top of page

The German government has published a draught law for new citizenship rules

Among the modifications recommended by the Federal government in a recently published draught law for the modernization of German Nationality Law are a quicker and easier path to German citizenship and the ability to hold multiple citizenship.

The German government has published a draught law for new citizenship rules

The German government issued the long-awaited draught of a law that introduces new provisions to the nationality law on Friday, May 19, and it is now open for opinions from German states and groups.

The plan for revised citizenship laws includes, among other things, allowing foreigners resident in Germany to seek citizenship after five years, rather than eight, as it presently is. In circumstances of particular integration efforts, the five-year timeframe will be reduced to three years.

In her comments on the draught law, Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser termed it one of the country's most essential progress themes, highlighting the significance of adopting these reforms in order to recruit the qualified people that German states desperately need.

Allowing these workers to gain German citizenship after a period of living in the nation without forcing them to give up their former citizenship, according to her, is a critical step in this approach.

“Many immigrants feel like Germans, but don’t want to completely sever the connection to their country of origin. In the future they will no longer be forced to give up part of their identity. We are completing the long overdue paradigm shift and allowing multiple nationalities,” she said.

Minister Faeser also clarified who would be eligible to earn German citizenship by naturalisation after only three years, stating that individuals who are well integrated, speak German fluently, and do well at employment or volunteer activity will benefit the most from this shortened term.

“We want to recognise the enormous lifetime achievements of the guest worker generation for our country. That is why we are planning to make naturalisation easier for them,” the Minister further said.

According to Ministry Faeser data, by the end of 2021, approximately 10.7 million German residents were foreign nationals, with 5.7 million having lived in the country for at least ten years.

The proposed amendments are intended to address the requirements of these migrant people, who, while having lived in Germany for a significant portion of their lives and contributed to society, are nevertheless unable to participate in and contribute to the country's democratic processes.

Other specialised groups will be able to profit from the new law, if it is adopted, including guest workers in western German states and contract workers in the former GDR, who will be able to obtain citizenship without a written language certificate or the naturalisation test.

In contrast, the government plans to make it more difficult, if not impossible, for some other groups to obtain citizenship, particularly those who are anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, or whose actions are driven by inhumanity.



bottom of page