Admin l Sunday, January 8, 2023
BERLIN – Foreigners living in Germany will no longer have to give up their passport to receive German citizenship, and can apply after five years of residency, under new rules drafted by the Interior Ministry.
The draft document, seen by dpa, was shared with other branches of government on Friday. In its coalition deal, the government of Chancellor Olaf Scholz had agreed in 2021 to introduce a “modern citizenship law.”
Other aspects of the reform include easing proof of German language ability for certain groups and dropping the citizenship test requirement from the age of 67.
The move is a nod to so-called guest workers who arrived in Germany in the 1950s and were never offered language or integration courses, under the assumption that they would later return to their country of origin – in many cases Turkey.
At present, foreigners have to live in Germany for up to eight years before they can apply for citizenship.
Under the draft, the reduced period of five years can be shortened further if applicants can show they are well integrated, for example by demonstrating outstanding performance at school or work, voluntary work or particularly good language skills.
Children born in Germany to foreign parents will no longer need to choose between their citizenships as young adults.
The changes are part of a large-scale reform of Germany’s migration and integration policies by the coalition of Social Democrats, Greens and Free Democrats.