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What is Citizenship By Descent, Citizenship by Ancestry, and Which Countries Offer It?

posted 11 months ago

WHAT IS CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT?

Citizenship by Descent (CBA) refers to the process of acquiring citizenship based on one’s familial ties to a particular country. This option is becoming increasingly popular, as it can be a convenient and relatively straightforward way of obtaining citizenship in a foreign country.

In this article, we will discuss which countries offer Citizenship by Descent programs and touch on the eligibility requirements, the overall advantages, and the process.

 WHICH COUNTRIES OFFER CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT?

Currently, more than 50 countries offer CBAs. Countries that offer CBA programs include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Africa – Cape Verde, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia
  2. America – Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, United States of America
  3. Asia – Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand
  4. Europe – Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom
  5. Middle East – Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman
  6. Oceania – Australia, Fiji, New Zealand

WHAT ARE THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT?

The eligibility requirements for each country’s program vary significantly. In some countries, such as Italy, no generational barriers are imposed on applicants. Therefore, those with an ancestral link with Italy may qualify for Italian CBA regardless of how far back their ancestral lines extend.

Comparatively, people of French descent can only claim French citizenship from a French parent as each generation must register as French citizens before the citizenship can be passed down to the next generation.

Typically, applicants are required to provide documentation proving their ancestral link to the country of concern and submit birth and marriage registration records of each generation in the ancestral lineage. Some countries may require proof of proficiency in their official languages to support the issuance of a favourable decision on the CBA applications.

The process of obtaining CBA can be lengthy if the documentation required to prove ancestry is not complete, properly translated or legalized, so it is important to begin the process well in advance and consult with an immigration lawyer to determine eligibility and navigate the application process.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF CLAIMING CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT?

The overall advantages of obtaining a second citizenship through CBA include the ability to live and work in the new country without the need for a visa or work permit. This can be particularly advantageous for individuals who wish to move to the country of their ancestors to connect with their heritage, start a business, or pursue educational opportunities. 

In addition, CBA can provide access to social services, including healthcare, education, and retirement benefits. Some countries, such as those in the Schengen Area, may also allow citizens to travel freely throughout the European Union, providing additional opportunities for work and travel.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT

It is important to note that a degree of uncertainty is involved in proving lineage because the immigration authorities may refuse your application if you cannot provide sufficient evidence to support your relationship with your ancestor or if they find that your ancestor had voluntarily renounced or lost his citizenship before you were born. To better determine your eligibility for CBA, we advise that you complete a free eligibility assessment with one of our lawyers at [email protected]

For more information about CBA or the services we offer at Harvey Law Group, please visit website https://harveylawcorporation.com/citizenship-by-ancestry-program/.

About Harvey Law Group

Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a leading multinational law firm founded in 1992 by Jean-François Harvey. Headquartered in Hong Kong with over 24 offices worldwide, HLG is a leading provider of professional and responsible advisory to high-net-worth individuals on immigration law and business matters.

Our lawyers and employees comprise 20 nationalities, speak more than 15 languages, and are licensed to practice in multiple jurisdictions.

For more information about the firm, please visit https://harveylawcorporation.com.

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