With the draft titled “Modernization of the Citizenship Law” prepared by the German Ministry of Interior, the right to dual citizenship, which was previously applied to a limited number of citizens, will be extended to everyone.
If the bill passes the Bundestag, the conditions for the admission of foreigners to German citizenship will also be eased.
Accordingly, the “legal residence period” required for naturalization will be reduced from 8 years to 5 years.
This period can be reduced to 3 years for those who make special efforts to adapt to the living conditions in Germany, such as being successful in their field or education, doing volunteer work.
Racist and xenophobic German citizenship will not be granted
This period can be reduced to 3 years for those who are successful at work or education, and those who make efforts in volunteering in the country.
Adoption of the liberal society values and laws of Germany, and the ability to support oneself and one’s family without social benefits, are among the conditions for obtaining German citizenship.
Those who engage in anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic or other inhumane acts will not be granted German citizenship.
In addition, those who are polygamous or who act against the equality of men and women in the constitution will not be naturalized.
Dual citizenship opportunity
The bill, which allows dual citizenship, will also allow for multiple citizenships.
At the same time, the regulation that those who become citizens of a foreign country will lose their German citizenship will also be removed.
Children born in Germany will become German citizens
Foreign children born in the country will be able to obtain a German passport if one of the parents has been legally residing in Germany for 5 years.
In addition, children will be able to become dual citizens while retaining the citizenship of their parents.
Gesture to the “guest worker” generation
The bill contains a special arrangement for workers who came to the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) until 30 June 1974 under the Labor Agreement and to the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) as contract workers until 13 June 1990.
Accordingly, for these people, the written exam requirement for the transition to German citizenship will be removed. It was stated that the so-called guest workers could not take language and integration courses in the past, as it was initially foreseen that they would stay in Germany temporarily only for the purpose of working, and therefore they would be exempted from the naturalization exam.
Citizenship will be given at a ceremony
Those who are German citizens in the bill will be given their documents with a ceremony. It is envisaged to use the symbols of Germany as much as possible here.
Introducing the draft law in Berlin, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated that the regulation in question is one of the most important reforms of the current government and that they are pleased to put it into practice, and that they will enact a modern law.
We are making a paradigm shift
Noting that people who have been part of German society for a long time want it to shape the country, Faeser said, “Immigrants will no longer be forced to give up a part of their identity. Therefore, we are making a belated paradigm shift.” said.
Reminding that in the past, discussions about citizenship law were often made within the framework of exclusion and prejudices, Faeser said, “These discussions were held over people who have lived in the country for a long time and contributed to our well-being. Because of these discussions, these people were not allowed to belong to society. We are changing that now.” used the phrases.
Emphasizing that the German economy also needs this law, Faeser said, “We are in a global competition for the best minds. We need skilled workers in many fields. If we can make the best minds a part of our society in the future, we can win.” made its assessment.
The bill is expected to become law after it is approved by the Bundestag in the coming months.
According to the data of the Ministry of Interior, more than 12 million people in Germany have foreign citizenship. About 5.3 million of them have resided in the country for at least 10 years.
In 2022, 168 thousand 545 people applied for German citizenship.