It is not uncommon for a person of one country to get a citizenship of another country by marrying its national and this practice is what we are focusing on in this article by offering you a list of the easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage.
There are several ways for you to obtain a dual citizenship. You can acquire second citizenship through your parents, by making an investment in a county of which the citizenship you want, through your birthplace, through employment visa or residency, or by marrying a national of a particular country. The length of the naturalization process and its steps will vary depending on what country we are talking about.
The same set of rules does not apply to all. Last time when we discussed citizenship we made a list of Countries Offering Citizenship To Indians. In this article we focus on naturalization through marriage and we provide a list of 10 easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage.
Marrying a national of a country will not grant you the status of its citizen moments after the marriage is sealed in any country. So, technically, there are no automatic citizenships you can obtain only by marrying someone. Marriage, however, can make the process of naturalization go faster and easier, or even both. There are few exceptions to this rule though. For example, foreign women who marry Iranian men are granted the citizenship of Iran automatically. However, this rule extends only to women and it is worth noting that women in Iran cannot automatically pass on their citizenship to their children.
It is mostly the citizenship of the developed Western countries that is demanded by citizens of the developing world. In search of opportunities for a better life, people resort to any means available to obtain citizenship of an economically advanced country. More often than not, they have a fake marriage with a national of one such country.
As Sunday Express reported in February, 2016, sham marriages in the UK have become a grave issue. The authorities are trying to find an effective solution to tackle the issue, but without much success. The report suggests that during the period of four years, 2010 to 2014, there has been an increase of 850 percent in arrests on charges of sham marriages. Sham marriage constitutes a serious offense in any legal framework. Legal punishment for such an offense in the USA is imprisonment for five years or a fine of 250,000 US dollars, or even both. In some countries, like Germany, this means deportation and prohibition of entering the country for a certain period of time.
Given that so many people from developing countries are looking to escape the poverty by marrying a citizen of a developed country and thereby securing their residence there, fake marriages have become somewhat of a business. Very often passport holders of EU countries offer fictitious marriages at prices ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 Euros. Thought Catalog reports a story of a woman who, upon the expiration of her visa could not leave the country, and she ended up paying 12,000 US dollars for a fake marriage to a random US citizen.
When creating the list of the easiest automatic citizenship to obtain by marriage, we made a comparison of legal frameworks concerning the acquirement of dual citizenship in countries. We have taken into account the information provided by Nomad Capitalist and International Man. Here are the easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage:
Switzerland offers a simplified naturalization process to spouses of Swiss nationals. Getting a Swiss citizenship through residence permit is a rather long process. Undergoing naturalization through marriage however takes five years minimum. The conditions are that you have been married to a Swiss national for at least three years at the time of application and that you have lived in Switzerland for a total of five years. There is no language requirement such as those set by some other countries on the list. As SwissInfo notes, to be eligible you have to be “well integrated, law abiding and not endanger Switzerland’s external or internal security.“
Given Germany’s power on the international scene, having German passport certainly counts as an advantage. If you are married to or are a registered partner of a German citizen, you can apply for German citizenship after three years of your legal residence there. You have to be married or registered as a partner for at least two years at the time of submitting your application. To become a naturalized German citizen, you also have to fulfill a language requirement. You have to know the German language to an extent to be able to handle daily life in Germany.
Next in line on the list of easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage we have Netherlands and the fact that becoming a naturalized Dutch citizen usually takes 5 years, however, this rule does not apply if you are married to or are a registered partner of a Dutch citizen, as indicated on the Immigration and Naturalisation Service web page. If you have lived under such circumstances with a Dutch partner for three years, you are eligible to apply for citizenship. This is applicable even if during this period you were living outside the Netherlands. One of the conditions is also that you live together for the duration of the entire procedure.
You can apply for Portuguese citizenship if you are married to a Portuguese national for more than three years. This is done by “means of a declaration made during the duration of the marriage“, as indicated on the official website of Embassy of Portugal in Washington D.C. Annulling the marriage afterwards has no impact on the nationality you acquired through the marriage of good faith. There are no criteria as for the formal residence in Portugal, however, you should be able to provide proof of your knowledge of Portuguese language and integration in Portuguese society.
Gaining Cambodian citizenship through other means besides marriage is not easy. By the time you submit the official application, you must have lived and worked in Cambodia for at least seven years. You will also have to take an exam to prove your proficiency of language. The seven year period indicated above is reduced to three years in case when a person is married to a Cambodian national, that is, you need to be married to a Cambodian national for at least three years before applying for Cambodian citizenship. Just like is the case with Iran, children can only take the nationality of their father. Given such comparatively short period, Cambodia has its place on our list of the easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage.
As indicated on Naturalization, obtaining citizenship through marriage in Mexico requires that you provide a proof of legal residence in Mexico for two years, with Temporary or Permanent Resident card, and that you are married to a Mexican citizen for at least two years. Apart from a number of documents you have to submit, which are common for the process of naturalization in any country, you also have to prove that you can speak Spanish and are familiar with the history of Mexico. Let’s see what’s comes next on the list of easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage.
Ukrainian law does not recognize dual citizenships. Obtaining Ukrainian citizenship would mean you have to provide a proof of being married to and living with a Ukrainian national for more than two years, in case you decide to embark on the journey of naturalization through marriage. Kydalov & Partners suggest that Ukraine has become a top destination for immigrants from the Middle East. They note that due to such high interest for immigration to Ukraine, fictive marriage business is flourishing. There are even semi-legal organizations which can match you with a partner for the purpose of fictive marriage at prices starting at 5000 Euros.
You have to reside in Belize for five years minimum in order to acquire citizenship through the permanent residence. However, obtaining citizenship of Belize through marriage means you would have to wait for it for one year only. As the official web page of Belize notes, marrying a Belizean automatically grants you residency status. You can move freely and even move to another country, but you still have to show „real commitment to your new country of nationality“. Such conditions for obtaining citizenship are what places Belize on our list of the easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage.
If you have been married to a Spanish national for more than a year, you are eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship. The process lasts for only one year. As Spot a Home suggests, during this period you should not be out of the country for more than six months. There are no special requirements you have to fulfill, apart from the fact that you should speak Spanish language and show that you are well integrated into Spanish society, just as is the case with Portugal. And while there are many perks to having a Spanish passport, free travel through EU being one of them, you will have to renounce your first citizenship unless you come from Latin America countries with which Spain has special agreements.
The fastest route to second citizenship via naturalization is in Brazil. Marrying a Brazilian national will not automatically grant you citizenship. It will take some paperwork and proof of one year of marriage to submit the official application for naturalization. You will not have to give up on your first citizenship once you get the official status of the citizen of Brazil. Moreover, if you like traveling, there are many advantages to having Brazilian passport. It offers a visa-free travel even to Russia.
We hope that our list of the easiest automatic citizenships to obtain by marriage was helpful and informative.