Germany Published Proposed Citizenship Reform

Germany’s Federal Ministry of the Interior has released a draft law of the country’s proposed citizenship laws, presenting a path to citizenship which is comparatively easier and faster. The proposed law would need to still be ratified by the German states and Parliament.

Nancy Faeser, Germany’s Minister of Interior, said: “We are completing the long-overdue paradigm shift and allowing multiple nationalities. At the same time, we enable naturalization after just five years instead of eight. Those who are particularly well-integrated can shorten this period to up to three years. This applies to people who speak German very well, achieve excellent results at work or do voluntary work.”

  • Faster Path to Citizenship: The proposed law would shorten the required residency time to 5 years from 8 years, and could be shortened to 3 years for those who can prove they are well integrated into German society, through language mastery, professional contributions, and even volunteer work.
  • No Written Language Requirments: Guest workers and contract workers will only have to provide proof of oral language skills to be eligible for citizenship.
  • Dual Citizenship: Dual citizenship would be permitted for all. Currently, foreign nationals must renounce their original nationality citizenship upon naturalization in Germany unless they have an EU passport or have one parent from Germany.
  • Changes for Children: Children born in Germany with immigrant parents will have a faster path toward citizenship, so long as one parent has legally resided in Germany for 5 years.
  • Language Leniency for Seniors: Immigrants who are 67 years old or older will be excused from the German language skill requirement in lieu of a basic ability to understand and speak German.
Erickson Insights

The proposed citizenship law, if passed, would be the most significant immigration reform in Germany since 2000. Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.