When making a change as considerable as moving to a different county, it’s only natural that you would want to familiarize yourself with all the details. Looking into the country’s customs and culture are just some of the things that should be on your list. Before scoping out the best residences, it is highly advisable to go through the documents you need for the relocation. In order to prepare you for this significant change, we will list some of the hardest countries to get citizenship for. This ought to give you a clearer picture of what’s in store if some of these destinations are in your plans.
A country in the Alps
Although many countries that are in the EU have tough immigration laws, Austria takes the lead with the length of the process for becoming a citizen. Even if you just want to visit the country, staying longer than six months for any non-EU citizen is possible only with a resident permit. If you want to stay for longer than 2 years, you must sign an Integration Agreement. Purpose of this process is to provide in-depth German language skills, with the accent on reading and writing skills. They also aim to enhance the ability to participate in social, economic and cultural life in Austria. Your citizenship will be granted after you’ve lived in Austria for a period of 15 to 30 years, depending on the quality of your integration into the Austria Society. You cannot have dual citizenship.
Rich country, rich culture, rich history
Germany doesn’t need any special introduction. It is a country known for a strong economy and good quality of living. However, it is also one of the hardest countries to get citizenship. If you are not a citizen of an EU country, you will have some difficult time obtaining permanent residency. Fist, you will have to have lived in Germany for at least five years. Next come the language tests and evaluation of your knowledge regarding the political system and society. You will then have to demonstrate that you can earn a living and contribute to the national pension plan. Proof of a suitable accommodation is also a must. In order to become a citizen, you must have lived in Germany for at least eight years. You can lower it to seven years only if you have passed a competency test. Renouncing any other citizenship is obligatory.
The land of the rising sun is also one of the hardest countries to get citizenship for
Japan is different and special in many ways. For one, it takes less time to become a citizen than it does to get a permanent resident visa. For the former, you need to have lived in Japan for five consecutive years. The latter requires the double of that and a considerable amount of paperwork. You will also need a permit from the Minister of Justice. The necessary documentation includes everything from your birth certificate to the names of your family members written in katakana, one of the Japanese writing systems. Some find the questions rather inquisitive, so don’t let that faze you. Having said all this, it’s good to know that it’s worth it since about 99% of all applications are approved.
Price to pay
Have in mind that Japan is a distant country and moving there can be on the costly side. However, the cost of your relocation can be calculated in advance. We suggest that you hire a company that has some experience in long distance moving and get a valid estimate. You could even contact a number of them and see what offer suits you best. It sounds tempting to opt for a DIY move, however, we advise against this decision. A long distance relocation of this caliber is safer and wiser with a professional moving company. Additionally, it will cost less in the long run.
Known for banks, cheese, and watches
Excluding citizens of the EU, prior to getting a permanent residence visa, you will need to have lived in the country of Switzerland for a decade. Qualifying for permanent residence visa means that you are also eligible for citizenship. However, this is not a certain outcome. You must prove that you have assimilated into Swiss society and that your presence is not a threat to security. What makes things even harder is that every one of Switzerland’s 26 cantons has its own rules regarding citizenship requirements. There is one bright side, though. Switzerland allows dual citizenship.
Getting help where you can
Before you even start to pack for moving to one of the hardest countries to get citizenship, we advise that you get properly informed about all the documents, visas and permits that are required for a legal move. Finding out that you are one paper short while leaving to the airport can be, mildly put, quite an inconvenience. There is no shame in asking and double-checking. You want to have everything under control and not lose sight of important details. One more thing to do in order to make this relocation as stress-free as possible is to hire a moving company. Do some research and find experienced professionals that can help you relocate internationally. They will know how to handle, pack and transfer all of your belongings, no matter the size or fragility. You will save yourself a lot of time and nerves. While they take care of your items, you can focus on other important tasks. This is a big change and it is sensible to put extra effort into planning and preparation in order to make the move itself as easy as possible.