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Is citizenship by descent worth it?

Citizenship by descent – is it really worth the waiting and all other demands that come with it?

It may be possible for you to qualify for citizenship through your ancestors… but should you?

Andrew breaks down why the process may be harder and more confusing than other options.

Countries like Italy, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Greece, Bosnia, and others allow those with ancestors from their country to claim citizenship by descent, but the process can be long and confusing.

When you think about getting a second passport, it’s important to understand the motivation behind that need.

You don’t want to rush into things, and it’s paramount to know what you can and can’t do to get the second citizenship.

When it comes to citizenship by descent, it’s not too hard to qualify, but the amount of bureaucracy is daunting.

This process also requires a lot of time, so don’t expect to get your second passport in a matter of months, because that is highly unlikely to happen.

Here’s a video to watch if you have Irish ancestry:

Subscribe to our channel and stay tuned for more videos and information about second passports, offshore strategy, reducing your taxes and going where you’re treated best.


Andrew Henderson travels to nearly 30 countries every year to stay up to date on the latest legal strategies for entrepreneurs and investors to pay less tax, grow their money faster, and build their personal freedom.

Andrew started Nomad Capitalist to help people like you follow his five magic words: “go where you’re treated best”. He has personally started foreign companies, opened offshore bank accounts, and obtained multiple second passports.

He also learned the hard way that perpetual information seeking is often the biggest barrier to getting the results you want. Many entrepreneurs spend months and even years constantly researching how to pay less in tax or live overseas, but are afraid to make the jump.

As a result, they get stuck and keep paying a fortune in taxes and never get the lifestyle they deserve.

Nomad Capitalist’s Youtube channel is based on Andrew’s vision that focusing on the end result, rather than the latest shiny object, is the best way to actually obtain the benefits of the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle.

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  1. Portugal is quite good now for grandkids – in recent months the 'effective ties' test is just a language test and a single grandparent who died Portuguese – whereas previously had to join various local community groups in your country, open a bank account in Portugal, travel around twice a year for half a decade.. and all of these things are just indicators and did not guarantee acceptance.

    The other change vs the original version around 5yrs ago, is that now it is the 'original attributed' citizenship from birth rather than a naturalised acquired version (thereby allowing even your adult children to take on the citizenship). You will get a birth certificate and it is as if you were (and you 'actually' were…) Portuguese from birth.

    The third change is, now your legal spouse can apply for naturalised citizenship (after you acquire your original citizenship via your grandparent) after six years of marriage to a Portuguese (you) which in itself proves effective ties to Portugal – and the marriage begins when you got married legally in your own country so your Portuguese marriage certificate will be backdated and therefore if six years have passed, just need to apply for the spouse.

  2. Hi, thank you so much for this video! It motivated me to apply for my citizenship by descent. My dad is a dual citizen of Australia & US and had me in the US so I grew up an American and have never been to Australia before. I applied for Australian citizenship at the end of July and was just approved earlier this month. I'm not sure what I'll use it for but it's nice to know that I'll always have that option should I ever need it. Thank you for your content!

  3. I was born in Uruguay, also have Spanish Citizenship by descent and since a couple of years ago I live in US as a Green Card holder… In Spain if you qualify the process can be done in less than a month, the only key issue here is to make your children do a "declaration of conservation" at the Spanish Consulate if you don't live in Spain after 18 and before 21 otherwise they lose the Spanish Citizenship.,
    On the other side for an Uruguayan born person you never lose citizenship, even if you resign this has no effect on Uruguay.
    And one funny thing is if you arrive to Uruguay on any foreign passport, the immigration officers write near the entry stamp the letters "URU" and you get indefinite time to stay when they see you were born in Uruguay even if you don't have any Uruguayan ID on you…
    Long time ago I did a test, exit the country on my Spanish Passport, enter later on a Argentinean temporary residence card, left on a Brasilian ID Card (called RNE), and Uruguayan government doesn't care, if you were born in Uruguay then you are Uruguayan no matter what you do or say…
    Someone can even become a felon or terrorist, commit treason ending up in jail, but will be Uruguayan till the grave… (there is no death penalty in Uruguay)
    On the other side if you are Uruguayan by naturalization, any other naturalization after the Uruguayan will make you lose the Uruguayan citizenship….

  4. I recently found out about a year and a half ago that I qualify for both Polish and Jamaican citizenship by descent through my parents, I am also a Canadian citizen as I was born in Canada.

