Can anyone become a citizen of Monaco?

The short answer is NO!

There are several companies that have websites that „sell” their global citizenship and residence services in Monaco. However, Monaco does NOT offer citizenship and cannot be „bought”.

There are also no „investment programs” or citizenship programs available in Monaco like elsewhere, e.g. Malta, Cyprus, Austria, St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Granada, Saint Lucia and Dominica.

In addition to being born in Monaco or, in rare cases, the Prince of Monaco may grant citizenship. Then it is impossible to obtain Monaco citizenship and you can only apply for a „residence in Monaco”.

Tax residence and citizenship

Tax residence, broadly speaking, means a place that obliges you to fulfill your tax obligations. It is not related to nationality. Someone may have Spanish citizenship, but also be a Polish tax resident.

The legal regulation of citizenship is an internal matter of the state. There are 2 systems for determining citizenship: the so-called land law ( ius Salt ), according to which citizenship is determined by the place of birth (e.g. in Great Britain), and the blood law ( ius sanguinis ), according to which the citizenship of a child is determined by the nationality of the parents or one of them; there are also mixed systems.

Citizenship in Monaco is primarily based on the ius sanguinis principle. In other words, citizenship is granted primarily by birth to the Monaco parent, regardless of where they were born.

Acquisition of Monaco citizenship

Source: Wikipedia

Acquiring citizenship by birth in Monaco

Children who at birth had a Monaco-born father or mother who was born in Monaco are eligible for Monaco citizenship.

In addition, children born to a mother whose ancestor of the same lineage was born in Monaco are entitled to citizenship of Monaco.

If the child was born out of wedlock, then they will only qualify for Monaco citizenship after their parents are recognized / legitimated by marriage.

Every child born in Monaco to unknown parents is Monegasque at birth.

Acquisition of citizenship through marriage

A foreign woman may apply for Monaco citizenship under the right to choose after ten years of marriage to Monegasque, provided that the spouses live together. In the event of her husband’s death, she must prove that her widowhood has not been remarried.

Acquisition of citizenship by declaration

From the age of 18, a person who was born in Monaco, whose parent was also born in Monaco, or who had ancestors of the same branch born in Monaco, but who has since renounced his Monaco citizenship, may make a declaration to the Registrar, provided that he lived in the Duchy and proves that he had legal residence or habitual residence there during his childhood.

In addition, persons born before 11 July 1975 in Monaco, prior to the father’s acquisition of Monaco citizenship, may also submit a declaration without conditions relating to their place of birth or habitual or legal residence.

Acquisition of citizenship by naturalization

Those wishing to become citizens of Monaco by naturalization must meet the following criteria and submit their application on  stamped paper  addressed directly to the Prince of Monaco:

  • to renounce any other foreign citizenship
  • they are no longer required to perform their domestic service abroad
  • resided in Monaco for at least 10 consecutive years from the age of 18 at the time of application (the Prince has the right to waive this requirement if he deems the applicant „worthy of the favor”)

Monaco citizenship is automatically granted to children under the age of 18 when their father or surviving mother (in the event of the latter’s death) obtain naturalization.

Loss of Monaco citizenship

Monegasque automatically loses citizenship if:

  • acquires a second citizenship
  • performs foreign military service without the prior approval of the Monaco government
  • he is believed to have „violated the internal or external security” of Monaco

Monegasque retains its nationality upon adoption by a foreigner, unless the adopting country automatically grants the adopter’s citizenship.

A Monaco citizen may voluntarily renounce citizenship.

Former citizens of Monaco can restore their previous citizenship if their request on stamped paper directly to the Prince is granted.

Dual citizenship

Voluntary acquisition of foreign citizenship is conditional upon the renunciation of Monaco citizenship. The naturalization of a person as Monegasque is subject to the renunciation of foreign citizenship or nationality by that person.

Dual citizenships are still possible: Monaco and another citizenship. Special rules apply in this case.

For example, after 20 years of marriage to a person from Monaco, an applicant can obtain Monaco citizenship. In this case, the applicant must retain his original nationality. An applicant who has obtained the citizenship of Monaco in this way may not transfer it to his children. However, if the applicant is a woman who was not herself born with Monaco citizenship but has an ascendant born in Monaco, the transfer of Monaco citizenship to the children is automatic.

Visa requirements for Monaco citizens

As of 2016, citizens of Monaco have visa-free or visa-free access to 160 countries and territories, which places the Monaco passport in 16th place. Any Monaco citizen can live in France without a visa.

Source: Wikipedia

red – Monaco

dark green – Access without a visa   

bright green – Visa on arrival  

aquamarine green – eVisa  

juicy green – Visa available both on arrival and online  

gray – Visa required

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