The hardest countries in the world to get citizenship
The most difficult countries to obtain citizenship include Vatican City, Liechtenstein, Bhutan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Switzerland, China, and North Korea.
If you have ever submitted an application for citizenship, you will know just how difficult the process can be.
There is a significant amount of work involved, including gathering and submitting the appropriate information with evidence showing why you should be granted citizenship.
In the majority of cases, the individual must be a legal resident who has lived in the country for a number of years.
In some instances, some countries require applicants to convert to the dominant religion of that country. Others do not allow for dual citizenship and you must renounce one nationality for the other.
While the UK does have a complex immigration system, it is not the most difficult in the world and does allow for dual citizenship.
For example, in the UK, there are many routes towards British citizenship. There is a route for children born to parents of citizens (citizenship by birth) or naturalisation (the process of becoming a citizen of another country) through marriage.
If you need advice or support with any citizenship application, contact our expert immigration lawyers on 0121 667 6530. We are available to discuss your case over the phone or via online call.
Below are some of the requirements if you wish to gain citizenship in some of the most difficult countries in the world.
Can you become a citizen of North Korea?
The official rules governing the North Korean immigration process are not well known.
However, it is likely extremely difficult to become a citizen of North Korea, unless one or both of your parents are citizens.
If a child is born abroad to a North Korean citizen and a foreign citizen, the citizenship of the child can be decided by the parents.
To naturalise as a citizen, eligible individuals should petition the Supreme People’s Assembly to be decided by the Supreme Leader of North Korea.
The North Korean government does recognise dual citizenship; however, citizens are not entitled to passports and may be issued temporary travel documents for the purposes of approved foreign travel.
Any person wishing to leave North Korea must apply for an exit visa to leave the state.
How to become a citizen of the Vatican
As the smallest country in the world, Vatican City has one of the toughest immigration policies in the world.
With a population of approximately 800 people, over 450 hold citizenship.
Citizenship is not given based on birth or marriage but rather based on the roles of individuals who work there.
Cardinals who live in the Vatican and official papal diplomats are granted citizenship.
As well as this, some individuals who work in the country, including members of the Swiss Guard, are granted citizenship.
Children of citizens are not entitled to citizenship of the Vatican.
How do you become a citizen of Liechtenstein?
Liechtenstein has an extremely strict citizenship and immigration system. It is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe owing to its status as a financial centre.
The easiest way to receive citizenship is to be born to at least one Liechtenstein parent. Children automatically receive citizenship by birth in this way.
If you are married to a citizen, you may be able to apply for citizenship after five years of marriage, and at least ten years of residence in the country.
There are other eligibility criteria, including renouncing your previous nationality.
To naturalise as a Liechtenstein citizen, you must live in the country for at least 30 years. Each year that you live there below the age of 20 counts as two years.
How to get permanent residency in Qatar
Another country that is very difficult to receive citizenship is Qatar. There are lengthy continuous residence requirements and not all children or spouses receive citizenship automatically.
Children born in Qatar to Qatari parents are automatically entitled to citizenship. Any person born with a Qatari father may apply to be a citizen, if they meet eligibility criteria. However, the same is not true for individuals with a Qatari mother.
People who qualify for permanent residence through naturalisation are those who have lived in Qatar for at least 20 years consecutively (if born outside Qatar) or ten years (if born there).
Applicants must be fluent in Arabic, hold good character, and be able to support themselves financially during their stay.
Although there are very generous government benefits available for citizens, the government only grants a maximum of 100 permanent residencies per year.
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