Germany’s new coalition government to allow dual nationality

The new coalition agreement unveiled on Wednesday states that the new government will enable dual nationality and lower the bar for German citizenship.

A British and a German passport.
A British and a German passport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Britta Pedersen

Germany’s new coalition government released its coalition agreement on Wednesday, which laid out its intention to “simplify the path to German citizenship” and move towards a modern citizenship law.

READ ALSO: LATEST: Germany’s next government sets out roadmap for post-Merkel era

Significantly, the agreement states that the law will be changed to enable ‘multiple citizenships’, suggesting that the traffic light parties will permit dual nationality for non-EU citizens.

Currently, non-EU citizens who did not grow up in Germany must generally choose between German and foreign citizenship after reaching the age of 21.

The agreement will also shorten the time frame for applying for naturalisation to only five years – or three years in the case of special integration achievements.

Until now, non-Germans who are not married to a German could only apply for naturalization after having continuous legal residence in Germany for eight years. This could be reduced to seven years with completed integration course, or six years with German language skills better than level B1.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How German citizenship differs from permanent residency

Easier process for the guest-worker generation

The coalition has also laid out their intention to make naturalization easier for members of the so-called “guest worker” generation. Guest workers were mainly Turkish workers from abroad who were recruited to work in industries such as agriculture, construction, steel, automotive and mining from the mid 1950s to early 1970s.

The agreement wants to “recognise the lifetime of achievements” of this generation, by lowering the language level that must be proven for this group, and by introducing a general hardship regulation for the required proof of language proficiency.

The coalition also intend to launch a campaign to inform people about the possibilities of acquiring German citizenship and to expressly welcome the holding of naturalisation ceremonies.

Member comments

  1. Now, I can finally enjoy dual citizenship! I have lived here 15 years, and I passed the Einbürgerungstest over 3 years ago, and I have C2 Level German, but I wasn’t willing to give my American passport.

  2. Having just missed the threshold set by Brexit to qualify for dual nationality, this is looking interesting. Very interesting!

  3. Can anyone clarify the apparent discrepancy between “the time frame for applying for naturalisation to only five years – or three years” and the next paragraph where it says six or seven years?

    1. 3-5 years is proposed change but the current rules are 8 years, but reduced to 7 if a integration course is completed and 6 if you have more than B1 German.

    1. I would also like to know if as a German living abroad, if I now no longer need to apply to be able to keep my German citizenship when living overseas and applying for another citizenship? Does anyone know more about this? Thanks in advance

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‘Russia must not win this war,’ says Germany’s Scholz

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged once again to stand with Ukraine against Russia - but said Ukraine's bid to join the EU cannot be sped up.

'Russia must not win this war,' says Germany's Scholz

Scholz said the war in Ukraine was the greatest crisis facing the EU in its history, but that solidarity was strong. 

“We are all united by one goal: Russia must not win this war, Ukraine must prevail,” Scholz said in the speech to the Bundestag on Thursday.

Putin thinks he can use bombs to dictate the terms for peace, the SPD politician said. 

“He’s wrong. He was wrong in judging the unity of Ukrainians, and the determination of our alliances. Russia will not dictate peace because the Ukrainians won’t accept it and we won’t accept it.”

Scholz said it was only when Putin understands that he cannot break Ukraine’s defence capability that he would “be prepared to seriously negotiate peace”.

For this, he said, it is important to strengthen Ukraine’s defences. 

Scholz pledged to help cut Europe free from its reliance on Russian energy. 

The Chancellor welcomed the accession of Finland and Sweden to Nato. “With you at our side, Nato, Europe will become stronger and safer,” he said.

However, Scholz dampened expectations for Ukraine’s quick accession to the EU – despite the country’s invasion by Russia. 

“There are no shortcuts on the way to the EU,” Scholz said, adding that an exception for Ukraine would be unfair to the Western Balkan countries also seeking membership. “The accession process is not a matter of a few months or years,” he said.