Easiest country to get citizenship

Article Breakdown

What is the easiest country to get citizenship?

Vanuatu Passport CoverParticipating in the citizenship by investment programs in Vanuatu or St. Kitts and Nevis is the quickest way to obtain a second passport. Both have an average of two-month processing phase.

The Vanuatu investment program makes it simpler to pass the due diligence assessment, while a passport from St. Kitts and Nevis offers greater advantages. The minimum investment amounts are similar, but the options are different.

The quickest choice for citizenship in Europe is Turkey; the process takes 6–8 months. It takes 14 months to obtain a Maltese passport, which is an EU passport and one of the easiest European countries for Citizenship by Investment.

However, the due diligence for the Turkish investment program is simpler to pass and is one of the easiest countries to obtain citizenship; the due diligence process for the Maltese citizenship option is very thorough and takes longer.

How to obtain dual citizenship

The majority of nations—48%, according to the most recent official statistics—recognize dual nationality for both their residents and visitors. This means you can increase your visa free travel mobility by obtaining dual citizenship or even more additional citizenships.

You can acquire dual citizenship by getting married, establishing family links with a national, taking part in investment programs, or making contributions to culture or science. The identical process takes a varying amount of time in each country due to its unique characteristics.

Popular ways to obtain citizenship

Citizenship Method Basis for Citizenship Need to live in the country? Language or Culture test? How long until you obtain the passport?
Descent or Ancestry Jus sanguinis (Blood relatives) - citizens of the country No Depends on the country 12-15 months
By naturalization Permanent resident in the country for x years Yes Yes 5-10 years
By Marriage Registered marriage Yes Depends on the country 1 day to 12 months
For special merits Contribution to sports, culture or science Depends on the country Depends on the country Depends on each applicant
By Investment Investments in the country's economy Depends on the country Depends on the country 1-3 months
By Birth Jus solis, being born in the country's territory No, not after birth No Directly

Starting with citizenship categories, the following citizenship categories are available to you:

Citizenship by investment

Some countries grant citizenship through a citizenship by investment program with a minimum investment amount. These are different from so called “Golden visa” programs, which only grant you permanent residency or residency visa in a country, but you will still need to reside in the country for a number of years before being eligible for citizenship.

For citizenship by investment, the amount depends on a number of variables, including the type of investment and the number of applicants. The investment routes differ per country; some countries offer a pre approved real estate investment to acquire citizenship, others require a capital transfer or another qualifying investment.

The only European countries offering this type of citizenship are Malta citizenship (EU country) and Montenegro (non-EU).

Citizenship by Country of Birth

If you were born in the nation, you are a citizen by birth. Regardless of your parents’ nationality, this applies. For instance, if you were born in Brazil, you would also be a citizen of that country. Canada is comparable. You can find an overview of countries that allow your children to obtain citizenship by birth here. Visiting those countries for birth tourism is a great way to offer dual citizenship to your children born there.

Citizenship by Descent

There are several EU countries that have “blood laws,” where a foreigner can only apply for a passport if they can prove they are related to the citizen. For instance, if at least one of your parents has Irish citizenship, you can apply for an Irish passport. We will dive deeper into the easiest European countries to get citizenship in a later article.

One may be eligible for citizenship through descent if at least one parent is a citizen of that country or if they are a child born abroad to a citizen of that country. Ancestors are also eligible for citizenship via descent.

Most EU citizenship laws include a citizenship by descent option, up until multiple generations in a few countries (Italy, Hungary, and a few others). For people who can prove their ancestry blood relatives for a certain European citizenship, this can be the cheapest citizenship option.

Citizenship by repatriation

Returning to the former home country is required to get citizenship by repatriation. For instance, Romanian individuals can regain their citizenship in Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus if their blood relatives—parents or grandparents—were born there between 1918 and 1940.

In Poland and Bulgaria, there are streamlined procedures for getting a second citizenship by repatriation. In a year, you can obtain a passport from these nations. The German repatriation program will require more than two years of participation.

Though affordable, repatriation is not the quickest way to obtain a second citizenship. In Bulgaria, it will cost €3,000, and in Romania, €2,500, to become a repatriate. Living there and speaking the language are not prerequisites.

Citizenship through naturalization

If you meet certain conditions or qualities and it is possible in that country, you can apply for citizenship through naturalization. It refers to seeking for citizenship based on your own free will after meeting certain legal requirements. In other words, you wish to voluntarily become a citizen of that country.

You must have legal permanent residency in the country in order to earn a second citizenship through naturalization. The minimum time frame to become a naturalized citizen is determined by state law.

Where can I receive a passport by naturalization and what is the quickest way to do so?

