Second Citizenship
April 8, 2024
Reading Time: 6 min

Exploring all pathways to Monaco citizenship

Monaco’s population is only 37,000 people but includes residents from 125 countries. No wonder — the Principality is a major financial hub and a luxury holiday destination. However, the paths to citizenship are limited; nonetheless, they exist.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting a Monegasque passport.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Told about the benefits of Monaco citizenship and how to get it

How to get Monaco citizenship

Exploring all pathways to Monaco citizenship

Monaco citizenship overview

Monaco is known for its lavish wealth, so holding its citizenship can be seen as a symbol of success and achievement. There are 3 ways to become a citizen of Monaco:

  • by birth;

  • by marriage;

  • by naturalisation.

The government of Monaco has no formal citizenship by investment program similar to those offered by other developed countries. However, individuals who invest significantly in the local economy may gain residency permits, potentially leading to citizenship by naturalisation.

10 years of continuous residence is required for prospective citizens of Monaco, whether they wish to obtain a passport of the Principality by marriage or naturalisation.

Proficiency in French is mandatory; applicants must demonstrate their ability to speak and understand French through language tests and interviews.

A clean criminal record is a prerequisite to Monaco’s naturalisation. Any history of criminal activity or behaviour deemed unacceptable by Monaco’s authorities could disqualify an individual from citizenship.

Integration into Monaco society includes involvement in local activities and adherence to Monaco’s customs, traditions, and values.

The decision to grant citizenship lies with the Ministry of the Interior. Applicants must undergo a thorough vetting process.

7 key benefits of acquiring Monaco citizenship

1. Favourable tax system. Citizens of Monaco are not taxed on their worldwide income, which makes it an attractive destination for high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs seeking to minimise their tax liabilities.

2. High standard of living. Monaco boasts access to luxury infrastructure, cultural attractions, and a vibrant social scene. Excellent healthcare facilities and top-tier education options also abound in Monaco.

3. Safety. According to data from open sources, Monaco is the second-safest country in the world, making it a great living environment.

4. Real estate opportunities. Monaco’s real estate market is renowned for its high-value properties. Residential real estate prices grow by an average of 1,6% every quarter.

5. Business environment. Monaco offers a business-friendly environment thanks to a stable economy, low regulatory burden, access to international markets, and networking events.

6. Global mobility. Holders of a Monaco passport benefit from visa-free travel to 166 countries, including the USA, the UK, Canada, and the Schengen Area states.

7. Cultural and social benefits. Monaco citizenship grants access to the Principality’s rich cultural heritage, including world-class museums, art galleries, and events such as the Monaco Grand Prix and the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament.

How to become a citizen of Monaco

One of the most famous promenades in Monte Carlo is the Avenue Princesse Grace, named after Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco. The avenue stretches along the coastline

How much money do you need to live in Monaco?

The amount of money one needs to live comfortably in Monaco varies depending on their spending habits. However, even for the most moderate lifestyle, you need a lot in the bank account. Monaco is known for its high cost of living, high-end shops, and exclusive restaurants.

Here are some approximate average expenses in Monaco:

  • monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre — €6,000; for a 3-bedroom apartment — €23,000;

  • utilities per month — €300;

  • a dinner for two at a mid-range restaurant — €150;

  • petrol, 1 litre — €2.30;

  • a fee for an international primary school for one child per year — €40,000;

  • a monthly fitness club membership fee — €400.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Monaco citizenship by birth

Citizenship Monaco is based on the principle of “jus sanguinis” and is granted to a person born:

  • to a Monegasque father in Monaco or abroad;

  • to a Monegasque mother in Monaco or abroad, provided she held the nationality when the child was born;

  • to unknown parents on Monaco’s soil.

Monaco citizenship by marriage

A spouse of a Monaco national can acquire a Monaco passport after 10 years of residence in the Principality. Marriage alone does not grant citizenship.

If the couple still live together 10 years after the marriage day, the non-Monegasque spouse can apply for citizenship. Their original citizenship is retained.

A woman may give up her Monegasque nationality on the day of her marriage to a foreign husband if she is taking his nationality.

How to get Monaco citizenship by investment

Monaco does not have a formal citizenship by investment program. However, investors in Monaco’s real estate may be granted a residency permit, also known as the Golden Visa. 10 years of continuous residence unlock the path to citizenship.

Investors over 18 without a criminal record are eligible for a Monaco Golden Visa if they fulfil two requirements:

  • Demonstrate financial self-sufficiency. The investor has at least €500,000 in the bank account and makes enough money to support themselves while working in Monaco.

  • Rent or buy real estate sufficient to accommodate themselves and family members.

The Monaco Golden Visa is also granted to the investor’s spouse, partner, and children over 18 if they are financially dependent on the applicant.

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Practical Guide

Ultimate comparison of Golden Visa programs

Acquiring the Monaco passport by naturalisation

An adult who has resided in Monaco for at least 10 years may apply for citizenship by naturalisation. However, a potential candidate has to keep in mind that by acquiring Monaco’s nationality, they have to renounce their original passport.

Monaco’s citizenship is not easy to get, but having family ties to the community and being integrated into the Principality’s economic or cultural life boosts one’s chances of being granted a Monegasque passport.

The reigning Prince of Monaco has the final say on granting Monaco citizenship.

