Law on citizenship in Germany: the procedure for issuing a passport has been eased in the country
The German authorities have adopted amendments to the law on citizenship that change the rules for acquiring dual citizenship and reduce the timeframe for migrants' right to naturalization. Find out more about how the procedure for obtaining German citizenship in 2024 was simplified, what are the requirements for applicants and when the approved changes will come into force in Germany
On Friday, January 19, the German parliament finally approved the simplified rules for obtaining citizenship and abolished restrictions on dual citizenship. It is expected that the approved changes will contribute to the spread of German citizenship and the increase of highly qualified workers in the state. More on prerequisites and simplified requirements in our material.
How was the procedure for obtaining citizenship in Germany simplified in 2024?
The following changes were made to the German Citizenship Act:
- The minimum period of residence for the naturalization procedure has been reduced: from now on, the minimum period of residence in Germany required to obtain the right to citizenship through naturalization will be reduced to five years (previously it was eight years). In addition, in special cases, the minimum period will be reduced to three years if the applicant is fully integrated into German society.
- It is allowed to have multiple citizenships: Germans got the right to issue a second passport without losing their citizenship, also from now on, expats do not need to renounce the citizenship of their country of origin in order to get a German passport.
- The requirements for the naturalization procedure for children have been relaxed: foreign children born in Germany will receive German citizenship at birth if at least one of their parents has lived permanently in Germany for at least five years on the basis of a permit. Currently, the mandatory period for parents is 8 years.
Requirements for applicants to obtain German citizenship under the simplified procedure
The law states that applicants must be able to support themselves and their relatives. The only exception is made for people who came to West Germany as "guest workers" before 1974 and for those who moved to communist East Germany for work.
Also, the future citizen must support the "free, democratic order in Germany", it is important that anti-Semitic and racist actions are incompatible.
When will the approved changes to the Citizenship Act take effect in Germany?
The law is expected to enter into force in April or May 2024.
How will the simplification of the German Citizenship Act affect expats?
According to forecasts, the law will contribute to the spread of German citizenship, because many expats do not receive German citizenship due to the need to renounce the citizenship of their country of origin.
Also, the approved changes will make Germany a more attractive labor market for highly qualified workers from outside the EU.
A total of 14% of the population, more than 12 million of Germany's 84.4 million inhabitants, do not have German citizenship, and about 5.3 million of them have lived in Germany for at least ten years. The level of naturalization in Germany is significantly lower than the EU average.
The law will also allow tens of thousands of Turkish nationals, many of whom are third-generation migrants, to become citizens and voters.
The main provisions of the new Dual Citizenship Act in Germany are here.
For a safe move to Germany, obtaining citizenship and employment, use the advice of an international lawyer.
We help to solve complex and simple issues for your comfort and safety in Germany.
The editors of Visit World recommend using the Travel Guide for Germany for a comfortable and safe trip.
The guide is a detailed written document that contains basic advice on obtaining a visa, crossing the border, getting a job, citizenship, and much more. More details at the link.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in Germany;
Legal advice on immigration in Germany;
Travel insurance for foreigners in Germany;
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