The German government announced the passage of a new act modernizing German citizenship law, which will go into effect in June.

Key Points:

  • The new act reduces the minimum period of residence required for naturalization to five years. Previously, an individual had to live in Germany for at least eight years to apply for citizenship.
  • The new nationality law will also loosen restrictions on dual citizenship. In particular, the act removes language that prohibits an individual from naturalizing without giving up their current citizenship.

Additional Information: Individuals determined to be well-integrated candidates who have shown a high level of civic engagement may also qualify for a reduced requirement of three years of residence to apply for citizenship. The requirements and standards for applying for German citizenship have been increased, and candidates must now demonstrate German language skill proficiency and financial self-sufficiency to apply.

BAL Analysis: The measure is designed to attract more highly skilled workers and to provide increased benefits for well-integrated people. The legislation is a long-overdue simplification for dual citizenship capabilities and should allow more individuals to apply for German citizenship.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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