The German governing coalition has recently announced a reform of the citizenship law, bringing about significant changes that will make it easier for individuals to obtain German citizenship. On May 19, German cabinet publishes draft legislation on new citizenship rules.
If you're interested in becoming a German citizen, here's what you need to know about the planned reforms:
👉 Reduced Residence Requirement
Currently, you must reside in Germany for 8 years before applying for citizenship. However, under the proposed reform, this waiting period will be shortened to just 5 years. This change means that you can start your journey towards German citizenship sooner than before.
👉 Accelerated Citizenship through Integration
If you successfully integrate into German society, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship even earlier. The proposed reform states that after just 3 years of legal residence, you can apply if you meet certain integration criteria. These criteria include achieving a C1 level proficiency in the German language, engaging in volunteer work, and providing "special services to society." Demonstrating your integration efforts can fast-track your path to German citizenship.
👉 Dual Citizenship
One of the exciting changes is that you no longer have to give up your former citizenship when acquiring German citizenship.
👉 Expedited Citizenship for Children
The reform also considers the rights of children in the process of obtaining German citizenship. Previously, a parent had to reside in Germany for 8 years before their children could acquire citizenship. However, under the proposed changes, this requirement will be reduced to just 5 years. This adjustment ensures that children have an accelerated pathway to German citizenship, fostering a sense of belonging and security from an early age.
While the reform has been given the green light, it is essential to note that the law is still under discussion and subject to further agreement. Therefore, it may take some time before these changes are officially implemented.
As these reforms progress, here are a few steps to keep in mind if you are interested in acquiring German citizenship:
✅ Invest in Language Proficiency
Enhance your German language skills to reach the C1 level, which is essential for accelerated citizenship. Consider enrolling in language courses, practicing regularly, and immersing yourself in German culture.
✅ Engage in Community and Volunteer Work
Actively participate in volunteer activities and contribute to German society. Look for opportunities that align with your interests and values, as these efforts can demonstrate your commitment to integrating into the community.
Do you plan to immigrate to Germany or another European country?
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Photo: Raja Sen