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EU passports: just how easy are they to get?

Written by
Alexi Duggins

A lot of people seem to be talking about getting hold of EU passports at the moment. Suddenly, a number of Londoners are remembering foreign-born grandparents and asking: 'Ooh, can I get an EU passport? I mean, I must be at least a quarter European or something!' But how easy is it to get a second passport? For some nations: god knows. A number of websites contain no information. But here's our list of the nations who had citizenship criteria that we could actually understand. Spoiler: Cyprus. Cyprus is the one you want.


Ease of becoming a citizen: pretty easy

Frankly, we cannot find another nation giving away their citizenship so easily. All it takes is for you to be a Brit or resident of a Commonwealth state who is prepared to spend a year living in Cyprus. Job done. Also, if your dad is a Cypriot citizen, you're fine – it's less clear if it's your mother, though. However, there is one thing to bear in mind: Cyprus does make its citizens do national service, which may explain why that citizenship is relatively easy to get.

More info here


Ease of becoming a citizen: not so easy

Basically, forget it if you’re not of Greek origin. You can’t even get away with marrying someone Greek unless you plan to move abroad. They won’t take spousal applications for citizenship by anyone who hasn’t lived in Greece for ten years – which is just as strict as for people who move to Greece without marrying one of them. Although, if you want to shorten it, you could always have kids with a Greek – then you only have to live over there for three years.

More info here.



Ease of becoming a citizen: easy (if you have ancestry, if you don't, not so much)

You need either a parent or grandparent that was born in Ireland or a parent of Irish descent who can prove that one of their parents was born there. Alternatively, you can marry an Irish person and after three years of marriage and residence in Ireland, you’re entitled to call Guinness your local tipple. No citizenship for people who’ve worked there for a while, sadly.

More info here.



Ease of becoming a citizen: tricky

Planning to live in Finland for five years? Best not to apply for citizenship here, then. Although if you are married to a Fin, that comes down to four years.

More info here.



Ease of becoming a citizen: medium

If you're not of Spanish origin, it's ten years living in Spain for you. Unless you're Latin American (two years), a refugee (five years) or have married a Spaniard (one year). Be warned, though: no second nationality for Spanish people, so you'll have to renounce your current nationality. 

More info here.


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