Dual citizenship and faster naturalization

New law comes into force on June 26, 2024

It has been long awaited, but now it is finally certain: the Act on the Modernization of Citizenship Law (StARModG) will come into force on 26 June 2024 . After the Bundestag and Bundesrat passed the law, it was signed by Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette on March 26, 2024. It will come into force three months after this promulgation - i.e. on June 26, 2024. We explain what exactly will change as a result of the law and what you need to bear in mind if you would like to be naturalized under the new legal situation.

Your contact

Dual citizenship for all is coming

Probably the most important change first: when the new Citizenship Act comes into force on 26 June 2024, multiple citizenship will become the new standard for naturalizations. Until now, you had to give up your old citizenship if you wanted to be naturalized in Germany. The background to this was that the legislator wanted to avoid multiple nationalities and potential conflicts of interest. The new law removes the requirement to give up your current citizenship. Anyone who wishes to be naturalized from 26 June can then keep their current passport and obtain dual citizenship or multiple citizenship.

The only requirement for dual citizenship is that the nationality law of the country of origin also provides for the possibility of multiple citizenship. This is the case in many countries, such as Turkey, the USA, Canada, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. However, some other countries, such as India, China, South Korea or Uganda, stipulate that citizens who are granted citizenship of another country automatically lose their nationality. You can find out which other countries have similar rules here.

No more retention permit

Enabling multiple citizenship under German law also has advantages for German emigrants. From June 26, 2024 , they will no longer have to choose between giving up their German citizenship or applying to keep their German passport in a lengthy procedure if they wish to be naturalized abroad.

Naturalization becomes possible earlier

The second major change to the new Citizenship Act concerns the question of how long you have to have lived in Germany to be eligible for naturalization. Until now, this so-called minimum period of residence has been eight years. On June 26, 2024, when the new law comes into force, it will be reduced to just five years. In addition, it will still be possible to reduce this minimum period of residence by up to a further two years if you can prove special integration achievements and German language skills at C1 level. This means that naturalization is possible at best after just three years of residence in Germany.

Other important changes

But that's not all - the new law on citizenship brings even more innovations. It also makes it easier for children born in Germany to foreign parents to acquire German citizenship. Previously, these children could only acquire German citizenship automatically by birth if one of their parents had lived in Germany for at least eight years. This minimum period will also be reduced from eight to five years in June.

In some places, however, the new law also makes the requirements for naturalization stricter. From the end of June 2024, it will no longer be possible to rely on the fact that you had to receive social benefits through no fault of your own - for example due to illness or inability to work - when determining whether your livelihood is secured. Even those who are not responsible for receiving benefits can then only hope for discretionary naturalization in accordance with Section 8 StAG. However, once the new law comes into force, there will be an automatic presumption that people who have been in full-time employment for 20 months within the last two years have a secure livelihood. You can read more about the changes to the determination of a secure livelihood here.

Also new: In addition to the commitment to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law, applicants for naturalization must in future also acknowledge Germany's special historical responsibility for the unjust National Socialist regime. In addition, people who live in so-called polygamous marriages, i.e. are married to more than one other person, or whose behavior expresses disregard for the equality of men and women, will no longer be able to apply for naturalization from 26 June 2024.

We have compiled a detailed overview of all upcoming changes to citizenship law as well as further information on dual citizenship and naturalization after just five years for you here.

Dual citizenship - What you need to consider

So a lot is changing in citizenship law - and many things are becoming easier for people who would like to be naturalized in Germany. If you are thinking about becoming a German citizen, we recommend our naturalization check. You can use it to check whether you meet the requirements under the new legal situation.

If you have already submitted your application for naturalization, you may also be able to benefit from dual citizenship. However, it is important to note that the new law will not come into force until June 26, 2024. Before this date, Germany's fundamental stance against dual citizenship will remain unchanged. Our lawyers will be happy to assist you and advise you on how to proceed.

In summary, it can be said that the general possibility of multiple citizenship and the reduction of the residence period from eight to five years make naturalization in Germany much more attractive. It is therefore expected that many people will apply for naturalization in the coming months. As a result, the already regularly very long processing times of the authorities will in all likelihood be significantly longer. We therefore recommend that you seek legal assistance. We will check whether you meet all naturalization requirements, ensure that your application is complete and thus give you the best possible chance of success. We will also take care of all communication with the authorities for you quickly and efficiently.

Questions and answers - FAQ on dual citizenship:

Even now, it usually takes up to 12 monthsuntil a decision is made on an application for naturalization. When the new law comes into force on 26 June 2024, the number of naturalization applications is expected to increase significantly will increase significantly. This will probably also increase the processing times by several months. If the authorities do not make a decision on your application for too long, it may be advisable to file an action for failure to act action for failure to act. Our lawyers will be happy to advise you on this.

YesThe new law does not change the rules for the naturalization test. However, as before, you do not have to take the test if you are at least a German school-leaving qualification (qualificationRealschule, Abitur etc.)a completed vocational training with a grade in the subject of social studies or a degree in the fields of law and social sciences, social sciences or politics naor politics.

Anyone wishing to acquire German citizenship must be able to prove that they can support themselves and their dependents. to support themselves and their can support themselves. They must not be receiving benefits under the Second or Twelfth Book of the German Social Code (SGB II or SGB XII). be received. These include, for example, unemployment benefit II, basic income support in old age or in the event of reduced earning capacity and social assistance.

However, according to the new law, there are exceptionsIf you have been in full-time employment for 20 months within the last 24 months within the last 24 months, the receipt of state benefits is harmless. The same applies if your spouse or registered partnerwho lives with you and a child has been in full-time employment for 20 months within the last 24 months. And also for former guest workers and contract workers and their spouses who have joined them are also exempt from receiving state benefits such as social assistance if they are not responsible for this.

