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Second citizenship

Where is it easiest to get citizenship?

The fastest way of getting a second passport is participating in the St Kitts and Nevis or Vanuatu citizenship by investment program. The obtaining period is 2 months. In Vanuatu, it’s easier to pass the Due Diligence check, but a St Kitts and Nevis passport provides more benefits.

As for European countries, the quickest option is Turkey; obtaining citizenship takes 6—8 months. A Maltese passport, which is an EU passport, can be acquired within 14 months. Yet, Maltese Due Diligence is very strict; the Turkish check is easier to pass.

In which country is it easier to get citizenship

How to get dual citizenship 

According to the latest official data, 48% of countries recognize dual nationality for its citizens and foreigners.

To become a bipatride, a person with dual citizenship, you can get married, confirm family ties with a citizen of the country, participate in an investment program, and contribute to culture or science. Each country has its own conditions, so the same method takes different time.

Popular ways to obtain citizenship 

MethodGroundsDo you need to live in the country?Examination of language and cultureHow much it takes to obtain passport
Through ancestryBlood relatives - citizens of the countryNoDepends on the countryFrom 1 year
NaturalizationLiving in the country for a long timeYesYesFrom 1 year
MarriageRegistered marriageYesDepends on the countryFrom 1 day
For special meritsContribution to culture or science Depends on the countryDepends on the countryIndividually
InvestmentsInvestments in the country's economyDepends on the countryDepends on the countryFrom 1 month

Citizenship by origin. In some countries, there is a “blood law”: a foreigner can obtain a passport if he confirms his relationship with her citizen. For example, you can obtain Spanish citizenship if at least one of the parents is a Spanish citizen.

Citizenship by repatriation is obtained upon returning to the historical homeland. For example, citizens of Romania can be restored as citizens of Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, whose blood relatives, parents or grandparents, were born on the territory of Romania from 1918 to 1940.

Simplified programs for obtaining a second citizenship through repatriation operate in Bulgaria and Poland. You can get a passport from these countries in a year. Participation in the German repatriation program will take over two years. 

Repatriation is inexpensive, but not the fastest route to second citizenship. To become a repatriate in Bulgaria will cost €3,000 and in Romania, €2,500. It is not required to live in the country and know the language.

Citizenship by naturalization. To obtain a second citizenship by naturalization, you will need to officially live in the country. The minimum period depends on the legislation of the state.

Where and what’s the fastest way to get a passport by naturalization

CountryHow long you need to live
Argentina2 years
USA3-5 years
Brazil4 years
Russia5 years
Sweden5 years
Portugal5 years
Canada6 years
Norway7 years
Denmark7 years
Germany8 years
Switzerland10 years

Usually the naturalization procedure looks like this: 

  1. A foreigner receives a visa to enter the country to work or study. For example, while studying at the Australian University, you can get a temporary immigrant visa for a period of one and a half to four years, then a permanent immigration General Skilled Migration visa, and later become an Australian citizen.
  2. After legal entry, you can apply for a residence permit. For example, this can be done by a financially independent cosmopolitan who went to Portugal on a D-7 visa.
  3. After a few years of living with a residence permit, a foreigner applies for permanent residence or immediately for citizenship. The presence of a permanent job, the absence of problems with the law, knowledge of the language, history and culture are assessed. Thus, a person confirms that he has integrated into society.

Under the terms of the naturalization program in Canada, you must have lived in the country for at least six years, prove your knowledge of history and English at the B1 level, have no criminal record, know the responsibilities of a Canadian citizen, have a higher education and work as a professional.

Citizenship through marriage. You can get a passport after marrying a citizen of the country. The term will depend on the state in which the marriage is registered. For example, in Italy you will need to officially live together for at least two years, in Spain, a year, and in Switzerland, 6 years.

The easiest way to obtain citizenship through marriage is in Argentina. You can apply for a passport the very next day after the wedding. Interestingly, marriage in Sweden does not require official registration, but for two years migration officers will visit common-law spouses with checks. 

It is possible to obtain a second citizenship as a result of marriage if the marriage is real. Countries are introducing additional checks so as not to issue passports to those who enter into fictitious marriages. 

