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Citizenship?
Old 05-03-2010, 12:57 PM   #1
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Citizenship?

Not intended to be political but posted here just in case. It's related to early retirement in that citizenship in a foreign country might allow permanent retirement there.

Almost anyone can obtain U.S. citizenship. I know a dozen or more friends/acquaintances who simply came from their birth country to the U.S. and applied for citizenship. Took an oath and got full citizenship.

Is there any other country that will grant citizenship solely on the person wanting to be a citizen??

I know some will give citizenship if you purchase it but are any countries as obliging as the U.S.?
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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Zero,

I find it unusual that anyone can walk in the door to the US and say they want citizenship and get it. Our understanding of the process is it does not work like that at all. Before you get US citizenship you have to have some kind of permanent residency in the US for 5 years and that normally comes via a green card. Your normally get a greencard if you have a sponsor and these days the majority would be via an employer. There is a greencard lottery which shortcuts that process, and allows in a group of people that would not normally qualify under the employment process. You have to have your greencard for 5 years before you can even apply for citizenship.

Usually Mickey Mouse countries will give citizenship in return for cash, but you would have to ask yourself if they are that desparate for citizens, how safe are you and your cash likely to be.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:04 PM   #3
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Almost anyone can obtain U.S. citizenship. I know a dozen or more friends/acquaintances who simply came from their birth country to the U.S. and applied for citizenship. Took an oath and got full citizenship.
If it were that easy, no one would need to be here illegally.

In many developed nations, you need to either have enough assets/income to not be a drain on their social safety net, or else you need to bring your own job (they don't often look kindly to people coming in and taking jobs that their citizens would otherwise get).
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:53 PM   #4
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As someone who is still dealing with the in-and-outs of getting the US citizenship, I can certify that it is a liiiiitle bit more complicated than just coming here and asking for it. And I have had it pretty easy compared to a lot of people I know, so I can't complain.

I know of several European countries who give citizenship to people who want it, though, like in the US, there are requirements regarding residence and income.
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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ziggy29, I know that Australia and the UK both will both allow residency for certain levels of cash transferred into their banks. And yes, you can get permanent residency but NOT citizenship.

Are you aware of any countries other than the 3rd/4th world ripoffs, that allow an American to become a full citizen with all rights of native born citizens. I cannot find any 1st world countries.

dangermouse,
my two best examples are a very close friend from El Salvador. She came to the US on vacation and moved in with a relative. No Green Card. She worked for several years at ESL schools. She then applied for a Green Card and now is a citizen, about a 8 year process.

But I cannot find a country [England, France, Germany, Spain and Australia for sure] that will grant me citizenship under any circumstances. I.e. there is no granting of full citizenship based on just "wanting" to be a citizen.

2nd example is an Ethiopian friend in Seattle, and over the last 11 years he and most of his extended family have become US citizens and all his brothers, uncles and his father drive taxis in Seattle. Not exactly a scam but all they did was sign for each other and offer their relative a job. Bingo, Green Card and now citizenship.


I don't care how our system works, but just wonder how I can get citizenship in a foreign county that I just "desire" to live in. Would love to have the chance citizenship in any of the European, Austral-Asian and South American countries.

Anyone know of a country that operates like the US?
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Old 05-03-2010, 01:59 PM   #6
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As someone who is still dealing with the in-and-outs of getting the US citizenship, I can certify that it is a liiiiitle bit more complicated than just coming here and asking for it. And I have had it pretty easy compared to a lot of people I know, so I can't complain.

I know of several European countries who give citizenship to people who want it, though, like in the US, there are requirements regarding residence and income.
Thanks, can you name a few of the European countries for me so I can start the process.

Not saying it's easy to get a US citizenship, just saying it's possible and lots are doing it. So I'm looking for a similar opportunity and will go there and do the work required. Would love to live in Australia or France (as a citizen).
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:03 PM   #7
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Thanks, can you name a few of the European countries for me so I can start the process.

Not saying it's easy to get a US citizenship, just saying it's possible and lots are doing it. So I'm looking for a similar opportunity and will go there and do the work required. Would love to live in Australia or France (as a citizen).
In general, it seems that the ease of gaining citizenship is inversely proportional to the degree to which the nation has a social safety net for their citizens.

Thus, gaining citizenship into many of the Western-style democracies is likely to be rather difficult compared to many other places.

