The German government has approved a new citizenship law that will make it easier for foreigners living in Germany to become citizens.
The new law shortens the required period of residence from eight to five years and grants citizenship to children born in Germany if at least one parent has been living there for five years, as reported by SchengenVisaInfo.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser welcomed the approval, stating that the new law is important for global competition and Germany’s position as a business location.
She emphasized the need for modern immigration law for Germany to attract and retain skilled workers, adding that the Skilled Immigration Act had already been passed, and the new citizenship law is the next important step in modernizing Germany’s immigration system.
The Ministry of Interior revealed that about 5.3 million of the 12 million foreign nationals in Germany have been living there for at least ten years.
This shows a large portion of the population, who have made Germany their home, are unable to participate and contribute democratically on an equal ground.
The new law will allow millions to become German nationals and enjoy the rights that come with German citizenship.
Successful integration, good knowledge of the German language, and the ability to earn a living independently will be mandatory for naturalization.
Citizenship will be granted after five years of residence instead of the current eight.
Naturalization after three years will be possible for those with outstanding work performance or voluntary work, good German language skills, and financial independence.
All children born in Germany to foreign parents will receive German citizenship unconditionally if at least one parent has been living lawfully in Germany for more than five years.
The naturalization test will be abolished for guest and contract workers who have made a noteworthy contribution to Germany’s development.
The law also specifies that foreigners wanting to become German passport holders must respect the commitment to the free democratic basic order.
Those who disregard gender equality and those living in polygamy will be excluded from the new citizenship benefits. The government reiterated that anyone wishing to become a German citizen by naturalization must be able to earn a living for themselves and their family.