Many countries around the world offer fast-track citizenship to foreign descendants of former citizens. But how does that work – and how can you become an EU citizen?
2020 was a year of reflection for many of us. Sidney, for example, spent a lot of time thinking about his Hungarian ancestry, and became interested in acquiring Hungarian citizenship. Because of that, he contacted Helpers Hungary to arrange his citizenship application. After submitting his request for citizenship, he sat down with our account manager Barbara to discuss his Hungarian ancestry, his reasons to apply for citizenship, and his experiences with the application process.
Although Hungarians are not a very populous nation, we are everywhere. In the 20th century, people left the country to flee from wars – these days, they mainly do so to pursue studies or employment abroad. Nevertheless, there are also many reasons to come to Hungary, and most ethnic Hungarians can apply for Hungarian citizenship.
Even during the current pandemic and the many uncertainties around us, getting Hungarian citizenship based on your ancestry continues to be a straightforward process, and an easy way to gaining EU citizenship.
Why to apply for Hungarian citizenship?
Hungary is a member of the European Union with no intention for leaving (the latest public opinion polls also say that support for EU membership is stronger than ever), and Hungarian citizens can live, work, and study anywhere in the European Union. As EU citizens, they are also allowed to travel without a visa to any countries of the Schengen zone, and several other countries. The Hungarian passport is the 10th strongest in the world, with visa-free access to 182 countries.
When you want to get Hungarian citizenship through ancestry, one of the documents supporting your application might be the birth certificate of one of your ancestors. But what if the place of birth turns out not to be in Hungary?
Example: “I know my grandfather was Hungarian. He was born in 1910 in Kosice – but that is in Slovakia! Can I still apply for Hungarian citizenship based on him?”
No worries. Hungary used to be a lot bigger, so there are several towns in neighboring countries where Hungarian people live currently, and even more that are accepted as a proof of your Hungarian ancestry.