Acquire new citizenship as an immigrant

You have moved to this new country, life has just picked up so well and turning back is not an option. The plans ahead look so good, the prospects of staying even longer are great. But, your residence permit is fast expiring; you have to do something or be kicked out of the country.

Nobody actually wants to pose for a moment and think that at some point, the country that their residence permit as immigrants may soon expire.

The reality is, the immigration documents will not be valid after come time. Bless your soul, there is a possibility for you to apply and acquire citizenship.

To get citizenship, follow the right process, do everything correctly from day one of entry and there you got it…citizenship may just be an option for you to extend residence.

Apply for citizenship as  an immigrant

Today, people move to other countries, get jobs and literally start new life there. You find a good job, begin to rise the career ladder, possibly gotten a local as a spouse and begin to raise children. Who wishes that such a life be disrupted by having to leave for home country? I guess not you.

So, the best option is to apply for citizenship of that country. Citizenship will give you the same or near equal status as those born in the country. In essence, the government will start treating you not as an immigrant but a bona fide citizen, with all the privileges and benefits that it brings.

Most countries today allow dual citizenship. A dual citizenship means that even though one has a primary citizenship to another country by virtue of birth, they can get a second one by registration or naturalisation.

Dual citizenship has been structured in such a way that you do not need to recant or lose your citizenship by birth to get a second one.

Some countries may require that you accept to lose your citizenship by birth to get considered eligible to be granted their citizenship rights.  Whichever the case, it is possible that you get recognized as a citizen of a country where you were not born.

The world today embraces more and more documented immigrants

What is required to get a citizenship as an immigrant?

The process of being accepted and granted citizenship as an immigrant is long and rigorous. It is not something you will wake up and get overnight.

as an advise, it is recommended that from the first day you enter a new country, have it in mind whether you will at one time try to apply for citizenship or not. For whatever you do in between the time or arrival and later when applying for citizenship will count to make a case whether qualified or not.

How countries handle application for citizenship by immigrants of other nationalities differ.. However, there are some common things that will decide your fate as an immigrant. I decide to call them the “bare minimum requirements for being granted citizenship as a foreigner.”

1. Time aspect

In most countries, the immigration authorities will document the time you have been legally residing there. This time period counts towards knowing whether you are within the set time for one to be considered eligible.

It is recommended that you know which activities count towards the time for citizenship application. One thing is that such time must be when you are a legal resident, not an undocumented immigrant.

2. Language requirements

For you to be considered fit to stay in a country as a citizen, you must be able to communicate in the local language. It is reasonable that you cannot claim to have a liking for staying in a  country yet you have not mastered the language spoken there.

As a practice, each country has a set level of language proficiency that those intending to be granted citizenship must meet. So, take your time to diligently learn he local language. The language may save you just so much.

The idea is that with a certain level of language skills, you can get a job, operate a business, transact and generally fit into the society without forever retreating to the feeling of being an outsider.

3. Level of education

Although education may not so much be a consideration, it counts towards your citizenship application. There could be some exemptions for special groups of people such as asylum seekers or victims of war.

The idea is that each country has this selfish interest of giving citizenship to people who will contribute to its economy. If you have a skill set or education that is advanced, the chances that your application will be granted is high.

So, as a preparation to set yourself into the job market, it is necessary that you hone some skills, be good at something or attain at least a university degree.

In case you immigrated to the country as a student, the time period spent studying may also count towards the cumulative period required to qualify for citizenship.

4. Criminal record

People sometimes ignore criminal considerations but it comes back haunting like that bad ugly ghost in the closet. In case you have had run ins with the public authorities on issues of crime, drug handling, theft or such, chances are very slim that you will get citizenship.

As you may understand, no country wants to increase their share of thugs within its territory. They are better off without you. So, I recommend that you be extra vigilant and escape the trouble of being caught by the police dragnet. Just walk away from trouble because it will save your citizenship application a great deal.

5. Work History

As a citizen, it is expected that you are ready to contribute to the economic prosperity of the country that grants you citizenship. Therefore, you obviously have to demonstrate that you have an interest in the job market.

From the time you gain an entry into this new country, you need to get involved in the economic activities. Get yourself some wage earning job and contribute your fair share of taxes. Nobody will want to dismiss an application for citizenship made by an industrious foreigner.

You can also become entrepreneurial and set up your own business. However, you must make sure that the business operates according to the set rules and regulation for it to count towards affirming your eligibility for citizenship.

4. Fake information or false documents

When it comes to citizenship applications, background checks and due diligence are of great interest to the authorities. They will leave no stone unturned about your background. In case you have previously forged documents or lied to get things done, that alone is enough reason to be worried.

If you plan to get citizenship, ensue that as much as is possible, your documents and statements are consent from day one. Everything you stated when entering the country to the time of application for citizenship will all be checked.

In case there are any serious question marks about your qualifications for citizenship, the authorities will of course ask you to clarify. Try as much as possible to articulate your case. Remember that if not convinced, the authorities will not hesitate to deny you citizenship.

As a precaution, just take note that citizenship is not given whimsically. A lot of work goes into the whole process and the country issuing it will collaborate with your country of first citizenship to find certain details about you. You will not pass the integrity test if you are a fugitive or has a questionable past.

Being an immigrant makes you part of a diverse global community

I have been granted citizenship as an immigrant

Hurrah! You have passed all the checks and you are now having a new citizenship or is a dual citizen. So what is the next thing?

Being granted a citizenship does not now mean that you carelessly indulge in the forbidden activities feeling more protected. It is true that citizenship is the highest status an immigrant will have in a country but  still, it comes with obligations.

Countries set periods within which if you are found to have violated the  terms of the citizenship, it will be revoked and depending on the nature of the violation, may be deported.

It is not advisable that you lose guard just because you are now a citizen. In fact, with citizenship comes more obligations to the issuing country

Author photo
Publication date:
An avid storyteller and passionate writer with a penchant for letting people know that which they don't know while at the same time telling people more about what they may already have known. At the end, you stay informed, be curious, and get cosy.