Dual citizenship 2024 - Turkey and Germany

Almost 1.5 million people from Turkey live in Germany - making them by far the largest group of foreigners in the country. But for this large number of people, there are only between 10,000 and 20,000 naturalizations per year. Naturalization offers many advantages, but until now, those wishing to naturalize had to give up their Turkish passport in order to receive a German one. However, this will change in the near future.

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The German Bundestag has passed a law that will allow all people from Turkey to keep their Turkish passport when naturalizing. The path to dual citizenship is therefore clear. Here we explain what the proposed changes are all about, when they will come into force, how you can benefit from them and how our lawyers can help you.

Advantages of naturalization and dual citizenship for Turks

It is obvious that naturalization brings many advantages for people living in Germany. It makes it possible to vote in all elections without restriction, to enjoy freedom of movement throughout Europe and, with one of the most "valuable" passports in the world, to enter many countries outside Europe without a visa, and much more. In short: naturalization officially makes you a German. Dual citizenship makes it possible to become German without having to give up your Turkish identity. Because you have both passports, you also enjoy the benefits of both citizenships. You can therefore travel back and forth between Germany and Turkey without any problems, decide freely which country you would like to live in and vote in elections in both countries.

Requirements for naturalization for Turkish citizens

Turkish nationals who wish to be naturalized in Germany must meet a number of requirements. First of all, your livelihood must be secure. This means that you must be able to prove that you and your family are unlikely to be dependent on state support in the future. In addition, your identity must be established, i.e. you must be able to present a valid passport or similar. You must also have either a permanent residence permit, such as a settlement permit, or a temporary residence permit that is not just for a temporary stay. You can find out which residence title you can use to apply for naturalization (as well as further details on all requirements) here.

You must also be able to prove that you have passed a naturalization test and have German language skills at level B1 or higher. Last but not least, you generally have to have lived in Germany for eight years without any significant interruptions and have to surrender your Turkish passport in order to be naturalized. However, these last two requirements, the duration of residence and the requirement to surrender your Turkish citizenship, will change in the future.

Dual citizenship and more: the new bill

The new law on citizenship mentioned above generally abolishes the obligation to renounce one's old citizenship in order to obtain German citizenship. Even now, this requirement is often waived, for example if the country of origin of the person wishing to naturalize does not provide for renunciation of their citizenship. In Turkish citizenship law, however, such a departure is relatively easy by decision of the Council of Ministers. So far, all Turks who wanted to be naturalized in Germany had to give up their Turkish citizenship.

The new law therefore represents a significant relief, especially for Turkish citizens who wish to naturalize. In future, all Turks will be able to acquire dual citizenship when naturalizing in Germany. As Turkish citizenship law allows for multiple nationalities, they will then be able to keep their Turkish passport as well as their new German passport.

However, the new law also brings a second major change: in future, naturalization will be possible after just five years of residence in Germany instead of the current eight years. The length of residence can already be shortened by up to two years if you have attended an integration course and have particularly good language skills (B2) or have made special integration efforts. In future, naturalization would therefore be possible at best after only three years of residence in Germany.

The law will also make things easier for people who came to Germany as guest workers. In future, they will no longer have to take a naturalization test. In addition, it will be sufficient for them to be able to communicate in everyday life "without significant problems", whereby oral skills are sufficient .

Turkish citizen application

If you believe that you meet all the requirements for naturalization (if you want to be sure, we recommend our naturalization check), you can apply for naturalization at the naturalization authority responsible for your place of residence. If you do not have a place of residence in Germany, you must submit the application to the relevant German embassy or the Federal Office of Administration.

If you have not been in Germany long enough under the current legal situation or if you only wish to naturalize with dual citizenship, then it may be worthwhile for you to wait a little longer. The above-mentioned law comes into force on June 26, 2024. So if you submit your application after the law comes into force, you can benefit from dual citizenship and the shortened residence period of five years or less.

How lawyers can help you

Applying to the authorities is rarely easy, but in Germany in particular, a lot of documents and evidence are required. This increases the likelihood that a mistake will creep in somewhere or that something will be overlooked. In addition, processing times are often very long due to the large volume of documents - and with the new law coming into force, they will become even longer. Our team of lawyers will check for you whether all documents are complete and thus ensure that your application has the best possible chance of success. We take care of all contact with the authorities for you. We also ensure that your application is processed by the authorities as quickly as possible.

Questions and answers - FAQ on dual citizenship:

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.

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?

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