Can this time frame be reduced further?
A residence requirement of 5 to 10 years is typical in the EU. There are several situations in which lower requirements might apply in some countries:
- If you are married to a citizen, it is sometimes possible to gain citizenship after less than 5 years, e.g. 3 years in Portugal, the Netherlands or Germany, 4 years in Italy or France.
- If you are refugee or stateless
- If you served in the country's military
- If you invest a significant amount of money in the country (e.g. Malta)
- If you are especially gifted or served the country in another area (e.g. athletes)
- If you formerly held the country's citizenship (e.g. Netherlands and Germany)
The absolute lowest residence requirement is 0 (e.g. immigrants from francophone countries or refugees in France).