Naturalization Reform – 2023
As an expat who has been living in Germany for 2 years, I was super excited when I read about the progress of the Naturalization Reform. Honestly, I did not expect things to move this fast with the reform – but here we are!
The traffic light coalition has enthusiastically agreed on a groundbreaking reform of the naturalization law that will make it easier and faster for migrants to obtain German citizenship. This development is an absolute game-changer for expats dreaming of starting a new chapter in vibrant Germany! Before, anyone who wanted to make Germany their forever home had to wait at least 8 years to get naturalized. They would also have to jump through hoops during those 8 years to stay. We are witnessing a magnificent change right now!
So, what is what’s so special about the new reform?
Under the proposed reform, the waiting period for citizenship will be significantly reduced. Imagine becoming a German citizen after just 5 years of living in this incredible country, instead of the previous eight! And that’s not all – for those who demonstrate exceptional integration achievements such as excellent language skills (C1), volunteer work, or outstanding job performance, naturalization could be possible after just 3 years. It’s an opportunity to embrace your new identity and become an integral part of German society sooner than ever before! Woo-hoo! 🙂
What about children born in Germany to foreign parents?
But it doesn’t end there – the reform also brings positive changes for children born in Germany to foreign parents. Now, they too can become German citizens more swiftly. As long as one parent has lived legally in Germany for 5 years, these children can embark on a journey toward German citizenship. This revised requirement replaces the previous 8-year waiting period.
How inclusive is the reform?
The reform recognizes the importance of shared values and the rejection of hate crimes. Individuals involved in criminal offenses with anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic, or inhuman motives will no longer be eligible for naturalization. Germany stands firm in promoting its core values, ensuring that those who wish to become German citizens wholeheartedly embrace the principles that make this nation great.
How well do I need to be integrated economically?
Economic integration is also a key consideration. To be eligible for naturalization, individuals must demonstrate the ability to support themselves and their families without relying on social benefits. However, exceptions are made for certain groups, such as guest workers, contract workers from the former GDR, and dedicated full-time employees. The goal is to create a thriving and inclusive society that encourages newcomers to actively contribute to the country’s success.
When will the reform be passed?
If you know one thing about Germany, it might be the bureaucratic processes can take years for reforms like this to be passed. If you are finding yourself questioning if you should get excited about the reform now or later – go ahead and start getting excited now!
This exciting reform is currently undergoing hearings with federal states and associations, with expectations for the law to be passed by the cabinet THIS SUMMER!! Federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser, emphasized the importance of attracting skilled workers and offering them an opportunity to actively shape Germany’s future. The reform heralds a paradigm shift, allowing immigrants to retain their identity without denouncing their native citizenship while becoming an integral part of the German community.
Germany is beckoning you with open arms, offering an incredible opportunity for expats to thrive in a country that values diversity, integration, and a shared vision for the future!
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