- Becoming a citizen in some countries is as easy as living there for a few years, but in others, it’s nearly impossible.
- In Qatar, you would have to be a legal resident for 25 years to be able to apply for citizenship, and if you’re not a Muslim, you shouldn’t even bother.
- Here are eight of the countries where it’s most difficult to become a citizen.
It seems like US citizenship and immigration restrictions have dominated the news since the 2016 presidential election. It turns out that there are a number of other countries where becoming a citizen is quite difficult.
Aside from ancestry and extended residency, one shortcut to foreign citizenship is being a top-level athlete. Some countries will give citizenship to athletes who will improve their chances of Olympic victory.
If you aren’t a world-class pole vaulter, then you may face a long and, in some cases, nearly impossible road to gaining citizenship in countries like Switzerland, China, and Qatar.
Here are eight of the countries where it’s most difficult to become a citizen.
1. Vatican City
With about 800 residents and 450 citizens, Vatican City is the smallest country on Earth, perhaps partially because it has one of the toughest immigration policies on the planet.
According to the Library of Congress, you can become a citizen if you are a cardinal living in Vatican City or Rome, if you are a diplomat representing the Holy See, or if you live in Vatican City because you are an official of or worker for the Catholic Church
If you want to become a citizen, you need to live in Liechtenstein for at least 30 years, with each year before you turn 20 counting as two years. If you’re married to a Liechtenstein citizen and already live in the country, that time period is shortened to five years of marriage.
If you want a shortcut from the 30-year residency requirement, you can ask your community to vote you in after 10 years.
Regardless of method, you’ll have to give up your current citizenship.
The Himalayan nation of Bhutan is known for measuring its success by its National Happiness Index rather than GDP. It is one of the most isolated countries in the world.
The country didn’t open to tourism until 1974 and continues to regulate and monitor travel to the country closely, so you can imagine that the immigration process is not easy.
It takes two Bhutanese parents to be born a citizen, and if you only have one, you have to apply for naturalized citizenship after you have lived in Bhutan for 15 years. The 15-year requirement also applies to government employees.
Those with non-Bhutanese parents who don’t work for the government may apply after living in the country for 20 years, as long as you meet a list of requirements, including no record of speaking or acting against the king or country. If you do that in the future, your citizenship can be rescinded.
Even if you meet the requirements, Bhutan reserves the right to reject you for any or no reason.
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Source: Business insider