How much time does it take to become an EU citizen by descent?

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How much time does it take to become an EU citizen by descent?

If you are looking for an EU passport, you might start by taking a look at your family tree. Many EU countries offer citizenship if one or more of your ancestors were local citizens. The procedure varies country by country, meaning not only requirements but also processing time.

Becoming an EU citizen by descent

Normally, you can become a citizen of a country if you have been living there for a few years. If one or more of your ancestors were local citizens, however, this residency requirement may be waived, and you may gain residency much sooner.

Even then, however, you must consider the processing time of your application. Authorities must review the data you submit, and the time frame available to them varies. The below table lists the processing time in each EU country where you can become a citizen by descent if you base your application on grandparents or ancestors even further down the lane. (In other EU countries citizenship by ancestry is limited, see a map here. At the same time, not all of them allow dual citizenship; learn more about that here.)


Processing time


4-8 months


4-12 months


9 months


ca. 1 year


ca. 1 year


1-3 years or longer


2 years (you can get permanent residency in the meantime)


2-3 years

As you can see, the 1-year processing time in Hungary is not especially long compared to the procedure in other EU member states.

Consider time spent on preparation too

The time frames listed above refer only to the time between submitting your application and receiving a decision. However, you should also consider the time necessary for putting your application package together. To become a citizen by descent, you will be required to prove direct lineage between your ancestors with official documents, such as birth and marriage certificates. If you do not have those ready, you might need to enlist the services of a genealogist who can retrieve them from local archives, and that might take months.

To apply for citizenship based on ancestry, you might be required to speak the language at least to some level. In Hungary, this means a brief discussion with the administrator about your ancestors and your plans in Hungary, but e.g. in Latvia there is a more serious exam to be passed, although some disadvantaged groups are exempt from that (people with specific disabilities or above 65 years). If you apply in a country where there is a language requirement, make sure to allocate time for learning the local language on a sufficient level.

Become a citizen by descent in Hungary

The conditions for becoming a Hungarian citizen based on your ancestry are quite favorable compared to other countries:

  • No restriction on number of generations (as long as you can show a paper trail)
  • Language requirement moderate (only a brief conversation with the administrator)
  • Processing time around 1 year

Do you want to become a Hungarian citizen and enjoy the privileges of an EU passport? Let us help you!

Our comprehensive services were created to make your Hungarian citizenship application a breeze.

  • Initial consultation to see if you are eligible and what you will need for the application
  • Family tree research
  • Language courses
  • Full application package

Moreover, we have compiled a short survey that helps you evaluate on your on whether you are eligible, for completely free.

If you need help, you are more than welcome to contact us any time.