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Citizenship by Descent (CBA) refers to the method of gaining citizenship based on familial ties to a specific country. This option is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience and relatively straightforward process for acquiring citizenship in a foreign nation.In this article, we will explore countries that offer Citizenship by Descent programs, delve into the eligibility criteria, discuss the overall benefits, and outline the application process.Countries Offering Citizenship by DescentCurrently, more than 50 countries provide Citizenship by Descent programs. Some of these countries include:Africa: Cape Verde, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia.

America: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico, United States of America.

Asia: Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand.

Europe: Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom.

Middle East: Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman.

Oceania: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand.

Eligibility Requirements for Citizenship by Descent

The eligibility requirements for each country’s program vary significantly. For example, Italy imposes no generational restrictions on applicants, meaning that individuals with an ancestral link to Italy may qualify for Italian Citizenship by Descent, regardless of how far back their ancestral lineage extends. In contrast, individuals of French descent can only claim French citizenship if each generation registers as French citizens.

Typically, applicants must provide documentation proving their ancestral link to the concerned country and submit birth and marriage registration records for each generation in their ancestral lineage. Some countries may also require proficiency in their official languages to support favourable decisions on CBA applications.

The process of obtaining Citizenship by Descent can be lengthy, especially if the required documentation is incomplete, improperly translated, or not legalized. Therefore, it is advisable to initiate the process well in advance and seek guidance from an immigration lawyer to determine eligibility and navigate the application process.

Advantages of Acquiring Citizenship by Descent

Obtaining a second citizenship through CBA offers several advantages, including the ability to reside and work in the new country without the need for a visa or work permit. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who want to connect with their heritage, start a business, or pursue educational opportunities in their ancestral homeland.

Furthermore, Citizenship by Descent may grant access to social services such as healthcare, education, and retirement benefits. Some countries, like those in the Schengen Area in Europe, may also allow citizens to travel freely within the European Union, opening up additional opportunities for work and travel.

It’s important to note that there is some degree of uncertainty involved in proving lineage, as immigration authorities may reject applications lacking sufficient evidence of the relationship with the ancestor or if the ancestor voluntarily renounced or lost citizenship before the applicant’s birth.

Contact Us for More Information

For inquiries about Citizenship by Descent or to seek assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Harvey Law Group (HLG) has been providing expert guidance on Immigration and Business Law for over three decades. With offices in 20 locations worldwide, including the United States.

To schedule a free consultation, reach out to us at +1 352 331 7554 or, or visit our USA office at 1395 Brickell Avenue, Miami, Florida 33131.

About Harvey Law Group

Harvey Law Group (HLG) is a prominent multinational law firm established in 1992 by Jean-François Harvey. Headquartered in Hong Kong and with over 24 global offices, HLG is a trusted provider of professional and ethical advisory services to high-net-worth individuals in immigration law and business-related matters.

Our team comprises individuals of 20 nationalities, speaking over 15 languages, and holding licenses to practice in multiple jurisdictions.

For more information about our firm, please visit