descent programmes


visa-free countries

6 months

minimum application time

For centuries, people have moved around the world, establishing diasporas far and wide. Citizenship by descent provides you with the opportunity to gain the citizenship of your ancestors.

In many cases, if you are eligible, you have technically been a citizen since birth and are merely seeking legal recognition of this status. Citizenship by descent allows you to claim dual citizenship via parents, grandparents, great-grandparents or, in some cases, even further back.

Citizenship-by-Descent Programmes

Flag of Austria Austria

1-3 generations removed

Applicants for Austrian citizenship by descent (whose ancestor was persecuted by the Nazi party) can be as many generations removed from their Austrian-citizen ancestor as needed to qualify.

View programme

Flag of Ireland Ireland


Irish citizenship by descent enables those with Irish ancestors to acquire citizenship by proving direct lineage to an Irish citizen. Do you meet the eligibility requirements based on birth registration and ancestry?

View programme

Flag of Italy Italy


Italian citizenship by descent allows individuals with Italian ancestors to obtain citizenship. Eligibility requires proof of lineage to an Italian citizen and meeting certain criteria. We assist you with submitting applications to your local Italian consulate or embassy abroad, Italian court, or municipality directly in Italy.

View programme

Flag of Poland Poland

1+ generations removed

Applicants may go back as far as necessary to qualify, provided they meet all the requirements for Polish citizenship by descent. Generally, the requirements restrict most applicants to great-grandparents.

View programme

Flag of Portugal Portugal

1-2+ generations removed

You can obtain Portuguese citizenship by descent if you were born abroad and have a Portuguese parent or grandparent. Proof of ancestry and language proficiency may be required, and the process can take several months. You may also go back to further generations if you are applying via Sephardic Jewish heritage.

View programme

Speak to a global expert

The Latitude team has global experts in over 20 countries. We can advise in 14 languages. Let us help you find the perfect investment migration solution.

The Latitude team has global experts in over 20 countries. We can advise in 14 languages. Let us help you find the perfect investment migration solution.

Advantages of Second Citizenship

Latitude arrowEnjoy greater safety & security

A second passport is the ultimate contingency plan to mitigate the risk of political or economic turbulence in one’s home country. Having a second home means you can escape to a safe destination along with your family and wealth, ensuring your well-being.

Latitude arrowAccess more education and employment opportunities

Having a second passport means greater opportunities for top-tier education and employment opportunities in better schools and companies throughout the world. These were previously inaccessible to you through your original citizenship.

Latitude arrowEnhance your global mobility

With a second passport in hand, you widen the possibilities of international travel. That's because a second passport with a strong list of visa-free destinations makes travel easier.

Latitude arrowElevate your lifestyle

A second passport opens more doors to healthcare services, luxury living locations, and regions with a higher quality of life.

An Introduction to Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship is a basic right that’s existed for millennia – the very concept dates to Ancient Greece. It provides those that hold it the right to be active participants in their community, through owning property, contributing economically, and being involved in political and administrative affairs – whether by running directly or merely voting in the process.

Most countries’ citizenship laws operate under the principles of jure soli (Latin for by right of the soil) or jure sanguinis (Latin for by right of the blood). In jure soli countries such as the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and other New World nations, they bestow citizenship upon anyone who is born within their borders regardless of parentage.

In Old World countries such as Poland, Italy, Austria, and others, the concept of jure sanguinis citizenship reigns. This means that simply being born within a nation’s borders is not enough to acquire citizenship at birth. Instead, a child is only a national of said country if a parent is also a national. This concept also holds true to children born abroad. For example, a child born in the United States to an Italian parent is a U.S. citizen jure soli and an Italian citizen jure sanguinis.

In many cases, Citizenship by descent can pass down through an unlimited number of generations, allowing people with descent in a number of European countries the opportunity to obtain a second passport thanks to their family history.

Most European nations which practice the legal concept of jure sanguinis citizenship offer some form of citizenship by descent, but each programme has its own restrictions.

While many countries provide citizenship by descent, it’s crucial to note that each country has its unique set of requirements and regulations to become a citizen. For instance, certain countries permit tracing back up to three generations, while others only allow one generation. Some countries like Hungary and Italy allow you to go back an unlimited number of generations to qualify.

The likes of Austria, Ireland, Italy, Poland, and Portugal run popular citizenship-by-descent programmes. So, it is worth exploring your family tree for Austrian, Irish, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese ancestors.

You need to be able to provide evidence that demonstrates your lineage to the ancestor whose citizenship you’re looking to obtain. Depending on the country in which you’re applying to become a citizen, this will require you to provide birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, address registers, naturalization documents, and essentially anything that can legally support your claim.

The key with citizenship-by-descent applications is to prove two things: the existence of a qualifying ancestor and your relationship to them.

Other Services

Government Advisory

At Latitude, we have extensive experience in the fields of residency and citizenship. We help governments to set up and optimize investment migration programmes. These are also known as golden visa programmes. We are industry leaders. Additionally, we excel in country branding and strategic marketing communications.

Find out more
Residency by Investment

Latitude provides expert guidance on residency investment programmes in the world's premier destinations. After all, we're the leading authority on social mobility and citizenship opportunities. Delve into the specifics of the most trustworthy and, also, successful residency programmes. Switch residency to a favourable country or, even, increase your number of residencies. This is an ever-vital aspect of global planning for individual clients.

Find out more
Citizenship by Investment

Citizenship by Investment allows you to acquire citizenship of a country through a contribution, donation, or, even, property purchase. Contributions and donations are non-refundable. You will also have to hold onto your real-estate investment for a specified period.

Find out more