| The Bundestag Approves a New Citizenship Law:

Facilitating Citizenship Acquisition Ahead

The German Bundestag approved in a vote on Friday, January 19, 2024, a new citizenship law aimed at easing the process of obtaining German citizenship for individuals residing in Germany.

Approximately twelve million people in Germany do not possess a German passport, even though almost half of them have been living here for more than ten years. This is expected to change with the new citizenship law.

Shorter Waiting Periods, Integration Efforts to be Rewarded

According to the new law, individuals coming from abroad can obtain German citizenship after just five years (instead of the previous eight years). This period can be further reduced to three years if they have good language skills, engage in voluntary work, or demonstrate outstanding performance in school or at work.


German Citizenship for Children

There are also changes for children born in Germany to foreign parents. Citizenship is to be automatically granted if one parent has been legally residing in Germany for more than five years. This shortens the previous period of eight years.


Dual Citizenship

Another significant step towards integration is the introduction of dual citizenship for all individuals, regardless of their origin. Previously, many individuals were forced to renounce their existing citizenship to obtain a German passport.


Basic Requirements for Citizenship Remain in Place

The fundamental prerequisites for citizenship continue to exist, including evidence of good integration, German language proficiency at a specific level, and the ability to support one's own livelihood. Exceptions apply to members of the so-called guest worker generation, who have often been living in the Federal Republic for decades. For them, a written Citizenship and German language test should be waived. These facilitations are intended to acknowledge the 'life achievements' of this older generation.


Clarification of the Commitment to the Liberal Democratic Basic Order

When applying for citizenship, you are required to commit to the free democratic system of the constitution as a condition for obtaining citizenship. It must be legally clarified in the future that 'actions that are anti-Semitic, racist, or any actions that demean humanity' conflict with the guarantee of human dignity in the constitution and violate the principles of the free democratic system.


Citizenship Obstacles

Obtaining citizenship is excluded, especially in the case of polygamous marriages or when violating the specific equality outlined in the constitution between men and women.


Financial Independence as a Requirement

For citizenship by entitlement, it is a requirement that the livelihood must be sustained without resorting to social assistance or basic support for job seekers.


Source: Deutsche Welle, Tagesschau