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Holocaust survivors --> EU Citizenship to descendants?
April 23, 2007 9:22 PM   Subscribe

My grandparents are Holocaust survivors. Might I be entitled to EU citizenship? How do I figure this out and pursue it if it's an option?

Having heard of this possibility of dual citizenship (I'm American), some preliminary googling turned up this: "German law grants citizenship to "former German citizens, who lost their citizenship for political, racial or religious reasons between Jan. 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945" -- the duration of the Nazi dictatorship -- as well as their descendants" (from here)

Assuming this is true, I have two questions:
-Do other countries have similar laws for people who lost their citizenship during that event (and their descendants)?
-Is there any way one of my grandparents might have been German citizens?

Background on my grandparents:
Grandmother: Born and raised in Munkacs (Which is currently part of Ukraine, but was once Czech, Polish, and German at different times. See some history here. She and her family were taken from that town to Auschwitz during the war.

Grandfather: Born in Polat (spelling possibly wrong, will get update later tonight if they're still awake?) in Czechoslovakia. Served in Czech army, and if I understand his story correctly, was captured and put into a Russian prisoner of war/labor camp.

So! How do I begin to figure this stuff out?
posted by anonymoose to Law & Government (33 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The section of the German Civil Code that is being referred to is likely one which deals with the Nuremburg Laws. Briefly, these were laws propagated early in the Nazi Regime that stripped civil rights from Jews in Germany. These laws were passed in 1935. At that time Germany did not control either Czechoslovkia (taken by the Germans in two parts in 1938 and 1939, or Poland (1939). Obviously the Germans granted no citizenship to Jews of conquered states. Thus, your grandparents were likely never German citizens and they cannot be posthumously granted German citizenship.

However, there may still be a way. Your grandfather may not likely have an entree into the EU, as the Ukraine is not a member. However, both the Czech Republic and Slovakia are members of the EU. Many European countries allow persons from foreign countries who have ethnic orgins in the country to become citizens. Ireland is a notable example. I would therefore contact the closest Slovakian and Czech consulate or embassy.

Note that obtaining such citizenship can affect your ability to get a U.S. Security clearance.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:44 PM on April 23, 2007


I have NO idea whatsoever and am guessing, so take this with a grain of salt. I would begin by contacting the consolate of these countries here in the U.S. If they cannot give you the answers they can surely direct you to the proper office/department/place.

I am assuming you've already checked the EU website and done some googling....
posted by sneakin at 9:49 PM on April 23, 2007


Talked to my grandfather, and he was born in Nagy-Palád (Hungarian name. Czech name is Velké Palad), near Berehove, Ukraine. I believe the area was under Czechoslovakian rule back then, but it looks like it's also in the Ukraine now.

Ironmouth: Good points. When you refer to other countries potentially allowing my grandparents citizenship, what are the chances of that trickling down to me?
posted by anonymoose at 9:52 PM on April 23, 2007


That's where contacting the consulate comes in. They have all of the information for you.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:55 PM on April 23, 2007


You might want to take note of the State Department's position on dual nationality. Especially the part that specifies "a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship."

(The policy is actually less draconian than I was expecting.)
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:05 PM on April 23, 2007


Regarding "trickling down" of citizenship: I can't speak to the general case, but I do know that in German law (which isn't applicable in this case, but might be similar) this only works if one of your grandparents was a citizen of Germany at the time that one of your parents was born (and that your parent never renounced or otherwise lost his or her German citizenship and thus was a citizen when you were born).

With this sort of policy it seems like slowly but surely the whole world will become German citizens.

What I think Ironmouth is referring to is the ability to become a citizen of a country due to one's ancestry, while in the case of citizenship being passed through generations (or trickling down) you are born a citizen of the country in question due to the citizenship of your parents, rather than becoming a citizen.
posted by ssg at 10:13 PM on April 23, 2007


Many of these countries base their laws of repatriation on a combination of ethnicity and the nation's current borders. That's why "Saxons" who lived in (what's now) Romania for many centuries are welcomed back to Germany as Germans, but Rom ("Gypsies" to many people) who lived in German territories only a generation ago are not - often, anyway. Yeah, there's quite a bit of racial and national "purity" involved here, even if no one wants to talk about it.