Country Residency Period
Rounded Argentina Flag Icon Argentina 2 years
Rounded Paraguay Flag Icon Paraguay 2 years
Rounded United States of America Flag Icon United States 3-5 years
Rounded Brazil Flag Icon Brazil 4 years
Rounded Russia Flag Icon Russia 5 years
Rounded Portugal Flag Icon Portugal 5 years
Rounded Canada Flag Icon Canada 6 years
Rounded Norway Flag Icon Norway 7 years
Rounded Germany Flag Icon Germany 8 years
Rounded Switzerland Flag Icon Switzerland 10 years
Rounded Liechtenstein Flag Icon Liechtenstein 30 years

The naturalization process typically looks like this:

An alien is granted a visa to enter the nation in order to work or study. For instance, you may obtain a temporary immigrant visa for one and a half to four years while enrolled in an Australian university, followed by a permanent General Skilled Migration visa, before eventually becoming an Australian citizen.

You can apply for a residency permit after being admitted legally. A financially independent cosmopolitan who entered Portugal on a D-7 visa, for instance, could accomplish this.

A foreigner can claim citizenship right away or after a few years of living with a residency permit. A steady job, a clean record with the police, and an understanding of the local language, history, and culture are all taken into consideration. In this way, a person attests to his social integration.

According to the residency requirement of the naturalization program in Canada, you must have been a resident of the nation for at least six years, demonstrate B1-level proficiency in both history and English, be free of any convictions, understand the obligations of being a citizen, have a higher education, and hold a professional job.

Citizenship acquired by marriage

Most countries offer citizenship by marriage. After being married to a national of the country, those who seek citizenship can obtain a passport. Depending on the state where the marriage is registered, the length will vary. For instance, you must have been officially living together for at least two years in Italy, one year in Spain, and six years in Switzerland.

Argentina offers the simplest process for obtaining citizenship through marriage. After the wedding, you can apply for a passport that exact same day. It’s interesting to note that marriage in Sweden is not formally registered, but for two years, immigration agents will visit common-law partners to do checks.

If the marriage is genuine, it is possible to obtain citizenship as a result. In order to prevent issuing passports to people who enter into fraudulent marriages, countries are imposing additional procedures.

A nonimmigrant visa called the K-1 bride or groom visa is used to wed a US citizen. The marriage is recorded within 90 days of entering the country.

Citizenship for outstanding performance

For achievements in athletics, science, or the arts, one can receive a passport and gain citizenship. For instance, Zurab Tsereteli, a sculptor from Georgia, was granted Russian citizenship in 2003 as a result of exceptional distinction.

The UAE offers citizenship to people who have demonstrated exceptional merit, including financiers, scientists, physicians, engineers, artists, and their families. The UAE Cabinet of Ministers must grant the applicant’s request.

Investing in citizenship

By making economic investments, a passport may be gained in several nations. For these second citizenship programs you don’t need to continuously reside in the country or pass a language test to demonstrate your language and historical knowledge. Usually the only requirements for the easiest countries to get citizenship by investment are a minimum investment, a clean criminal record, and a provable source of funds.

Online citizenship paperwork submission is available for the Caribbean countries and Oceania. Vanuatu is one of the easiest countries that offers the quickest route to citizenship; it typically takes a month. Vanuatu used to have visa free access to the Schengen countries, but it looks like the visa free access to the EU for this country’s passport is about to be terminated.

Among businesspeople, Caribbean citizenship has grown in popularity mainly because of the tax benefits and the visa free access most of the CBI countries offer. For example, residents of Dominica are exempt from dividend taxes. You can establish a branch of the business in the US with a Grenadian passport after making a minimum investment of $150,000 (donation) through the island’s investment program and applying for the E2 visa in the United States afterwards.

By making a minimum investment starting at €690,000, it is possible to obtain Malta citizenship on the basis of extraordinary talent.

Golden visa programs

There are systems for obtaining a resident visa by investment in the European Union are Portugal, Spain, and Greece. You can submit an application for citizenship or a permanent residence after receiving a temporary permit.

Other countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and the Caribbean nations have the most well-known investment programs.

Family members including a spouse, kids, and grandparents can also become citizens. You can apply and receive approval for a Caribbean passport from the convenience of your home. In contrast to Portugal, there is no preliminary process required to receive a resident permission card.

Investors’ sources of wealth and political connections are carefully examined for veracity.

Which passport should I choose?

What agreements have been struck and who agreements have been made on the allocation of a quota for schooling with determine the attractiveness of a passport in relation to the cosmopolitan aims and the standing of the state in the international arena.

Investment in Citizenship: The Most Popular CBI Programs

If you want to learn more about citizenship by investment programs, read our ultimate guide here.

You can travel to the UK and the Schengen nations without a visa if you have a passport from Vanuatu, Malta, or another Caribbean country. 184 countries are accessible with US and Canadian passports, and the simplest nations for US citizens to immigrate to are included.

Portuguese nationals are given spots in the best universities by Great Britain.

