Germany - Passport

On June 27, 2024, Germany’s new citizenship reforms came into effect, allowing multiple nationalities and accelerating the path to naturalization. For the first time, Germany will allow dual citizenship beyond EU and Swiss nationals, recognizing the diverse society within its borders. “Finally, our law is doing justice to our diverse society,” stated federal interior minister Nancy Faeser.

Around 14% of Germany’s population lacks German citizenship, with 168,545 people naturalized in 2022. The number of naturalizations is expected to rise, as state governments report increased applications. The center-left government, composed of Social Democrats (SPD), Greens, and Free Democrats (FDP), aims to facilitate faster integration.

Key changes include no longer requiring applicants to renounce their previous nationality and reducing the residency requirement from eight to five years. Special achievements in integration, such as excelling in school or civic engagement, can expedite the process to three years.

Children born in Germany to foreign parents will automatically receive German citizenship if one parent has lived in Germany lawfully for over five years. The “option regulation,” which forced children to choose a nationality at 18, has been abolished.

The guest worker generation, primarily Turkish immigrants from the 1960s, will no longer need to pass a naturalization test, only proving oral language skills. Applicants must still demonstrate financial self-sufficiency, and anyone committing antisemitic, racist, or inhumane acts is ineligible for naturalization.

Source: Times of India