Whether you can get back your old citizenship, which you gave up for naturalization, depends on on the Rright of your originstaates from. According to German law, from June 26, 2024, when the the new Citizenship Act comes into force, nothing speaks against it.

The modernized StAG will come into force on 26.06.2024. From this date, the new legal situation will apply and it will no longer be necessary to renounce your current citizenship in order to naturalize in Germany. In principle, the new legal situation will apply to you if you receive your naturalization certificate after 26.06.2024.

Before the naturalization certificate is issued, you will first receive a naturalization assurance, which is usually valid for 2 years. When the assurance of naturalization is issued, you will be asked to submit proof of renunciation of your current citizenship due to the law currently valid until 26.06.2024, so that the naturalization certificate can then be issued. You have time to do this as long as the assurance of naturalization is valid.

If your assurance of naturalization is valid beyond 26.06.2024, or if you receive the assurance of naturalization shortly before 26.06.2024, you should wait until 26.06.2024 without renouncing your current citizenship and then ask for a date to be set for the naturalization certificate to be issued. Our lawyers will be happy to advise you on this.

If the assurance of naturalization expires before 26.06.2024, we advise you to contact the competent authority. Our lawyers will be happy to advise you.

The new law on citizenship comes into force on 26 June 2024, but the processing time for an application for naturalization is usually around 12 months. The decisive factor for your application is the legal situation at the time when the authorities make a decision. It is very likely that this will not be until after June 26. This means that you can, in principle, submit an application for naturalization now, which will then be decided according to the new legal situation. If a decision is made on your application before June 26, 2024, you will first be asked to provide proof that you have been released from your existing citizenship. If you do not do this by 26.06.2024, you can benefit from the new law after this date and can retain your citizenship.

However, this varies from authority to authority and also depends on how long you have been in Germany. Our lawyers will be happy to advise you on your personal situation.

The question of dual citizenship depends on the legal situation legal situation at the time you receive your naturalization certificate. If you meet all the requirements, the authorities will initially only issue you with a assurance of naturalizationin which you are asked to renounce your previous citizenship.

This assurance of naturalization is usually valid for two years. You can therefore wait until the new law on June 26, 2024 comes into force and then apply for naturalizationwithout having to give up their previous citizenship. It is also possible to apply to the relevant naturalization authority for the suspension of the procedure naturalization authority.

According to the new law on nationality can in future anyonewho wishes to be naturalized in Germany, according to German law his previous citizenship under German law. It enters into force on June 26, 2024 comes into force.

However, the country of origin must also allow dual citizenship. be permitted. In ein somen countriesn such as for example Austria, China, India, Uganda and South Korea citizenship is automatically lost if you naturalize in another country.

A detailed list of all countries with which dual citizenship is not possible is possible, you can find here.

Tip: Before starting the naturalization process, always check whether your previous citizenship may be retained under foreign law. You can do this for example at diplomatic missions abroad for example. German lawyers are generally unable to provide information on foreign legal issues.

From entry into force of the new law on nationality on June 26, 2024, the minimum period of residence in Germany only five years. With particularly good integration it can be extended to up to three years be shortened.

From June 26, 2024when the new Citizenship Act comes into force, receive ichildren born in Germany of foreign parents automatically receive German citizenship if one parent has has lived legally in Germany for more than five years lived and has an unlimited right of residence. Until then, this duration is in accordance with the old legal situation is still eight years.

According to the legal situation up to and including 26.06.2024 you lose in principle German citizenship if you naturalize in another naturalize in another country. From the entry into force of the new law on citizenship on June 26, 2024 this will no longer be the case. Germany will then allow multiple nationality generally permitted. Until then, however, the current legal situation will remain, according to which you generally require a retention permit. You can find more information on this on the website of the Federaladministration office.

The new Naturalization Act (Act on the Modernization of Citizenship Law) comes into force on June 26, 2024 in force, three months after its promulgation in the Federal Law Gazette. From then on dual citizenship in principle under German law possible for all, and will in particular the minimum period of residence to five years to five years. You can read more about the details of the new law here.

If you want to check whether your naturalization application would be successful, you can do our naturalization check. However, this check only gives you a first overview. If you still have detailed questions or are unsure, then it is best to contact our lawyers.

The Act on the Modernization of Citizenship Law was passed by the Bundestag at the end of January 2024 and has also passed the Bundesrat. It will enter into force on June 26, 2024, three months after it was promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette.

In principle, yes. Since German law is to permit multiple nationality in the future, there is nothing to prevent this from the German side. However, the decisive factor is the law of the state whose citizenship one wishes to regain.

Strictly speaking, the forthcoming law on citizenship will not allow dual citizenship, but will lift the general ban on multiple citizenship. If this ban is lifted, it will also be possible under German law to have more than two nationalities. Multiple citizenship will then be possible without further ado.

We have explained this in detail in our article on naturalization.

Alternatively, you can complete our Naturalization Check.

Yes, at least as far as German citizenship law is concerned. In principle, dual citizenship will be open to all foreigners, regardless of their country of origin, once the new citizenship law comes into force on June 26, 2024. However, there may be laws in the country of origin that stipulate the loss of citizenship in the event that a citizen is granted citizenship of another country. Such laws exist in countries such as China, Austria, Lithuania, Estonia and the Netherlands. In any case, we advise you to obtain information in the country of your previous citizenship.

The Bundestag has passed the law to modernize citizenship law. When it comes into force on 26 June 2024, naturalization will be possible even if you want to keep your old citizenship. However, the law of the country of origin must also allow dual citizenship.

More questions?

We will gladly advise you