Germany Approved Simplified Citizenship Rules

Germany Approved Simplified Citizenship Rules

German lawmakers have passed a bill that makes the process of obtaining citizenship easier and moved to simplify repatriations.

The long-awaited citizenship law reform has cleared the parliamentary process and is expected to be officially signed into law in the coming weeks.

The naturalisation reform, approved by the upper house of parliament on 02 February 2024, allows people to become German citizens while keeping their original citizenship.

People will be able to apply for citizenship after living in Germany for five years rather than eight years. Children of parents from abroad will also be granted German citizenship at birth if one parent has been legally residing in Germany for five years rather than eight.

If applicants demonstrate “special integration achievements” through particularly good performance at school or work or civic engagement, they may be able to be naturalised after only three years.

German Dual Citizenship

One important aspect of the new law is that people who obtain their German citizenship will not have to give up the citizenship of their native country, previously only possible for residents from other EU countries in Germany.

Similarly, Germans seeking to become citizens of another nation will no longer require special permission from German authorities.

The new rule will come into effect by mid-May at the earliest.

Hundreds of thousands of people are already in the system, meaning there will likely be a massive backlog before new applications are processed.

Who Qualifies For “Special Integration Status”?

According to the proposed bill, applicants may be eligible under special integration status if they demonstrate successful efforts to integrate into German living conditions.

Verification can include proof of excellent academic, vocational, or professional performance, civic commitment, and a C1 level of proficiency in the German language. 

While a strong command of German is essential, it alone may not secure special status. Beyond the C1 language level, applicants for the three-year citizenship track may need to show additional integration efforts.

Requirements may involve completing German integration courses and showcasing achievements like sustained full-time employment in Germany. The decision is up to Germany's Immigration Office, but you can improve your prospects by taking integration classes, improving your language skills, finding stable employment, volunteering regularly, or displaying extraordinary professional achievements.

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