Passport to Move? Mobility in Euro-Latin American Multiple Citizens

Pablo Mateos, CIESAS and University College London
Helen McCarthy, University College London

Scholarly attention in migration and citizenship has mainly focused on the naturalisation route to multiple citizenship. In the European Union (EU) very little research has been conducted into migrant’s flexible citizenship and mobility practices, specifically ancestry-based citizenship and post-naturalisation mobility. In this paper we aim to investigate the mobility implications of EU multiple citizenship focusing on Latin-Americans in the UK and Spain. We conduct twenty in-depth interviews and on-line research (netnography) of a discussion forum on Spanish nationality(2860 people). We find that Latin-American migrants gain EU citizenship, either through ancestry or naturalisation, primarily because of its mobility entitlements, and not necessarily to access political or social rights, or increasing their sense of belonging. An EU passport becomes a life asset for migrants and their families, leading to global individual freedom and social mobility. Others are left outside, according to asymmetric ethnic citizenship hierarchies that determine who belongs in the EU.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment