A new Citizenship Act will come into force on June 27, 2024.

The new regulation essentially provides for the following changes:

    • the period of residence in Germany required for naturalization will in future be 5 years,
    • in the case of “special integration achievements” (special professional/school achievements or civic commitment and C1 language skills), a reduction to 3 years is possible,
    • in the case of naturalization, the previous citizenship can be retained (double citizenship),
    • naturalization is not possible when receiving social benefits (exception: full-time employed persons)
    • upon acceptance of a foreign citizenship, German citizenship is not lost (“Beibehaltungsgenehmigung” is no longer required).

Even if you applied for naturalization before 27 June 2024, you can be naturalized after this date without giving up your citizenship.

Spouses and children under the age of 16 can be naturalized, even if they have not been in Germany long enough.

Spouses of a German can be naturalized if they have been legally resident in Germany for three years and the marriage has existed for at least two years.

Further naturalization requirements are: B1 language skills, naturalization test and no serious criminal record.

Spouses and children under the age of 16 can continue to be naturalized, even if they have not been in Germany long enough.

Children, born in Germany obtain the German citizenship by birth, if on the day of birth either one of the parents is German citizen or

    • has his legal residence in Germany since 8 years (after 27 June 2024: 5 years), and
    • has a settlement-permit.

If you live in Berlin, please also note the following:

Since 1 January 2024, a central naturalization office at the Immigration Office is responsible for processing naturalization procedures in Berlin. New applications have to be submitted digitally via an online platform.

All unprocessed applications have been digitized and will be processed by the new central authority. Due to around 40,000 unprocessed applications, a longer processing time is still to be expected.

It is generally possible to submit a new online application with updated documents. This might speed up the process; however, the administrative fee must be paid again in this case.

We are happy to help you with your application for naturalization, but unfortunately we have no way of speeding up the processing of ongoing procedures.

Due to the length of administrative court proceedings, an appeal for inaction to the Court does usually not accelerate the proceedings.

If you have questions regarding your citizenship get in contact to our Specialist in Immigration Law Sven Hasse.