You Can Get Citizenship by Ancestry in These 20 Countries

You Can Get Citizenship by Ancestry in These 20 Countries

Jus sanguinis means “right of blood,” and it refers to someone’s ability to claim citizenship to a country by birthright. The alternative is jus solis, or “right of soil,” which promises citizenship based on where you were born.

More Americans are pursuing citizenship by ancestry in other countries by tracing their lineage and presenting proof of descent. Notably, if you gain citizenship in the European Union, you don’t have to stay in the country of your heritage. For example, many Americans gain Italian dual citizenship and use to it move to a European country they prefer.

No matter what country’s citizenship you pursue, the process takes time, and you may need help from an immigration attorney. Facebook groups are a great resource to learn from others who’ve been there.

Some Countries Have Limited Jus Sanguinis

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Some countries, like South Africa, India, Turkey, and the United Kingdom, offer citizenship by ancestry, but at least one of your parents must have citizenship there, while many other countries offer citizenship to more than just the children of citizens.

Austria

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You must have an Austrian parent or be a descendent of Nazi persecution.

Bulgaria

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You can have Bulgarian parents, grandparents, or great grandparents.

Croatia

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You can have Croatian parents, grandparents, or great grandparents, but there are some weird political rules about when and where they moved.

Czech Republic

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You can have Czech parents, grandparents, or great grandparents. You can’t be from Slovakia.

Denmark

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You must have Danish parents or both sets of grandparents.

Finland

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You can have a Finnish parent or grandparent.

Germany

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You must have a German parent or be a descendant of Nazi persecution.

Greece

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You can have a Greek parent or grandparent. Heads up, if you’re male aged 19-45, you’ll have to serve in the military.

Hungary

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You can have Hungarian parents, grandparents, or great grandparents and possibly go even further back.

Ireland

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You can have an Irish parent or grandparent or possibly go further back by registering with the Foreign Birth Registration.

Israel

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Any Jewish person is eligible, even by conversion. 

Italy

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You can have an Italian grandparent or a great grandfather.

Latvia

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You must have Latvian parents or an ancestor who fled occupation.

Lithuania

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You can have Lithuanian parents, grandparents, or great grandparents.

Malta

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You can have Maltese parents or grandparents.

Poland

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You can have Polish parents, grandparents, or great grandparents, but you need to prove your ancestor’s military service and lots of other complex details.

Portugal

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You can have Portuguese parents or grandparents or Sephardic Jewish ancestors who fled the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition Period.

Romania

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You can have Romanian parents or grandparents and in some cases great grandparents.

Slovakia

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You must have a parent born in Slovakia before 1990, and we recommend you visit the Slovak Embassy’s website for detailed guidelines.

Spain

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You can have Spanish parents or grandparents or Sephardic Jewish ancestors who fled the Iberian Peninsula during the Inquisition Period. If you have citizenship in a Latin American country or Andorra, Portugal, Equatorial Guinea, or the Philippines, or are from Puerto Rico, you can qualify for a fast-track citizenship in just two years.

How to Leave America: 6 Steps to Your New Life

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Are you thinking about leaving the United States? You’re not alone; as many as 15% percent of Americans say they want to leave the country permanently.

➤ How to Leave America: 6 Steps to Your New Life

Is the US Driving You Insane? Consider These Countries for Mental Health

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Since 2022, the Expatsi Test has helped users find out where they’d like to move abroad to, based on their personal needs. Its data covers everything from healthcare rankings to languages spoken and best places for raising kids. The goal—to boost psychological safety for Americans by navigating to a healthier life in another country.

Is the US Driving You Insane? Consider These Countries for Mental Health

Want to Move to Europe? Here Are 16 In-Demand Jobs and How to Apply.

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Can you guess the most in-demand jobs in Europe? At least 15 countries reported shortages in these 16 fields, and there are more than four and a half million jobs listed on this portal.

➤ Want to Move to Europe? Here Are 16 In-Demand Jobs and How to Apply.

 

Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?

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Jen Barnett Expatsi
Co-founder at Expatsi | Website | + posts

Jen is the co-founder of Expatsi, a company that helps Americans move abroad. She created the Expatsi Test, an assessment that recommends countries for aspiring emigrants based on lifestyle data. Jen has an MBA from Emory University with concentrations in marketing and innovation. She's written for BusinessWeek, Health, Cooking Light, and Southern Living. Prior to Expatsi, she created Freshfully and Bottle & Bone—two businesses in the local food space—and spoke at TEDx on being brave. She's moving to Mexico in 2024, along with her husband and co-founder Brett, pitbull mix Squiggy, and three rotten cats. How can she help you move abroad?