In an analysis that the agency made by collecting data on immigration from 2009 to 2021, key findings show that Sweden is the easiest country for non-EU residents to gain citizenship, as one in ten applicants, or 9.3 per cent, is granted citizenship. In addition, Sweden has the highest acceptance rates for both men and women, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Women have an advantage, with an acceptance rate of 10.02 per cent, compared to 8.66 per cent for men.
Furthermore, the list of countries that grant citizenship the easiest is concluded with the Netherlands, Portugal, and Iceland, which are the second to fifth countries where acquisition rates are the highest – exceeding one in 25 (four per cent).
Portugal ranks fourth among the 32 European countries to acquire citizenship the easiest, with more than three in every 50 residents of third countries becoming citizens, which corresponds to 6.6 per cent of the total.
However, commenters of the Portugal News do not agree entirely with these findings.
Portugal is the easiest to obtain citizenship, really? I personally don’t think so. My husband is Portuguese, kids (two), USA/Portuguese, and we have been married for 16 years. I don’t have my citizenship, not even a residency. And it’s not that I have not tried; I have visited all the SEF offices in Portugal in different cities. And every time, a different answer.
The report further shows that Estonia is the first among the ten countries that have the most difficulty in obtaining nationality.
It has the lowest average percentage of residents obtaining nationality, around one in every 200 (0.6 per cent). Men are less likely to be accepted, with a lower acquisition rate of 0.58 per cent compared to 0.69 per cent for women.
Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Lithuania follow the list of the most difficult countries, with less than one per cent of their third-country residents doing so, compared to the European average of 3.56 per cent.
Austria, Liechtenstein, and Slovakia are the fifth, sixth, and seventh countries, respectively, where obtaining citizenship is the hardest, while Slovenia and Germany follow next, granting citizenship to less than one in 50 (two per cent) third-country residents.
However, no one beats Denmark, the country where it is most difficult to obtain citizenship, with an acquisition rate of two per cent.