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Naturalization vs Citizenship: What You Need to Know

Understanding the key difference between the process of naturalization and citizenship is crucial for individuals navigating the complex world of immigration and nationality. While naturalization and citizenship are co-related, they represent distinct legal processes and the status of an individual.

Naturalization and Citizenship refer to separate concepts with distinctive lawful entitlement. Both procedures have significant implications for individuals seeking to learn their national rights and obligations.

This guide will delve deeper into the meaning of naturalization and citizenship. It will cover the differences between the two terms and outline their features, advantages, and methods of attaining the special status of a citizen. It will provide valuable insights to keep you well-informed and one step closer to attaining your dream citizenship.


What is Naturalization?


Naturalization can be defined as a process through which a foreign national obtains citizenship or nationality in a nation other than their birthplace. In simpler words, it is how an immigrant gets naturalized as a citizen of their host nation after fulfilling specific requirements.

Naturalization is a step towards gaining citizenship by fulfilling specific requirements and conditions. In most cases, naturalization involves residing in the host country for a certain period of time before becoming a citizen.


What is Citizenship?


On the other hand, Citizenship can be defined as a person’s legal status as a citizen indicating their association with a specific nation. It is a status that includes a range of obligations, rights, and benefits granted to acknowledged ‘citizens’ of their respective countries. There are several possibilities for an individual to become a citizen, but the most widely known are:

  • By birth (Jus Soli) Acquired by being born in the host country.
  • By descent (Jus sanguinis) – Acquired by ancestry relations in the host country.
  • By marriage (Jus matrimonii) – Acquired by marrying a host country national. Please note * This clause is subject to terms and conditions. *

In most circumstances, acquiring citizenship does not require physical residency, making this approach quick, easy, and simple.



What is the difference between Naturalization vs Citizenship?


While we have gathered the main difference between the terms naturalization and citizenship, several key points mark official differentiations.  These points are essentially important to understand the legal status and associated rights of an individual. Some key differences are given below:


  • Process vs Status:

    The main difference between the two is the nature of the approach. Naturalization is a ‘process’ to become a citizen of a country while Citizenship is a status granted to the citizens of a country with protected rights and regulations.

  • Requirements:

    To become a citizen by naturalization, you must fulfil multiple requirements. These include fulfilling residency within the host country, demonstrating proficiency in the country’s official language and history, among others. However, Citizenship can be obtained directly. One can obtain citizenship through birth, descent, marriage, or investment. In recent times, Citizenship by Investment has been an established measure of obtaining citizenship.

  • Timeline:

    As naturalization is a ‘process’ of obtaining citizenship, it is a long procedure lasting for up to 5 years. On the other hand, an individual can obtain citizenship directly through birth, descent, or marriage without any residency constraints. Citizenship by Investment can be acquired within less than a year, making the process seamless and easy.

  • Rights and Responsibilities:

    A naturalized citizen of a country might be exempted from some rights and protection of dual citizenship. However, citizens of a country enjoy all the rights and responsibilities of their host country. Important to note: Citizenship by Investments programs allow dual citizenship as an added benefit.

  • Revocation Risk:

    Naturalized citizenship may be revoked under certain circumstances. Although rare, this may take place under potential grounds of crime, embezzlement, fraudulence, etc. In contrast to this, natural-born citizens can be rest assured against any revocation risks. They gain stronger protection as well as exceptional rights from their nation’s law. Citizenship by Investment provides complete safety and stability against the revocation of citizenship and eliminates any threat of deportation.

Ways to Obtain Citizenship


There are numerous pathways by which an individual can become a citizen of a nation. The three most typical and well-known methods are marriage, birth, or descent. Even though they are widespread, applying them to obtain citizenship is challenging.

Two paths are exclusively accessible to those who have ancestors rooted in the country, birth and descent. Despite being a popular choice, marriage is a lifelong commitment that could take years to fulfil and gain legal recognition.

In conclusion, these are the fundamental distinctions between naturalization and citizenship. While they seem similar initially, these key differences apply different meanings to the terminologies.

If you wish to learn more and gain a comprehensive understanding of acquiring Citizenship by Investment programs, read below.



Why Citizenship by Investment?


Citizenship by Investment is a process that allows individuals and families to acquire citizenship in another country. This is in return for economic contributions in the desired country through donations and real estate options.

Choosing Citizenship by Investment is an efficient route to obtaining citizenship. Citizenship by Investment is known for its safe, convenient, and stable returns. It is a way of allowing individuals and families to seek citizenship by means of investing in the desired country.

Citizenship by Investment programs offer the easiest and fastest way to acquire dual citizenship through investments in the nation of acquisition.

Citizenship by Investment enables individuals seeking citizenship with a secure and stable second passport with added benefits. To understand which program will be suitable for your needs, read more.



Citizenship by Investment Programs


UNO Capital offers a comprehensive range of Citizenship by Investment programs across the Caribbean and Europe. Our Caribbean portfolio includes programs in St. Kitts and Nevis, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Lucia.

In Europe, we facilitate the prestigious program in Malta. Our services extend to the citizenship programs of Turkey and Vanuatu, providing individuals and families with a diverse range of options to suit their specific needs and aspirations of dual citizenship.

Apart from this, we also specialize in providing Residency by Investment programs across Europe, the US, and the UK. These programs enable a seamless process of fulfilling the requirements and obtaining Permanent Residency (PR).

Get in Touch

Considering embarking on the journey towards a second citizenship through investment? We’re here to guide you every step of the way. Our team of experts is just a call or an email away, ready to provide you with bespoke advice tailored to your unique needs. Reach out to us on +971 4 393 0 393 or drop us an email at


For your convenience, our contact form is also available for any inquiries or to schedule a consultation. Let us help you navigate the path to your new citizenship, ensuring a seamless and secure investment process.


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