Naturalization is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship or nationality of that country. It may be done automatically by a state without any effort on the part of the individual, or it may involve an application or a motion and approval by legal authorities. The rules of naturalization vary from country to country but typically include a promise to obey and uphold that country’s laws, taking and subscribing to the oath of allegiance, and may specify other requirements such as a minimum legal residency and adequate knowledge of the national dominant language or culture. To counter multiple citizenship, most countries require that applicants for naturalization renounce any other citizenship that they currently hold, but whether this renunciation actually causes loss of original citizenship, as seen by the host country and by the original country, will depend on the laws of the countries involved.


The following list is a brief summary of the duration of legal residence before a national of a foreign state, without any cultural, historical, or marriage ties or connections to the state in question, can request citizenship under that state’s naturalization laws.

Country Residence Requirement Dual citizenship Notes Main article
Albania 5 years Yes Continuous residence Albanian nationality law
Andorra 20 years No Continuous residence as a permanent resident, unless the applicant has spent all of their mandatory education in Andorra in which case 10 years continuous as a permanent residence Andorran nationality law
Angola 10 years Yes Continuous residence Angolan nationality law
Argentina 2 years Yes Continuous residence Argentine nationality law
Armenia 3 years Yes Armenian nationality law
Australia 4 years Yes Legal residency in Australia, including one year as a permanent resident immediately prior to making an application Australian nationality law
Austria 10–30 years No Exceptions for those born in Austria, citizens of another EEA country, refugees or “exceptionally integrated” in which case it is 6 years. Austrian nationality law
Azerbaijan 5 years Yes The applicant must be a fluent speaker of the Azerbaijani language. He has dual citizenship, but the authorities will not recognize his foreign citizenship . Azerbaijani nationality law
Belgium 5 years Yes Continuous residence Belgian nationality law
Bangladesh 5 years Yes Bangladeshi nationality law
Barbados 5 years Barbadian nationality law
Belarus 7 years Yes Belarusian nationality law
Benin 10 years Yes Beninese nationality law
Belize 5 years Yes Belizean nationality law
Bhutan 20 years No Bhutanese nationality law
Bosnia and Herzegovina 8 years Continuous residence Bosnian nationality law
Brazil 4 years Yes Uninterrupted residence. Brazilian nationality law
Bulgaria 5 years Partial Reduced to 3 years if the applicant is married to a Bulgarian national, was born in Bulgaria, or settled in the country before the age of 18. Citizens of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, as well as spouses of Bulgarian nationals, are not required to renounce their existing citizenship. Bulgarian nationality law
Burkina Faso 10 years Burkinabe nationality law
Cambodia 5 years Yes Cambodian nationality law
Canada 3 years Yes Three out of five years as a permanent resident. Canadian nationality law
Chile 5 years Yes Continuous residence Chilean nationality law
Colombia 5 years Yes As a permanent resident Colombian nationality law
Costa Rica 5–7 years Yes Requires proven knowledge of Spanish language and Costa Rica’s history, having a way of living, no criminal records and two witnesses. Costa Rican nationality law
Croatia 8 years Partial Continuous residence; applicant must be a fluent Croatian speaker Croatian nationality law
Cuba Yes Foreigners can become naturalized citizens of Cuba since 2019. Cuban nationality law
Cyprus 7 years Yes or by using the “Naturalization of Investors in Cyprus by Exception”, a government run cash-for-passport program. Cypriot nationality law
Czech Republic 5 years Yes 5 years as permanent residence or 10 years residence. Czech nationality law
Denmark 9 years Yes Continuous residence Danish nationality law
Egypt 10 years Partial Egyptian nationality law
El Salvador 1–5 years Yes Salvadoran nationality law
Estonia 8 years No Eight years residence out of which five years as a permanent residence. Estonian nationality law
Finland 5 years Yes Continuous residence Finnish nationality law
Fiji 5 years Five years of lawful residence out of the previous 10 years Fijian nationality law
France 5 years Yes Continuous residency. Two years’ continuous residency for applicants who have had at least two years of higher education leading to a master’s degree or higher in France. No minimum residency requirement for applicants who have served in the French Army, rendered exceptional service to France, and some other cases. French nationality law
Germany 8 years Partial Continuous residence. 7 years for applicants who have successfully completed an official integration course; 3 years for applicants who are married to, or in a registered same-sex partnership with, a German citizen German nationality law
Greece 7 years Yes Greek nationality law
Grenada 7 years Yes Grenadian nationality law
Hungary 8 years Yes Continuous residence Hungarian nationality law
Iceland 7 years Yes Icelandic nationality law
Iran 5 years Yes Become 18 years old and 5 years legal residence in Iran. Iranian nationality law
Ireland 5 years Yes Irish nationality law
Israel 5 years Partial To naturalize, three years out of the previous five years of residence is required and must have the right to reside in Israel on a permanent basis. However, Jews around the world may obtain Israeli citizenship upon arrival by the Law of Return. Israeli citizenship law