Which country in the Caribbean and Oceania makes it simpler to become a citizen?

Caribbean investment programs stand out for their low cost of entry and advantageous terms. They are picked by investors who want a passport as soon as possible.

The chance for the investor and his family to visit the Schengen nations and easily apply for a 10-year visa to the United States is another factor contributing to the investment program appeal in Caribbean countries.

One of the most popular program alternatives is purchasing real estate. The real estate can be sold after a few years, and the investment money will be refunded. The investor can rent out the property once ownership has been registered.

Country Non-refundable option / donation Real estate option Passport Issued in Visa free countries Average ROI on RE in years
Rounded Antigua and Barbuda Flag Icon Antigua $100,000+ $200,000+ 3-6 months 151 countries 5-6 years
Rounded Dominica Flag Icon Dominica $100,000+ $200,000+ 3-6 months 145 countries 3-5 years
Rounded Grenada Flag Icon Grenada $150,000+ $220,000+ 4-6 months 146 countries 5-6 years
Rounded Saint Lucia Flag Icon Saint Lucia $100,000+ $300,000+ 3-4 months 147 countries 5-6 years
Rounded Saint Kitts and Nevis Flag Icon St. Kitts $150,000+ $200,000+ 2-6 months 157 countries 5-7 years
Rounded Vanuatu Flag Icon Vanuatu $130,000+ N/A 1-2 months 96 countries N/A
Source: Best Passport Rankings

Obtaining a Vanuatu passport is the quickest method; you can participate in the procedure online. In exchange for a $130,000 investment, you can obtain a passport in four weeks. An application may also include the investor’s spouse, kids under 25, and parents over 50.

Along with the passport, the investor also gains access to visa-free travel to Singapore, Hong Kong, Great Britain, and the Schengen region. Vanuatu nationals are granted a five-year visa to the US.

Easiest countries to obtain citizenship after a Golden Visa

In several countries in the European Union, the first step to citizenship is residence by investment. Portugal, Spain, and Greece all have state-sponsored investment programs.

After being granted a residence permit card, the applicant can then submit an application for a passport. This choice is appropriate when speed is not crucial because it typically takes five years.

With the exception of the ability to vote in elections and hold some public office, a person who has a residence permit has practically all of the rights and advantages of a citizen. opening a business, enrolling in a program at an institution abroad, and visa free travel to all countries that do not require a visa at any time. An ID card allowing for residence makes this all feasible.

Country Golden Visa Cost Approval Time Visa Free Countries Years of Permanent Residency for Citizenship
Rounded Spain Flag Icon Spain €500,000 3 months 190 countries 10 years
Rounded Portugal Flag Icon Portugal €330,000 or €13,000/year 2-6 months 187 countries 5 years
Rounded Switzerland Flag Icon Switzerland ₣450,000 per year 6 months 186 countries 11-12 years
Rounded Austria Flag Icon Austria €100,000 3-4 months 188 countries 5 years
Rounded Greece Flag Icon Greece €250,000 6 months 185 countries 7 years
Rounded Malta Flag Icon Malta €30,000 + €8,750 per year to maintain resident status 3-4 months 185 countries 10 years

Most difficult countries to get citizenship

Not every state welcomes new residents. There are some nations where there are no immigration schemes at all.

With only 800 people and 450 citizens, Vatican City is the smallest nation in the world.

Cardinals who reside in the Vatican have the option of becoming Roman or Vatican citizens, ambassadors for the Holy See, or Catholic Church workers.

With a population of 40.000, Liechtenstein is a mountainous nation situated between Austria and Switzerland. After 30 years of continuous residence in a nation, a passport is issued; in the case of marriage, registration follows after 5 years.

In Liechtenstein, there are no immigration schemes; rather, each case is examined separately. It matters where a person is from, their financial situation, whether there is real estate available there, and whether they provide services to the government.

China. If a foreigner has relatives who are citizens of the country, they are eligible to apply for citizenship under the People’s Republic of China’s Citizenship Law.

Although it is possible to become a citizen, the legislation does not specify how long a resident must remain in the country.

Citizenship for people who are financially independent and digital nomads

Programs for independent contractors and digital nomads are now available in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany, Canada, and other countries. For remote employees, you are able to get a visa good for one year.

Such a visa may in the future be upgraded to a resident permit. For this, you might need to sign a long-term contract with a local firm instead of sourcing only foreign income, register for taxes as a tax resident, and provide evidence of a suitable income.

Nomads with their own money can also apply for a long-term visa. The applicant in this situation will need to demonstrate sufficient passive income. It is considered that the applicant has no plans to engage in any type of business in the nation.

In Austria, France, and Portugal, programs for financially independent global citizens are in operation. These are some of the countries where immigration is most straightforward as In the future, you can apply for citizenship or a residency permit.

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about investment visas & updates.

You might also enjoy