What is the "ancestral permanent residence" policy in the EU?
August 6, 2004 7:59 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to live in Europe. My wife is a 2nd generation Latvian and I recall reading about an "ancestral permanent residence" policy that affects the EU, of which Latvia is now a member. I know there have been several questions about living abroad, but I can't find this information. Can anybody help? [MI]

The policy was something along the lines of: "If your parents or grandparents lived in an EU country, you may qualify for permanent residence status after living and working in that country for x (period of time)." I think the time line was 2 years in your country of origin and then one must be employed in any EU country for 3 of the next 5 years. Does this sound familiar to anyone?
posted by maniactown to Law & Government (10 answers total)
I know Switzerland has something like that, and Ireland too, but is there an EU-wide policy? Here's something from Greece about it, but it states there isn't one yet.
posted by amberglow at 8:19 PM on August 6, 2004

Ireland has a procedure that lets one get citizenship if one has at least one Irish grandparent. That's their own law, though, and if there's anything EU-wide, I don't know about it.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:13 PM on August 6, 2004

Italy has a prove-your-ancestry way to get a passport, too. Give the Latvian consulate a call--surely the best way to find out is to go straight to the horse's mouth.
posted by bcwinters at 9:30 PM on August 6, 2004

Yes, what bcwinters said.

Each Country has it's own immigration laws and conditions. I am an American living in Germany and I am obtaining German citizenship. The rules here are different than the rules of many other Countries.

Also, some Countries will require that you had over your "other Country" passport because their policy is that you may only have one Citizenship at any given time.

So it would be best to call the Latvian consulate because only they will know the real deal. Sadly, even most of the "policy" websites you'll find are grossly misinformed.

Good luck with that, maniactown :) I think you'll like it here! (I mean, who doesn't?)
posted by erratic frog at 1:39 AM on August 7, 2004

There is no unified EU policy on citizenship or repatriation of citizen status - each member state operates on its own system. Check with the Latvian embassy or see if they have a web site. Embassies usually do.
posted by zaelic at 2:09 AM on August 7, 2004

Hey maniactown - I'd appreciate if you could post in this thread whatever you happen to find out. I'm not actively looking to move to Europe for the moment, but I was born in Latvia, and, if nothing else, I'm curious what rights that could give me.
posted by kickingtheground at 9:10 AM on August 7, 2004

As for Ireland, the rules do state one grandparent qualifies you, however, it further states that YOU must have been born before X year.

OTOH, meet an ingenious paddy driving cab in London and Bob's your uncle.
posted by lometogo at 9:34 AM on August 7, 2004

Italy has a prove-your-ancestry way to get a passport

that's exactly right
posted by matteo at 12:00 PM on August 7, 2004

lometogo writes:
As for Ireland, the rules do state one grandparent qualifies you, however, it further states that YOU must have been born before X year.
That's not so. There is a requirement in one case that you must have been born after 17 July 1956; none of the cases have a born before X rule.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 7:44 PM on August 7, 2004

There is no unified EU policy on citizenship

Unmitigated balls. the European Community Treaty contains provisions for EU citizenship - see Article 17.

With regards to your question maniactown, on the facts you've given it's hard to see how your wife has any rights under EU as distinct from Latvian law. She is a person from a foreign country - there is no recognition of the principle of ancestry as a basis for residency in EU law.

As such as a your wife isn't an EU citizen then she'll be unable to avail herself of EU law rights. Post Maastricht residence with regards to non EU nationals has been delegated to the member states according to the principle of subsiduarity - you're going to have to consult someone with a specialist knowledge of Latvian immigration law as distinct from a lawyer who specialises in EU free movement of persons law.

EC Directive 1612/68 and the 'social advantage' angle is also likely to be an unproductive avenue as there's a need for your wife to demonstrate dependency as a matter of fact from the first generation Latvian she'd be trying to claim EC rights parasitically from. (Diatta v Land Berlin / Lebon)

Not provided as a legal advice and not to be relied upon as such. Information given for the purposes of academic discussion no liability accepted in any circumstance for reliance upon the above the veracity of which is not guaranteed. Besides, you really want to sue me? I don’t own anything. Well, I’ve got a huge overdraft, you can have that.
posted by dmt at 6:05 AM on August 8, 2004

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