Obtaining German citizenship will become easier, but there is a caveat: new requirements in 2023
Germany will increase language requirements for applicants for accelerated citizenship. In addition, children born in Germany and whose parents are foreigners will be able to apply for dual citizenship. Learn more about the new draft law
The German government coalition "Svitlofor" submitted to the Bundestag plans to reform the program for granting German citizenship. If the project is approved, then according to the new laws, German citizenship can be obtained faster, in just three years. However, language requirements will be increased.
The new draft law is planned to be approved in 2023. According to the program, many aspects of obtaining German citizenship will be simplified, except for one - the language issue.
What are the rules for applying for German citizenship now?
Currently, according to current legislation, a foreigner must legally live in the country for 8 years to be eligible for German citizenship. However, in the case of special integration achievements, such as excellent academic performance at university or at work, volunteering or good knowledge of the German language (pass the B2 exam), the waiting time can be reduced to six years.
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New language requirements for obtaining German citizenship
According to the new law, the government plans to reduce the total waiting time for obtaining citizenship to five years, and the deadline for obtaining citizenship under the accelerated procedure to only three years of residence in Germany.
Although the waiting time for accelerated citizenship will be reduced, the "Svitlofor" coalition plans to raise the required level of German language skills to the C1 level. This is the level usually required to study at a German university. People who speak the language at the C1 level are able to read and understand complex long texts, including those that do not relate to their field of activity. Also, these foreigners can speak freely about complex issues and give structured academic arguments.
Representatives of the coalition emphasize that if a person speaks German at the C1 level, then he demonstrates that he is really interested in life in Germany and plans to stay in the country. The government also notes that it is difficult to learn German at the C1 level in three years, so the authorities believe that there will not be many applicants.
For those who apply for citizenship not under the accelerated procedure, but after five years, the current requirements for knowledge of B1 remain in force.
What other changes await the German citizenship program?
Current German law generally restricts dual citizenship in all but exceptional cases. However, the proposed bill would allow dual citizenship for people who are not EU citizens. Children born in Germany and whose parents are foreigners will now be able to obtain German citizenship without the mandatory requirement to renounce the citizenship of their parents' country. However, the family must have legally resided in Germany for at least 5 years before the birth of the child.
It is also planned to cancel language tests for applicants for citizenship aged 67 and older, who belong to the generation of earners.
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