Assuming an EU citizen wanted to grant their spouse EU citizenship as fast as possible, which EU country would be the best to do so? This is assuming the EU citizen will move to that country with their spouse under Article 10, so it excludes routes such as citizenship for investment.

  • By just moving there and living, or by going done one of the "citizenship by investment" routes and throwing a load of money at it? – Gagravarr Mar 29 '17 at 8:12
  • @Gagravarr by just moving there under Article 10. – JonathanReez Mar 29 '17 at 8:13
  • Article 10 actually concerns only the issue of residence cards. The right of residence is controlled by Article 7. – phoog Mar 29 '17 at 14:55
  • Be aware that you will probably have to be domiciled there and prove a certain income for some time (2 years, generally), so the quickest country might be the one in which you currently reside. – Mawg says reinstate Monica Mar 30 '17 at 8:50

Actually, gaining citizenship (as opposed to simply having the right to reside, work, etc.) might be the one thing where EU law isn't of much help or relevance. I am not aware of a single country with a fast-track to citizenship for EU citizens' spouses, the only way open to that person would typically be the regular naturalisation process.

According to Wikipedia, the most accessible countries would therefore be Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Ireland, Malta, the Netherlands, and Sweden, all of which have a five years minimum residence requirement. That, of course, is an absolute legal minimum and does not account for the duration of the procedure nor does it reflect all the other restrictions and requirements (renouncing your previous citizenship, learning the language, holding a job, etc.) that might apply.

Note that in some cases it might be easier and faster to acquire the EU spouse's citizenship, even without residing in the country (that would for example be the case for the spouse of a French citizen). That's not always the case obviously, some countries even have residence requirements before granting citizenship through marriage.

  • 1
    Note: The UK is listed separately on Wikipedia and also has a five-year residence requirement but that's not enough: You need to have held an ILR or “equivalent” for 12 months and an EU citizen's spouse would only get that (namely the permanent residence status under EU law) after five years (so at least 6 in total). – Gala Mar 29 '17 at 20:07

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