Law & Compliance

The Hardest European Countries to Get Citizenship

There are numerous countries you can get citizenship easily all over the world.  But there are also governments that make it so hard or impossible for visitors to get a passport. And others make it difficult to acquire the necessary documents in order to remain in the country. In this post, we’ll examine the European nations where obtaining citizenship is most difficult.


Immigration rules are strict in several of the European Union’s member states. Austria appears to have one of the most drawn-out citizenship procedures, nevertheless. A residency permit is required upon entry into Austria for anybody who is not a citizen of an EU nation. You will also need it if you will be staying for more than six months.

Additionally, those who intend to stay in Austria for a period of time greater than 2 years must sign an Integration Agreement. This is a procedure meant to improve their German language proficiency and enable them “to participate in the social, economic, and cultural life in Austria.” Before becoming eligible to petition for citizenship, permanent residents must have lived in the nation for a minimum of ten years continuously. If accepted, candidates are required to give up any prior citizenship.

Read: EU Citizenship Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Get Citizenship in Switzerland

The naturalization procedure for Swiss citizenship requires 10 years, making it one of the lengthiest in Europe. To reside and conduct business in Switzerland if you aren’t already a citizen of the EU or EEA, you’ll need a “C residence permit.” German, French, Italian, or Romansch, one of Switzerland’s national languages, must be spoken at the B2 level and written at the A2 level.

Three different stages of approval are involved in the citizenship through naturalization process: confederation, canton, and commune. It is even more difficult because different cantons and communes might set their own guidelines for the procedure.

The Hardest European Countries to Get Citizenship
The Hardest European Countries to Get Citizenship

Get Citizenship in San Marino

A criterion for obtaining this citizenship is excellent moral character; the applicant cannot have a criminal record either domestically or overseas, nor can they have been accused of a crime that would have resulted in a jail sentence or more than a year of interdiction. When a person applies for naturalization, the Grand and General Council grants citizenship after passing relevant laws with a two-thirds majority.

The applicant must appear in person at the Registry Office for Resident Inhabitants at the time the legal provision is approved. It takes at least 30 years of continuous residency in the Republic and the renunciation of any other citizenship to become a citizen.

You can apply for citizenship via naturalization if one parent or a relative up to the second degree has lived continuously in the Republic for 30 years. You can hand over your citizenship via naturalization to your children. If the applicant has a domicile overseas, they must appear before the relevant authorities with the necessary papers. The authorities will then send the paperwork to the Registrar.

Read: 7 Easiest Countries to Get Citizenship in 2023


Despite not being a member of the European Union, Liechtenstein is a component of the European Economic Area (EEA). Therefore, much like EU nationals, holders of Liechtenstein passports enjoy complete freedom of movement within the whole EU and EEA.

So how do you acquire Liechtenstein citizenship? One of the most difficult nations to obtain citizenship in is Liechtenstein, mostly because of the lengthy timescale. Before you may petition for citizenship via naturalization, you must have lived in Liechtenstein for at least 30 YEARS.

If you can get people in your neighborhood to vote in favor of your naturalization, you might be able to shorten this period to only ten years. In contrast, you might simply wed a Liechtenstein national and become a citizen after five years.


A person must have had the proper residency permit for at least eight years in Germany in order to be qualified for citizenship and to register certain types of business in the country. After seven years, individuals who are foreign nationals and have successfully completed an integration course the requirements for citizenship. Aside from pledging adherence to the German constitution, applicants for naturalization must also demonstrate a good command of the German language.

The Hardest European Countries to Get Citizenship
The Hardest European Countries to Get Citizenship

Also, assimilation into our society, proficiency in German is a necessary condition. Candidates for naturalization must be familiar with German law, society, and lifestyles and be able to support themselves without the use of social assistance unless this is due to unavoidable circumstances. They also cannot have committed any serious crimes.

Read: EU Citizen: Countries That Granted Most Citizenship in 2021


One of the world’s smallest and most populous nations is Monaco. In Western Europe, on the French Riviera, sits the Principality of Monaco, a self-governing city-state. France forms the north, east, and west borders of Monaco, while the Mediterranean Sea forms its southern boundary.  French is the official language of the Principality. However, you can use English, Italian, and Monégasque.

The Principality of Monaco is not a part of the EU. However, its customs union agreement with France and membership in a number of international organizations, including UNESCO and Interpol connects it to Europe.

Getting Citizenship in Challenging Countries

The above European nations—Austria, San Marino, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Monaco—make immigration challenging, particularly from nations that accept undocumented immigrants. It is hard to become a citizen of the above Countries.  This is due to a number of causes, including political instability and economic variables. Whatever your motivation, you should be ready for a protracted and challenging procedure if you want to become a citizen of one of these nations.

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