A Passport from Your Ancestors' Homeland

That is right, you might be able to get a second passport from one of your ancestor’s homeland – a parent, grandparent or even great grandparent. This second passport is known as ‘citizenship by descent’. First, make sure you are eligible for one of the 8 nations granting such citizenship. That means being able to prove a bloodline connection to your ancestors in a country that offers citizenship by descent. Gather the birth, marriage, and death certificates from a direct ancestor who came from another homeland. Then you just have to submit the application and proper documentation to the country’s embassy. There is generally a lot of waiting involved, and some bureaucratic mazes, but basically a simple procedure.

If you have grandparents, great-grandparents or other ancestors from Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Greece, Israel, Spain, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, or Armenia, these could be your best chance of getting a second passport and still keep your American passport. NOTE – those nations are the ones to date that grant citizenship by descent, other nations may do so later. You may be eligible to become a citizen of that country yourself. With such a second passport and citizenship also ensures that you always have another place to go, to live, to work, to do business, or retire with a good passport.

Once you know the country your ancestor emigrated from, visit the consular website of the country you think you might be eligible to acquire citizenship from to see how many generations back you can claim citizenship, also do both parents/grandparents need to be citizens of that nation or will just one be enough. Check what documents that nation requires of you. Each country has different requirements. Some required documents are birth, marriage, divorce and naturalization certificates (if applied).

A father, for example, could have passed his homeland citizenship to his son or daughter even if the father became a naturalized US citizen.

Once you complete and gathered the necessary documents, make an appointment with a local embassy consulate for them to verify and review your application. You can make the appointment while still gathering the documents because it could take a while (maybe a year) to get an appointment.

Here is an example of one of the 11 nations that allow citizenship by descent:

Ireland – if either of your parents was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth, (even if living in USA, but never became a naturalized citizen), then you are also an Irish citizen.

If you have a grandparent who was born in Ireland, then you are also entitled to Irish citizenship by descent, even if you and your parents were born outside of Ireland.

This could be an interesting and rewarding adventure.

Photos: Passport of USA and Ireland and German Passport.

Related FamilyTree.com Blogs:

Passport Applications

Passport Images

Tips for Finding a Female Ancestor’s Passport

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