A pathway to obtaining second citizenship and passport by bloodline


What is the meaning of citizenship by ancestry?

Citizenship-by-Ancestry is a program that allows individuals to obtain foreign citizenships through their bloodline. It enables them to acquire citizenship from their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and even more distant ancestors, regardless of where they were born. Over 50 countries worldwide offer some form of Citizenship-by-Ancestry, each with its own set of eligibility criteria, process, and complexity.

The process typically involves gathering supporting documents that prove ancestry and submitting an application either online or at the local consulate. It is essential to note that proving lineage involves a certain degree of uncertainty as immigration authorities may refuse an application if sufficient evidence is not provided or if the ancestor renounced or lost citizenship before the applicant’s birth.

To determine eligibility for Citizenship-by-Ancestry, it is advisable to complete a free eligibility assessment with a lawyer.
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Citizenship-by-Ancestry Citizenship by ancestry Harvey Law Group Citizenship By Investment Citizenship by Descent law of blood

“If you do not think you have any ancestors with foreign nationality, I urge you to take a closer look at your family tree, as you may find an ancestry link that could be your ticket to a second nationality and passport, which could profoundly impact your residential mobility, lifestyle, and career opportunities.”


Citizenship-by-Ancestry is where an individual acquires the citizenship of either his parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and in some cases even more distant ancestors, irrespective of where the individual was born. Today, more than 50 countries around the world offer some form of Citizenship-by-Ancestry pathway, each with its own eligibility criteria, process, and complexity.


The first step to understanding whether you are eligible for Citizenship-by-Ancestry is to figure out which ancestor you are claiming citizenship through and which country you want to become a citizen of. Whilst most countries that offer Citizenship-by-Ancestry typically require applicants to have at least one parent who is a citizen of their countries such as Canada, France, and South Korea, there are countries that allow you to obtain Citizenship-by-Ancestry through a grandparent who is a citizen of their countries including Greece, Ireland, Nigeria, and Portugal. In very rare cases, countries extend Citizenship-by-Ancestry to descendants of any ancestor who is a citizen of that country such as Italy and Poland.

Aside from ancestry link, each country has its own unique requirements that need to be complied with in order to be eligible. For instance, those looking to claim Italian Citizenship-by-Ancestry must demonstrate that they have ancestral link to an Italian ancestor who has never lost or renounced his/her Italian citizenship. To claim Irish Citizenship-By-Ancestry, there is a special route for people with Irish great-grandparents that would render the applicants eligible if they have lived in Ireland for about three years prior to filing their applications.

Citizenship by descent process

Typically, the process to obtaining Citizenship-by-Ancestry involves you gathering the required supporting documentation including proof of lineage and submitting an application form either online or at your local consulate. If you can dig up birth certificates and other required documentation that prove your ties to your ancestor are legitimate, you may be able to acquire a second citizenship between eight months to three years.
“It is important to note that a degree of uncertainty is involved in proving lineage because the immigration authorities may refuse your application if you cannot provide sufficient evidence to support your relationship with your ancestor or if they find that your ancestor had voluntarily renounced or lost his citizenship before you were born. To better determine your eligibility for Citizenship-by-Ancestry, I advise that you complete a free eligibility assessment with one of our lawyers,” Harvey states.


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    About Harvey Law Group

    Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a leading multinational law firm founded in 1992 by Jean-François Harvey. Headquartered in Hong Kong with over 24 offices worldwide, HLG is a leading provider of professional and responsible advisory to high-net-worth individuals on immigration law and business matters.

    Our lawyers and employees comprise 20 nationalities, speak over 15 languages, and are licensed to practice in multiple jurisdictions.

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