Citizenship through ancestry

Their are lots of ways to get residency and, then, citizenship in Nicaragua but I had never thought of this one. I have heard of this being used to get citizenship in Ireland, Italy and other countries but never Nicaragua. I don't know the particulars but, if you have any Nicaraguan ancestors, you may want to check it out.

Here is what I know from an email from SovereignMan. It is not on their web site yet but it should appear soon:

[A] member of my team here from Ukraine has just received today a second passport from Nicaragua.

Her home country is in tatters at the moment, ripped apart by civil war and revolution.

She already has residency here in Chile. But with this new passport, all sorts of new possibilities open up.

She can now travel with ease across the region, and even get visa-free access into Europe (which she cannot do with her Ukrainian passport).

She received this second nationality simply because she has ancestors from Nicaragua... and she went to the trouble of finding the appropriate records and applying.

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jus sanguinis

Many (most?) countries have some form of “jus sanguinis” or “right of blood” nationality principle that defines qualifies one for citizenship (the alternative in “right by place”, or “jus soli”). Children are automatically citizens upon birth, based on the nationality of their parents. What differs per country is now many generations one may go back, and still make a legal claim based on jus sanguinis. Italy is clearly in the minority in that they legally define there to be no limit in how many generations one may go back to demonstrate and document the link. However, this sounds more far-reaching that it is, given that Italy as a country is Statehood defined in the mid-19th century. The same can, in some countries, be claimed based on ethic ties to the country. Such laws are much more common in Europe than elsewhere, or where there is a history of diaspora legislation. Some countries allow the petitioner to go back to great-grandparent level (or beyond) of documentation. But, where they differ from what prompted this post, is that they also require the person to relinquish other citizenship(s) in return for claiming their new one based on origin. These are more of a repatriation citizenship.

UK apparently goes back to Grandparents

An Australian net friend of mine has that in the UK now.

What raised my eyebrows was that Europe is allowing Nicaraguans to visit without visas, so no $160 roulette at the consulate if someone has the funds for the air ticket to Europe? That's obviously why Spain is or was a destination of choice for better off Nicaraguans who wanted to be even better off yet.

Friend here said that leaving Nicaragua by air in his youth took about as much money as a house cost. Now it's a fraction of that for the US or South America and still not impossibly expensive for trips to Europe (my Spanish teacher has been to Canada, the US, and Germany).

Rebecca Brown

C.A. worldwide visa-free maps

It is sometimes misleading to speak of "visa-free" as the need/focus, given that the second category of “visa upon arrival” is all-but the same thing for a casual tourist and can, depending on country, greatly expand your range of hassle-free destinations. Unless these Wikipedia visa maps are out of date (I have no way of confirming), most C.A. passport holders have a pretty good range of visa-free destination, including some or even many, European destinations. I can't speak well per Nicaraguans, but per Guatemala and Honduras, out of 100's and 100's of mostly random people, I doubt I have met a family who did not have one (extended, or greatly extended) family member in Spain - and it wasn't that hard to get there (though it may be a lot harder now, than 5 or 10 years ago).

Wordlwide Map - Visa requirements for Ukrainians

Wordlwide Map - Visa requirements for Nicaraguans

Wordlwide Map - Visa requirements for Guatemalans

Wordlwide Map - Visa requirements for Hondurans

Wordlwide Map - Visa requirements for Salvadorans

Wordlwide Map - Visa requirements for Costa Ricans

Wordlwide Map - Visa requirements for Panamanians

It has changed a few times

I have called the British High Commission to ask about this. (BTW that high falutin title is what they call a British embassy when it's in a Commonwealth country.) They receive enough enquiries that they put the information in their phone message and it's broken down by various years. So there may be people that got citizenship automatically through grandparents, at one point, but all I qualify for is a 3 year work permit in the EU. The rules have changed quite a few times. I seem to remember different rules depending if it was your mother vs father who was born there.

Not exactly

That's obviously why Spain is or was a destination of choice for better off Nicaraguans who wanted to be even better off yet.

I could be wrong but I doubt a Nicaraguan can legally fly to Spain, stay there as long as they want and get a job. What I do know for sure was that Nicaraguans (and other Central Americans) would fly to some Scandinavian country (I knew but have forgotten) where they could enter without a visa and then travel to Spain. Thus, they entered Spain from the EU.

I know this works as the sister of a friend did this a few years ago. Recently she got her legal paperwork (I assume Citizemship but it could just be permanent residency with right to work).

I also know a person who loans people money to do this. She charges something like 12% per month interest.

The law says

They must have a Nicaraguan father or mother. (does not speak to going back any further)

You could be a "child of foreign parents born aboard a Nicaraguan aircraft or vessel providing they (parents) so request". ( This is what Sherif claimed would give him his Nicaraguan status but I think he was born on an Egyptian ship in Nicaraguan waters or something like that. Point is, must be Nicaraguan craft).

Note: Central American people have the right to choose the Nicaraguan nationality without renouncing their other nationality and may apply to the competent authority when residing in Nicaragua.

So fyl, did you ever get yours?


I have it but no cédula because the 3-month wait didn't fit my schedule. Yeah, it's another "solo una cosa mas" story.

Ukrainian's new passport

Not knowing much of anything of Nica law, I did not comment directly, above. The Ukrainian story sounded a little suspect to me, and still does (though to be fair, in all honesty much on “Sovereign Man“ seems suspect to me). “Ancestors” seems to imply a lineage beyond grandparents, perhaps even great-grandparents (every culture has words for such a relationship – so why “ancestors“?).  Per her new passport, the Ukrainian woman would likely have needed a Nicaraguan birth certificate from whatever consulate had authority over where she was born. If she had this, her new passport isn’t newsworthy. If she was born in such a scenario and knew it but didn't get the certificate back then, perhaps it is newsworthy - but there cannot be all that many people in a similar situation. Or, she was born outside the country to at least one Nicaraguan, but did not know this and hence did not claim this - until recently. Regardless of the series of events, her gaining the passport seems a lot less newsworthy than implied by the story, unless I am missing something in the account. It is hard to imagine very many people meeting the same criteria she appears to have met. Also, it would be surprising (perhaps unique?) for a Latin Country to have a sanguinis-based statute or principle with no stated origin point for the detective work - though it sounds like it doesn’t go back beyond parents.

Norway and Sweden

Don't require a visa for Nica people.

Sweden is probably best since it is a EU country, Norway is not, but a old bilateral agreement gives people from Nicaragua a good opportunity.

This 2 countries was very active here before Nicaragua and politics changed. evidence of their massive aid is still visible from coffee trees in Matagalpa and other places to all the institutes like marena - magfor etc, etc that earlier was Instituto de Olof Palme.

And Norway supplied news print to La Prensa to get the debate going which was the reason for the free election between Violetta and DO, rest is history.

I have friends who figured out how to move to Italy….

…in a somewhat similar but more theoretical manner --- go to an EU country that's relatively poor and eager for immigrants. Get citizenship there, then go to Italy.

I know several Nicaraguans who spent time living in Sweden, and who still have family there.

People have been known to work while they were on tourist visas any number of places, including here. Irish used to be the least obvious but fairly common illegal immigrants in Philadelphia in the 1960s or so -- they spoke English with an accent, but it was a common enough accent.

Rebecca Brown