The Easiest Countries to Get Citizenship

If you want a second passport, the best and fastest way is to apply for a Citizenship by Investment Program. Embraced by governments worldwide, the scheme offers a unique opportunity to broaden your horizons thanks to dual and triple citizenship. Nevertheless, there are other ways in which you can acquire a second citizenship. This article takes you through the easiest countries to get citizenship.

Ways to Acquire Citizenship

You can obtain citizenship in many ways.

Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship by Investment
Countries worldwide offer citizenship in exchange for a significant financial contribution to their economy. The qualifying minimum investment sum varies across every nation, depending on the investment type and the number of applicants.
Citizenship by Birth
Citizenship by Birth
If you are born in certain countries, you may automatically obtain citizenship of that country regardless of your parents' citizenship. For example, if you are born in the US to non-US parents, you'll immediately acquire US citizenship, or dual citizenship, depending on your parents' nationality.
Citizenship by Descent
Citizenship by Descent
If at least one of your parents or grandparents is a citizen of a specific nation, you may be eligible for an application for citizenship by descent. You could obtain citizenship by route of ancestry on the condition that you prove the lineage.
Citizenship by Naturalization
Citizenship by Naturalization
You may be eligible to apply for citizenship by naturalization in a specific country if you spend a certain amount of time residing there, and meet particular government requirements and qualifications.
Citizenship by Marriage
Citizenship by Marriage
Some countries enable individuals to acquire a second citizenship by route of marriage if they can prove being married to their spouse/partner for no less than three or five years. Their partner must be a citizen of that nation for their application to be considered.

Routes to second citizenship

RouteBaseStay RequirementLanguage & Culture Test
DescentBlood relationNoDepending on the nation
NaturalizationMaintaining residency in the nation for a specific periodYesYes
MarriageRegistered marriageYesDepending on the nation
InvestmentFinancial Investments or ContributionsDepending on the nationDepending on the nation

The Easiest Path to Second Citizenship – Citizenship by Investment Programs

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs are investor immigration schemes that grant qualifying individuals, and their family members, citizenship of a specific nation in exchange for a financial investment in its economy. Among all CBI programs, the most popular ones are across Europe and the Caribbean. These schemes are available at different investment thresholds, offering various advantages and multiple investment routes.

The list of countries Global Citizen Solutions assists with Citizenship by Investment Programs:

CountryMinimum InvestmentType of InvestmentStay RequirementTime until CitizenshipEase of ProcessLink to Ultimate Guide
Malta€690,000Investments & donationsNone36 months, fast track option of 12 monthsMediumMalta Citizenship by Investment
St. Kitts and Nevis$150,000Real estate or government donationNoneFast track option under 60 daysEasySt. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment
Antigua and Barbuda$100,000Real estate or other optionsFive days within five years5 monthsEasyAntigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment
Grenada$150,000Real estate or government donationNone5 monthsEasyGrenada Citizenship by Investment
St. Lucia$100,000Real estate or other optionsNone4 monthsEasySt. Lucia Citizenship by Investment
Dominica$100,000Real estate or government donationNone5 monthsEasyDominica Citizenship by Investment
Turkey$400,000Real estate or other optionsNone4 monthsEasyTurkey Citizenship by Investment

The Benefits of Citizenship by Investment Programs

Second passport granting you visa-free access across the world Second passport granting you visa-free access across the world
Diverse investment routes to diversify your assets and portfolio Diverse investment routes to diversify your assets and portfolio
Permanent residency and citizenship in stable and beautiful countries Permanent residency and citizenship in stable and beautiful countries
Tax benefits and incentives, with some countries offering zero tax on worldwide and personal income Tax benefits and incentives, with some countries offering zero tax on worldwide and personal income
The entire family is eligible The entire family is eligible
Plan 'B' in times of uncertainties Plan 'B' in times of uncertainties

The Easiest EU Country to Get Citizenship

Malta

Malta is one of the easiest European countries to acquire EU citizenship. The captivating archipelago is situated in southern Europe, close to Italy, and is a renowned tourist destination for its rich culture and history. Malta has emerged as one of the top locations for investors seeking citizenship and a second passport, namely due to its top-tier healthcare system, political stability, low crime rate, low cost of living, and high economic potential.

The island nation is an important business center and a global leader in fin-tech, making its citizenship program one of the most rewarding for investors seeking a foot into the European market and European Union citizenship.

