German Citizenship / Dual Citizenship

Naturalization will become easier and faster with the modernization of nationality law, which will take effect on June 27, 2024.

Significant changes to the German Nationality Act (StAG) will take effect on June 26, 2024. Following the Bundestag’s adoption of the Nationality Law Modernization Act on January 19, 2024, the conditions for naturalization in Germany have been revised and relaxed.

The most important adjustments to the naturalization requirements include:

  1. Shorter Residency Periods in Germany
    The minimum residency period for naturalization is reduced to 5 years (§ 10 Abs. 1 S. 1 StAG) and to 3 years for individuals demonstrating exceptional integration achievements (§ 10 Abs. 3 StAG). Examples of exceptional integration achievements include:

    • German language proficiency above level B1, i.e., C1 or C2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR)
    • Particularly outstanding academic, professional, or vocational achievements
    • Civic engagement

    This period is also only 3 years even if you are married to a German citizen due to certain circumstances under § 9 of the Nationality Law.

  2. According to § 10 Abs. 1 S. 1 No. 1a StAG, you must acknowledge Germany’s special historical responsibility, which includes the protection of Jewish life.
  3. Naturalization of Children:

    Children of foreign parents born in Germany can now be naturalized if one parent has had their habitual residence in Germany for five years (previously eight years) (Amendment to § 4 Abs. 3 S. 1 No. 1 StAG).


    • German Language Proficiency: You must demonstrate German language proficiency at least at the B1 level. In some exceptional cases, applicants may be exempt from this requirement. Additionally, there may be relaxed language requirements for certain groups. For instance, former guest workers can be naturalized if they can communicate verbally in German without significant difficulties in everyday life (§ 10 Abs. 4, 4a, 6 StAG).
    • Financial Self-Sufficiency: You must have sufficient financial means to support yourself and your family members without relying on social welfare benefits. In other words, you must have a regular and adequate income. The naturalization obstacle of claiming social benefits is waived in certain cases, such as for long-term guest workers living in Germany or for individuals who are employed full-time (§ 10 Abs. 1 Satz 1 Nr. 3 StAG). To prove this, the applicant must provide documentation of their current employment and income (for employees: employment contract, payroll statement, for self-employed: business registration, shareholder agreement, trade register extract, current income tax certificate, pension certificate).
    • Clean Criminal Record and No Threat to Society: You must be a citizen with no criminal record and no threat to society.
    • Passing the Naturalization Test: You must pass a naturalization test (known as the “Einbürgerungstest” in Germany). In some exceptional cases, applicants may be exempt from this requirement.
    • Health Insurance Coverage: You must have adequate health insurance coverage.
    • Renouncing Previous Citizenship (Except in Dual Citizenship Cases): You must renounce all previous citizenships (except in the case of dual citizenship).
    • Naturalization Fee: There is a naturalization fee of 255 euros per adult and 51 euros for minors.

    German-language evidence

    • A certificate that you received through an integration course, such as the “DTZ German test for immigrants”.
    • A certificate proving successful completion of at least 4 years of school in Germany (including secondary school or high school).
    • Proof of completion of a university degree at a German university or institution.

    If you do not have a document proving your language skills, you can take a state language test ordered by your citizenship authority.

    Citizenship application process

    If you meet all of the above requirements, you can begin the application process for German citizenship!

    First, you must inquire about the requirements at the immigration office at your place of residence in Germany and receive the application form.

    The naturalization authority is responsible for the procedure. Please note that the immigration authorities are not responsible for naturalization matters.

    You have to pay a fee of 255.00 euros. For children who are naturalized together with their parents, the fee is 51.00 euros.

    Depending on the city you live in and many other factors, the procedure can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months. You can contact an experienced lawyer to assist you in this process to determine your eligibility to acquire German citizenship. Each individual case is analyzed independently.

    Dual citizenship / acceptance of multiple nationality

    The principle of giving up previous citizenship or avoiding multiple nationality is abandoned.

    Tightening of the Provisions for Losing German Citizenship

    According to § 17 Abs. 1 StAG, German citizenship is lost in the following cases:

    • Renunciation: Voluntary renunciation of German citizenship
    • Joining Foreign Armed Forces or Participating in Terrorist Activities Abroad: Volunteering to serve in foreign armed forces or participating in armed activities of a terrorist organization abroad
    • Revocation of an Illegal Administrative Act: Revocation of an illegally granted naturalization decision

    The Jaberi Law Firm in Hamburg is a competent partner for all aspects of immigration and labor law. With a specialized team, the firm offers comprehensive advice and support for applying for German citizenship, including dual citizenship, and assists its clients with priority checks. The firm’s expertise encompasses the representation of both employers and employees, guiding them through the entire process.

    If you are interested in learning more or scheduling an appointment, please contact the firm by phone or through their website. The website also provides details on opening hours and additional services.

    *Dual Citizenship is allowed for EU and Swiss nationals. It is also tolerated for people whose countries of origin do not allow them to renounce their citizenship. These include Iran, Algeria, Syria and several Latin American countries.

We are a multilingual, international and interdisciplinary team. For questions or to set up an initial call, call us or send an email via our Contact form.