As far as Europe goes, it's become considerably easier for a citizen of one EU country to migrate to another EU country, but that's not necessarily true for folks who aren't citizens of an EU nation.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:07 PM   #8
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But I cannot find a country [England, France, Germany, Spain and Australia for sure] that will grant me citizenship under any circumstances. I.e. there is no granting of full citizenship based on just "wanting" to be a citizen.
You need to do a bit more research. You can absolutely get the French citizenship (with all the bells and whistles) but you cannot just step off the airplane and Paris and ask for a French Passport just because you want it. You have to live in France for a 5 years continuously and your primary source of income has to be in France during those 5 years (not unlike what is required by the US). Then you can ask for the French citizenship. Just like in the US, the citizenship can only be obtained after you show that you are proficient in the local language, you have some understanding of the local culture and laws and after you swear allegiance to your new country.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:11 PM   #9
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Ya gotta be kidding me....if it were only up to me and it being easy...I would stay here in the UK. MUCH easier for an American to stay here in the UK than for me to get my wife "legally" into the US.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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Ya gotta be kidding me....if it were only up to me and it being easy...I would stay here in the UK. MUCH easier for an American to stay here in the UK than for me to get my wife "legally" into the US.
I know someone can "stay" in the UK. But are you certain that you can easily obtain British citizenship, not residency because that is fairly trivial. But are you saying it would be easy for you to obtain British citizenship?
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:24 PM   #11
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Zero,

Since you have not been through the process... not gotten someone through it... don't think it is as easy as you say...

As people have said, there are many hoops to jump through and if you mess up on one, you just might be prohibited from every trying again.. (from what I have read, it usually is 10 years... but who knows for sure)...

I knew a guy in the UK who had his job lined up... filled out all the necessary forms... but was not sure of one of the questions... answered it anyhow... comes to find out his misunderstanding was 'wrong' and so his answer was 'wrong'... he was rejected for a green card and told he would not get one for the next 10 years..

You also need a sponser to get you in... someone who signs that you will not get on any of the social services available... such as food stamps, unemployement etc... that person will have to pay back anything the green card holder received...

You might think this is 'easy'... but I would beg to differ...

PS.... I know of about 5 people who have done it or in the process... none thougt it was 'easy'... one that I think is very interesting is an Irish guy who got his citizenship... and then left the country... he was married to a girl from Venezula and she did not get hers... he has lived in 3 countries since and is not interested in giving up his American citizenship...
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:31 PM   #12
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Took me only a few minutes to find the requirements of becoming a British citizen... does not seem 'that hard'... I wonder what they list for the US


"There are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:
  • You must be aged 18 or over.
  • You must be of sound mind.
  • You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK.
  • You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree.
  • You must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
  • You must be of good character.
  • You must meet the residential requirements (see below)."
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:32 PM   #13
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You need to do a bit more research. You can absolutely get the French citizenship (with all the bells and whistles) but you cannot just step off the airplane and Paris and ask for a French Passport just because you want it. You have to live in France for a 5 years continuously and your primary source of income has to be in France during those 5 years (not unlike what is required by the US). Then you can ask for the French citizenship. Just like in the US, the citizenship can only be obtained after you show that you are proficient in the local language, you have some understanding of the local culture and laws and after you swear allegiance to your new country.
Well, I see that written many places but does it work in practice? My mega-corp has a large office in Toulouse, France and folks have been there since about 1984 and at least a dozen or so have been living there since the office opened. At least 4-5 that I know of have applied for citizenship and turned down. Most of them were sent there because of their degree (B.A or M.A. in French) so it's not that they cannot speak the language.

So what I wanted when asking this question was someone who had actually accomplished the task of getting citizenship in a European or Asian or South American country.

So far it appears none.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:36 PM   #14
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Switzerland seems a bit harder than the UK...

Got this from Wiki... but the UK is from their gvmts site...


"Naturalization
Citizenship in Switzerland can be obtained by a permanent resident who has lived in Switzerland for at least twelve years (any years spent in Switzerland between the 10th and the 20th years of age count double), and has lived in the country for the last three out of five years before applying for citizenship. One should be able to speak fluently in at least one of German (preferably Swiss German), French, Italian or Romansch (depending on the community) and show:
  • integration into the Swiss way of life;
  • familiarity with Swiss habits, customs and traditions;
  • compliance with the Swiss rule of law;
  • no danger to Switzerland's internal or external security. "
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:39 PM   #15
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Texas Proud, your answers are very revealing.

You and I both know (as do lots of others who have answered) folks who got citizenship in the US. BUT, do you know anyone who got their citizenship in France or the UK. I know tons of folks working overseas (my mega-corp was multi-national) and I know of NO one who managed to get a European citizenship.

AND, bravo to you.
You are the first to notice that "it sounds trivial", yet you admit that all the folks you know who got US citizenship went thru hell. Yet when you read the US rules, oh brother, sounds easy.