Where Is It Easiest to Get Citizenship by Marriage
The K-1 bride or groom visa is a nonimmigrant visa used to marry a US citizen. After arriving in the country, the marriage is registered within 90 days

Citizenship for exceptional services. Passport can be earned for contributions to art, science, or sports. For example, in 2003 the Georgian sculptor Zurab Tsereteli received Russian citizenship for special merit. 

Citizenship for special merit can be obtained in the UAE: it is issued to investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, artists and their families. The applicant must obtain approval from the UAE Cabinet of Ministers.

Citizenship by investment. In some countries, a passport can be obtained by investments in the economy. At the same time, you do not need to constantly live in the country and take an exam on knowledge of language and history.

In the Caribbean and Oceania, citizenship documents can be submitted online. The fastest way to obtain citizenship is in Vanuatu; on average, it takes a month. 

Caribbean citizenship has become popular among entrepreneurs. Dominica residents do not pay dividend taxes. With a Grenadian passport, you can open a branch of the company in the United States. 

Obtaining citizenship of Malta is possible based on exceptional merit by direct investment from €690,000.

In Portugal, Spain, Greece there are programs for obtaining a residence permit by investment. After obtaining a residence permit, you can apply for permanent residence or citizenship.

Wealthy businessmen who do not plan to leave Russia want to solve visa issues with the help of a second passport. One of the key challenges is the ability to do business in other jurisdictions where there are restrictions for Russians.

Elena Rudaya - Chief Development Officer of Immigrant Invest, Honorary Consul of Vanuatu
Elena Ruda,
Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer

The most popular investment programs operate in the USA, Great Britain, Canada, and the Caribbean countries.

Citizenship can also be obtained by family members like a spouse, children and grandparents. In the case of the Caribbean, you can apply and get approval from the comfort of your home. There is no preliminary procedure for obtaining a residence permit card, as is the case with Portugal.

Investors are thoroughly checked for reliability: sources of income and political status are analyzed. 

Which passport to choose 

The attractiveness of a passport depends on the goals of the cosmopolitan and the status of the state in the international arena: what agreements have been signed, with whom agreements have been made on the allocation of a quota for education.

With a passport of Vanuatu, Malta or somewhere in the Caribbean, you can visit the UK and the Schengen countries without a visa. With US and Canadian passports, 184 countries are available and the easiest countries to immigrate to from the US are mentioned. 

Great Britain allocates places for Portuguese citizens in the best universities.

In which country of the Caribbean and Oceania is it easier to obtain citizenship?

Caribbean investment programs are distinguished by a low cost of participation and favorable conditions. They are chosen by cosmopolitans who are looking for the fastest way to get a passport.   

The popularity of the program is also associated with the opportunity for the investor and his family members to travel to the Schengen countries and obtain a visa to the United States for 10 years in a simplified manner.

Buying real estate is one of the most popular program options. After a few years, housing can be sold and the money invested can be returned. After registration of ownership, the investor can lease the property.

Immigrant Invest specialists help you choose real estate depending on the goals of the investor.

CountryCost of participationPassport issuance periodVisa-free regimeReturn investments on real estate
 Non-refundable contribution to the state fundReturnable investments in real estate   
Saint Kitts and Nevis$150,000+$200,000+2-6 months157 countriesIn 5-7 years
Antigua and Barbuda$100,000+$200,000+3-6 months151 countriesIn 5 years
Saint Lucia$100,000+$300,000+3-4 months147 countriesIn 5 years
Dominica$100,000+$200,000+3-6 months145 countriesIn 3-5 years 
Grenada$150,000+$220,000+4-6 months146 countriesIn 5 years
Vanuatu$130,000+1-2 months96 countries

The fastest way is to get a passport of Vanuatu: you can take part in the program remotely. You can get a passport in four weeks for an investment of $130,000. Together with the investor, a spouse, children under 25 and parents over 50 can be added in an application.

Together with the passport, the investor acquires the opportunity to travel without a visa to the Schengen countries, Great Britain, Hong Kong and Singapore. Citizens of Vanuatu obtain a visa to the United States for 5 years.

Easiest European countries to get citizenship 

Investors obtain Maltese citizenship by naturalization for exceptional merit by direct investment. A Maltese passport can be obtained in one or three years.

The amount of investment depends on the period for obtaining a passport and the number of participants.

Applicants with three years of residency need to invest €600,000 to the National Fund for Development and Social Security. An application for a Maltese passport can be submitted after one year, but the investment amount will be €750,000. 

