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Thread: Required length of residency for naturalisation in developed countries

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eisuke
    No I don't hold dual nationality, but I will probably become a Japanese national in the near future.
    If you were born and raised outside Japan, it will be difficult for yo to obtain the Japanese nationality. You will have to live in Japan for 5 to 10 years, get a stable job and a good income, speak well Japanese, then you could consider applying for the Japanese nationality. This could be a bit easier if your parents still have the Japanese nationality.

    Children or spouse of Japanese nationals (same status, so we are at the same level if your parents are still Japanese), may apply for Japanese citizenship after 4 or 5 years of residence in Japan.

    In contrast, foreigners married to citizens of most Western countries can apply for that country's citizenship after 6 months to 1 year of marriage, sometimes without any period of residence in the country needed. I know that as I have already inquired for my wife and me (just to compare).

    So the "near future" will probably be 5 to 10 years after you have decided to move to Japan. The only way I see to speed this up would be to be adopted by one of your relatives in Japan (e.g. an uncle/aunt).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    If you were born and raised outside Japan, it will be difficult for yo to obtain the Japanese nationality. You will have to live in Japan for 5 to 10 years, get a stable job and a good income, speak well Japanese, then you could consider applying for the Japanese nationality. This could be a bit easier if your parents still have the Japanese nationality.

    Children or spouse of Japanese nationals (same status, so we are at the same level if your parents are still Japanese), may apply for Japanese citizenship after 4 or 5 years of residence in Japan.

    In contrast, foreigners married to citizens of most Western countries can apply for that country's citizenship after 6 months to 1 year of marriage, sometimes without any period of residence in the country needed. I know that as I have already inquired for my wife and me (just to compare).

    So the "near future" will probably be 5 to 10 years after you have decided to move to Japan. The only way I see to speed this up would be to be adopted by one of your relatives in Japan (e.g. an uncle/aunt).
    Yes I know the requirements. Probably around 5 years after I moved to Japan. I consider that the near future. I have three possible future plans in mind regarding where to live, who to marry and that is one of the likely plans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    In contrast, foreigners married to citizens of most Western countries can apply for that country's citizenship after 6 months to 1 year of marriage, sometimes without any period of residence in the country needed. I know that as I have already inquired for my wife and me (just to compare).
    Perhaps Belgium is very liberal in this regard, however, regulations vary from country to country. In Austria foreigners can apply for citizenship after 10 years of permanent residence, foreign spouses can apply after 3 years of residence (provided that the marriage lasts for 2 years). The same stipulations go for Germany, except that unmarried foreigners can apply after 8 years of permanent residence (5 years in the Netherlands & the UK, 10 years in Italy, but also 5 years in Belgium for foreigners who have not been born there). Etc, etc...

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    The U.S. is cool, too. You can apply for naturalization if you've been a Permanent Resident for the past 5 years and no special circumstances, or if you are currently married to and living with a U.S. citizen who has been a U.S. citizen for the past 3 years, whom you've been married to for the past 3 years(this is my case.) There are many other cases, but 90% of applicants fall into the first category.

    I'm easily eligible for naturalization, even though being a Permanent Resident has been sufficient for me so far, I would like to become a citizen soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas
    Perhaps Belgium is very liberal in this regard, however, regulations vary from country to country. In Austria foreigners can apply for citizenship after 10 years of permanent residence, foreign spouses can apply after 3 years of residence (provided that the marriage lasts for 2 years). The same stipulations go for Germany, except that unmarried foreigners can apply after 8 years of permanent residence (5 years in the Netherlands & the UK, 10 years in Italy, but also 5 years in Belgium for foreigners who have not been born there). Etc, etc...
    It's true that requirements vary a lot from country to country. Belgium must be quite liberal, but Austria also stricter than average. There isn't even such a thing as a spouse or permanent visa in Belgium. Spouses of Belgian citizens can stay in Belgium without visa just by registering at the local town hall (but can't stay in the country if their spouse doesn't live there ). Citizenship can be granted after 6 months of marriage. I guess there is no permanent visa so that people who are not married to a Belgian, or not EU citizens (who don't need visas), should be naturalised if they really want to stay in Belgium for all their life. Belgium is also the only EU country with Denmark that does not allow dual nationality in any cases (other Germanic countries normally don't allow it, but can make some exceptions).

    In France, it is from 2 to 5 years for non spouse (but can be waived for people coming from former French colonies, dependencies or protectorate, for minor children, refugees, or people who speak French as their mother-tongue). For spouses, they only need to have been married for 1 year (no minimum residency). That's quite similar to Belgium.

    For the Netherlands, people must have lived for 5 years in the Netherlands, the Dutch Antilles or Aruba, or after 3 years of marriage or registered partnership and cohabitation with a Dutch national.

    In the UK, spouses of British nationals can be naturalised after 3 years of residency. For others it's 5 years.

    In Australia, it is only 2 years for non-spouse (couldn't find a special treatment for spouses).

    In Canada, they say 3 or 4 years, but there is also no mention of spouses.

    In Spain, it is as much as 10 years, but only 1 year for spouses, children or grandchildren of Spanish citizens.

    In Italy, it is 6 months for spouses living in Italy or 3 years for spouses living outside Italy. for others it is 10 years, but only 4 years for Eu citizens and 3 years for children and grandchildren of Italian citizens.