How to get citizenship in Monaco by naturalisation: step-by-step process

Applying for Monaco citizenship lasts up to one year. An applicant may be rejected even if their application satisfies the conditions. Rejections are not subject to appeal.

1

10 years

Residing in Monaco

During this period, applicants must demonstrate good conduct and integration into the local society.

2

1 month

Preparing documents

Applicants must first prove their continuous residence in the Principality by submitting relevant documents to the Ministry of Interior’s Office, such as:

  • paychecks from the employer;

  • children’s school certificates;

  • copies of municipal tax;

  • water and electricity bills.

3

1—3 months

Sending documents

The Department of Justice examines the applications for naturalisation and presents a report to the Sovereign Prince.

4

1 month

Preparing additional documents

As the application is being reviewed, the applicant may be required to attend interviews or provide additional information.

5

1 month

Passing an interview

If the application succeeds, the applicant is invited for an interview with the authorities.

6

1 month

Obtaining a passport

The citizen-to-be has to schedule a meeting at the Department of Justice to declare allegiance to the Principality and receive a citizenship certificate.

Dual citizenship in Monaco

Monaco does not recognise dual citizenship. Individuals seeking citizenship in Monaco are required to renounce their previous citizenship as part of the naturalisation process.

One exception exists. After 10 years of marriage to a Monegasque national, the spouse may apply for Monaco citizenship and retain their original passport. However, it’s impossible to pass Monegasque citizenship obtained this way to children.

Grounds to lose Monaco citizenship

Monaco forfeits citizenship if an individual:

  • has acquired a foreign nationality;

  • performs foreign military service without the prior authorisation of the government of Monaco;

  • is deemed to have harmed Monaco’s internal or external security.

Former citizens of Monaco may restore their citizenship if their request on stamped paper directly to the Prince is successful.

Other countries to get second citizenship by investment: alternatives to the Monaco residency

Citizenship by investment is an opportunity to become a citizen of another country by making a significant investment in its economy.

mt-flag Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. Foreigners wishing to get Malta citizenship for exceptional services must fulfil three conditions:

  1. Buy real estate worth €700,000 or more in Malta. In the case of renting, the rental should be at least €16,000 annually. Money cannot be invested in two properties.

  2. Contribute €600,000 or €750,000 to the Malta National Development and Social Fund. The lesser sum is a path to residency within 3 years, while the larger investment speeds up the process to 1 year.

  3. Make a charitable donation of €10,000 to a Maltese registered philanthropic, cultural, sporting, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organisation.

tr-flag Turkey citizenship by investment. A contribution of at least $400,000 with the option of purchasing residential or commercial real estate is required to become a Turkish national. The time frame for getting a Turkish passport by investment is 6—8 months.

Turkey’s citizenship provides life in an economically stable country with low crime rates, a better environment, and broad education and healthcare opportunities.

Individual cost calculation of the Turkey citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Turkey citizenship

Several countries offer residency by investment programs, also called Golden Visas. It’s not the same as citizenship, but in most cases, obtaining citizenship is possible after living with a residency permit for a certain period.

es-flag Spain Golden Visa. Investors obtain residence permits by investing in the country’s economy at least €500,000, the most popular investment option being real estate purchase. The first residence permit card is valid for 3 years and can be extended for another 5 years.

After 5 years of living in the country, an investor can apply for permanent residency and, after another 5 years, for Spanish citizenship.

pt-flag The Portugal Golden Visa is an opportunity to obtain a Portuguese residence permit by contributing to the country’s economy. There are 5 investment options; the minimum amount starts at €250,000.

The residency permit is issued for 2 years. To maintain it, one must spend at least 7 days a year in Portugal.

The citizenship can be obtained in 5 years through naturalisation.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Portugal

it-flag The Italy Golden Visa allows obtaining residency with a minimum investment of €250,000. The initial residence card is issued for 2 years, with the possibility of extending for another 3 years.

Italy Golden Visa holders can apply for Italian citizenship based on 10 years of permanent residency.

gr-flag Greece Golden Visa. To obtain a Greece residence permit, the applicant must invest at least €250,000 in the country’s economy: buying real estate, making a deposit in a Greek bank, or investing in securities.

After 5 years of living in the country, an investor can apply for permanent residency and, after another 2 years, for citizenship.

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Greece

Individual cost calculation of the residence permit in Greece

All ways to obtain Monaco citizenship: key takeaways

  1. Monaco’s citizenship is highly prestigious and offers numerous benefits, such as the highest standard of living, business opportunities, a favourable tax regime, and visa-free travel to 166 countries.

  2. Citizenship in Monaco is granted from birth, by marriage, or naturalisation. The second and third options require living 10 years in the Principality.

  3. Applicants must also demonstrate proficiency in French, good character and conduct, and integration into the local society.

  4. Submitting the documents for naturalisation may take up to 1 year, but getting citizenship is not guaranteed.

  5. Acquiring Monaco citizenship takes a long time. Investors seeking second citizenship can find alternative pathways in Malta, Portugal or Turkey.

  6. Monaco does not recognise dual citizenship. The only exception is for spouses of Monaco nationals — they retain their original nationality.

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Practical Guide

Comparison of citizenship and residency by investment programs

Frequently asked questions