Munkács was part of Hungary during WW2; from what I've heard, Hungary is not really granting citizenship to anyone but ethnic Magyars (like many who live in what's now Romania), and the fact that Munkács is not now part of Hungary would only makes this possibility less likely. Ukraine, of course, is not in the EU. I'd question your history a bit, too - Munkács was Hungarian (or Austro-Hungarian or Transylvanian - but essentially these were all what we'd call today some variation of "Hungarian") for most of its history, then Czech for about 20 years before WW2, Hungarian again during the war, and (essentially) Ukrainian since then. Never Polish or German as such. I reckon it's pretty impossible that a true citizen of Munkács would ever have been a German citizen at any rate. I have a Jewish friend whose grandparents were Hungarian Jews, and lived in a city which is still part of Hungary. They were granted some reparations, but she was grabted not Hungarian citizenship after trying. Like you, she's a grandchild of former citizens.

As for Polat - I don't know the name, please let me know if it's something else. The Czech Republic, like many former Eastern bloc nations, isn't necessarily looking for new citizens, but this route seems on the surface somewhat stronger than the Munkács one, solely due to your grandfather's position as a Czech soldier. But a lot of this would rest on the actual fact (or not) of his Czech citizenship, where "Polat" is today, and Czech laws regarding repatriation. It's no accident that the nations mentioned in your article are wealthier ones like France and Germany where the laws about this are more generous.

It seems unlikely that either of your grandparents would ever have had specifically German citizenship. Perhaps Czech, perhaps Hungarian. The article you linked leaves a lot of things vague; for some countries, citizenship is extended only to former citizens or their children. Often, citizenship requirements necessitate reasonable knowledge of the national language and things like that. But it could all be changing fast, I'm not sure.

The first thing to do would be to ask your grandparents what their citizenship and the citizenship of their parents was. (I assume they're alive from your use of the present tense.) And then let us know.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:15 PM on April 23, 2007


roger ackroyd brings up a good point that I forgot to mention. When you are born a dual citizen, governments don't tend to get too worked up about it. However, when you go out and try to acquire citizenship in another country, well, it seems like you don't really like the country of which you are already a citizen, so they might not let you keep your old citizenship. On the other hand, the country that you are applying to may also require that you give up your current citizenship.
posted by ssg at 10:16 PM on April 23, 2007


And to follow SSG up, Israel is a lot mellower about this dual citizenship thing than America. I had to renounce my Bosnian citizenship to become American - no dual citizenship for me! And if you're in America, you may find it very hard even if the other country allows it.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:20 PM on April 23, 2007


My friend just did this. He spent years gathering the necessary documentation, and took quite a while for all the paperwork and processing. I believe he needed his grandfather's proof of German citizenship.
posted by afx114 at 10:24 PM on April 23, 2007


One more point to consider, if you are hoping that you already are a citizen of some other country (i.e. citizen passed down at birth) then it matters when your parents were born. If your grandparents immigrated to the US and became US citizens before your parents were born (assuming that it was your grandparents that came over from Europe), they most likely had to give up their foreign citizenship first. However, if they were in the US, but not citizens then they would likely still have been citizens of whatever country they came from (and thus causing you to potentially be a citizen of said country).
posted by ssg at 10:33 PM on April 23, 2007


Dee Xtrovert: Grandfather was from Nagy-Palád (Hungarian name. Czech name is Velké Palad), near Berehove, Ukraine (currently).

That state department website continues:
"However, a person who acquires a foreign citizenship by applying for it may lose U.S. citizenship. In order to lose U.S. citizenship, the law requires that the person must apply for the foreign citizenship voluntarily, by free choice, and with the intention to give up U.S. citizenship.
Intent can be shown by the person's statements or conduct."

I wonder at how the state department makes its decisions on that front ("intent"), and would welcome anecdotal evidence. I personally have no such intent, and will likely be working freelance in the US as well as Europe, so dual citizenship would be of particular benefit to me.
posted by anonymoose at 10:36 PM on April 23, 2007


I think your best bet is probably Slovakia, assuming that Nagy Palad was in Slovakia at the time your grandfather last lived there. Slovakia, unlike the Czech Republic or Ukraine, seems to be cool with dual citizenship.
this only works if one of your grandparents was a citizen of Germany at the time that one of your parents was born (and that your parent never renounced or otherwise lost his or her German citizenship and thus was a citizen when you were born).
In Austria, where my grandparents were from, I think there's some sort of tweak for people who lost their citizenship for Holocaust-related reasons. My grandfather lost his citizenship when he left Austria in 1939, but he had it retroactively restored for the period before he became an American citizen.
However, if they were in the US, but not citizens then they would likely still have been citizens of whatever country they came from (and thus causing you to potentially be a citizen of said country).
I think a lot of countries revoke the citizenship of any minor children in that situation. My dad was, I think, born before his parents became American citizens, but I think he lost his (retroactively restored) Austrian citizenship when they got American citizenship. Otherwise, I guess I'm probably an Austrian citizen without realizing it.

