Some people are born lucky enough to automatically have dual citizenship. This usually happens by having a parent who is from another country or by being born in a foreign country to a U.S. parent. If you were born in the U.S., have parents who were both born in the States, but have ex-pat wishes, getting dual citizenship is a different story. While some countries make gaining citizenship simple, you may have to do something in return.
However, the process may be worthwhile as there can be many benefits to having dual citizenship. You have access to two social service systems, can work in either country and attend school in either country at the citizen tuition rate. Some countries restrict land ownership to citizens only but as a legal citizen of two countries, you would be able to purchase property in either or both countries. Arguably, the biggest advantage of dual citizenship is the access to other countries that a passport allows.
If you’re thinking about gaining dual citizenship, you’ll enjoy these 5 countries that have the easiest process to do so.
Like Ireland, your ancestry may be your ticket to Italian citizenship. According to Italian Law 91, Italian citizenship is granted by bloodline. Therefore, if you are a descendant of an Italian citizen, then you are already an Italian citizen. However, it’s not as simple as that. There is a particular criterion that can seem a little random.
- The Italian ancestor must have been alive after March 17th, 1861, the date of Italy’s unification.
- The Italian ancestor must not have naturalized before July 1, 1912.
- The Italian ancestor must not have naturalized prior to the birth of his/her descendant.
Otherwise, you have to live in the country for at least 10 years. However, if you work for the Italian government in any capacity for at least five years, even if the work was in a different country, you can gain naturalization without any residency requirements.
Not to be confused with the Dominican Republic, the Commonwealth of Dominica in the Caribbean offers an Economic Citizenship program to “investors.” To become a citizen, you simply have to pay the government a $100,000 investment. The government also offers package deals, just like the burger joint in town. Citizenship for you and your spouse is $175,000, but if you’re married and have two minor children, you only have to pay $200,000.
Dominica is considered to be a cheap and quick way to obtain dual citizenship without any residency requirements. The lack of residency requirement is considered to be quite useful for investors as many countries require in-country presence to even gain permanent residency. The Dominica passport could be worthwhile to many as it comes with access to a number of countries visa-free, due to its place in the British Commonwealth. The countries include but aren’t limited to, the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Panama and Peru.
The process is simply:
- Hire a Dominica passport agent
- Get an FBI check
- Make the payment
- Official interview in Dominica
- And you’ve got it!
3. St. Kitts and Nevis
The islands of St. Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean have a neat little thing called the Citizenship-by-Investment program. The program allows you to purchase citizenship for you and your dependents. To prove that you’re worthy, you must make a direct donation or invest in the country. There are two ways that you can do so: a financial contribution to the sugar industry or invest in the real estate industry.
The donation should be $250,000 and go to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF). It is a public charity for sugar workers who lost their jobs as the industry becomes more industrialized. The advantages of this option are that less money needs to be invested and often the process of the application runs more quickly.
The second option involves a minimum $400,000 investment in real estate on St Kitts or Nevis Islands. The property needs to be from an approved developer and specifically chosen as a property in the Citizenship by Investment program. You must own the property for at least 5 years before selling, however, you are able to rent out the property.
One of the simplest ways to gain Irish citizenship is to live in Ireland for at least five years. The government, however, may waive the time requirement if you can prove you are of Irish descent or if you have certain Irish associations.
If either of your parents is an Irish citizen by birth, marriage, adoption or naturalization by the time of your birth, then you are also an Irish citizen, even if you were born outside the country. Having an Irish grandparent also allows you to become an Irish citizen as long as you register your birth in the Foreign Births Register. This also allows you to pass on Irish citizenship to successive generations as long as you are registered as an Irish citizen before your children are born.
Brazil opens its arms to anyone who wants to become a citizen. Adopting a child from Brazil automatically makes you Brazilian, according to the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Brazil’s Ministry of Justice shares that you can get a “common naturalization” if you’re really interested in becoming a Brazilian citizen. Simply living in Brazil for at least 15 years can get you effortless naturalization.
Those who are born to a Brazillian parent, whether in Brazil or elsewhere, can claim citizenship by descent as long as the birth is registered with a local Brazilian consulate. To apply for naturalization, you must have at least 4 years of uninterrupted residence in Brazil (1 year for those with a Brazilian spouse, parent or child or are nationals of Portuguese-speaking countries), ability to speak and write Portuguese, sufficient finances to support yourself. Those who are married to a Brazilian can apply for naturalization after 1 year of residence in Brazil.