Germany strengthens citizenship and naturalization laws
On August 2023, 8, the German government drafted a groundbreaking legal change that will revolutionize the country's citizenship regulations. The approved amendments mark a significant departure from the existing framework, with key changes that will strengthen the citizenship process for both existing residents and newcomers.
According to the current naturalization law, you can only apply for German citizenship after eight years of full-time residence in Germany. The new law drastically shortens this time period from eight years to five years, comparable to many other EU countries such as Portugal and Malta. Another notable change is the approval of multiple citizenship for all individuals, regardless of their current citizenship. Currently, only German citizens by birth are entitled to dual citizenship, but this provision will soon apply to all naturalized citizens, regardless of their age and route. The move is expected to promote inclusivity and reflect Germany's commitment to embracing a diverse global society.
In addition, the new legislation extends its benefits to the applicant's spouse and minor children. According to the approved amendments, spouses and minor children can now be naturalized together with the main applicant, provided that the main applicant has been legally residing in Germany for at least five years.
These comprehensive reforms, which are scheduled to take effect in the first half of 2024, mark a step towards a more inclusive and efficient German citizenship. While Germany does not offer a direct citizenship by investment program, residency by investment in the Regional Development Fund can be obtained through the Regional Development Fund. This pathway will enable the investor to obtain temporary residency, which can be converted to permanent residency after three years. After that, you can apply for German citizenship as long as you meet the requirements in the German citizenship law.
The German passport is one of the strongest passports in the world, ranking 20th in La Vida's comprehensive global passport rankings. German passport holders have visa-free access to 199 countries around the world, which corresponds to 80.7% of the world's wealth (measured by GDP).