In simple terms, citizenship refers to the legal relationship between a person and the state. This relationship is confirmed by a passport issued at birth or issued on other grounds. This document provides permanent privileges: to live, work, reside and move freely within the territory of the state, use the benefits, and participate in elections.

The conditions, terms and costs of citizenship vary from country to country and may change annually.

How a foreigner may acquire the citizenship of another country

In the vast majority of countries a person born in another country can acquire a permanent residence permit and thereafter citizenship in five ways:

  • Repatriation. A citizen’s passport is issued through the reunion of the applicant with family members who are citizens of that particular country.
  • Naturalisation. The status of citizen is granted to a person who has a long term residence permit. Also, the obligatory conditions are successful passing of exams and meeting the criteria for permanent residence in the state.
  • Purchase of real estate for a certain amount (differs from country to country).
  • Participation in special investment programmes of the particular country. In some of the countries which offer this option such investments can be repaid.
  • Official marriage with a citizen of the certain country.

Regardless of the chosen way to obtain citizenship, there are obligatory requirements such as absence of criminal record, knowledge of the language and legal and social regulations of the destination country at the appropriate level, and passing of tests. There may also be other requirements, depending on the country of your interest.