Alternatively, a rental option is available. You will need to contribute from €10,000 to the island's charity fund.

The program for obtaining citizenship of Montenegro by investment is valid until December 31st, 2021. Within its framework, a quota has been established; 2000 applicants will be able to become citizens of the country.

Obtaining documents takes at least 3 months. The Montenegrin passport provides visa-free travel to 122 countries of the world, including the Schengen countries, Israel, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. Citizenship can be inherited.

You do not need to live in the country. The application and documents can be submitted remotely, it is enough to go to the country to get a passport.

Citizenship of Malta by investment

Maltese passport provides access to 185 countries without visas

Obtaining citizenship of Montenegro

Coast of Montenegro

Where it is easier to obtain citizenship after participating in the program of residence permit by investment

Residence by investment is the first step to citizenship in a number of European countries. State investment programs operate in Portugal, Spain, Greece. 

First, the applicant receives a residence permit card, and after a few years he can apply for a passport. This option is suitable when speed is not important: on average, this method takes from five years. 

The holder of a residence permit enjoys almost all the privileges of a citizen, with the exception of the right to vote in elections and hold some public office. Opening a business, studying at a foreign university, freely entering the territory of all visa-free states without time restrictions. This is all possible with a residence permit card.

CountryCost of participationPeriod for obtaining a residence permitVisa-free destinations with a country’s passportTerm before applying for citizenship
Spain€500,000 2-3 months190 10 years
Switzerland₣450,000 per year6 months18612 years
Portugal€250,000 8-10 months187 5 years
Austria€100,000 3 months188 5 years
Greece€250,000 6 months185 7 years
Malta€30,000 + €8,750 per year to maintain the status3-4 months18510 years

Countries with the hardest conditions to get citizenship

Not all states are open to new citizens. In some countries, programs for immigrants simply do not exist.

The Vatican is the smallest country in the world, with only 800 inhabitants and 450 citizens. 

Cardinals who live in the Vatican can become citizens of the Vatican or Rome, diplomats representing the Holy See, or employees of the Catholic Church.

Liechtenstein is a mountainous country between Austria and Switzerland with a population of 40 thousand. A country's passport is issued after 30 years of uninterrupted life in the country, and in case of marriage, registration after 5 years.

There are no immigration programs in Liechtenstein, each case is considered individually. The country of origin, financial condition and availability of real estate in the country, as well as services to the state matter.

China. The Citizenship Law of the People's Republic of China allows foreigners to become citizens if they have relatives who are citizens of the country.

Naturalization is possible, but the law does not mention the period during which it is necessary to live in the country.

Obtain citizenship of the Vatican

The Vatican is an enclave state completely surrounded by the territory of Rome

Obtain citizenship of Liechtenstein

There are many hiking spots in Liechtenstein

Obtain Chinese citizenship

Classical and modern architecture of China

Citizenship for digital nomads and financially independent persons

In the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany, Canada and other countries, programs for freelancers and digital nomads appear. They allow you to obtain a visa for a period of one year for remote workers. 

In the future, such a visa can be transformed into a residence permit. This will require entering into a long-term contract with local employers, registering for taxation and proving sufficient income.

Financially independent cosmopolitans can also apply for a long-term visa. In this case, the applicant will need to prove sufficient passive income. It is assumed that the applicant does not intend to conduct a professional activity in the country.

Programs for financially independent cosmopolitans operate in Austria, France and Portugal. These are some of these easiest countries to immigrate to as In the future, you can get a residence permit or citizenship.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country's passport can be obtained in the fastest way?

A Vanuatu passport can be obtained in one month by an investment of $130,000. Together with the investor, a spouse, children under 25 and parents over 50 can participate in the program.

What is the easiest way to obtain US and Canadian citizenship?

The easiest way to obtain US citizenship is through winning the lottery. But you can not wait for such an event all your life. By investing in the economy, you can become a US citizen in 5 years. It is more difficult to obtain a Canadian passport: investment programs are often changed or suspended.

Where is the fastest way to obtain citizenship through marriage?

You can become a citizen of Argentina the day after marriage.

In which European countries can you obtain citizenship by origin?

Citizenship by origin can be obtained in Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Croatia, Czech Republic and Malta.

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Where is it easiest to get citizenship?