(Incidentally, that can be a slightly dangerous situation, as well. During WWI, there were a couple of instances of Italian-American young men going to visit their grandparents in Italy and being drafted into the Italian army, based on the argument that they were Italian citizens whether they'd realized it or not.)
posted by craichead at 10:41 PM on April 23, 2007


I wonder at how the state department makes its decisions on that front ("intent"), and would welcome anecdotal evidence.
I know at least two Americans who've got Irish citizenship without anything dire happening. (Ireland grants citizenship to anyone who has a grandparent who was born on the island of Ireland. That's a big chunk of the American population, it seems.) Actually, I'd be curious to know if anyone knows of an instance of an American having his or her citizenship revoked for getting dual citizenship.
posted by craichead at 10:44 PM on April 23, 2007


Nagypalád, assuming it shares its history with Berehove, would have been under Czech rule from roughly the end of WWI until 1939, at which point it was re-seized by Hungary (who controlled it prior to WWI.) After the war, as you know, it became part of Ukraine. The region Berehove is in, "Carpathian Ruthenia," was fraught with conflict; the people living there never took to anyone's rule - especially Hungary's, despite the Hungarians having the best (or at least historically longest) 'claim' to the region. Since the Czech rule lasted only two decades and the region is now part of Ukraine, I'd say the odds of garnering Czech citizenship on what amounts to a brief historical fluke would be slim - especially since people there considered themselves "Ruthenian," not Czech, and thus not probably privy to the sympathies of the Czech government. Of course, Slovakia enters into this as well, but whether the legal inheritors of the events of this region are Czech, Slovak, Hungarian or Ukrainian is a good question.

Based on all this information, I think you'll need a lot of luck. Fear not, Ukraine's working on their EU admission for 2024 or so! That said, an important question would be to ask your grandparents what their own perceptions of their nationalities might be. Did they grow up speaking Yiddish, Hungarian, Czech, Slovak or some other language as their native tongue? Do they have any governmental / legal documents from that time? What nationality did they claim on immigration forms? These things can make a difference.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:48 PM on April 23, 2007


craichead: You may well be an Austrian citizen. My situation is similar to yours, except that my grandparents are German, not Austrian, and I am a German citizen. Neither Wikipedia, nor this page from the government of Austria mentions anything about losing one's citizenship when one's parents lose theirs.
posted by ssg at 10:53 PM on April 23, 2007


Wow. I don't even know how I feel about that.

Dee Xtrovert makes a good point, anonymous, that this is a really good opportunity to talk to your grandparents about their backgrounds, whether or not you end up with that elusive EU passport. My grandmother didn't like talking about her past, but now that she's gone I wish I'd pushed her a bit.
posted by craichead at 11:01 PM on April 23, 2007


After some quick internet research and a lengthy conversation with people smarter than me, I've come to the conclusion that the Czech Republic, not Slovakia, would be the inheritors of matters regarding the region of Carpathian Ruthenia, based on a conversation with my boyfriend, who understands these things frighteningly well. (Yes, despite the geographic proximity of the region to current-day Slovakia.) The region wasn't in Slovakia at all, rather *Czechoslovakia* and it's the Czech Republic who would be the relevant party today, strange as that is when I look at a map.

But in any case, Slovakia's laws regarding naturalization - like most of those in the former Eastern bloc - possibly only extends to children of citizens. This is even implied on the website Craichead provided a link for. But who knows?

I know many people who've lost US citizenship actually! (Two Bosnians who'd become American lost it when they reapplied for Bosnian citizenship after the war; an American guy who applied for Brazilian citizenship and an American girl who became an Indonesian citizen after marrying an Indonesian guy. Shock of her life, too!)