Foreign investors interested in acquiring a European passport may apply for the Malta citizenship by investment scheme – otherwise more accurately referred to as the Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services Regulations (CES). The program grants successful applicants a Maltese passport in 12 to 36 months, depending on their minimum investment.

Malta’s passport is considered one of the strongest passports to have and provides its holders with the right to live, work, and study in Europe as well as travel visa-free to over 160 destinations — including the US, Canada, and the UK.

General requirements for obtaining Maltese citizenship

To be eligible for the Malta CES program, you must:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Meet the minimum investment threshold
  • Pass the “fit and proper test”
  • Have good health and be covered by an international insurance policy
  • Provide biometric data

The Malta CES program’s financial requirements

The following investments must be met to qualify for the scheme:

  • A €600,000 or €750,000 contribution to the Malta National Development and Social Fund, depending on the residence period selected, 12 or 36 months
  • €700,000 investment in residential real estate, or enter into a rental agreement at a minimum value of €16,000 per annum, which must be maintained for five years
  • €10,000 donation to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental approved organization or society

The Easiest Country to Get Dual Citizenship by Investment

Antigua and Barbuda

The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program grants qualifying individuals citizenship rights and an Antigua and Barbuda passport in five months in exchange for a qualifying investment worth at least $100,000. Due to the program’s efficient and rapid process, Antigua and Barbuda is considered one of the easiest countries to get citizenship by investment. The Antigua and Barbuda passport provides its holders visa-free travel to over 140 nations worldwide.

Antigua and Barbuda

General requirements for obtaining Antigua and Barbuda citizenship

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have an outstanding character
  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Have excellent health
  • Be able to make a qualifying investment
  • Residence requirement of five days in Antigua and Barbuda within five calendar years of registering as a citizen
  • Be willing to take the Oath of Allegiance in Antigua and Barbuda itself or any Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate of Antigua and Barbuda

The Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment program’s financial requirements

The applicant can choose one of these investment options:

  • Donate a minimum of $100,000 to the National development Fund
  • Purchase pre-approved real estate (or shares) worth at least $200,000
  • Make a donation of $150,000 or more to the University of the West Indies Fund
  • Make a business investment, either a share of $400,000 in a business worth $5 million, or make a single investment of $1.5 million
Grenada

Grenada

Known as the ‘Spice of the Caribbean,’ Grenada is a peaceful island offering one of the fastest routes to citizenship. The Grenada Citizenship by Investment program grants qualifying investors a Grenada passport in two months in exchange for an economic investment worth at least $150,000 – this makes Grenada one of the easiest countries to get citizenship.

General requirements for obtaining Grenada citizenship

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have an outstanding character
  • Have good health
  • Have a clear criminal record.
  • Pass a detailed background check
  • Provide proof of the legality of the source of your funds

The Grenada CBI program’s financial requirements

Investors can obtain citizenship of Grenada by choosing one of two investment routes:

  • Donate a minimum of $150,000 to the National Transformation Fund
  • Invest at least $220,000 in in pre-approved tourism accommodation

St Lucia

The paradisiac St Lucia Caribbean island offers one of the cheapest routes to a second passport via its St Lucia Citizenship by Investment program. For a minimum investment of $100,000, qualifying foreign individuals and their immediate family members can get a St Lucia passport in four months.

Those who are successful in their application and acquire a St Lucia Caribbean passport benefit from an idyllic lifestyle along with a handful of tax benefits, and visa-free travel to more than 140 countries worldwide, including the Schengen countries.

Saint Lucia

General requirements for obtaining St Lucia citizenship

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Make the required investment and provide detailed information, including evidence of the respective investment
  • Have an outstanding character
  • Have excellent health
  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Pass a thorough background check
  • Pay the required non-refundable processing fee, due diligence fee, and other administrative fees upon application

St Lucia Citizenship by Investment program’s financial requirements

Investors can choose between four investment options:

  • Donate at least $100,000 to the St Lucia National Economic Fund
  • Make a minimum investment of $300,000 in either pre-approved, high-end branded hotels and resorts or boutique property.
  • Make an enterprise investment of at least $3.5 million
  • Invest at least $500,000 in government funds
Saint Kitts

St Kitts and Nevis

Elegant and private, St Kitts and Nevis offers a luxury life and a handful of tax benefits in its stunning Caribbean dual-islands. Launched in 1984, the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program offers outstanding individuals and their families the opportunity to get a St Kitts and Nevis passport in exchange for an investment worth at least $150,000. With no stay requirements and a fast-track immigration process of two months, St Kitts and Nevis is considered one of the easiest countries to get citizenship.

