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by Zsolt Szemerszky

Zsolt Szemerszky

Citizenship: Acquisition by marriage

Citizenship: Acquisition by marriage

Marriage certificates apply to anyone who marries in Monaco, however, a marriage certificate does not automatically grant you the Monégasque citizenship. Unlike many other countries, in Monaco there are no “green-card” marriages, maybe only “good life” marriages.

The marriage of a Monégasque national has no effect on nationality.

For many decades in the past, there was a common rule that only a Monégasque man was able to acquire citizenship. Therefore, if a foreign man married a Monégasque woman, he was not entitled to acquire the Monégasque nationality.

It seemed too harsh for the man and gave an almost unfair advantage to the women. Currently, the rules are not as binding as before, but still any foreign man needs to be married at least ten years before he can apply for the naturalisation. Therefore, marriage does not change the overall naturalisation conditions for men.

A foreign woman, who marries a Monégasque is able to acquire the Monégasque nationality. Once it is granted, she will have the Monégasque passport and nationality, however, she does not become an elector or eligible to be a candidate in elections until a period of five years has passed since the date of the marriage. Therefore, foreign women still have a minimum five-year advantage over foreign men.

A Monégasque woman who marries a foreigner man retains her Monégasque nationality unless she expressly states that she wishes, in conformity with the arrangement of the national law of her husband, to acquire the nationality of the latter.

This declaration must be made at the time of the celebration of the marriage in order to answer the questions posed by the Registrar, otherwise, it is invalid; such a declaration is to be noted on the marriage certificate.

If the marriage is celebrated abroad, the declaration must be made before the marriage is celebrated, specifically before a diplomatic or consular representative of the Principality of Monaco; otherwise, it is invalid.

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