The American government allows dual citizenship by birth (notice how all notices regarding the dangers of dual citizenship mention "by application") and tolerates dual citizenship with a number of countries with whom we've maintained historically excellent relationships (and most of them English speaking nations too) - Canada, Ireland, the UK and Israel. Other nations - Scandinavian ones, Germany, Germany, Switzerland, France, Holland, and a few others - are not considered a big deal where there are extenuating circumstances. "Honorary" citizenships are also tolerated. Obviously obtaining dual citizenship with an "enemy" nation (Iran, North Korea) would be pretty stupid, and I think doing the same with any country which has strong connections to Islam, the Third World / poverty, an unstable political situation or a Communist past would be pushing one's luck. But again, it's uncharted territory for me. I reckon "intent" means applying for citizenship in a country that's just too far from what a paranoid government feels is 'safe.'

I feel like a downer, but I really do wish you good luck!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:19 PM on April 23, 2007


Holocaust survivorship isn't a prerequisite (so the other set of grandparents may be able to help you if the emigrated too), but this is how you establish* an inherited right of dual citizenship.

Note that is totally different from applying for citizenship, where as noted your American citizenship could be at risk. Instead you're asserting that by law you have always been a citizen of the second country. All you're doing is formalizing the record, so you can exercise your birthrights freely.
posted by nakedcodemonkey at 1:24 AM on April 24, 2007


The whole "lose your US citizenship if you become a citizen of another country" really is a bunch of crap. Courts have ruled that essentially you not only have to go to a US consulate and renounce your citizenship before a consular officer, but that you must not be required to do so by the country in which you are attempting to gain citizenship as a prerequisite for doing so.

They used to be a lot more strict about it, before the courts told them to knock it off. Of course, as with everything related to INSUSCIS, they are arbitrary and capricious and therefore you may have to get a lawyer to protect your rights if they decide to contravene the law "just because," as they often do, or so I hear.

Basically, intent to renounce your US citizenship must be demonstrated by overt acts other than getting the citizenship in another country.
posted by wierdo at 1:38 AM on April 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am a U.S. citizen, and was just granted Irish citizenship by marriage. The U.S. is not really interested in knowing about dual citizenship - as mentioned, you would have to actively demonstrate intent to renounce your U.S. citizenship.
posted by candyland at 5:12 AM on April 24, 2007


You should take a look at the Dual Citizenship FAQ, which is pretty exhaustive and has links to relevant court cases and documents from the State Department. Basically, the upshot is that you generally won't lose your US citizenship unless you're really trying to.
posted by Johnny Assay at 5:31 AM on April 24, 2007


A few years ago I was looking into the possibility of getting citizenship to Spain based on my father's side of the family being descendents of the Spanish colonists. Unfortunately, the laws in Spain only allow someone to claim citizenship based on a grandparent's citizenship. From what I understand that is the case for most European countries.
posted by JJ86 at 6:00 AM on April 24, 2007


you generally won't lose your US citizenship unless you're really trying to.

Cecil agrees.
posted by Martin E. at 6:38 AM on April 24, 2007


Because the Czech Republic is a jus sanguinis country, your grandfather passed his citizenship to his child UNLESS he renounced his citizenship (i.e., gained American citizenship) before the birth of that child. If he became a citizen after the birth of your parent, then your parent was, by birth, a citizen of the Czech Republic (actually Czechoslovakia -- more on that in a moment) as well as the United States. Since your parent never had reason to renounce Czech citizenship, it was passed on to you at birth. At this point it should just be a matter of tracking down the paperwork and proving it at the consulate.
(I've gone through this process with Italian citizenship. You're lucky in that your grandparents are still alive and can help you get these documents.)

Czech citizenship is renounced by gaining citizenship in another country unless it is in connection with birth or marriage. So, you and your parent, being born in the United States (I assume) got your American citizenship that way, which will not disqualify you for Czech citizenship.

Re: Czech vs. Slovak citizenship: If a person was a citizen of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic as of the 31st of December 1992, he may declare citizenship of either the Czech Republic or Slovakia (gaining Slovak citizenship), assuming he does not have any other citizenship. (that's according to this Wikipedia article, which is where I got most of my information.)

If your grandfather actually lost his citizenship (involuntary loss of citizenship is, at least these days, constitutionally prohibited) then you've got a whole 'nother fight on your hands. It appears that emigrants from the Communist era were allowed to reclaim their citizenship from 1999-2004, but I don't know about WWII.
posted by katemonster at 7:19 AM on April 24, 2007


I had to renounce my Bosnian citizenship to become American - no dual citizenship for me!

That doesn't mean you're not a dual citizen. Whether or not you're a dual citizen depends on Bosnia's laws. The US makes you say some words, but they might well have no legal effect.

