Obtaining citizenship of another country could be listed among one of the most valuable achievements an individual could possibly get. There are several reasons why people go after second citizenship, and some of them include being a holder of a better/more powerful passport with easy access to several countries, having more options of living in multiple countries, involving in multinational businesses, avoidance of tax payment, among several other convincing reasons. No doubt, having second citizenship gives you an additional advantage over people who don’t, and that includes exclusive safety. People who live in countries with so much civil and political unrest often wish they had dual citizenship.

The great desire for dual or multiple citizenships has been on a steady rise within the UAE expat community. It only makes sense after accumulating a lot of money from several years of working in a country with a great economy, which also serves as a global trade and commercial hub. The importance of dual citizenship, therefore, cannot be overemphasized, taking into account the several benefits that come with it. Over the years, we’ve seen people go through the process despite the toughness that comes with it, although that largely depends on the country in question. For some, it doesn’t only mean much to them but to their offsprings as well.

As much as the process of obtaining the citizenship of another country appears to be a difficult task, the stress is usually worthwhile. However, in some other cases, getting a citizenship and passport for some specific countries can be less of a hurdle; especially those that allow dual citizenship. In the wake of that, people are now beginning to research the countries whose citizenship and passport programs are a lot easier.

In this article, we will highlight the top 10 best countries that you can easily get citizenship and passport in 2021.

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10. Belgium

Belgium is a great option for people who have a keen interest in any of the EU countries, although this particular destination best suits people who are business-inclined, it is also a considerable option for everyone else. While the acquisition of this citizenship or passport grants you the opportunity to live and work in any of the EU countries, it also gives a load of added benefits such as visa-free access to 158 countries across the globe. Unlike the number one country on this list which requires more financial means, acquiring citizenship in Belgium is most convenient for individuals who are planning to set up a business; simply set up a company in Belgium; or work for a Belgium company, or use a hybrid option which has to do with establishing strong ties with the country.

9. Chile

The South-American country is also a great option for many as it offers the best passport and the most valuable second citizenship in the region. Acquiring Chilean citizenship or passport offers visa-free access to 150 countries. Interestingly, it is much easier to get a permanent residence compared to other locations on this list.

8. Ireland

Getting citizenship or passport of this country is not so much of a difficult task, especially for those with a provable Irish ancestry – let’s say you have a sufficient document that links you to an Irish grandparent for instance – then you may be able to become an Irish by the virtue of your ancestry, as the government tends to waive part of the required residency time. However, on a general basis, interested individuals can obtain citizenship based on normal requirements which include living in the country for a year, plus an additional four years cumulative period over the space of eight years preceding the first year.

7. Italy

Another country that offers citizenship through descent just like Ireland is Italy. If you have an ancestor who had Italian citizenship from 1861, then you can apply for the country’s citizenship through your ancestor. However, you must be very sure that the lineage hasn’t been broken as you won’t be able to claim the country’s citizenship if your ancestor had revoked their Italian citizenship.

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6. Canada

Canada is also a popular choice for many as it also offers a simple route to acquiring the country’s citizenship. This, however, requires dedication from individuals both financially, and physical presence. To acquire Canadian citizenship, interested persons must be physically present for at least two years in every 5-years period, while proof of funds of about $12,669 CAD is required to immigrate as a skilled immigrant. On a general basis, a person must have been physically present in the country for at least a period of 1,095 days (approximately 3 years) as part of the requirement of acquiring citizenship or passport.

5. Malta

You’ll love Malta for so many reasons. Firstly, the country is predominantly an English-speaking country so language won’t be one of your worries when you find yourself in Malta. Secondly, Malta is one of the most innovative countries in the world, so if you’re going there to start a business, you’re most likely to succeed. The country’s citizenship by investment program is by far the easiest way to acquire its citizenship. To make this happen, you must have resided physically in the country for a minimum of 12 months and also make a donation of 650,000 euros to the government. On top of that, you will also be required to invest 150,000 euros in government bonds and also have an investment of a minimum of 350,000 in real estate which must be held for at least five years.

4. Cyprus

You can acquire Cyprus citizenship in as little as six months, making the country one of the easiest countries to acquire citizenship. About 3,000 individuals have benefited from the country’s CBI program with a passport that gives visa-free access to over 150 countries as well as several tax benefits which only a few countries offer. To be eligible for the country’s CBI program, you must be over the age of 18 and have a clean criminal record. Donations will go to the government of Cyprus with 75,000 euros going to the Cyprus Land Development Corporation and additional 75,000 euros going to the Research and Innovation Foundation. You must then have a minimum of 2,000,000 euros in real estate investment for at least five years. It is quite expensive but worthwhile in the end for those who can cough out the funds.

3. Spain

Spain offers a lot of benefits to citizens of countries that used to be Spanish colonies, primarily because they share similar cultural heritage such as language, however, it is also considered as one of the countries to easily get citizenship on a general basis. Also, unlike most other countries, Spain does not necessarily require immigrants to renounce their original nationality, while its citizenship is a passage to visa-free access to more than 161 countries including all EU countries. On the flip side, non-Spanish colony countries may have to reconsider their choices as you may be required to give up your original nationality while having to stay up to 10 years in the country.

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2. Saint Lucia

One of the most popular Caribbean countries in the world, Saint Lucia is quite popular around the globe for offering easy and cheap CBI (citizenship by investment). Getting the country’s citizenship isn’t always difficult, as long as you’re financially stable. Just like with other countries in the world, CBI in Saint Lucia will require you to donate to the government and in Saint Lucia’s case, a sum of $109,600. In return, you’ll be offered the country’s passport that gives you visa-free access to up to 123 countries, excluding the United States and Canada.

1. Portugal

The Portuguese passport is regarded as one of the best in the world and although the country doesn’t offer CBI, you can still own the renowned citizenship through the country’s Golden Visa Program. For this to happen, you’re required to be in the country once a year for a few weeks for a minimum of 5 years. Portugal’s open-door invitation is one of the reasons why the passport remains valuable, although you have to be a high-net-worth individual to gain access to this. You’ll have to trade a Portuguese residence permit for a five-year investment which can be in real estate or capital contributions. Owning a Portuguese passport gives you visa-free access to 159 countries, including countries in the Schengen area.