How to become a citizen of the European Union?

How to become a citizen of the European Union?

The process of receiving citizenship in countries of the EU is challenging. The first step is to arrive to any country within the EU, which is not easy. Then, it is necessary to live a few years on the territory of a particular EU country, work legally, pay taxes and fail to break law.

In numerous EU countries it is possible to “buy” a passport of a given country or a gold visa. However, only wealthy foreigners may afford to this offer which aims at satisfying both parties: a country of the European Union – by bailing out this country and its investments, and a foreigner – as he or she becomes an EU citizen and has access to any goods of the EU countries.

Poland is one of those few countries where such tactics are impossible to be entered into life. There is no provision, act or regulation which would allow any foreigner to receive a citizenship or even a permanent residence card in exchange for investing one’s money on the territory of the Republic of Poland.

Let’s have a look what it looks like in other EU countries.

In Portugal the principles are quite easy and clear. Purchase of a property of the value of min. 500 000 Euro allows a foreigner to obtain the right to stay on the territory of Portugal for one year. After the lapse of one year the right of stay is automatically prolonged for another year, and after 5 years an owner of the property obtains a Portuguese passport. The rich of China, Russia, India and Brazil show the greatest interest in this type of deal. The purchase of a property by foreigners means not only cash inflow to the country’s budget as taxes need to be paid, but also profit for Portuguese citizens as well as work places for local residents.

Here the purchase of a property of the value of 250 000 Euro allows a foreigner to obtain the right of permanent stay on the territory of Greece.

The only requirement necessary to start the process of obtaining Spanish citizenship is to invest 500 000 Euro or to buy treasury bonds for at least 2 mln Euro.

This country is probably the most expensive one due to the fact that if you invest here 10 mln Euro you can obtain the right of permanent stay for 10 years. During this 10-year period of stay it is possible to apply for citizenship.

The UK
The least restrictive and the cheapest system is in the UK. Here, in exchange for investing min. 200 000 Euro in one’s own business on the territory of the UK a foreigner can obtain the right of stay for 4 years.

Authorities of this country try to attract rich citizens of other countries. Malta struggles with various financial problems, so the possibility of receiving 650 000 Euro in return for one Maltese passport seems to be a wonderful prospective, provided that Malta sells 40-50 passports per year.
650 000 Euro is the price for passport of a Maltese citizen and concerns the head of a family. Then, apart from the mentioned sum of money it is obligatory to pay 25 000 Euro for each family member. Interestingly, a foreigner obtaining Maltese passport does not have to permanently reside the territory of Malta. The only requirement is the payment of the mentioned sums and prove of having no criminal records.

In Austria you only need to donate 2 mln Euro to any charity organization to become the owner of an Austrian passport. Some other types of investments are also taken into account.

This is another country where a foreigner can obtain a permanent residence card provided that he or she invests at least 300 000 Euro in properties. Further, if the foreigner wants to become a citizen of this country, they have to prepare 2.5 mln Euro to buy deposits in the Central Bank and to donate to the Research and Technology Institute. Interestingly, passports may also be obtained by those who have lost 3 mln Euro due to financial crisis in the country. This is a kind of a prize and compensation for Russian oligarchy, a group of people who kept lots of money in Cyprus.

Obviously, all the proceedings are the source of numerous illegal transactions, and in some cases these provisions allow the persecuted and hunted citizens and politicians of other countries to stay here legally.

And how about Poland?
Unfortunately, in Poland it is stated that a foreigner needs to live in Poland at least 5 years to become able to apply for Polish citizenship. However, living here for 5 years is based on visas or permissions of temporary stay. The next step is to obtain permanent stay (stay of a long-term resident alien on the territory of the EU or settlement on the territory of the Republic of Poland). Then, after the lapse of 3 years from the date of issuing the decision to permanently stay in Poland, you can apply for the Polish citizenship. Additional conditions are: regular source of income, permanent stay in Poland and acquaintance with the Polish language acknowledged by a positive degree from the national exam or by a diploma of graduating a given school in Poland.

In the case of citizens who are married to Polish people, the procedure of obtaining Polish citizenship is a bit shorter as it lasts totally 5 years. However, acquaintance with the Polish language is also verified.

Further, foreigners who do not comply with the above conditions may obtain the Polish citizenship only from President of the Republic of Poland. Nevertheless, in such a situation the foreigner may wait for it even 3 years, and we never know what the decision of President will be.

From my point of view, change of current provisions and facilitation of the regulations for rich foreigners to obtain even a permanent residence card by investing here some their money would make the Polish market open to investors outside the EU, and this would for sure result in creation of new work places for our Polish citizens.