Getting an EU Passport


Many European countries offer citizenship by descent, which means that individuals can acquire citizenship through their ancestors. The specific rules for each country can vary, so it is important to research the requirements of the country in question. The list below also accepts dual citizenship making it feasible for a Euro-Nomad to contemplate acquiring an EU passport to sidestep the Schengen rules.

The Schengen countries that offer citizenship by descent are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland

All these countries require that at least one parent must be a citizen of the target country at the time of the applicant’s birth.

Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Latvia, and Lithuania also accept applications for citizenship the applicant can prove that at least one grandparent was a citizen of the target country. Germany do as well If the individual was born before January 1, 2000.

The following countries require that the applicant must have lived in the target country for a specified amount of years: Croatia (5), Finland (2), France (5), Greece (7), Hungary (8), Iceland (2), Malta (5), Netherlands (5), Norway (7).

Three countries also require a language test: Austria – 10 years and German language, Belgium 5 years and a language test if over 3, and Denmark 2 years and a language test..

As the regulations of these countries can vary and be complex, it is best to consult with the relevant authorities to understand the specific conditions and documents required to acquire citizenship by descent. Tax issues may arise.

The most common second passport is Irish.  Here is how I got mine.

We submitted our applications to the Irish embassy on 17/11/2021 and 23/11/2021 and paid 278 euros each.

We received the following email on 22/11/2021
“In relation to your inquiry kindly note that processing of Foreign Birth Registration (FBR) applications have resumed since 15 November.  They are now accepting FBR applications and required documentation.  At present, due to the complex nature of the Foreign Birth Registration and the pause in the Service due to the Covid-19 restrictions you should allow approximately 2 years for processing of Foreign Birth Registration applications at this time.

Please note that there is currently an issue with post between Australia and Ireland.  If the issue is still in place when you decide to send your documents please contact the Embassy and we may be in position to assist you with sending your documents to Ireland.”

We signed our applications on 24/11/2021 & sent them off (25/11/202`1) to the Irish embassy in Canberra who transferred them via diplomatic bag to Ireland.Received an email on 16/12/2021 notifying that they had been received (not sure if from Canberra or Ireland).

On 5/01/2023, received emails from Ireland with clarifications required – we had sent certified copies of birth, marriage and death certificates but they required the originals.  I queried this by email and they confirmed they wanted the originals. They also advised that the originals would be returned (I got a certified copy for us before sending them off).

We sent the originals on 27/03/2021 by express post (2 to 4 days delivery)

I also advised by email on 27/03/2023 that I had sent these and queried the timeframes and processes.

I was advised on 27/03/2023 as follows:
“We are currently experiencing large volumes of post for incomplete applications. Additional documents are being registered and merged to their corresponding files in order of date received before being sent forward for entitlement checking.  The current lead time for incomplete applications is three months. Processing times remain indicative only, and it may be processed sooner or later than this depending on available processing resources.  When you receive your Foreign Birth Registration certificate, you will then be able to apply for a passport. The best way is through the online passports at › passports”

And still waiting ….



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