The key principles governing the acquisition of Monegasque nationality are:
- The almost complete absence of ability to acquire nationality based place of birth or residence
- The continuing role of filiation (paternal or adoptive filiation) in transferring Monegasque nationality
- The recent harmonisation of the right to nationality with principles which are recognised internationally and in numerous internal laws (maternal filiation, marriage)
- The policy of reunifying families through naturalisation
Neither residency nor birth in the Principality grants the right to monegasque nationality, as was possible in the past. The exception to this is in the case of a child who is born in Monaco to unknown parents and therefore takes monegasque nationality by sole virtue of their birth within the Principality.
A child born to a Monegasque father is monegasque.
A person is considered to hold full Monegasque nationality from the date of their birth if:
- Their mother was born monegasque and remains so on the date of the birth
- Their mother is monegasque and has a monegasque ancestor
- Their mother acquired monegasque nationality through naturalisation, reinstatement or declaration by choice in accordance with law no. 974 of 8 July 1975
- Their mother acquired monegasque nationality by declaration following a simple adoption, and acquires full monegasque nationality from the date of birth
- They are born in Monaco to unknown parents
The marriage of a Monegasque national has no effect on nationality. However, a monegasque woman may give up her Monegasque nationality on the day of her marriage if she is taking the nationality of her foreign husband.
The spouse of a Monegasque national can acquire Monegasque nationality by declaration ten years after the date of the marriage provided that:
- At the time of their application, they continue to live together with their Monegasque spouse, except in cases of widowhood where the individual has not remarried
- The spouse did not themselves obtain Monegasque nationality through a previous marriage
- The voluntary acquisition of Monegasque nationality does not cause the individual to lose their original nationality by virtue of a foreign law or international convention
- The Monegasque spouse retains their nationality at the time the application is made
Naturalisation as a monegasque citizen
Rules applicable to naturalisation as a Monegasque national
Any person who has been ordinarily resident in Monaco for at least ten years after reaching the age of eighteen may apply to H.S.H the Sovereign Prince for naturalisation as a citizen of Monaco.
H.S.H the Sovereign Prince may, however, grant a dispensation regarding this residency requirement.
Naturalisation is at the discretion of the Sovereign Prince.
The Sovereign Ordinance of naturalisation cannot be signed and published unless, by the end of the process, the applicant satisfies the following two conditions:
- He/she is exempt from military service obligations in his/her country of origin
- He/she has renounced his/her previous nationality
The collective effect of naturalisation as a Monegasque citizen extends to children under the age of eighteen.
The Department of Justice is responsible for examining applications for naturalisation and presenting a report H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince in accordance with the provisions of the organic law of 9 March 1918. During the examination phase, a number of other authorities are consulted, in particular the Minister of State, in line with the intervening exchange of letters with France at the time the constitution came into force on 17 December 1962.
The French authorities are consulted on all applications which have received a favourable response from H.S.H the Sovereign Prince prior to the publication of the Sovereign Ordinance.
Criteria which are generally applied
- Individual with family ties to the Monegasque community
- Individual who is well integrated into the economic, social or cultural life of the Principality
- Individual deemed worthy of this favour by the Sovereign Prince
Any individual who has lost their Monegasque nationality may have it reinstated by Sovereign Ordinance.
A foreign individual who adopted through plenary adoption acquires monegasque nationality subject to the same conditions as a biological child.
A foreign individual who is adopted through simple adoption may acquire monegasque nationality by choice while still a minor.