Dual citizenship in Germany

german passport

For a long time, the dual citizenship was only possible in exceptional cases in Germany. That is now to change. For those affected, this is a welcome but very late reform.

The planned changes are part of a comprehensive reform of Germany’s citizenship law aimed at luring skilled workers into the massively understaffed labor market.

These are the planned changes

There are three major areas at stake:

  • In the future, those who live legally in Germany will be able to apply for a German passport after just five years instead of eight years, as is the case today. In the case of special integration achievements such as exceptional German language skills or particularly good performance at school and work, the period can even be shortened to three years. How these “exceptions” need to be proven – still is under discussion
  • Children born in Germany to foreign parents are to automatically become Germans if one parent has already had legal habitual residence in Germany for five years – which typically means that he/she has been living here for five years (with a valid residencyship)
  • Those who want to become Germans will no longer have to give up their old citizenship.

The opposition party (CDU) does not like the way the German citizenship is being “given” away so freely, according the their party leader Friedrich Merz.

There are still a lot of things to be defined, refined and signed off. What’s here to stay is that Germany is looking to change the way of going forward with respect to its (dual) citizenship.

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