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Gaining Dual Citizenship by Descent through Genealogy

FOR MANY people around the world, having citizenship in more than one country can be a huge advantage. Dual citizenship allows you to live, work, own property, and travel freely between two countries. It also gives you access to citizenship benefits and protections of both countries.

Over the last decade, more and more Americans are seeking out dual citizenship for these and many other reasons — like, re-establishing your family heritage in the country your ancestors immigrated from.

Using genealogy to obtain multiple passports will lead to adding multiple possibilities to your life

IN THIS POST, we’ll look at:

  • What are the benefits of having Dual Citizenship?

  • Which Countries allow citizenship by descent?

  • What you should know before applying.

  • When should you hire a genealogist?



If you are an avid traveler, if your job requires traveling, or if you just like to keep your options open, by obtaining dual citizenship, you can travel and reside freely in both countries without the need for visas or residency permits.

Access to Services:

With dual citizenship to certain countries, you become eligible to access their social services, healthcare, and education in both countries. Countries like Finland offer free education to E.U. Citizens — so if the country you are seeking citizenship in is part of the European Union, you will be allowed to obtain free education there. The same applies to Healthcare benefits.

owning property in your ancestral home that you found through genealogy

Property Ownership:

Dual citizenship can make it easier to own property and conduct business in both countries. Granted, this is not necessary. A lot of countries will allow you to buy property and land even if you are not a citizen. Yet, some other countries have restrictions, like Mexico, which will not let a person without citizenship buy coastal property.


In times of political instability or emergencies, having a second citizenship can provide a safety net and evacuation options.


Italy’s ancestry-based citizenship goes back several generations. If your ancestor had a child in America before they Naturalized, that child is still considered an Italian Citizen. Italy requires proper documentation of your family pedigree and of any Naturalizations to ensure the unbroken lineage.

In Ireland, they allow citizenship for grandchildren of Irish citizens. Once you obtain a copy of your grandparent’s birth records, you can begin the process of obtaining a second passport.

Italy and Ireland are only two of the many countries that honor citizenship by ancestry and descent. Here is a short list of other countries that allow citizenship through descent. NOTE: If the country your ancestors originated from is not listed, that’s okay! Visit the country’s consulate online and check if they also offer a second passport to people with family ties to their country.


Each country has its own rules and processes. The best thing to do is to reach out to the closest consulate near where you live. Most consulate websites have information about passports, visas, and more. If they do not have any information listed specifically about dual citizenship, reach out to them via email or by phone and see what they say.


There are two different times you may want to contact a Genealogist when working towards dual citizenship.

#1 — Before you reach out to a Consulate to discover which country your family originates from. Once you know where your ancestral homeland is, you can learn if they offer Dual Citizenship by ancestry or descent.

#2 — After you have spoken with the Consulate and know exactly what documents you need.

By hiring a professional Genealogist, you will remove some of the stress from the process. They already know how to research and find the documents you will require for proof of your heritage.

Other reasons to hire a professional genealogist are:

  • They have access to ancestry databases and archives.

  • Hiring them will save you time.

  • They can help ensure your applications are correct

Dual citizenship opens up many opportunities to live, work, and travel freely between two nations. So if you have reason to believe you may have relatives from countries like Italy, Ireland, or any of the many countries that offer dual citizenship by descent, contacting a qualified genealogist may be worth your time.

They can trace your heritage and help you gain the special privileges of dual citizenship.

If you’re interested in exploring dual citizenship opportunities for yourself or your family, the first step is to research your family history and genealogy. Consider working with a professional genealogist, like me, who can efficiently trace your ancestry and locate key documents.

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