Countries That Offer Scam Citizenships: What You Need to Know 

In today’s digital age, social media influencers and dubious companies are giving new life to age-old citizenship scams. They promise to secure your citizenship in another country within impossibly short timeframes (14 days, one month) using vague and fraudulent methods. In this blog, we’ll explore these scams, how citizenship is genuinely obtained, and how to avoid falling victim to these dangerous schemes. 

Common Scams and Misleading Offers 

Online advertisements might claim: 

  • Mexican citizenship in a month, sometimes even in a week or two. 
  • Romanian citizenship in 3 to 6 months. 
  • Swiss or Andorran citizenship by investment. 

While some of these claims might arise from confusion, like misinterpreting legal residency or investment opportunities as citizenship offers, many are outright scams. Switzerland and Andorra, for instance, don’t have Citizenship by Investment programs. 

How Citizenship is Truly Issued 

Citizenship can be obtained through various legitimate means: 

  1. Birthright Citizenship: 

If you’re born in a country that grants citizenship by birth, you automatically become a citizen. For example, being born in the United States makes you a U.S. citizen. 

  1. Naturalization: 

You can move to another country, live there for a specified period, and apply for naturalization through legal channels. 

  1. Citizenship by Investment: 

Some countries offer citizenship to individuals who invest a substantial amount in the country. This involves a thorough vetting process and adherence to legal procedures. 

  1. Special Grants: 

Occasionally, citizenship is granted by the country’s government as a special honor. Celebrities like Steven Seagal in Serbia and Russia, or Peter Thiel in New Zealand, have received citizenship this way. 

The Mechanism of the Scams 

Scammers exploit the complexities of immigration systems, often claiming to have insider contacts who can “fast-track” your application. Here’s how these scams typically unfold: 

  • Fake Paperwork: They create counterfeit documents or bribe officials to insert your name into the citizenship registry. However, this is illegal and easily detectable. 
  • Forged Ancestry: In some cases, they fabricate ancestry documents to falsely claim heritage-based citizenship, especially common in countries where migration is spreading. 
  • Passport Forgery: The most blatant scam involves printing fake passports, which might get confiscated upon your first international trip, leading to severe legal consequences.

Real Fraud Stories and Consequences 

A notable case involved individuals obtaining Mexican passports through illegal means, only to have them confiscated in Europe when the forgery was detected. The biometric data didn’t match, exposing the fraud. 

Engaging in these scams can have lifelong repercussions: 

  • Legal Penalties: If caught, you could face heavy fines and imprisonment. 
  • Travel Restrictions: Fraudulent citizenship records can lead to travel bans and complications in legitimate future applications. 
  • Scarred Reputation: Your name will be flagged in immigration systems worldwide, complicating all future legal processes. 

Legitimate Paths to Citizenship 

While it’s impossible to get legitimate citizenship in two weeks, there are safe legal avenues: 

  • Caribbean Nations: Countries like Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts & Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda offer citizenship by investment, typically taking several months. 
  • Vanuatu: Known for a relatively quick citizenship by investment program, though it still takes a couple of months. 
  • Residency Programs: Many countries offer residency programs that can eventually lead to citizenship. Mexico, for example, allows residents to apply for citizenship after a certain period. 


By June 30, 2024, the minimum investment for all Caribbean Citizenship by Investment programs, will increase to $200,000 USD. Take advantage of this limited window to apply before the price increase is effective


Citizenship scams prey on individuals’ desires for quick solutions and can lead to severe legal and personal consequences. Understanding the legitimate processes and timelines for obtaining citizenship is crucial. Working with reputable professionals and following the legal channels is key to avoiding falling victim to these fraudulent schemes. It is best to stay informed and cautious to ensure that the chosen path to citizenship is lawful and secure. 

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