The Easiest Countries to Get Citizenship

If you are thinking of changing your country of permanent residence or obtaining dual citizenship, this article is for you. We will explain various ways to go about it and mention the easiest countries to get citizenship to date. All data on this page is subject to change and valid for 2022 only, so you should double-check the details with the relevant consulates or legal services. 

Types of Citizenship

Technically, there is only one citizenship as such, and when people speak of different types, they mean different ways of getting a passport. In this section, we will briefly review the most common strategies of acquiring a permanent resident status. 

Citizenship by Naturalisation

This is the most straightforward and popular path, although it is the longest one as well. Basically, you come to live in a country, apply for some long-term visa first, proceed towards temporary and then permanent residence, and become a citizen at the end.

In the USA, for example, if you can prove that you have stayed in the country legally for at least five years, you become eligible to apply for American citizenship on these grounds alone. And in Europe, the required period is up to ten years, depending on the country.

In most cases, you will have to satisfy the following conditions before you can be naturalised:

  • Stay in the country permanently for a specified period of time,

  • Prove sufficient mastery of the national language (or one of them in case there are several official languages),

  • Exhibit basic acquaintance with the national legal system, history, culture, et cetera (in some countries),

  • Take the oath of allegiance,

  • Prove sufficient income as specified by the country's immigration policy,

  • Have an impeccable police clearance. 

Citizenship by Marriage

Another simple and popular path is through marriage. Generally, there are two ways to go about it. You can get married to a citizen, or a member of your family can obtain citizenship as a main applicant, and the rest of the family accompanies him to the country and gets naturalised that way.

Keep in mind, though, that some countries, most notably English-speaking ones, do not consider marriage a sufficient reason to go past the permanent residence status. However, most countries allow the main applicant's spouse and children to accompany him and apply for citizenship, and many Caribbean states, such as Antigua, Dominican Republic, Grenada, as well as Saint Kitts and Nevis, even extend the privilege to one's parents and grandparents too. 

Citizenship for Students

Some countries allow foreign students to apply for a passport too. Typically, this is done as a way to attract investments in the national education sector, as well as to retain potentially invaluable professionals. However, you will have to exhibit high levels of academic achievements for this purpose, and your profession must be in sufficiently high demand in the country too. 

Citizenship by Investment

This path is rapidly gaining popularity these days, especially in the EU countries. The most common types of investments include:

  • Private and commercial property,

  • Government bonds,

  • National contributions,

  • Share capital and other similar assets.

The most straightforward way to get citizenship by investment is to purchase a private property for a specified minimum amount, and the rest of the process will be relatively quick and hassle-free. In Greece, for example, which is one of the easiest European countries to get citizenship this way, the required amount is 250,000 euros, giving you and your family a permanent resident status in only a couple of months and citizenship in seven years. 

Best Countries

In the table below, we have included the easiest countries to apply for citizenship, especially via investments in their real estate sectors. 

Country

Minimum Investment

Permanent Residence

Citizenship

Visa-Free Travel Countries

Greece

250,000 euros

Up to 3 months

7 years

186

Bulgaria

500,000 euros

2 months

2 years

173

Canada

800,000 Canadian dollars

Highly variable

3 years

189

Republic of Cyprus

300,000 euros

Up to 4 months

7 years

176

Czech Republic

3,250,000 US dollars

Up to 6 months

5 years

185

Latvia

250,000 euros

3 months

10 years

181

Republic of Malta

150,000 euros

Up to 8 months

10 years

186

Montenegro

250,000 euros

Plus a registration fee of 100,000 euros

Up to a month

6 months

124

Republic of Panama

200,000 US dollars

A few days

5 years

142

Portugal

250,000 euros

Up to 6 months

5 years

187

Saint Kitts and Nevis

400,000 US dollars

None

3-4 months

164

Spain

500,000 euros

4 months

10 years

190

 

Note: all countries in the table, except the Republic of Panama, currently accept dual citizenship.

Reliable Legal Services

The application process may be quite complicated and confusing at times, but you can find plenty of professional legal services on the internet to make the job easier for you. In addition, you will most likely save a lot of money and time this way as well. Typically, an immigration agency will:

  • Assess your chances and find an optimal application route for your case,

  • Collect, translate and notarise all the required documents and submit them on your behalf,

  • In the case of citizenship by investment, help you find the best property for your needs and budget and assist you with the property acquisition and registration,

  • Represent you in the relevant government authorities of the target country to help you obtain an identity document, passport and other basic documents, such as a tax number and driver's licence. 

To make sure you avoid fraud and scam, of which there is a lot these days, and select a truly professional and trustworthy company for the purpose, we strongly suggest that you use the following criteria in your search:

  1. The agency must have all the required diplomas, accreditations and licences, which should be available for inspection via its client service department or even exhibited on its website. Moreover, you can verify them with the relevant licensing agencies or government authorities.

  2. The company's privacy policy, terms and conditions must be clearly stipulated on its website.

  3. It must guarantee you perfect confidentiality of all your sensitive information throughout the application process.

  4. A reliable operator will use an advanced security technology, such as a 256-bit SSL encryption to ensure a perfect protection of all your personal and financial data.

  5. You should have access to the agency's customer support through several communication channels, such as live chat, e-mail, phone number and social media network.

  6. Ideally, though not necessarily, you should look for an agent who can speak your language and accepts the popular currencies and payment methods in your country.

Final Word

If you apply the search criteria listed above, you will most certainly be able to find a professional team of immigration lawyers to speed up and ease the process for you. And in case you decide to obtain citizenship by investing in the target country's private or commercial property sector, these criteria will help you find a reliable real estate broker too.

Such an agency can offer you invaluable assistance and advice to make sure that you select the best immigration route for your purposes and budget. However, the main thing for you to decide is which country it is going to be, in the first place. We hope that our short review will give you some helpful ideas on the subject.

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