Italy 10 years Yes The residence has to be continuous. The law provide some cases in which there is a faster access to naturalization: three years if at least one grandparent was/is Italian, four years for EU nationals, five years for refugees or stateless people. Italian nationality law
Japan 5 years No Continuous residence; three years if married to a Japanese national. Japanese nationality law
Jordan 15 years Yes Jordanian nationality law
Kazakhstan 5 years No Kazakhstan nationality law
Latvia 10 years Yes, under certain conditions Latvian nationality law
Lebanon Yes Foreigners cannot obtain Lebanese citizenship Lebanese nationality law
Liberia 2 years No Liberian law allows members of other races to hold permanent residency status Liberian nationality law
Liechtenstein 10 years Years spent in Liechtenstein under the age 20 count double Liechtenstein nationality law
Lithuania 10 years No Continuous residence as a permanent resident; seven years if married to a Lithuanian national. Lithuanian nationality law
Luxembourg 5 years Yes Twelve months’ continuous residence prior to applying for naturalization; three years’ residence if married to a Luxembourgish citizen. The applicant must pass the Luxembourgish language examinations or have had at least 7 years of education in a Luxembourgish school. Luxembourgish nationality law
Malawi 7 years Five years for a person who is of an African race or has Commonwealth or Malawian ties Malawian nationality law
Malta 5 years Or a government run cash-for-passport program. Maltese nationality law
Mexico 5 years Yes Mexican nationality law
Moldova 10 years Yes Eight years for stateless citizens or recognized refugees Moldovan nationality law
Monaco 10 years No Continuous residence Monegasque nationality law
Montenegro 10 year No Montenegrin nationality law
Mozambique 5 years Yes Mozambican nationality law
Myanmar N/A No Foreigners cannot become naturalized citizens of Myanmar Myanmar nationality law
Netherlands 5 years Partial Continuous residence Dutch nationality law
New Zealand 5 years Yes Continuous residence New Zealand nationality law
North Macedonia 8 years No Continuous residence Macedonian nationality law
Norway 7 years Yes Seven years out of the previous 10 (with out-of-realm vacations of up to two months per year) as a permanent resident immediately before the application Norwegian nationality law
Oman 20 years No Omani nationality law
Paraguay 3 years Paraguayan nationality law
Peru 2 years Yes Continuous residence Peruvian nationality law
Philippines 5–10 years Yes Continuous residence Philippine nationality law
Poland 10 years Yes Ten years residence or three years permanent residence Polish nationality law
Portugal 5 years Yes Continuous residence Portuguese nationality law
Romania 8 years Yes Romanian nationality law
San Marino 30 years Fifteen years for foreigners married to a citizen of San Marino Sammarinese nationality law
Russia 5 years Yes Continuous residence. Three years if married to a Russian citizen. One year for valued specialists and refugees. Russian nationality law
Samoa 5 years Samoan nationality law
Serbia 3 years Yes Continuous residence Serbian nationality law
Slovakia 8 years Partial Slovak nationality law
Slovenia 10 years Yes Ten years residence; five years continuous before the application. Slovenian nationality law
Spain 10 years Partial Two to five years Spanish nationality law
Somalia 7 years No Somalian nationality law
South Korea 5 years Partial Three years continuous if married to a South Korean national South Korean nationality law
Sweden 5 years Yes Four years continuous for stateless people and refugees Swedish nationality law
Switzerland 10 years Yes The years between the age of eight and eighteen count double, while a minimum of six years’ residence is required Swiss nationality law
Taiwan 5 years Partial Nationality law of the Republic of China
Thailand 5 years No Continuous residence; applicant must have knowledge of the Thai language. Residence and language requirements are waived for spouses and children of Thai citizens. Thai nationality law
Togo 5 years No Togolese nationality law
Tonga 5 years Tongan nationality law
Turkey 5 years Yes Continuous residence; applicant must be a fluent speaker of the Turkish language. Turkish nationality law
Tunisia 5 years Yes Continuous residence; applicant must be a fluent speaker of the Arabic language. Tunisia nationality law
Ukraine 5 years Yes Ukrainian nationality law
United Arab Emirates 20 years, maybe reduced to 7 No Emirati nationality law
United Kingdom 5 years Yes Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens must have indefinite leave to remain before applying for naturalization. British nationality law
United States 5 years Yes Must have been physically present in the US for at least 30 of the 60 months preceding the application; ineligible if absent for a continuous period of 6 months or more during these 60 months. United States nationality law
Uruguay 5 years Yes Three years if the applicant has a Uruguayan family member. Uruguayan nationality law
Uzbekistan 5 years No Uzbekistani nationality law
Venezuela 10 years Yes Natural-born citizens of Spain, Portugal, Italy, Latin American or Caribbean country and have been legally living in Venezuela for 5 continuous years. Venezuelan nationality law

These above statistics are put according to today’s (January 01, 2020) update of Wikipedia. Immigration Law or information may change any time depending on country. Can-Am Immigration always tries to provide you update and accurate information.

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