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5 Hardest Countries For Getting Citizenship

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#1 cavanami


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Posted 09 May 2015 - 05:11

Thailand didn't make the list, but it should have, IMO.

5 Hardest Countries For Getting Citizenship


Obtaining permanent residency status or gaining citizenship in a foreign county may seem like a good idea for those who no longer want to live in the country where they were born or whose passport they hold. But some nations make that transition especially difficult unless you marry a citizen of that country or – in some cases – have ancestors who were citizens.
In addition to marriage and ancestry, countries with high barriers to attaining citizen status may have special residency or citizenship tracks for people who fit certain categories, such as being a highly skilled professional or investing substantially in a business enterprise. But these situations don't apply to the vast majority of prospective citizens.
Below, in alphabetical order, are five nations that make it especially difficult for foreigners to establish permanent residency or obtain citizenship:

Many EU countries have tough immigration laws, but Austria seems to have one of the lengthiest processes to become a citizen. Anyone who is not a citizen of an EU country and staying longer than six months must have a resident permit before entering the country.
People who plan to stay longer than 24 months must also sign an Integration Agreement, a process designed to enhance their German-language skills and ability "to participate in the social, economic and cultural life in Austria."
Permanent residents must live in the country continuously for a period of 15 to 30 years before being eligible to apply for citizenship. If approved, applicants must renounce any other citizenship.


Obtaining permanent residency in Germany is difficult unless you are a citizen of another EU country. Other foreign nationals must have lived in Germany for at least five years and demonstrate competency in language, the political system and society. Applicants must also demonstrate they have an ability to earn a living and that they’ve contributed to the national pension plan, as well as having proof of accommodation.
To become a citizen, applicants must have lived in the country at least eight years (seven, if they’ve passed a competency test) and renounce citizenship in any other country.

It takes longer to be granted a Permanent Resident visa in Japan than to become a citizen. People who want to establish permanent residency must have lived in the country for a total of 10 continuous years or more.
Those who want to become a citizen of Japan must have lived in the country for five years, receive permission from the Justice Minister and complete a slew of paperwork (some have complained of unnecessary questions involving their personal lives). The process, according to the Japanese Ministry, can take six to 12 months, although those who have gone through it have reported that it can take years. If approved, applicants must be ready to renounce citizenship in other countries.

Any foreigner wanting to settle in the beauty of the Swiss Alps, or anywhere else in Switzerland, may do so for three months. To obtain a settlement, or permanent residence visa (unless you are an EU citizen), you must have lived in the country for 10 years.
If you qualify for permanent residence by the length of time you have lived in the country, you also qualify to apply for citizenship, but that is not guaranteed; applicants for citizenship must also prove they are assimilated into Swiss society. What's more, all cantons and municipalities have their own rules about granting citizenship. Switzerland permits dual citizenship.

United States
While the United States was founded mostly by immigrants, the process for achieving permanent residency and citizenship has become even more complicated since the early 2000s and the war on terrorism. Unless a person is coming to the U.S. through family or an approved job, it is very difficult to establish permanent residency (sometimes known as receiving a green card). There are special categories for those seeking refugee or asylum status, and a lottery for others who wish to apply. Click here for more information.
Those who have had permanent residency status for five years can begin the process of applying for citizenship by filling out the application and taking a test, which includes knowledge of history/government and English. Before becoming a citizen, people must swear an oath to the Constitution. The United States permits dual citizenship. For more information, read Understand The Requirements For U.S. Citizenship.

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#2 bust


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Posted 09 May 2015 - 06:36

View Postcavanami, on 09 May 2015 - 05:11, said:

Thailand didn't make the list, but it should have, IMO.

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#3 Mekong


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Posted 09 May 2015 - 07:07


But why would one wish to apply for an alternative citizenship? My American cousins such as oneself across the pond are in the fortunate position to hold the most powerful travel document in the world the same as us Brits. There is no way I would ever renoune my citizenship for a weaker document

Now Residancy, either Temporary or Permanent is a different matter, but is it such a big issue? Your passport allowed you free passage into Thailand, there are rules, regulations and requirements in place to be offered an extension to stay, fulfil the requirements and the Thai authorities wont give you a second look.

Personally I am in total agreement with the fiscal reqirements for Non-Imm O Visa in Thailand, I wish they were in place in my home country, yes we offer you freedom to stay in the country just as long as one can pay ones own way. If I wish to join a private members club then subscritions or fees are required, if I wish to go and see top of the range entertainment (Music or Sport) I would be asked to pay money, Thailand is not even that it is more like a poker table.

Gentlemen, welcome to the game, if one can demonstrate you can afford to sit at the table one is welcome to join in the game, I would never join into a card school where sombody tries to join without holding the folding, and I am sure if you asked self the same question you would be of the same opinion.

People and Music, Cav my friend, and I dont use the word friend loosely, you are the type of guy I have time for (you can pay me later) but honest mate, are you sure you were not sat in with Butch Veg and Dave Grohl when the recorded this. did Shirley Mason give you the elbow, this tune is you to a tee. (No Offence)

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#4 YimSiam



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Posted 09 May 2015 - 08:32

I can see the attraction of having another passport option - there's a lot of places around the world these days where in a crisis I'd rather not be the guy holding a US, Brit or French passport...

I saw something recently, said best passports in the world in terms of visa-free access are Irish and HKSAR (# of countries and people accessible, respectively).  

Got to disagree that US citizenship is difficult - it's about the easiest going, in my view.  No archaic vision of ancestral purity, no gender distinction, limited language and other requirements -  as long as you're not a Nazi and/or a felon, it's a cakewalk once you have residence... and if you don't get it, the first round of kids born there will!

#5 My Penis is hungry

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 09:21

HKSAR? Really? According to work mates there it's a pain often to get visa's to places
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#6 YimSiam



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Posted 09 May 2015 - 10:47

That one is kind of a nonsense stat - they counted by the population of the countries that HKSAR doc holders can enter visa-free, which includes PRC's billion friendly faces...  Anyway, now that I check, looks like Sweden and Finland are best - wonder how hard it is to get one of those?  Probably a bit beyond Malta's new scheme...


#7 Flashermac



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Posted 09 May 2015 - 11:02

Try Montenegro. Thaksin got citizenship there for only about US$1 million or so.
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#8 cavanami


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Posted 09 May 2015 - 11:25


The reason for a US citizen to get another passport and even renounce their citizenship is...taxes and the forms that you have to
fill out and submit every year and now the foreign banking forms!

Since you do not live in the UK, do you pay any taxes in the UK? do you have to fill out the tens of forms to the tax dept yearly?

I do and will always have to do so until I die or until such a time that I derive zero income from the USA. I will soon get the Social Security, which I will have to file on my tax forms. My pension from the US company I worked for, I will have to file on my tax forms. Any interest on CDs (over $10 per year) I will have to file on my tax forms...and on it goes.
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#9 Flashermac



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Posted 09 May 2015 - 11:42

Bill Heinecke gave up his US citizenship, since he got tired of paying big money in taxes to a country he doesn't even live in. He is a Thai national nowadays.
A happy childhood... is the worst possible preparation for life. - Kinky Friedman

#10 บางกอกมิสซี่



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Posted 09 May 2015 - 16:19

5 Hardest Countries For Getting Citizenship

I also heard that the Russian Federation, can be difficult to get citizenship.
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