General requirements for obtaining St Kitts and Nevis citizenship

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Undergo a criminal background check
  • Prove your outstanding character through bank statements and employer references
  • Make the qualifying investment

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment program’s financial requirements

Investors can choose one of the following options:

  • Donate at least $150,000 to the St Kitts and Nevis Sustainable Growth Fund
  • Invest in pre-approved real estate by buying property in joint ownership with a minimum value of $200,000, or invest at least $400,000 as a single applicant
  • Make a non-refundable contribution of at least $175,000 in a Public Good Project

Dominica

The Dominica Citizenship by Investment program grants qualifying investors a Dominica passport in four months in exchange for a minimum investment of $100,000. Due to the program’s affordable cost and requirements, it has been chosen the best country for citizenship by investment for four consecutive years by the CBI Index — the most prestigious study of citizenship by investment programs (CBI) in the world. So, is this the easiest English speaking country to get citizenship? It certainly is one of them.

Dominica

General requirements for obtaining Dominica citizenship

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have an outstanding character
  • Have excellent health
  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Pass a detailed background check
  • Have basic knowledge of English

The Dominica CBI program’s financial requirements

Investors may choose one of the following options:

  • Donate $100,000 to the Dominica Economic Diversification Fund
  • Invest at least US$200,000 in pre-approved real estate
Turkey

Turkey

The Turkish Citizenship by Investment program was launched in 2017 and has since granted qualifying foreign investors and their immediate family members citizenship in Turkey in exchange for a substantial investment in the nation’s economy. Successful applicants who meet the minimum qualifying investment of $400,000 are granted Turkish citizenship in four months and enjoy visa-free travel across 140 countries worldwide.

General requirements for obtaining Turkish citizenship

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have an outstanding character
  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Have adequate health insurance
  • Have never overstayed illegally in Turkey
  • Not be from a black-listed nationality

Turkish CBI program’s financial requirements

Investors can choose between five investment routes:

  • Purchase real estate worth at least $400,000 or invest the same in land acquisition
  • Make a bank deposit of at least $500,000 into a Turkish bank account
  • Contribute at least $500,000 to government bonds.
  • Make a minimum capital investment of $500,000 into a real estate or venture capital investment fund share
  • Create full-time jobs for at least fifty people

The Easiest Countries to Get Citizenship through Residency by Investment Programs

Many countries grant qualifying individuals temporary and permanent residence permits in exchange for an investment in their economies. These include Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Each residency permit can be renewed for a certain amount of years and can qualify individuals for citizenship by naturalization after a set period.

Portugal

Portugal’s Golden Visa program is a five-year residency by investment scheme that provides non-EU/EEA investors and their families with residency rights in the nation in exchange for a minimum qualifying investment in its economy. While the program has multiple investment routes, individuals often choose the route of real estate investment for a qualifying minimum of €280,000.

Holders of the Portugal Golden Visa may live in Portugal or maintain their residency elsewhere. To maintain their residency visa, they must visit the country for seven days every year. It is important to note that a Portuguese language test is applicable, and individuals must show basic language proficiency.

General requirements for obtaining Portuguese citizenship

  • Maintain your investment in Portugal for five years
  • Abide by the minimum stay requirements of seven days per year
  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Demonstrate proof of having no outstanding tax payments in Portugal
  • Demonstrate evidence of basic understanding of the Portuguese language and culture

Spain

Spain’s Golden Visa grants non-EU/EEA investors and their families renewable residency rights in the nation in exchange for a significant financial contribution to the Spanish economy. To qualify for the program, applicants must invest at least €500,000 and maintain that investment for at least five years.

Applicants may become eligible for Spanish citizenship and an EU passport after maintaining their residency in Spain for at least ten years, on the condition that they have physically lived in the nation for at least six months out of every year during that time.

General requirements for obtaining Spanish citizenship

  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Reside in Spain for at least 183 days every year for ten years
  • Maintain your investment in Spain
  • Demonstrate proof of having no outstanding tax payments in Spain
  • Demonstrate evidence of basic understanding of the Spanish language and culture

Cyprus

Cyprus’ Golden Visa program provides an expedited route to European residency. It grants non-EU/EEA investors and their immediate family members residency rights three months after lodging their application. The only condition is that they meet the program’s requirements and invest at least €300,000 in the nation’s economy.

