In various countries around the world it’s possible to attain citizenship as a foreign national. Although the specific benefits which come with such vary from country to country, increasing political freedom is guaranteed.

Possession of multiple citizenship automatically protects you from being subject to sole diplomatic rule. By obtaining recognition as a country citizen, you obtain the right to seek physical, political and in some cases, financial assistance from that country. Furthermore because citizenship is regarded an equal humanitarian right, no citizenship may supersede another.

Of course not all passports are regarded as highly as others due to the ease in which some can be acquired with citizenship. The additional threat on nation’s homeland security requires that not all passports and citizenship status grant equal visa free travel worldwide.

In most cases less reputable passports will grant free transition within that countries commonwealth union, but will carry additional restrictions for travel to other countries. Depending on the benefits and business incentives pursued, selecting which country to claim additional citizenship in will relate to which commonwealth union it’s within.

The most attainable routes with most countries offering citizenship to foreign nationals, is through naturalization or reclamation. Alternatively, some countries also offer established citizenship-by-investment programs, which allow foreign nationals to leapfrog residency requirements. The latter provides great flexibility to those looking to gain the perks of multiple citizenship, but do not want to sacrifice location independence.

Australia

Australian citizenship and a passport may be applied for following 4 years of holding a permanent residence permit. Eligible applicants must demonstrate that they have not spent more than a total of 12 months out of the country within the 4 year period and no more than 3 months out of the country in the last 12 months prior to the application date.

Applicants are required to pass a citizenship examination and demonstrate national value, through either skill set or investment potential. Such attributes ensure compatibility with Australia’s strict tax laws and high taxation rates.

Austria

Austrian citizenship may be applied for through means of neutralization following a period of 10 years permanent residency. Alternatively applicants who demonstrate scientific, cultural or economic benefit to the country may qualify under special consideration and approval from the relevant government authorities. All investments deemed eligible for citizenship application must be direct and have a clear economic impact, such as create employment or generate export sales.

Belgium

As a foreign investor friendly country Belgium provides easy access to citizenship for nationals with financial sufficiency and means of investment. Such applicants may apply for citizenship following 3 years of residency.

Bulgaria

Bulgarian citizenship may be obtained by nationals with origins to the country, absent of any previous residency. Applicants wishing to claim citizenship on such grounds must provide clear evidence of ancestral ties or true ethnicity.

Alternatively Bulgaria offers opportunity to obtain citizenship through means of neutralization following specific routes of investment. Valid routes include direct investment into the nations domestic economy and through the purchase of real estate above determined price thresholds.

Canada

Foreign nationals may apply for citizenship and a Canadian passport after 3 years permanent residency within a 4 year period prior to application. In most cases the applicant should have also resided in Canada for 182 consecutive days in the year of application. To be eligible for permanent residency foreign nationals must reside in Canada for more than 6 months or 182 consecutive days that year. Children born in Canada or abroad with at least one parent being a Canadian citizen may be granted citizenship at birth.

Croatia

Citizenship is available to persons with valid Croatian grandparents or those who are married to a Croatian spouse. In both cases candidates pursuing citizenship under such conditions are excepted from other case residency and language proficiency requirements, upon providing suitable evidence of their relation.

In cases preluding to children claiming citizenship, both parents must be as registered citizens prior to application. Citizenship may also be obtain by foreign national absent of relationship links if they have provided considerable investment to the country. Granting of citizenship due to investment purposes is dependant on both the economic impact it has had along with the nominal value that has been invested.

Dominica

Foreign nationals are eligible to apply for citizenship and a passport following a single contribution to the country’s government. Approval can be granted within 5 – 14 months depending on individual cases and the nominal value of funds provided. Such persons issued with the Commonwealth passport are then allowed to move freely between over 50 countries with no visa restrictions.

Dominican Republic

A period of 6 months permanent residency together with evidence of investment into a domiciled company provides eligibility to claim both citizenship and a passport from the Dominican Republic. Real estate purchase above a US$ 50,000 threshold also justifies sufficient cause of investment and permits access to citizenship and a passport also.

Germany

Citizenship may be granted to those who have the following ancestral or ethnic ties to Germany. Any children born in the country or overseas with one or both parents being German. Children born in the country with foreign parents, who at the time, had resided legally for 8 years and who also had either; unlimited residency or had been a permanent permit holder for a minimum of 3 years prior.

Foreign nationals can also naturalize citizenship after 3 years of residency if married to a German spouse or otherwise after 8 years if independent  In both cases  additional examinations on language and constitutional knowledge are required.

Lastly, under legislation pertaining to the right of return for refugees and expellees of ethnic origin, former German citizens who were extradited for political, racial or religious grounds between 30th January 1933 and the 8th May 1945, may seek restoration of citizenship for themselves and nationalization for any accompanying spouse and descendants. In such cases, applicants must provide documentation stating ethnic origin.

Greece

Citizenship can be obtain through process of naturalization if applicants have Greek parents or grandparents. Greek law also permits that any child born in the country shall acquire automatic citizenship if no action to secure alternative nationalization is carried out by parental guardians.

Ireland

Ireland is the only EU member with outstanding policy proclaiming automatic citizenship of all children born in the country with one or both parents holding  permanent residency to Ireland or the UK indefinitely.

Reclaiming of citizenship can also be approved for foreign nationals who are descendants of Irish grandparents. Although foreign investment does constitute eligibility to country citizenship financially sufficient foreign national may apply for naturalization of citizenship following a period of 5 year residency.

Israel

Israel  permits foreign nationals of Jewish origin and practice to naturalize citizenship. Furthermore under mandate of the ‘Law of Return’ such privileges require citizenship to be granted upon touching holy soil.