The US requires that you renounce your foreign citizenship... to US officials. The last part is the kicker. Most countries that tolerate dual nationality don't care if you renounce your citizenship to some other country's officials -- that's like renouncing your citizenship to a random stranger; it has no legal effect. What matters is renouncing your citizenship to officials of that country.

If you want the UK to stop looking at you as a citizen, you have to renounce your citizenship to UK officials, not some other country's officials. Ditto Canadian or US citizenship.

The exceptions are countries that do not tolerate dual nationality very well, such as Japan. These countries might automatically revoke your citizenship when you naturalize in another country.

You might well retain Bosnian citizenship. If you don't, it's because Bosnia kicked you out.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:02 AM on April 24, 2007


When I was interning with the State Department in Munich, this came up more than a few times -- you'd have to do some pretty insane stuff before they'd let you renounce your U.S. citizenship, and even then, all the foreign service officers I knew in the consular division would've tried to talk you out of it anyway.

What I'd like to know with this whole "by application" business is this: my boyfriend is technically a Hungarian citizen. Born here to parents born there -- his mom never even became a US citizen, she just has a green card. So he's already a *citizen,* he just needs to apply for the passport itself. In cases of "by application [for citizenship]," which "application" counts? Is claiming your passport-and-paperwork-by-birthright considered a hostile act against your American citizenship?

I know I can get my EU citizenship through him once he's done it and we've gotten married, but I'd have to pass some fairly insane language and Hungarian residency tests, first. (Ah, if only he were Irish, instead -- have you *seen* Hungarian grammar?)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:07 AM on April 24, 2007


I wrote: I had to renounce my Bosnian citizenship to become American - no dual citizenship for me!

someone else wrote: That doesn't mean you're not a dual citizen. Whether or not you're a dual citizen depends on Bosnia's laws. The US makes you say some words, but they might well have no legal effect.

The US requires that you renounce your foreign citizenship... to US officials. The last part is the kicker. Most countries that tolerate dual nationality don't care if you renounce your citizenship to some other country's officials -- that's like renouncing your citizenship to a random stranger; it has no legal effect. What matters is renouncing your citizenship to officials of that country.

You might well retain Bosnian citizenship. If you don't, it's because Bosnia kicked you out.


Bosnia didn't kick me out; in fact, I was granted special permission to leave (and come to America) from big players on both sides, due to my special circumstances - the killing of both of my parents, destruction of my home and (to be honest) extensive media coverage of my story. I retained my Bosnian passport throughout it all. When I applied for American citizenship nine years later, I was approved very quickly and was told that I would receive notice of my swearing-in ceremony in a couple of weeks. Two years later, nothing! This despite several inquiries and the personal assistance of various big shots. It turns out my background check turned up nothing (probably because I was just barely an adult when I left Bosnia and the few years prior to that would have turned up little 'official' paperwork) and the US government wasn't willing to 'clear' my citizenship without some evidence that I wasn't a war criminal or mujahedin or something. I eventually got it straightened out, but guess what? The Bosnian nation, like many nations, cooperates with America in running background checks; they were informed by the American government of my US naturalization, and I received notice from the Bosnian government that I had been stripped of a Bosnian passport, Bosnian citizenship, etc. I *never* contacted the Bosnian government myself; they were notified of my Americanization solely via the American government.

Yes, I had to renounce my citizenship in my swearing-in ceremony. But at that point, I'd already been stripped of Bosnian citizenship. I don't have a problem with this as such - I like being American. But it's quite different from the situations others have described above, where no one knows unless *you* tell.

As mentioned above, I know people who have lost their American citizenships in much the same way I lost my Bosnian citizenship. That is, without even contacting the American government to 'inform' them of their decisions. In one case at least, this fact came as an utter shock and the person involved has spent many thousands of dollars to straighten it out - so far, unsuccessfully. I also know a Croatian who became an American, went to visit Croatia on her American passport for a month and was denied re-entry to America because she had defaulted on her student loans!

It's possible that things have changed in more xenophobic times, so I sure wouldn't take anything for granted!
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 10:30 AM on April 24, 2007


I gained Irish citizenship thanks to a single Irish-born grandparent. To my knowledge, it's the only EU country that'll extend citizenship to someone two generations removed.

Everything I read about dual citizenship indicated it would take real effort to lose my U.S. citizenship; I'm surprised to hear Dee Xtrovert's accounts of people losing it without intent.

