Newborn children acquire citizenship by either right of blood or right of soil. In the former, children acquire citizenship through their parents, meaning the child will inherit whatever citizenship the parent(s) hold(s). In the latter, the newborn child will receive citizenship based on where they were born. In some countries, both these principles apply.
Once a child has received citizenship by being born in a country that applies jus soli, parents and siblings of the newborn may apply for permanent residency. In most cases, being immediate family to a citizen also offers a fast-track to citizenship.
Currently, 33 countries around the world practice birthright citizenship. However, requirements can differ from country to country. In this article, we delve into 5 desirable countries where obtaining citizenship and permanent residency for your family is easy and fairly straightforward.
Mexico is a vibrant, culturally rich country that is very welcoming to foreigners. It offers great and affordable health care, as well as birthright citizenship, known as jus soli, to individuals born within its borders.
This principle establishes that anyone born in Mexico, regardless of their parents’ citizenship, automatically becomes a Mexican citizen. As parents to a child born on Mexican soil, both parents will receive permanent residency based on family unity. Siblings under 18 can also apply for permanent residency.
The process can be started right after birth and is fairly easy. Family members may also apply for Mexican citizenship after 2 years, but are required to learn Spanish and take a test on Mexican history.
The Mexican passport currently ranks 52nd in the world, allowing visa-free travel to 122 countries, so going this route is a great and easy option, especially for those with weaker passports.
Depending on the parents’ citizenship and the rules of the parents’ native country, the newborn child may also acquire citizenship through jus sanguinis or right of blood. For example, if one parent holds Italian citizenship and the other holds US citizenship, the newborn child will acquire Mexican, Italian, and US citizenship.
Brazil is another good option to obtain a second citizenship for your child on grounds of jus soli. The Brazilian passport currently ranks 48th in the world and allows visa-free travel to 131 countries. Brazil is also known for its state-of-the-art medical facilities and a popular destination for medical tourism.
Brazilian public hospitals are free for childbirth for both locals and foreigners, which can help save some costs. Overall it’s a very comfortable place for you or your partner to give birth.
As parents to a child with Brazilian citizenship, you can apply for permanent residency in Brazil, granting you a lifelong right to reside in Brazil. The process can be started immediately. After one year in Brazil as a permanent resident (you won’t be able to travel abroad during the first year), you may apply for Brazilian citizenship by naturalization, which will require you to learn Portuguese.
The process of getting permanent residency is more lengthy and bureaucratic compared to Mexico, and it is advised to hire an immigration lawyer. Brazil does recognize dual and multiple citizenships, meaning the child can inherit the parents citizenship(s).
Most countries in Latin America and South America apply the concept of right of soil, and Costa Rica is no exception. By giving birth in this picturesque country, known for its incredible natural wonders, rich biodiversity and aromatic coffee, you can obtain citizenship for your child and permanent residency for your family.
The process to obtain residency can be started after giving birth and takes up to 15 months. Both parents of the Costa Rican citizen as well as dependents who are under 24 years old can apply. Once the application process is started, you will receive a “Hoja trámite” from immigration, allowing you to stay in Costa Rica until your residency application is approved.
It is important to note that Costa Rica does not recognize dual citizenship with any other country but Spain. If you hold any other citizenship, your child will need to choose whether to keep Costa Rican citizenship before they turn 25.
Panama is another interesting option to obtain second citizenship for your child. Panama is a modern country with great medical facilities, a strong economy and a territorial tax system.
By giving birth to a child in Panama, the newborn will automatically receive Panamanian citizenship. Parents of the child may apply for permanent residency in Panama once the child turns 5. You may stay outside of Panama for the first 5 years of your citizen child.
The Panamanian passport currently ranks 60th in the world, and Panamanian citizens can travel visa-free to 110 countries. In recent years, Panama has increased the financial requirements to receive permanent residency in the country. What makes giving birth in Panama interesting is the option to acquire permanent residency in a tax-haven for relatively low costs.
Panama officially does not allow dual citizenship, however, in practice, dual citizenship is possible.
In recent years, Argentina has received a great influx of people from all over the world seeking to get citizenship through birth. As a parent of an Argentinian citizen, you can immediately apply for permanent residency with a chance of becoming a resident yourself in 2 years.
The Argentinian passport ranks 46th and allows visa-free travel to 134 countries in the world. Argentina is a popular destination for Russians, as they can enter the country visa-free. Argentina recognizes dual and multiple citizenships.
As mentioned previously there are many countries that offer citizenship by birth but I hope this gave you a good insight into how this can be a great way to provide a second residency/citizenship not only to your kids but even for yourself. Keep in mind that migration laws constantly change so when you got to the action taking part make sure you get support from a migration agent or a migration lawyer who can help you along the way. Feel free to reach out if you need a recommendation.
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