10 Hardest Countries to Get Citizenship in the World 2023

Embarking on a quest to acquire citizenship? In 2023, these ten countries present formidable hurdles. Explore the unique requirements and complexities that make these nations the most challenging places to obtain citizenship.
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Obtaining citizenship in a foreign country is a dream for many people, but it is not always easy. Some countries have very strict citizenship requirements, making the process difficult and time-consuming.

These nations stand as formidable fortresses, each with its unique set of requirements and cultural nuances, making the journey to citizenship a daunting quest for foreign nationals.

Hardest Countries to Get Citizenship

This article will look at the 10 hardest countries to get citizenship in the world in 2023. These countries have a variety of reasons for making it difficult to become a citizen, including protecting their culture and identity, controlling their population, and attracting highly skilled workers.

From the riches of Qatar to the enigmatic hermit kingdom of North Korea, Here is a more in-depth look at the 10 hardest countries to get citizenship in the world in 2023:

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1. Qatar

Doha, Qatar

Qatar is one of the most difficult countries in the world to obtain citizenship. Foreigners must reside in the country for a staggering 25 years before they can apply. Additionally, they must demonstrate proficiency in Arabic, have a clean criminal record, and prove that they have sufficient financial resources to support themselves.

2. Vatican City

Vatican City is the smallest country in the world, with a population of just over 800 people. The country has very strict citizenship requirements and only grants citizenship to a limited number of people, including cardinals, diplomats representing the Holy See, and employees of the Catholic Church who reside in Vatican City.

3. Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein is a small country located in Central Europe. Foreigners must reside in Liechtenstein for at least 30 years before they can apply for citizenship. However, this period can be reduced to 10 years through community approval or marriage to a Liechtenstein citizen.

4. Bhutan

Bhutan is a remote kingdom located in the Himalayas. Foreigners who do not have Bhutanese parents must reside in Bhutan for a minimum of 20 years before they can apply for citizenship. They must also demonstrate impeccable behaviour during this time and refrain from making any negative remarks about the Bhutanese monarchy.

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5. Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich country located in the Middle East. Prospective Saudi citizens must have resided in the country for at least 10 years, possess fluent Arabic language skills, and have a clean criminal record. They must also be considered “generally considered moral.”

6. Kuwait

Kuwait

Kuwait is an oil-rich country located in the Middle East. Foreigners who wish to become Kuwaiti citizens must have resided in Kuwait for a minimum of 20 years, possess fluency in Arabic, and adhere to the Islamic faith either by birth or conversion.

7. Switzerland

Switzerland is a country located in Central Europe. Foreigners aspiring to become Swiss citizens must reside in the country for a minimum of 10 years and hold a ‘C residence permit.’ They must also be proficient in one of Switzerland’s national languages (German, French, Italian, or Romansh).

8. China

China is the world’s most populous country. China provides limited avenues for foreigners to acquire citizenship, primarily through family ties or “other legitimate reasons.” The law remains intentionally vague, making the process difficult to navigate.

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9. North Korea

North Korea is a secretive country located in East Asia. The criteria for obtaining North Korean citizenship are not well-documented, but it is known that the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly is responsible for granting citizenship.

10. Japan

Japan is a country located in East Asia. Foreigners must have resided in Japan for a continuous period of at least five years and demonstrate “upright conduct” before they can apply for citizenship. They must also be able to support themselves in Japan.

Must Read: Golden Visas: Your Guide to Cheapest Residency and Citizenship Options

Additional information

1. All of the countries on this list require foreigners to renounce their original citizenship upon becoming citizens of the new country, with the exception of Vatican City.

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2. Some of the countries on this list also offer special programs for highly skilled workers and investors to obtain citizenship more quickly.

3. It is important to note that the citizenship process in any country can be complex and time-consuming. It is important to be patient and to carefully follow all of the instructions.

Why are these countries so difficult to get citizenship in?

There are a number of reasons why these countries are so difficult to get citizenship. Some of the most common reasons include:

1. To protect their culture and identity: Some countries, such as Japan and China, have a long history and culture, and they want to protect this by making it difficult for foreigners to become citizens.

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2. To control their population: Some countries, such as Qatar and Kuwait, have small populations, and they want to control how much their population grows.

3. To attract highly skilled workers: Some countries, such as Switzerland and Canada, offer special programs for highly skilled workers to obtain citizenship more quickly. This is because these countries want to attract the best talent from around the world.

Also Read: Top 4 Countries for Citizenship By Investment in 2023

Final Words

If you are interested in obtaining citizenship in one of these countries, it is important to do your research and understand the specific requirements. You should also consult with an immigration lawyer to get personalized advice.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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