Continent Surfer | Countries That Give Citizenship by Marriage in the World (part I) - Continent Surfer
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  • CITIZENSHIP via marriage? Want to know where it is possible and how long it takes to get it? Find out with our series of articles!

Countries That Give Citizenship by Marriage in the World (part I)

International travel has gained tremendous momentum over the years, a development not surprising given the prevalence of the global village phenomenon. Greater tolerance and acceptance of cultural differences, along with increased migration for economic and business reasons, have fostered more interactions. In the midst of such a scenario, mixed nationality marriages were bound to be an inevitable outcome. Consequently, countries offering citizenship through marriage were also a guaranteed consequence of these global trends.

written by: BOGI – Continent Surfer

This is particularly true of the current emphasis on the concept of family reunification. Family reunification has been emphasised as an important aspect of immigrant integration policy. Citizenship by marriage offers the right to live as an equal citizen with one’s spouse and to build a future together. Countries are continuously evaluated on the basis of their policies to facilitate easy migration and integration of family members.

Respecting “I Do”

The number of citizenships granted through marriage is rising worldwide. In FY 2023, the US approved naturalization for spouses, amounting to 188,200. The country recorded the highest share for naturalization among the immediate relatives of the US citizens, with spouses representing 21.4%. A similar upward trend in mixed nationality marriages was observed in Switzerland, where the Federal Statistics Office reported 12,000 such marriages in 2020, constituting 34.2% of all marriages in the country. In the UK, the total grants for naturalization by marriage reached 25,854 in 2020.

The prevalence of international marriages is also evident in Central, East, and Southeast Asian countries, with numbers continuously on the rise. Approximately 3.5 million men and women have posted online profiles on various platforms in their quest for an overseas spouse. Between 2019 and 2020, Bangladeshi media extensively covered the trend of non-Bangladeshi women moving to Bangladesh to meet and marry men they had encountered online. In Singapore, about a third of citizen marriages in 2022 comprised transnational couples (marriage between a citizen and a non-citizen), marking an increase from the 29% recorded in 2021.

More immigrants in the marriageable group

While international travel and online access undoubtedly contribute to marriages across nations, one of the primary drivers of migration, the search for better work opportunities, must also be considered. It was observed that a significant number of immigrants moving to the US, which hosts the largest immigrant base, totaling 45.3 million in 2021, did so for work. Among the 1.53 million new immigrants in the US in 2021, 41.8% cited work reasons. Consequently, the likelihood of mixed nationality marriages is expected to increase. Moreover, these workers typically acquire citizenship for themselves first and later sponsor their spouses, once again leading to a rise in citizenship applications and grants through marriage.

Numerous multinational companies in the US depend on foreign workers and sponsor their green cards. The country particularly relies on foreign workers for computer-related jobs, with immigrants constituting 25% of the computer workforce in 2019. Among various top tech companies, including Amazon Inc, Infosys Limited, Cognizant Technology Solution Corporation, and Google, there is a consistent practice of sponsoring H-1B visas, thereby bringing in immigrants in the marriageable bracket into the country.

Let’s see THE LIST!


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

Marrying a Uruguayan national is one pathway to obtaining citizenship in the country. After receiving the first temporary cedula, married individuals can apply for citizenship after three years. This country presents an excellent option for relocation due to its stable economy, low tax regime, and the safety and stability prevalent in this beautiful Latin American nation.


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

Dominica, a Caribbean Island, offers citizenship through marriage. Individuals marrying a Dominican national become eligible for citizenship after three years of marriage. Dominican citizenship comes with numerous benefits, including an affordable lifestyle, the opportunity to experience some of the world’s most stunning natural beauty, and financial incentives such as tax benefits, making life more comfortable.


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

People married to a Swedish national or in a registered partnership, as well as those cohabiting with a partner, can apply for citizenship after three years. However, mere marriage is not sufficient; couples must have been living together for the last two years. Moving to the country comes with numerous perks, including a good quality of life, access to excellent healthcare and education, and much more.


