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German Parliament Approves Easing Citizenship Rules

Published on : February 13, 2024

The German parliament has approved the easing of rules for acquiring citizenship. Restrictions on dual passports are also to be dropped.

Germany is all set to simplify the process for foreign nationals to get German citizenship through naturalization. Recently, lawmakers in the Upper House of Parliament passed a legislation to the effect.

Naturalization is a process through which a foreign national voluntarily takes up citizenship of another country by submitting an application. There is a specific residency requirement to become a naturalized citizen.

What will change in German Citizenship law?

With the changes -

  • Foreign nationals will become eligible for citizenship after 5 years in Germany.
  • “Special integration accomplishments” can make them eligible for citizenship after 3 years.
  • German-born children will automatically become citizens if either parent has been a legal resident for 5 years.

At present, foreign nationals have to wait for 6-8 years before they become eligible to apply for German citizenship. Similarly, German-born children would automatically get German citizenship if one of the parents had been a legal resident for 8 years.

The lawmakers have given their approval to the new legislation. According to the German lawmakers, the new German citizenship law will -

  • Help in the integration of immigrants, and
  • Attract skilled workers to Germany.

Restrictions on holding dual citizenship will also be removed. Generally, a majority of people from countries other than the EU members and Switzerland have to give up their previous nationality when they take up German citizenship.

There will no longer be a requirement to renounce original citizenship when getting a German passport. This is a significant change for those belonging to non-EU countries. They will be able to take up the citizenship of Germany while maintaining their ties to their home country. Earlier, dual citizenship was only permitted by Germany for those coming from other EU countries and in specific situations.

The proposal was put forward by Chancellor Olaf Scholtz’s coalition party. With 23 abstaining, the German Parliament voted with 382 votes in favour and 234 against.

As per the Germany government, the naturalization rate in Germany is much below the average across the European Union. Official statistics reveal that around 14% of the German population does not have citizenship. Of these, around 5.3 million have lived in Germany for over 10 years.

Through the reforms in citizenship law, Germany wants to put the country in line with other countries in terms of the need to attract more skilled workers.

Offering diverse employment opportunities, Germany is a top destination for those looking to work overseas. Germany is making many changes in its immigration law. The German Opportunity Card will become open to applications on June 1, 2024. Through the Opportunity Card “Chancenkarte”, applicants from non-EU countries will be assured a 12-month stay in Germany to look for a job.

Want to live and work in Germany? Know the pathways available and check your eligibility. For more information, contact Kansas Overseas today.

Topics: Germany

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