Copenhagen: The government of Denmark, which already has one of the most restrictive paths to citizenship in Europe, announced plans Thursday for even stricter conditions.
Under the changes, applicants for Danish citizenship would have to reside in the country until it was confirmed through an official ceremony that follows formal approval for citizenship - a process that could take up to two years.
"Until you shake hands at the ceremony, you must live in Denmark," said Kaare Dybvad Bek, Minister for Immigration and Integration, in a statement. "This is common sense."
Currently, naturalised citizens can move abroad once their citizenship has been approved by parliament, a matter deputies votes on twice a year.
But the time between parliamentary approval and the handshake ceremony can take up to two years.
The requirements for being granted a Danish citizenship are already restrictive.
Candidates are typically required to have been continuously resident in the country for nine years - or eight years for refugees or stateless people.
Long-term or frequent trips abroad "may affect whether you fulfil the residence requirement", according to government website borger.dk.
To become a naturalised Dane, candidates must also pass separate language and citizenship tests.
Nearly half of candidates have their applications rejected.
Danish rights groups have criticised previous governments for making it increasingly difficult for people to obtain citizenship.