I gotta feeling I find nobody who has done the walk to get a European citizenship. I know it's possible, I just don't see it happening.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:42 PM   #16
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Took me only a few minutes to find the requirements of becoming a British citizen... does not seem 'that hard'... I wonder what they list for the US


"There are seven requirements you need to meet before you apply:
  • You must be aged 18 or over.
  • You must be of sound mind.
  • You must intend to continue living in the UK, or to continue in Crown service, the service of an international organisation of which the UK is a member, or the service of a company or association established in the UK.
  • You must be able to communicate in English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic to an acceptable degree.
  • You must have sufficient knowledge of life in the UK.
  • You must be of good character.
  • You must meet the residential requirements (see below)."
Only problem is you must first have the right to reside in the UK before any of this will apply. I have had the right to live in the UK because my husband is a UK citizen. However, I couldn't just turn up and say let me in. I had to apply for the temporary visa in Australia. That visa lasted for 12 months, then I had to go to the Home Office to get a permanent visa to allow me to stay. However, getting these visas is not always a certainty. After I had been out of the UK I think it was for 12 months my visa lapsed so if we went back again I would have to restart the process. I think after residing there for 3 years straight I could have done citizenship.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:44 PM   #17
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Decided to look up the US requirements...

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for naturalization under section 316(a) of the INA, an applicant must:
  • Be 18 or older
  • Be a permanent resident (green card holder) for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the Form N-400, Application for Naturalization
  • Have lived within the state, or USCIS district with jurisdiction over the applicant’s place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to the date of filing the application
  • Have continuous residence in the United States as a permanent resident for at least 5 years immediately preceding the date of the filing the application
  • Be physically present in the United States for at least 30 months out of the 5 years immediately preceding the date of filing the application
  • Reside continuously within the United States from the date of application for naturalization up to the time of naturalization
  • Be able to read, write, and speak English and have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government (civics).
  • Be a person of good moral character, attached to the principles of the Constitution of the United States, and well disposed to the good order and happiness of the United States during all relevant periods under the law
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:45 PM   #18
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Well, I see that written many places but does it work in practice? My mega-corp has a large office in Toulouse, France and folks have been there since about 1984 and at least a dozen or so have been living there since the office opened. At least 4-5 that I know of have applied for citizenship and turned down. Most of them were sent there because of their degree (B.A or M.A. in French) so it's not that they cannot speak the language.

So what I wanted when asking this question was someone who had actually accomplished the task of getting citizenship in a European or Asian or South American country.

So far it appears none.
You may be asking the wrong crowd because people around here seem to be more US-centric.

Why were your colleagues turned down exactly? I grew up in France and went to school with plenty of kids whose parents (blue collar workers from Italy, Spain and Portugal) were naturalized French. I really have a hard time believing that a well-off American wouldn't have a chance... Off course I have never met well-off people who would volunteer for crazy-high taxation either...

Getting the Swiss citizenship is notoriously difficult except if you qualify based on ancestry.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:46 PM   #19
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Though no immigration law expert, I have done a little "lawyerin" for my BIL to help him get his fiancee (now wife) to the US from SE Asia, with the goal being to ultimately get her citizenship. Well she got here eventually, but it was certainly not easy. And she is still one conditional green card shy of having a right to stay in this country for the next two years. Every step of the process is fraught with peril - the kind that can have you denied entry or shipped back to your home country for the silliest of things.

The inches and inches of filed paper (probably feet when the whole process is said and done) are unbelievable, as are the often four figure filing fees. The process is expensive and time consuming. And anything but certain.

My guess as to what happened with Zero's acquaintances that came to the US on a tourist visa then stayed and ultimately got citizenship? Once your visa expires, you must leave. But you can petition to have your deportation stayed pending the outcome of some other visa petition/request. Maybe they overstayed their visa, got permission to stay while seeking another visa, then eventually obtained some form of immigrant visa and residency based on a family relationship.

But in general, entering on a tourist visa with the intent to stay permanently is immigration fraud and yes it will get you bounced out of the country quickly and for a long time if it is discovered at any step in the process. And many of the interviews USCIS conducts can be quite adversarial (think interrogation).
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:51 PM   #20
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To answer a few questions that have arisen...

No, I do not know of anybody who has even tried to get citizenship in a European contry... I worked in the UK for a bit over a year and met a few expats there... some where there for over 20 years... but not a single one wanted to get rid of their American citizenship... I can not speak to any other country about someone who lived there...

I have been told that getting one in NZ or Australia is hard... this from citizens I met in the UK..


As someone else pointed out.... it is getting the right to be a resident that seems to be the first hurdle you must overcome... and I should say a 'legal' resident.. there are many countries you can go live for a certain amount of time, but this is not considered residence... you are a tourist.. I know the UK is one of them...
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