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

This highly developed European country falls into the category of nations that offer citizenship through marriage within a short time frame. For spouses of registered same-sex partners of German nationals, naturalization is a possibility after residing legally in the country for three years. Their marriage or registered partnership should span a period of two years before applying for citizenship. Moving with a loved one to a place that guarantees a high quality of life is not a daunting task. With a low cost of living– amounting to just about $2,050 for a couple (excluding rent)– a good work-life balance, and excellent healthcare, are just some of the benefits they can enjoy.


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

The United States is also among the countries that grant citizenship through marriage. Marrying a U.S. citizen does not automatically confer eligibility for citizenship. Specific conditions, such as being a legal permanent U.S. resident for three years and cohabiting with one’s spouse during that period, are essential requirements. Renowned as one of the best countries for relocation due to its high quality of life and abundant work opportunities, the U.S. serves as an ideal place for couples starting their life journey. The country’s cultural diversity facilitates easy settlement, and the manifold benefits associated with citizenship are sure to satisfy newcomers.


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

For spouses and civil partners residing in Ireland, citizenship through marriage presents a truly opportunistic option. Individuals in such unions can apply for citizenship through naturalization after three years of marriage or civil partnership, with the additional requirement of residing in the country for the specified duration. Those moving to Ireland after marriage would find the country’s offerings truly satisfying, with accessible healthcare, safety, accommodation options for all budgets, and beautiful scenery that entices newcomers.

United Kingdom

Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

As one of the European countries facilitating citizenship through marriage, the UK stands out as a fast-track route. Individuals married to a UK citizen or in a civil partnership can apply for citizenship by naturalization, provided they have resided in the country for at least three years. The UK ranks among the most popular European destinations for expats, showcasing the ease with which people can adjust to a new environment. The country’s cultural diversity, coupled with a high standard of living, abundant work opportunities, and access to excellent healthcare and education, makes life in the UK advantageous in many aspects.


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

In the case of the Netherlands, it is also among the countries in the world that grant citizenship through marriage. Individuals who have been married to a Dutch national or in a registered partnership with them for three years, and have lived together during that period, become eligible for Dutch citizenship. While moving abroad, even to be with the person you love, can be extremely daunting, the picturesque setting and high quality of life in the Netherlands could very well tip the scale in their favor. For Western residents, in particular, the country has been associated with a less stressful move, given its liberal attitude, vibrant social life, security, great work-life balance, and access to excellent healthcare.


Time Required: Minimum 3 Years

Among the various routes available for those aspiring to attain Slovenian citizenship, marriage is notably one of the quicker options. While normal naturalization typically takes around 10 years to lead to citizenship, marrying a Slovenian national can significantly reduce this time-frame to just three years. The requirement for this expedited process is that the couple must be married for three years and reside in the country for a year before applying for citizenship. Individuals moving to Slovenia after marriage would find that the country offers numerous perks. Not only is Slovenia visually appealing, but the cost of living is also low (a couple could sustain a monthly expenditure of about $1,750, excluding rent), stretching their income for a better quality of life. Additionally, Slovenia boasts great international educational institutions for children.

In conclusion, as we journey through the landscape of countries offering citizenship by marriage, we uncover not only legal intricacies but also tales of love transcending borders. The notion of marrying for citizenship intertwines with the age-old narrative of love conquering all, as couples navigate bureaucratic hurdles in pursuit of a life together. Despite the varying requirements and processes, the underlying sentiment remains: the union of hearts knows no bounds. In this mosaic of global citizenship policies, we witness the romantic saga of individuals weaving their destinies across nations, united by love’s enduring promise.

Curious about the second half of the list? Read part II here:


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Did you know?

Happy couples never fight. Of course, that’s just another myth… It’s not true. All people in relationships fight from time to time. The difference is that couples who respect and love each other look out for each other despite the fights. They understand each other’s problems and arguments and try to solve problems in a way that benefits both of them. So they don’t play a win-lose game, but a win-win game. If you fight with each other, it does not mean that your marriage is unhappy!

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