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Does anyone have any knowledge and/or experience concerning which European Country would be the best bet for a U.S. Citizen to attempt to obtain citizenship for the sole purpose of being able to move about in the EU? I would like to move to France, but do not want to be hiding out playing the expired visa game.
Because of this question I started to research and investigate : ‘How to obtain EU Citizenship’.
I contacted legal advisors, the EU Parliament, National EU Embassies and immigration officers.
Each EU Nation has different regulation. There is nothing like a kind of EU Law, to obtain citizenship. The EU is still a kind of large economic area of many nation many common EU Commercial Laws, the Euro Currency, but the EU is not a Nation like the United States of America if you take in consideration the nationality of each member nation.
If you’re an American or from a Commonwealth country, perhaps the U.K. is more lenient. Europe is not like the US. It has nothing to do with where you are born, only who your born from.
The UK for example requires that one of the parents be settled in the UK at the time of birth (i.e. right of abode, indefinite leave to remain…). That does not mean they have to be European citizens, just legally allowed to be there indefinitely (equivalent to US legal permanent residency).
A person born in Belgium whose parents have lived there for at least 10 years by the child 12 birthday can request the child be registered as a Belgian citizen.
France is similar, except it’s age 13 if requested by the parents and 16 if requested by the person themselves.