This article focuses on the interest and ability to acquire destination country nationality among non-EU-born adults in six European countries. While a sizeable literature has emerged on nationality policies and acquisition rates among immigrants, the ways that policies affect the acquisition process are less well understood. A key question is how laws and procedures affect the interest of immigrants to acquire nationality and their ability to do so in practice. This article argues that both immigrants’ interest and ability to acquire nationality are largely driven by their context, but in very different ways, depending on their individual, origin and destination country characteristics. The analysis finds that interest to acquire nationality is particularly affected by origin country dual nationality laws and destination country nationality procedures, while destination country nationality laws and procedures are the major determinant of immigrants’ ability to acquire nationality. These findings give citizenship policymakers reason to reflect on the potential impact of their laws and procedures on ability and interest, particularly given the fact that promotional measures and targeted integration support are generally weak across Europe.
Thomas Huddleston, Naturalisation in context: how nationality laws and procedures shape immigrants’ interest and ability to acquire nationality in six European countries, Comparative Migration Studies, 2020.