Although such process does bestow full nationalization, often foreign origin Israelis are required to have held residency for 1 year before being issued a passport valid for international travel. In exceptional cases a passport may be issued in duel attainment with Israeli citizenship.

Lithuania

Third generation descendants and all citizens of Lithuania prior to 15th June 1940 that now hold alternative country citizenships are entitled to reclaim full citizenship to the country. Although in previous cases foreign nationals other than Lithuanian origin have been approved citizenship on grounds of national benefit or economic development, there is currently no policy in place to regulate such practices.

Mauritius

Foreign nationals may obtain Mauritian citizenship following an initial minimum investment of US$ 500,000, which entitles permanent residency. Afterwhich such residence are required to undertake 2 years residency within the country before being issued official citizenship. Investment sectors are regulated and only certain activity qualify foreign citizenship.

New Zealand

Foreign nationals may apply for citizenship following 5 years permanent residency. Of which the applicant must have resided in New Zealand for a minimum of 1,350 days in total and a minimum of 240 days per successive year during that period.

In some cases these qualifying periods may be reviewed and reduced under special circumstances as long as the applicant has resided in New Zealand for a minimum of 450 day within the 20 month period prior to submitting application.

Panama

Citizenship can be applied for following 5 years of permanent residency under set immigration conditions and can be obtained via direct investment routes. Foreign nationals that invest a minimum of US$ 40,000 into qualifying sectors or development projects will be granted immigrant status and access to initial residency.

Residency permits are also issued to investors who deposit funds into fixed term 5 year non withdrawal ISAs with the National Bank of Panama. Although a  minimum deposit of US$ 200,000 is required, this investment type is not regarded as a direct benefit to the country’s economy and thus does not entitle any access to citizenship or a full national passport after the 5 years.

Poland

Reclaiming of citizenship is offered freely to all Polish descendants who have been granted alternative country citizenship automatically from birth. Although foreign nationals who reside in Poland long term may acquire unlimited permanent residency, this does not entitle citizenship.

St. Kitts and Nevis

Citizenship can be obtained through 2 well developed strands of investment, mainly being through the purchase of real estate. Foreign nationals who acquire property within government specified zones at a minimum threshold of US$ 350,000 are granted citizenship upon purchase.

Alternatively foreign nationals are entitled to freely contribute to the public charity, The Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation at a minimum donation of US$ 200,000, after which citizenship shall be granted. In both instances a full Commonwealth passport will also be granted allowing free visa transit to 80 country.

Serbia

Foreign nationals with Serbian ethnic origin may reclaim citizenship absent of any residency prerequisites upon provide evidence of descendent ties to the country or Serbian heritage overseas.

Singapore

Singapore strictly prohibits dual citizenship and requires all foreign nationals seeking such to relinquish all other citizenships. Citizenship and passports can be granted in as little as 1 year of permanent residency, but in most cases is granted granted after a period of 2 years.

Although a Singaporean passport is deemed very reputable with visa free transit to most countries, laws pertaining to all male citizens requires foreign origin Singaporeans to still honour calling for military service if required.

Slovakia

Slovakia will grant reclaiming of citizenship to those of ethnic origin for up to third generation descendants  however such applicants must also demonstrate a good command of Slovakian and cultural knowledge. Qualified foreign national are then approved for expatriate status within the country which then entitles the holder to upgrade to full citizenship following.

Alternatively through naturalization process persons who have resided in Slovakia for a period of 8 years may submit request for full citizenship directly. Although there is no regulated route for foreign investors to attain citizenship, under certain provisions special cases applicants may be awarded citizenship on grounds of exceptional influence or national benefit.

Spain

Under general process foreign nationals must reside in Spain for 10 years before being eligible to apply for citizenship, however nationals born in former Spanish colonized countries along with Sephardic Jews may be eligible after only 2 years.

Mostly applications are heavily dependant on individual circumstances and the residence history of the applicant but can be granted under other special provisions.

Thailand

Foreign nationals may submit request for citizenship after 5 years permanent residency and meeting specific criteria. In all cases the applicant must pass examinations on Thai language fluency and be able to sing both the national anthem and Sanserm Phra Bararnee.

Lastly the applicant will be required to attend an official interview with the provincial special police, before approval is considered by the interior minister. Generally the main entry criteria pertains to employment income and tax paid in the country.

Foreign nationals eligible to apply must be earning 80,000 THB or more per month or will have paid a total of 100,000 THB in taxes the year of the application. Alternatively, applicants residing in Thailand with a Thai spouse and or Thai children must be earning a monthly income of only 30,000 THB. Money generated from outside the country does qualify.

United Kingdom

There are multiple avenues available to foreign nationals for obtaining UK citizenship. The most common and generally regarded route is through naturalization after 5 years permanent residency. The UK enforces strict policy on what constitutes permanent residency within this period and requires applicants to have not left the country for more than a total of 90 days each year leading up to application.

Furthermore other restrictions or stipulations may be added to such persons who have no ancestral ties to the country or are applying with current citizenship from a non EEA country.

Additional business routes are also available for foreign national who provide proof of adequate funds and plans to initiate a UK domiciled company or who are willing to invest a minimum of GBP £1,000,000 into qualifying business sectors and programs.

United States of America

Although there may be a number of additional requirements or restrictions in place for some ethnic originating foreigners applying for citizenship, generally most foreign nationals can obtain such after a period of 5 years permanent residency. Upon which they are granted a US passport which provides national rights to all US territories including those that provide contrasting taxation benefits under separate legislation and tax law.

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