It used to take 10 years of marriage to become Monegasque, but a new law requiring 20 years of marriage in order to obtain nationality is now in effect. The law is only applicable to marriages that take place after 1 July 2022, which means that couples married before this date remain subject to the 10 year period.
Law No. 244 on the acquisition of nationality through marriage, which was drafted 16 October and is about 17 pages in length, states that, “The concern of Monegasques was to preserve the cultural identity of the national minority community in its own country.”
Record number of weddings in June
Implementing the new law was delayed by about seven months to allow extra time for those who couldn’t get married due to the pandemic and for couples who had already planned and booked their weddings in advance. Monaco celebrated a record number of marriages this year, with 55 unions between 1 January and 31 May 2022 and almost 70 in the month of June alone.
Four ways to become Monegasque
There are four ways of acquiring Monegasque nationality: through family, reintegration, naturalization (which is decided upon by HSH the Sovereign Prince) and finally marriage. Without it being possible to modify of the first three ways of obtaining nationality, the councillors decided to change the law concerning marriage.
In 1950 there were about 3,000 Monegasques, while the national community as of 31 December 2018 composed of 9,326 Monegasques; a figure that has tripled in about 70 years. If the law was not modified, the Monegasque Institute of Statistics projected that in 50 years, the Principality will have 14,700 nationals, an increase of 62%.
Prioritizing children born or adopted in Monaco
The bill prioritizes the nationality of children: “The situation of children of Monegasque nationality born of a free union with a Monegasque must take precedence. This was one of the objects of the reform effected by Law No. 1.278 of 29 December 2003.…Thus, in the spirit of granting the same rights to all children of Monegasque nationality, whether they are legitimate, natural or adopted, and whether their parents have been married or not, it has seemed particularly important to allow these children to continue to live in their own country, in good conditions, without suffering the consequences of separation.”