  5. I actually started to look into if I could get a dual passport from Sri Lanka where my parents and grandparents are from after watching one of your videos about citizenship by descent. I found out the hard truth I was not able to get it because for some reason I couldn't fulfill any of their requirements. so for some countries its enough that your parents and grandparents are from there but that's sadly not the case with all countries that have citizenship by descent.

  6. By descent, the fastest way is when you got a father or mother from the country that you want the citizenship(direct descent). But when it comes to grandparents or great grandparents it's much complicated because long time ago everything was register on paper by the local council. Sometimes the applicant has to call the local council where the great grandparents were living to find the birth certificate.

  7. No one wants to leave the United States. That is just propaganda. The people who say they are serious about this are still in the USA and will never leave. America is the greatest country on earth and there are unlimited options in life here.

  8. My grandparents were born in Ireland so I was able to do citizenship by decent. Ireland makes it easy to get your grandparents birth certificate online…and my grandparents were born in the late 1800's. I didn't think they would locate the certificates but it was a very fast turn around.

  9. Hi Andrew, Love your videos, after watching this one, felt like leaving this comment as a reply "to the conversation "
    LTU by decent took 7months after lodging justbefore they joined EU. Spent $600 (total incl all fees) AUD on documents …. Mainly in Australia as notary and dfat, + state birth/death/marriage department charges are high but to Lithuania via consulate in cluding $50 to. There archives etc (incl Aussie bank fees) passport costs ($20USD) etc translations etc. Less than $200 AUD.

  10. I found the key to citizenship through descent in Greece was being fluent in Greek and having spent time in my parents town while growing up and having relatives there I see frequently. Then making copies of the applicable law. The key is to have yourself registered in the town's roles. You need certified copy of your birth certificate from your birth country, translated, and your passport. Then the town hall finds your parents birth and marriage certificates. They verify all that, ask a bunch of questions about your general motives. Then you need 2 witnesses when you're registered, which can be relatives. Because both my parents are Greek and all their records were in the town, and my cousin knows the mayor and other local officials, along with them knowing my parents, they were very helpful. I think it being a small town also helped since there's no lineup. The next step was registering with the police, which issued me a blue receipt. This is critical since actual acknowledgement cld take many months but with the blue receipt showing it's in process I could go get my provisional national ID number. That allows me to function as a citizen until all is completed. So getting to the blue receipt and national ID number stage took a cpl days of lunches and coffees with local officials. Once again it's who you know combined with all paperwork being in order and having copies of everything required. That and being polite and patient. It also helped that I plan to invest in the town and try to help develop its tourism. So that was my experience but each experience can be different depending on several factors. Good luck!

  11. All of my great-grandparents were born in ex-Eastern Bloc countries, with 2 of them (Poland and Romania) EU member states. Yet I have no plans to move to the EU, although some of my great-grandparents were born in what would, after WW II, remain part of Ukraine. Ukrainian citizenship would come in handy for entering Russia, Uzbekistan and Belarus for tourism, regardless of point of entry, although I admit that getting Ukrainian citizenship, with Canada my birthplace and my Canadian citizenship, is likely to be impossible for awhile.

  12. Im australian with italian descent. my Grandparents were all born in italy. They came to Australia and became naturalised Australian citizens (1950's). My father was unable to get his dual citizen ship as he was not the son of Italians.

    My Wife is German National Living in Australia and she is permanent Australian resident through a spouse visa. We have a 6 month old son Born in Australia and to a German mother which makes him eligible for Dual Citizenship (aus/german) My wife can also obtain a dual citizen ship however I must renounce my Aus to get my German…


  13. It is DEFINITELY worth it….I recently got my citizenship in Italy from my grandfather. Yes, the beaurocracy is an ordeal… but I actually found it much quicker/easier to receive citizenship by going to Italy and getting residence rather than waiting on the MUCH SLOWER process at the consulates IN the USA. Check out my video on my journey!

  14. My dad was born in Hungary, we all live in California. Dad came out in 56' and I want to get my Hungarian citizenship. Will there be issues, because I dont speak the language with exception of a handful of words phrases etc. Who to contact for help? thanks!

  15. I have a great grandfather from Italy, my grandmother (his daughter) is still alive but i have never spoken to her. I am trying to get a hold of her but she may not be wiling to speak to me. How can i go about getting the information necessary to become a citizen of Italy?


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