What is a Certificate of Naturalisation?

One of the most important documents individuals receive on approval of their citizenship by investment application is their citizenship certificate. This is sometimes known as a Certificate of Naturalisation or Certificate of Registration depending on the country. It proves that the holder has citizenship of the country in question.


Proof of citizenship comes in two forms: a birth certificate and a citizenship certificate. The first one is granted to citizens at birth, and the second is given to those who become a citizen of a country through a process like citizenship by investment.

This post will explore the legal differences between a Certificate of Registration and Naturalisation, the importance of the document in the immigration investment industry, and the benefits rights and responsibilities that come with it.

What is a Certificate of Naturalisation?

A Certificate of Naturalisation demonstrates citizenship of a country and is the most important document to be issued to an individual throughout the process of obtaining economic citizenship. This document serves as legal proof that the person was granted the citizenship rights of the country in question as per the date shown on the certificate.

Once individuals have received their Certificate of Naturalisation, they can apply for a passport of their new host country.

Why is a Certificate of Naturalisation Important?

The certificate is the most important document showing citizenship for those who have become a citizen via citizenship by investment.

Citizenship comes with rights and responsibilities. Those who are issued the certificate have the right to work, permission to reside in the country, and have access to certain social services. Duties of citizens will range from country to country and can include military service, for example.

What is the Difference Between a Certificate of Naturalisation and a Passport?

While the Certificate of Naturalisation or Registration proves that the holder is a citizen, it is not a travel document. Individuals will need to apply for a passport at the passport office, should they wish to travel.

Applying for a passport is a separate process once you have received your Certificate of Naturalisation.  An applicant’s Authorised Agent can apply for their passport on their behalf by submitting the Certificate of Naturalisation and other documents to the Passport Office.

What is the Difference Between a Certificate of Naturalisation and Registration?

The title you see at the top of your certificate depends upon the relevant citizenship legislation section that citizenship by investment is derived.

Whether a person becomes an economic citizen via naturalisation or registration depends on the citizenship law of the country. The majority of citizenship by investment countries in the Caribbean issue a Certificate of Registration, except for Dominica. The distinction comes down to the law and what needs to be fulfilled to become a citizen.

For example, in Dominica, the citizenship certificate is called the “Certificate of Naturalisation” as citizenship by investment finds its basis in Section 8 of the Commonwealth of Dominica Citizenship Act, 1978, which governs naturalisation.

However, the certificate is called the “Certificate of Registration” in St Kitts and Nevis. This is because citizenship by investment finds its basis in Section 3(5) of the Saint Christopher and Nevis Citizenship Act, 1984, which governs the registration of certain persons as citizens.

Tips for a Certificate of Naturalisation

  • The citizenship by investment process ends once applicants gain citizenship of their chosen nation, and to show this, the Citizenship by Investment Unit will issue a naturalisation or registration certificate.
  • Once the document has been issued, new citizens can apply for their passport at the Passport Office.
  • If the document has any errors or requires a name change, it is possible to have it corrected. Individuals will need to contact their Authorised Agent, who will get in touch with the relevant Unit. The Unit will reissue the certificate, but may ask for a fee.
  • Keep the original certificate safe and untampered with. If lost, it is possible to replace. However, it is a very complex process and individuals may be charged a fee. For example, according to paragraph 1(4) of the First Schedule to the Saint Christopher and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Regulations, the reissuance of a Certificate of Registration that has been lost or stolen comes at a cost of $500.

The Certificate of Naturalisation or Registration is an important document in the application process for citizenship by investment. The certificate is instrumental in proving one’s citizenship status.

If you are interested in applying for second citizenship, get in touch with one of our citizenship experts on [email protected] for a free consultation.