General requirements for obtaining Cypriot citizenship

  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Maintain your investment and residency in Cyprus for at least seven years
  • Abide by the stay requirements and visit Cyprus once every two years

Curaçao

The Curaçao Investor Permit Program launched in 2014 and has since been granting high-net-worth individuals and their families residency rights that lead to citizenship in exchange for an investment in the nation worth at least $280,000. The great thing about this program is that it acts as a pathway to European citizenship, as Curaçao is a Dutch Caribbean island.

Holders of the Curaçao Investor Permit are permitted to reside both in Curaçao and the Netherlands, and are required to live in both nations if they wish to acquire Dutch citizenship after five years of maintaining their investment.

General requirements for obtaining Dutch citizenship

  • Hold a clean criminal record
  • Maintain your investment in Curaçao for at least five years
  • Demonstrate proof of having no outstanding tax payments in Curaçao or the Netherlands
  • Abide by the stay requirements in Curaçao and the Netherlands. You must live in Curaçao for four months out of every year and in the Netherlands for five months out of every year for at least five years – totaling nine months of residency per year across both nations.

Countries Offering Citizenship by Birth

Certain countries won’t grant citizenship by birth – or right of soil – to foreign nationals, specifically children born to diplomats or other recognized government personnel from foreign countries, mainly to keep citizenship down to the right of blood. Nevertheless, there is a short list of countries that grant citizenship by birth to individuals who are born on their territories, which includes:

  • Argentina
  • Barbados
  • Fiji
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Grenada
  • St Lucia
  • Canada
  • Uruguay
  • Costa Rica

The Easiest Countries to Get Citizenship by Descent

If you are looking the easiest passport to get without investment, then you should look for citizenship by descent and by naturalization. Several nations grant citizenship by descent to foreign individuals who can prove their lineage of ancestry in that nation. For example, suppose one of your parents or grandparents is a citizen of a particular country, and you have the birth certificates to prove it. In that case, you could apply for citizenship in that respective nation through descent.

Italy

Italy is one of the easiest countries to get citizenship by descent. You must demonstrate proof of your Italian heritage to succeed in your application. You can prove this by showing your birth certificate and that of your parent or grandparent; the only conditions are;

  • Your ancestor’s birth has to have occurred after 17 March 1861.
  • The lineage has not been broken, i.e., your ancestor did not revoke their citizenship or acquire second citizenship before their child was born.

Poland

Acquiring Polish citizenship by descent is also easy. You just have to demonstrate proof of your ancestor being born in the nation anytime after 1900. Similarly to Italy, the lineage must have been intact after your application.

Other countries where you can apply for Citizenship by Descent

  • Ireland
  • The United Kingdom
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Hungary
  • Luxembourg
  • Lithuania
  • Latvia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Armenia

Countries with the Fastest Citizenship By Naturalization

Depending on the nation and circumstances, individuals may have to wait a certain period before becoming eligible for an application for citizenship by naturalization. The wait can be as short as two years for some nations and ten years for others. Nevertheless, many countries offer shorter residency requirement timeframes for particular groups – including adopted children, spouses, refugees, etc.

Two-year residence requirement

The following countries have a two-year residence requirement before a citizenship application:

  • Peru
  • Argentina
  • The Dominican Republic

Three-year residence requirement

The following countries have a three-year residence requirement before a citizenship application:

  • Poland
  • Armenia
  • Paraguay
  • Serbia
  • Canada

Four-year residence requirement

The following countries have a four-year residence requirement before a citizenship application:

  • Ethiopia
  • Australia
  • Brazil

Five-year residence requirement

The following countries have a five-year residence requirement before a citizenship application:

  • Ireland
  • Belgium
  • Barbados

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Frequently Asked Questions about the Easiest Countries to Get Citizenship

What countries are easiest to get citizenship?

St Lucia and Dominica are some of the easiest countries to get citizenship by investment due to their affordable prices and fast-track application processing.

What is the easiest EU country to get citizenship?

The easiest English-speaking country to get citizenship in Europe is Malta, which grants successful applicants Maltese citizenship by naturalization in 12 to 36 months, depending on their investment sum.

What is the easiest country for an American to get dual citizenship?

Caribbean countries are some of the easiest countries to get citizenship as an American. They offer affordable investment options for Americans seeking dual citizenship in a few months.

How much does a Citizenship by Investment program cost?

Prices vary depending on the Citizenship by Investment program to which you apply. Caribbean countries have some of the cheapest Citizenship by Investment programs, while European countries have some of the most expensive CBI schemes.