As for figuring it out, try ringing up the nearest Slovak and Czech embassies (like Ironmouth said,) and do research on your grandparents to see what you can learn about their citizenship statuses in life. The details of these issues are complicated, and you should take the word of the official representatives of the countries over ours.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 11:01 AM on April 24, 2007


For the record
posted by IndigoJones at 11:34 AM on April 24, 2007


I know many people who've lost US citizenship actually! (Two Bosnians who'd become American lost it when they reapplied for Bosnian citizenship after the war; an American guy who applied for Brazilian citizenship and an American girl who became an Indonesian citizen after marrying an Indonesian guy. Shock of her life, too!)

Frankly, I find this difficult to believe unless these people lost their citizenship before 1990, when State changed their evidentiary rules, or unless they had done any of the very small number of things (bearing arms against the US, taking policy-level political jobs) that are seen as having inherent intent to lose US citizenship.

Department of State policy since 1990 is very clear on the subject, and very clear about readjudication of past cases under post-1990 evidence standards.

I also know a Croatian who became an American, went to visit Croatia on her American passport for a month and was denied re-entry to America because she had defaulted on her student loans!

That doesn't make sense. Nowhere can I find any evidence that simple loan default is a bar to entry for anyone. Unless maybe her conduct was so egregious that it rose to the level of actual fraud, not simple loan default.

Anyway, anonymoose should not worry about losing US citizenship by accepting citizenship-by-birth in another country.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:50 AM on April 24, 2007


What I'd like to know with this whole "by application" business is this: my boyfriend is technically a Hungarian citizen. Born here to parents born there -- his mom never even became a US citizen, she just has a green card. So he's already a *citizen,* he just needs to apply for the passport itself. In cases of "by application [for citizenship]," which "application" counts? Is claiming your passport-and-paperwork-by-birthright considered a hostile act against your American citizenship?

To answer bitter-girl.com's piggyback question: No, application for a passport is not the same as applying for citizenship. Think of it this way: If you're American-born and live in the US, it's quite likely that you don't have a passport until you actually need to go and apply for one. You're already a *citizen*, you are just applying for a *passport* (and you need to submit documentation to prove that you're entitled to it). The passport is just a travel document (and usually, but not always, proof of nationality - many countries issue travel documents to refugees and other people with paperwork issues of various sorts, but let's not go there right now!)

Likewise, when applying for a passport on the basis of ancestry of a second country, you are already *entitled* to the passport (and thus a citizen) - you just need to have proof of it. So you're not actually *applying* for citizenship - you already have it by birth. You're applying for a passport, a travel document which proves that you have the right to travel to various countries according to your second citizenship.

I hope I've managed to explain that properly. I think that one of the things that manages to confuse people about the issue is that we often refer to "getting a [Hungarian/Irish/whatever] passport" as shorthand for obtaining a different nationality, as well as for simply getting a passport to which someone was already entitled by birth.

As far as rules for the various EU countries go, bear in mind that they vary widely from one country to another. Although we're now a 'Union' over here, the union is still very much in its infancy and each country retains its original laws of citizenship to an enormous degree. One EU country's laws are no more indication of another EU country's laws than, say, US residency and naturalisation laws have any relevance to New Zealand's. Thus, the Netherlands for example requires people becoming Dutch citizens to renounce their original citizenship (with various exceptions which we'll skip for now), while the UK doesn't.

And finally, because I can't help myself, you realise that there's no such thing as "an EU passport", don't you? It's just another one of those shorthands which serve to confuse people. There is of course such a thing as a passport of an EU member state, but the rights it gives (especially to a spouse or partner of the passport holder, who is not him/herself a national of an EU member state) vary crazily according to the country you want to go to.

Anonymoose, I read on a Hungarian embassy website something to the effect that 'due to the historical difficulties involved in tracing nationality in Central Europe because of changing borders and political regimes, applications need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis'. I suggest, as others have, that you contact a few of the possibly relevant embassies. These kinds of rules tend to change all the time, too, so you have to get the info straight from the official sources.
posted by different at 12:15 PM on April 24, 2007


So you're not actually *applying* for citizenship - you already have it by birth. You're applying for a passport, a travel document which proves that you have the right to travel to various countries according to your second citizenship.

Just a small correction to my incredibly long comment that I am sure nobody's going to read anyway - I explained the above rather clumsily. It's not *technically* true, but it serves its purpose for this explanation.
posted by different at 12:17 PM on April 24, 2007


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