How can you become a citizen of Monaco in 2021?

Prince's Palace of Monaco

Just over 9500 people were Monégasque citizens in 2020, but neither birth nor residency in the Principality provided them with their nationality. Here is a closer look at some of the ways citizenship can be obtained. 

Being granted Monégasque citizenship comes with many advantages: no taxes, job security and cheaper housing. In 2020, out of a population of around 38,000 only 9573 people were Monégasque with the other residents coming from a variety of countries. According to data from 2016, Monaco was home to 9286 French people, 8172 Italians and 2795 Brits. It is no wonder so many nationalities choose to reside in Monaco, since even without Monégasque citizenship, living here brings financial perks. Anyone living in the Principality, with the exception of French people, are exempt from paying income and added value tax, as well as from paying taxes on capital.

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38,000 inhabitants and only 9573 have citizenship

In 2020, there were a greater proportion of female citizens, with women accounting for 5222 of the Monégasque nationals and men just 4351. Looking more closely at birth places, in 2016, 62.9% of Monégasque citizens were born in the Principality and 26.5% were born in France. Other countries also featured amongst the data with 2.4% of citizens born in Italy, 0.8% in America and 0.5% in the United Kingdom.

Ceremony for those who obtained Monégasque nationality in 2019 © Monaco city hall

Jus soli, jus sanguinis, and marriage

Simply living or being born in Monaco is not enough to access Monégasque citizenship. However, having blood relatives who are Monégasque nationals, is one way to obtain this prized nationality; anyone born to a Monégasque parent will automatically receive the same citizenship. As for adoption, the same rules apply. Any child adopted by Monégasque nationals will be given the same citizenship as their adoptive parents. Should a child be born in the Principality and not know who their parents are, then they too will receive citizenship, by virtue of being born in Monaco.

If marrying a Monégasque seems like a quick way to obtain citizenship, think again. After the wedding, the marriage must last for ten years before the naturalisation process can begin. In fact, the wait was increased from five to ten years in 2011 and a further ten year extension is currently being considered. On top of this time frame, if the Monégasque partner acquired citizenship through a previous marriage, then their new spouse is not eligible to become a national.

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Requests for naturalisation addressed to the Sovereign Prince

Anyone who has lived in the Principality for over ten years, since turning 18, is able to make a request to change their nationality. Who decides if they are worthy of Monégasque citizenship? The Sovereign Prince. For people hoping to begin the naturalisation process, they must address their request to the Sovereign and meet two key criteria. Candidates must not be enrolled in military service in their home country and they must be willing to lose their current nationality.

On the flip side to all of this is the possibility of losing Monégasque nationality. If citizens join a foreign army or they apply for another nationality, then they will lose their status in the Principality. Additionally, anyone who has been adopted can choose whether or not to keep their Monégasque nationality, once they turn 18.