    Summary of period of residency required

    Spain => 10 years
    Austria => 10 years
    Germany => 8 years
    Japan => 5 to 10 years (not clear)
    USA => 5 years (as permanent resident)
    UK => 5 years
    Netherlands => 5 years
    Belgium => 5 years
    Italy => 4 to 10 years
    Canada => 3 to 4 years
    Australia => 2 years
    France => 0 to 5 years

    Summary of period of residency/marriage required for spouses

    Japan => 4 to 5 years
    Austria/Germany => 3 to 5 years
    Canada => 3 to 4 years
    USA => 3 years
    UK => 3 years
    Netherlands => 3 years
    Australia => 2 years
    Spain => 1 year
    France => 1 year
    Italy => 6 months to 3 years
    Belgium => 6 months

    In both cases Japan ranks at the top. Interestingly, the Latin countries (Belgium included) regard marriage as a more important factor to reduce the residency period (6 months or 1 year only, compared to 3 to 5 years in most other developed countries).
    Last edited by Maciamo; 03-05-05 at 04:35.

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    When i got my citizenship in canada... they made it as painful of a process as possible. Even when I did become eligible... i still had to wait over a year and half to get through a whole process... as your application has to get "reviewed" in the reviewing process, which means it sits in a pile in an office for over a year before someone looks at it ...and god forbid if you turn 18 while your application is being "reviewed" or "in the reviewing process"... as you are now at legal age and meet a different set of requirements, and your application is sent to the bottom of the pile again, along with your whole family.

    You also have to take a written test, etc, which was pretty easy for me though since i went through school in canada and covered a ton of canadian history. Some questions were pretty tough though, like one which said "On what date did Nunavut become a territory? "... and you had to answer correctly with the right day, month, and year. I bet that 99.9999999999% of canadians even don't know that off the top of their head.... My mom barely passed the test. One more wrong and she would have failed it....

    Im pretty sure that you can't hold dual citizenship with a japanese citizenship, so I would have to give up both my canadian and american citizenship if i ever decided to get a japanese citizenship. I'll just be content with visiting or living there as an official gaijin

    EDIT: it also is not "3 or 4 years" for canada.... its "3 of the 4 years before applying"... in that you lived in canada for 6 years, moved away for 2 years, moved back to canada for 2 more years and then applied for citizenship, you would not be eligible. This includes vacations and business trips too... so if you have lived in canada for like 10 years or so, but you have spent over a total of 365 days out of the country over the past 4 years, you are not eligible. I know... its stupid...
    Last edited by zeroyon; 04-05-05 at 11:37.

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    Google just lead me to this thread, and I thought it should be bumped to correct for some changes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    Belgium is also the only EU country with Denmark that does not allow dual nationality in any cases

    ...

    Summary of period of residency required


    Belgium => 5 years
    There have been some changes to Belgium's immigration policy. Naturalization in Belgium is now only 3 years. Also, Belgium does allow dual citizenship, as long as citizenship in one of the following countries isn't acquired after Belgian citizenship: Austria, Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

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    Belgian citizenship is deceptively out of reach

    There's a big gotcha that I wanted to point out. I was quite mislead by Belgium's short residency requirement for naturalization.

    It turns out that getting a resident ID card and a residency visa is not "residency", and time in the country with those documents counts for nothing toward naturalization. One must live in a country as a temporary resident for 5 years before applying for permanent residence. Only then does the time count toward naturalization.

    So if I finally understand this correctly, after all the confusion, it really takes 8 years to get Belgian citizenship (5 yrs to get permanent residence, and another 3 as a permanent resident to apply for citizenship). At that point, odds are that the applicant will be rejected anyway*.

    * I just read that a PhD who spoke Flemish applied for citizenship, and was denied, indicating how unlikely it is of getting parliamentary approval.

    Another thing I've read is that you can be almost guaranteed Belgian citizenship by way of declaration if you are a permanent resident for 7 years (for a total of 12?). The catch there is that there is an age constraint, such that if you enter Belgium after turning 18 or 19, you don't qualify.

    Am I right? It's difficult to find a definitive source on this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgombos View Post
    It turns out that getting a resident ID card and a residency visa is not "residency", and time in the country with those documents counts for nothing toward naturalization. One must live in a country as a temporary resident for 5 years before applying for permanent residence. Only then does the time count toward naturalization.
    I think that EU citizens can skip the first 5 years as they are already permanent citizens thanks to their EU membership (at least for the Schengen visa area).

    * I just read that a PhD who spoke Flemish applied for citizenship, and was denied, indicating how unlikely it is of getting parliamentary approval.
    I have always been baffled at the selection process for naturalisation in Belgium. I know some university-educated Eastern European with a good job who have been living in Belgium for over 10 years and had a lot of trouble getting Belgian citizenship.

    Even the rich and famous French singer Johnny Halliday was refused Belgian citizenship, despite the fact that his father was Belgian !

    But on the other hand it doesn't seem to be a problem for unemployed and unqualified Muslim immigrants to become Belgian. Well, it could be that the rules have changed since the time all these immigrants were naturalised.

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    Yes, in the USA you have to be a permanent resistant for at least five years. To become a citizen you have to fullfil certain criteria - you have to work in the US, have a house/flat of your own. I think that's all - don't know if there are any other requirements like language skills or historical knowledge or anything like that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Laura50 View Post
    I would venture a guess that USA doesn't have a language requirement.
    Probably true.. considering the US doesn't have an official language.

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    Mr.Maciamo i want to ask from you about the spouses requirement in Belgium is same or changed now a days i mean in these days the length of permanent residency is 6 months or now its changed.

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    hey jgombos, I'm investigating what all is involved with obtaining Belgian citizenship through naturalization without marriage. I was always under the impression that it was only 3 years. Where abouts did you hear differently from? I am thinking of attending grad school there, while teaching English to cover the costs, and then staying there an extra year to apply for dual nationality, as I ultimately want to stay and work in the EU. Even the official website for Belgium's office of foreign affairs states that 3 years is the requirement..... I would post the link, but I don't have enough "points" yet: diplomatie(dot)belgium(dot)be
    thanks for any help/insight!

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