Reform: Fewer obstacles to naturalization

Reform: Fewer obstacles to naturalization

Citizenship Law Reform

Non-EU citizens should no longer have to give up their old citizenship.

(Photo: dpa)

Berlin who is in Germany wants to be naturalized should in future no longer have to give up the citizenship of their family’s country of origin. That comes from one Draft by the Federal Ministry of the Interior for a new citizenship law, which was forwarded to the other federal government departments for approval on Friday.

agreed in the coalition agreement Projects for a “modern citizenship law” are also relaxing for certain groups the requirements for acquiring the German language. This is usually the case requirement for naturalization. In addition, the minimum period of stay until the application is submitted will be shortened.

The draft, which is available to the German Press Agency, states that language tests should be made easier and that the obligation to take a naturalization test for all foreigners who are at least 67 years old should be abolished. In addition, there should be a hardship regulation for younger naturalization seekers. In justified exceptional cases – for example because a family member needs care – it should then be sufficient for the person concerned to be able to communicate orally in German in everyday life without any significant problems.

The draft generally provides for the possibility of naturalization after five years of lawful habitual residence in Germany – previously it was eight years. In the case of special integration achievements – such as outstanding achievements in school and work, voluntary work or particularly good language skills – a three-year stay should be sufficient.

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The so-called option obligation for children of foreigners born in Germany, which was already limited by earlier reforms, is to be completely abolished. This means that as young adults they no longer have to choose between German citizenship and the citizenship of their parents.

In addition, the length of time a parent’s lawful habitual residence is required for a child of foreign parents to acquire German citizenship through birth in Germany will be reduced from eight to five years. “Due to the significant reduction in the length of stay for one parent, the number of children of foreign parents who acquire German citizenship by being born in Germany will increase,” says the draft.

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