One of the many challenges of relocating for employees, and their families, is integrating into a new location. Getting permanent residency and/or citizenship may take a high level of commitment, effort and determination. Here's some examples of the toughest countries to gain citizenship:
- Austria may have the lengthiest process. Permanent residents must live in the country continuously for a period of 15 to 30 years before being eligible to apply for citizenship.
- You must live in Switzerland for 10 years to qualify for both permanent residency and citizenship.
- In Japan, you must live there for five years to become a citizen and 10 continuous years to gain permanent residency.
- In Germany, you will need to have stayed there a minimum of seven years, and then pass a variety of tests and contribute to the country’s pension plan.
Depending on the country where you are applying for citizenship, you may also be required to renounce your previous citizenship. The bottom line is that there are a lot of factors that employees may need to consider and we highly recommend researching the requirements before heading off to your new country.
If your dream home is not within your native country, then becoming a citizen in a new place can be an extremely attractive prospect. However, making this transition can be challenging (unless you marry someone who is a national, or potentially have strong ancestral links to the country). Whilst becoming a citizen in any country inevitably involves red tape and normally requires a minimum stay period in advance of application, some countries seemingly offer much more complex citizenship compared to others… Getting permanent residency or citizenship in any country will never be easy, but it is certainly possible for those willing to do their research and integrate into a new country. People do regularly achieve citizenship overseas so if this is your aim do not give up if it’s something you truly want.