- Munich -

Acquisition of German citizenship in Munich through naturalization

German citizenship offers numerous advantages. For example, as a German citizen you enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement within the European Union and can travel to many countries around the world without a visa. German citizens also have free access to the European labor market and the path to civil service is open to them.

The Nationality Act opens up various possibilities for acquiring German citizenship: For example, by birth, by declaration, by the expellee procedure or by naturalization.

The requirements for naturalization in Munich

There is a legal right to naturalization in Munich if the following requirements are met:

  1. Capacity to act
  2. Ordinary and legal residence in Germany for 8 years
  3. No ambiguity about previous nationality and identity
  4. Commitment to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law
  5. Possession of a permanent right of residence or a specific residence permit
  6. Secured livelihood for you and your family members
  7. Willingness to renounce or lose current citizenship, if applicable.
  8. No felony conviction;
  9. Sufficient knowledge of German
  10. Sufficient knowledge of the legal and social order as well as living conditions in Germany

Capacity to act

According to the Nationality Act, the capacity to act comes into effect when a person reaches the age of 16. Only then can an application for naturalization be submitted independently . For persons under 16 years of age, the legal representatives (e.g. parents) must act.  

Ordinary and legal residence

In order to become a naturalized citizen, it is necessary to have had a habitual and legal residence in Germany for a certain period of time. This duration is currently eight years. However, under certain circumstances, which we explain in more detail in the box opposite, it can be shortened by up to two years.

However, the prescribed period of residence for naturalization will soon be reduced to just five years instead of the current eight years. On June 26, 2024, a new law will come into force that introduces precisely this change to citizenship law. Even under the new legal situation, the possibility of shortening the duration of residence even further through an integration course or special integration services would remain. In some cases, naturalization would therefore be possible after just three years of residence in Germany. All information on the upcoming changes can be found here.

Possibilities to shorten the deadline

7 years: "Integration Course Certificate

  • After successful participation in an integration course = language test level B1 as well as orientation course "Living in Germany

6 years: "Special integration services

  • Language skills with at least level B2 ,
  • Particularly good academic, vocational, or professional performance; or
  • civic engagement, i.e. sustainable volunteer activities

Identity verification

A mandatory requirement for naturalization in Munich is that there is clarity about the identity and nationality of the applicant. Problems can occasionally arise when establishing identity, especially if there is no state structure in the respective home country and reliable information is therefore not possible in individual cases.

According to the case law of the Federal Administrative Court, the identity and nationality check is carried out in three stages: The simplest is the first stage, in which identity and nationality can be proven by presenting a passport, passport replacement or other official identity documents with a photograph. In case such documents are not available and their procurement is not possible or unreasonable, identity can be established by other suitable official proof, such as a driver's license, service card, military passport, birth certificate, etc. (second stage). If the presentation of such documents is also not possible or reasonable, the identity can, in the third stage, be established by recourse to non-official documents or possibly also by witness statements.

Commitment to the free democratic basic order / Declaration of loyalty

As part of the naturalization procedure, a commitment to the free democratic basic order is required. In addition, a declaration is required that one does not belong or has not belonged to any anti-constitutional or extremist movement, nor does one support or has supported such a movement.

In principle, the confession and the declaration are already made or submitted to the district administration office when the application is submitted in Munich. At the latest, however, before the naturalization certificate is issued. If you are not capable of acting, the confession and the declaration are not required.

Permanent right of residence or special residence permits

At the time of naturalization, the applicant must either have a settlement permit or a temporary residence permit that ensures permanent, or at least not only temporary, residence. Which temporary residence permits are accepted for naturalization in Munich can be found in the box.

Special residence permits

Independently securing the livelihood

The prerequisite for naturalization in Munich is that the person wishing to naturalize is able to support themselves and their dependent family members without relying on state assistance under Social Code II (SGB II) and Social Code XII (SGB XII). SGB II includes, for example, unemployment benefit II, while SGB XII regulates social assistance or basic income support in old age and in the event of reduced earning capacity.

Public benefits such as unemployment benefit I, child benefit, child supplement, child-raising allowance, parental benefit or BAföG have no effect on the naturalization application. The receipt of state benefits also has no effect if you are not responsible for this. This means: If it is not your fault that you are dependent on social benefits, then the receipt of benefits has no influence on your naturalization. However, the new law mentioned above abolishes this element of fault. Instead, from 26 June 2024, when it comes into force, the applicant for naturalization will automatically be deemed to have secured their livelihood if they have been in full-time employment for 20 months within the last two years. You can read more about the changes to the determination of secure means of subsistence here.

The requirement of a secure livelihood is future-oriented. It therefore also depends on whether it is to be expected that you will be dependent on social benefits in the future. For this reason, the Munich authorities also ask about your retirement provision.

Abandonment or loss of previous citizenship

As a rule, the previous nationality must be relinquished in order to acquire German citizenship. This is to avoid dual citizenship.

However, the new Citizenship Act, which comes into force on June 26, 2024, abolishes the principle of avoiding multiple nationalities. This means that dual citizenship will also be possible for all applicants in Munich in future. You can find more information on this topic here.

It should also be noted that there are exceptions regulated by law under which dual citizenship is already possible. Examples include when it is not legally possible to renounce the nationality of the home country, the home country regularly refuses the renunciation or the renunciation of the previous nationality is unreasonable.

Acceptance of dual citizenship

  • Legal impossibility:

    States that generally do not allow withdrawal: Argentina, Bolivia.

    States that do not allow withdrawal when acquiring citizenship by birth: Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Uruguay.

    States that do not provide for withdrawal in certain constellations: Dominican Republic, Brazil.

  • Actual impossibility:

    Renunciation of citizenship is legally possible, but is denied or almost never approved: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Eritrea, Iran, Cuba, Lebanon, Maldives, Morocco, Nigeria, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia.

    (as at: 2024)


As part of the naturalization process in Munich, it is checked whether there is a conviction for a criminal offense in the past. There is an obligation to answer truthfully to the question whether there are criminal convictions. In this context, convictions to fines of up to 90 daily rates or to imprisonment of up to three months, which have been suspended and remitted after expiry of the probationary period, are not taken into account. Nor can convictions that have already been expunged be taken into account.

We explain the requirement of impunity in detail here.

Language skills and knowledge of the legal and social order

For naturalization in Munich, you must have sufficient language skills and knowledge of the legal and social order. This is the case if you can prove a language level of B1 (through a language test) and have successfully passed the so-called "naturalization test".


Spouses or registered partners, as well as minor children can be naturalized under lower requirements, even if they have not been legally resident in Germany for 8 years.