Citizenship is the highest level of government. It gives you rights and responsibilities and can be very beneficial in giving you the freedom to transact, travel, conduct business, buy property, enter into contracts, etc.
Having European Union citizenship comes with many benefits, but how does one get EU citizenship? In this article, you will read about the requirements in order to obtain EU citizenship, as well as why you might want one.
Requirements To Have EU Citizenship
In order to become an EU citizen, you must meet a few requirements. These requirements vary from country to country, but generally, they are:
- You must be a resident of the EU for a certain amount of time. This can look like one to five years, depending on the country. You also must be able to provide evidence, such as a bank statement, that shows you are living there and working in the EU country that you have chosen.
- You must have a job or are getting an education in the EU: You must be obtaining a university degree or show proof of work.
- You must have ancestors from the country: Anyone with parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents in an EU country can apply.
- You must have a valid passport from the EU country you live in.
- You must have no criminal record: If you want to become an EU citizen, then you will be required to provide a clean criminal record from your home country as well as any other countries that you have lived in during the past ten years.
Benefit Of EU Citizenship
European Union citizenship is a coveted status because it offers many benefits to its holders.
Free Movement Across The EU: Probably the biggest perk of EU citizenship is the freedom to move around within the bloc. As a citizen of an EU member state, you are free to live and work in any other member state without having to apply for a visa or any other form of entry clearance.
This freedom is especially valuable if you want to take up a job in another EU country since you won’t have to worry about having your job taken away from you if you move cross-border.
Exclusive Rights And Privileges: As an EU citizen, you also benefit from a number of exclusive rights and privileges unavailable to non-EU residents. For example, you have the right to visit property and establishments in any other member state without limitations, as well as being exempted from the visa requirement. You also get to enjoy basic social rights including health care, education, and transport.
Voting Rights: Every citizen of an EU member state is entitled to vote in European elections. This means that you have a say in who represents you in the European Parliament. You also get to vote in local elections if you are permanently residing in another EU country.
Legal System: You can claim legal protection by going to a notary or witnessing in a civil registry office for all matters where you address an official document, declare a will, etc. Similarly, you can obtain free legal counsel from a lawyer from another EU country, so long as he or she is of poor means.
However, it is important to remember that becoming an EU citizen does not mean that you automatically gain citizenship in any of the 27 member states – it is still up to each individual country to give citizenship to those who meet their eligibility requirements.
Cons Of EU Citizenship
If you are interested in becoming a citizen of the European Union, there are cons to consider.
- You are not eligible to vote in elections for European Union leaders.
- You may be subject to taxation by your home country, even if you live in an EU country. This means that you may have to pay income taxes in both countries if you live in one country and work in another.
- The breakup of the European Union is possible, which could mean that your rights as a citizen would disappear.
- You may have to give up your current citizenship in order to become an EU citizen. This is because some countries do not allow dual citizenship.
Who Has It?
EU citizenship comes in many forms, but the most common are EU national citizenship and European Union citizenship.
EU national citizenship is the simplest form of citizenship. It comes with the right to live, work, study, and vote in any of the 27 member states of the EU. It also offers protection from social benefits such as unemployment benefits and healthcare if you’re unemployed or from abroad.
European Union citizenship is a bit more complicated than EU national citizenship. It requires you to have been resident in at least one of the 27 member states for five years out of the 10 years before applying for citizenship.
You must demonstrate that you have exercised your rights as an EU citizen. This could include voting, paying taxes, or contributing to society in some way. You can also get citizenship by investment by buying property or establishing a business, and this is often referred to as a ‘golden passport’. There are a variety of ways to earn European Union citizenship.
The Cost Of Getting EU Citizenship
Getting an EU passport and citizenship is not as cheap as many people think. Granted, some countries offer it for free, but others charge a hefty price. Regardless of the price, most people agree that EU citizenship is a valuable asset.
For example, the cost of becoming a naturalized citizen of Malta starts at €30,000. And that’s not even including the professional fees you’ll need to pay for things like language tests and application processing.
And in Cyprus, you’ll need to fork over €2.5 million to become a naturalized citizen. So, if you’re thinking about becoming an EU citizen, be prepared to shell out some serious cash. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly.
As you can see, there are more pros than cons when it comes to getting EU citizenship, but there are limited ways in obtaining it. So, whether or not becoming an EU citizen is right for you depends on your specific situation and goals. But either way, take the time to explore all of your options while they remain available!