence of proficiency in the language of the EU nation you have been working with.

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European Citizenship Through Marriage

You can as well acquire EU citizenship by marriage. If you marry an EU citizen, you become eligible for naturalization after three years of marriage. But if your partner is also a foreigner, you must first meet the qualifying criteria, including language proficiency in the EU nation, before both of you can apply.

EU citizenship by investment

Another way to become a European citizen is through citizenship by investment, also known as a Golden visa. If you are an investor and have the funds to invest in Europe in exchange for your investment in the region, you can apply for naturalization.

The cash required for the citizenship program differs from country to country. Also, the investment opportunities are different in each country, but the most common is the purchase of government bonds or real estate investments.

One of the requirements you need to meet to qualify for citizenship by investment is to spend several days a year in the respective EU nation you want to become a citizen. Also, you can apply only for an EU passport after 3 to 5 years of investment. But for this type of citizenship, you don’t need proficiency in the EU language.
Some of the most famous EU countries that provide citizenship by investment include Malta, Portugal, Spain, Germany, and Greece.

How soon can I acquire EU citizenship?

That will depend on the citizenship pathway you qualify for. However, becoming an EU citizen takes several months to a few years.

  • Using citizenship by parentage (Descent) will take six months to a year.
  • Citizenship by naturalization takes between 5 to 10 years.
  • Citizenship by investment program takes roughly 1 to 5 years.

The easiest country in EU to get citizenship


The criteria individual EU countries use to provide their citizenship to foreigners differ from one country to another. Also, the application cost is not the same and varies from one country to another. Here is a list of the easiest country in EU to get citizenship with ease.

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Spain

easiest country in EU to get citizenship

Spain also ranks as one of the easiest countries to get citizenship by marriage. If you get married to a Spanish, you can apply for Spanish citizenship after one year. However, Spain will not be the ideal country to apply to if you want dual citizenship. That is because you will have to give up your nationality to get a Spanish passport (With the exception of all South American countries, the Philippines, Andorra.).

In Spain you can also obtain a non-lucrative visa and if you live in Spain for 5 years you can obtain spanish permanent residence.

Portugal

easiest country in EU to get residency

As a foreigner, gaining citizenship through Portugal is possible when you adhere to the country’s foreign migration processes. The country ranks well among the easiest country in the EU to get citizenship. This country requires foreigners to have five years of residence and have basic language skills. Also, you must provide your passport, a criminal record certificate with no serious offence, a birth certificate, and a list of a nation you have lived in before.

The country doesn’t require any physical requirements meaning you don’t have to worry about a resident permit to qualify for naturalization. This action makes Portugal the easiest country in Europe to gain citizenship.

Ireland

get residency in EU

This country is the only nation whose nationality gives you an automatic ability to work in the EU and UK. Any person born of an Irish parent can apply for both UK and EU passports.
For a foreigner, the procedure of acquiring Irish naturalization is simple and requires five years of residence for a foreigner to meet the requirements, but it’s a prohibitively expensive process. However, you can also get this country’s citizenship by applying for Ireland’s immigrant investor program. This program offers a flexible Irish residency to the applicants. That is why if you are looking for the easiest country to get permanent residency in Europe with nvestment, this country is one you can consider.
You will pay an application fee of €175. After which, you are required to pay €950 upon your application approval. The country does not require you to have any language level and allows nationality duality.

Sweden

easiest country to get eu citizenship

The country is known for its permissive citizenship process in Europe. Nonetheless, if you are looking for which Schengen country gives fastest citizenship, consider this country. It does not have a language requirement for foreigners applying for citizenship. All you need to become a Swedish citizen is to live in this country for five years. If you have been married to a Swedish national for two years, you can start the Swedish nationality process within three years.

However, during your nationality process, when you visit abroad for more than six weeks, you may delay your nationalization process. It is good to know that only the time you spend in Sweden while holding a valid residence permit count toward this process. Further, if you arrive in Sweden without a residence permit, the time taken to acquire one is not valid and will not account for the citizenship process.

To acquire Sweden citizenship, you will need to verify your identity, the length of residence in Sweden, and the absence of any criminal offences or debt during your stay. The immigration process takes anywhere between some weeks to three years. It costs an applicant €150, and citizenship duality is accepted.

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Belgium

easiest country to get eu residency belgium

Belgium is among the countries with the lowest neutralization processes. To become a citizen, you must have stayed in Belgium for five years and demonstrate sufficient knowledge of one of the country’s national languages. You should demonstrate your economic participation by paying taxes and other social contributions for the few years you have been in the country. To kick start the application process, you will pay a processing fee of €50. The country accepts dual nationality.

France

Easiest country to obtain EU residency

Foreign residents in France enjoy the shortest residency qualification in the world. The process requires one to have stayed in France for five years, but if one has done post-graduate studies in a French university, the years might be lowered to two years. That is why if you are looking for which country gives quickest citizenship, we recommend this country. However, like in any European country, you should not have a criminal record. Also, you must demonstrate your ability to communicate in French at an entry-level. You should appreciate the French people’s dynamic culture, politics, and history.
To apply for your citizenship, you will need two copies of the application form, a valid passport, a certified translation of your birth certificates, and your parent. You should also have your tax returns and three years’ pay slips. Nonetheless, don’t forget to accompany this document with your rental agreement or proof of home ownership. Your application will take 18 months, and you will pay an application fee of 55 euros, and dual nationalism is accepted.

The Netherlands

Eu get citizenship

The Netherlands is another country with easy naturalization procedures for non-EU citizens. However, when you successfully become a Dutch citizen, you are required to forfeit your current citizenship. Its laws prohibit dual nationality. When you apply to be a Dutch citizen, you must have stayed in this country for five years, done and passed civil integration exams. Also, you will be required to profess your support for the Dutch State at your final citizenship ceremony. Besides, you will pay an application fee of €925.

Norway

Obtain the EU residency

Norway 2015 altered its multiple national restrictions to enable foreigners seeking Norwegian citizenship. To qualify for its citizenship, a person must have stayed at least seven years in this country on a valid residence permit. Unlike other European nations, your short absence will affect your nationalization process. The application fee is €250. After which, you deliver several documents through an online application. This document includes your birth certificate, marriage certificate (where necessary), and a complete list of departures and entries in Norway. Nonetheless, you should have complete tax returns for seven years. Besides, your police report should have a “good report” and be ready to pass a one-hour citizenship test.

Final words about The easiest country in EU to get a citizenship

Suppose you are looking for the easiest country in the EU to get citizenship. You will find that there isn’t the easiest countries per se. How easy it is to get citizenship depends on several factors, including your nationality, the amount of money you have, your willingness to learn another language, and many more. Furthermore, the pathway you want to follow to gain citizenship also determines which country will make it easy for you. The three ways to get citizenship are by Descent, naturalization, and investment. Depending on the pathway you are looking to acquire an EU citizen, choose the easiest country you can apply to in the above guide.

2 thoughts on “The easiest country in EU to get a citizenship

  1. Antonio |

    I have American and Cuban nationality, I think that for me the easiest country to obtain the European nationality would be Spain, since in 2 years you get the Spanish nationality, right?

    1. Anna - Lawyer of My Spain Visa |

      Yes, the easiest way to obtain European citizenship would be to obtain Spanish citizenship.

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