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Maarten Peter Vink and Gerard-René de Groot

In Italy (ITA 4(2)) and the Netherlands (NET 6(1)(a) the declaration can only be made at the age of majority and continuous residence since birth is required. In the Netherlands, persons who were born in the Netherlands and have their lawful, main habitual residence there may acquire Netherlands citizenship by making a declaration of option if they are over the age of majority and have lived in the Netherlands since birth (6 (1) (a) NET). A similar provision can be found in Italy (ITA 4(2)), but there a declaration of option has to be made within one year after having attained the age of majority.

A child born in Belgium can acquire Belgian citizenship by a declaration of option made by the parents before the child reaches 12 years. The parents must have had their main habitual residence in Belgium for ten years before making this declaration (BEL 11bis). A similar rule applies to adopted children born in Belgium. After having attained the age of 18, a person born in Belgium has another option right (BEL 12bis (1)(1); cf. BEL 13(1) juncto 14 and 15). In Finland, six years residence, of which the last two years uninterrupted, is sufficient for an adult, born in Finland, to opt for Finnish citizenship.

In Greece, as part of the comprehensive reform of the citizenship law in 2010, a new declaration procedure was introduced for persons born in Greece. This new provision is remarkable, and worth citing at length, because it combines both elements of typical ‘ius soli at birth’ (A02) provisions, by including a residence requirement for the parent,13 as well as ius soli after birth’(A05) provisions, by requiring residence in Greece from the target person:

Article 1A 1. A child of foreign nationals who was born and continues to live in Greece and whose both parents have permanently and lawfully resided in the Country for at least five continuous years, acquires Greek Citizenship upon his or her birth in the event that his or her parents submit a common relevant declaration and application for registration of the child at the City Registry of his or her city of permanent domicile within three years after his or her birth. In case of posterior submission of the declaration and application, citizenship is acquired upon submission. If the child was born before the completion of five years of lawful residence in the Country by both parents, the joint declaration and application for registration is submitted only after the completion of five years of continuous lawful residence by both parents, the child acquires Greek Citizenship upon submission.

Whereas in Greece this declaration procedure and the double ius soli provision were introduced simultaneously in 2010, in Luxembourg, a previously existing declaration procedure for people born in Luxembourg (see LUX 19(1) old) was abolished in 2009 with the introduction of the new double ius soli provision.

In Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain, acquisition of citizenship via some form of facilitated naturalisation procedure is possible for persons born in those countries. The extent to which these provisions are facilitating varies greatly. In Greece, the already existing provision that persons born in Greece can acquire Greek citizenship if they have resided continuously in Greece since birth seems a very weak facilitation of the ordinary naturalisation procedure (GRE 5(1)(d); cf. ROM 8(a)). In Austria, however, the entitlement to naturalisation introduced in 1999 comes close to a declaration procedure and therefore significantly limits the discretionary competence for authorities to reject an application for the acquisition of citizenship (AUT

13 Compare, for example, the Portuguese A02 provision mentioned above: Children born in Portugal to foreign parents, of whom one has been resident in Portugal for at least five years, acquire Portuguese citizenship by making an option declaration (POR 1(1)(e)).


RSCAS/EUDO-CIT-Comp. 2010/8 - © 2010 Authors

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