he new German government published its coalition agreement on November 24, 2021, which set out the intention to “simplify the path to German citizenship” and allow dual citizenship. According to the document, the deadline for applying for naturalization will be reduced to five or even three years – in the case of special integration achievements. Currently, citizens of countries outside the European Union who have not grown up in Germany must choose between German and foreign citizenship upon reaching the age of 21. The agreement is aimed at “recognizing the life achievements” of this generation by reducing the requirement for language proficiency.
What rules are in place now? Foreigners who are not married to a German citizen/citizen are only eligible to apply for naturalization after eight years of continuous legal residence in Germany. This period can be reduced to seven years at the end of the integration course or to six years at a German proficiency level higher than B1.
Among the major reforms expected in the German citizenship law are the possibilities that all foreign residents would be able to become citizens in 3 years as opposed to the current process that could at times even take a whole decade; also, the option of gaining dual citizenship status and children of foreign residents automatically gaining citizenship are also in the cards.
What else? The coalition also announced its intention to facilitate naturalization for representatives of the so-called generation of “guest workers.” These were mainly Turkish workers who were hired to work in industries such as agriculture, construction, steel, automotive and mining from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s.
We can assume that German citizens will show interest in opportunities for obtaining investment citizenship. When the right to have alternative citizenship is legalized.