German citizenship For Members

Everything that changes in German citizenship in 2024

Imogen Goodman
Imogen Goodman - [email protected]
Everything that changes in German citizenship in 2024
Two passports lie on a table. Germany is set to permit dual nationality this year. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

This year is set to mark a sea change in Germany's citizenship rules, with a major reform likely to come into force into spring.


For anyone's who's been on tenterhooks awaiting Gemany's new dual citizenship law, this year is set to be a big one.  

Following last-minute amendments at the end of last year, the bill is currently working its way through parliament and is likely to pass in the coming weeks.

Though the session hasn't been scheduled yet, we're expecting the Bundestag to finally vote on the new law in early February. If all goes to plan, these sweeping reforms could become a reality as early as April 2024. 

On the immigration front, there are also some major changes happening this year, so if you're interested in those don't forget to check out our latest explainer.

Otherwise, here are the big changes you can expect to Germany's citizenship laws this year. 

Germany to permit dual nationality 

In a landmark change that many foreigners have been waiting years for, Germany is set to allow people to hold multiple nationalities, no matter where they come from.

Currently, non-EU citizens are generally barred from keeping their existing passports when they naturalise as Germans, but this is set to change when the new citizenship law comes into force in early 2024.

READ ALSO: The key points of Germany's draft law on dual citizenship

Citizenship after just five years 

Another important change in the citizenship reform is the plan to slash the residence requirements for citizenship. In most cases, people with B1 German will be able to naturalise after just five years, while people with C1 German and outstanding professional or academic achievements can naturalise after just three.


Currently, people with B1 German have to wait eight years to apply for citizenship, though this can be reduced to six years with level B2 German or above. 

No formal language tests for citizenship for over-67s

In a move designed to benefit people from the Turkish guest worker generation, people aged 67 or over with in future be able to naturalise without taking a formal language test. 

German learning resources at a language school.

German learning resources at a language school. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Arne Dedert

Instead, they will simply have to communicate with the authorities in German during their application, for example during an initial telephone consultation.

Though the simpler rules are meant to make life easier for Turkish people who have been here for generations, everyone over the age of 67 will benefit from the change.

Citizenship for the children of foreigners 

Currently, children born to non-German parents only gain citizenship if their parents have lived in Germany for eight years or more. This is set to be reduced to five when the new law comes in.

Children with at least one German parent will be eligible for citizenship regardless of how long their foreign parent has been in the country. 

READ ALSO: When is my child entitled to German citizenship?


New naturalisation ceremonies

In the latest draft law, the German government states that "every new citizen who is now a full and equal part of the country is cause for celebration", and naturalisation should therefore be celebrated with a joyful public ceremony.

That means that, where possible, all new Germans will recieve their naturalisation certification in a festive public ceremony along with others who have just recieved their citizenship. 


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

Mark 2024/01/15 23:48
Ambitious use of the word "Everything" in the headline.

See Also