Many people who already live and work in Germany or are planning to move and integrate into German society, are thinking more or less about obtaining citizenship. What benefits does a German passport bring to an immigrant? What requirements must be fulfilled in order to obtain one? Is it possible to speed up the process and how long does it take? The Blue Card Agency answers in this article.
German citizenship: nuances and advantagesActually, there are no significant differences between the permanent residence permit (Aufenthaltsgestattung) and the German citizenship, apart from the fact that you have the right to vote. A pleasant bonus will be the possibility of visa-free entry to many European countries. For many, however, it is important to feel that you can be included in German society by having a German passport. But let us get through this from the beginning. There are several stages to come before obtaining German citizenship. These are usually followed by one another in an unbroken sequence:
- Entering the country on a National visa;
- Obtaining a temporary residence permit;
- Obtaining a Permanent Residence Permit.
Who can obtain a German passport?Foreigners living in Germany can become German citizens if they fulfil a number of conditions. In general, these requirements include a long period of legal residence in Germany, a certain level of language skills and an understanding of life in German society. Let us consider these requirements in more detail. Persons who are eligible for citizenship are those who: 1.Have been legally residing in Germany for:
- 8 years;
- 7 years if they have completed an integration course;
- 6 years with a language proficiency higher than B1;
- 3 years if 2 of them have been legally married or in a domestic partnership to a German passport holder.
Double citizenship in the territory of the FRGIf you plan to become a German citizen, be prepared to put an end to your country’s passport. The law definitely provides for exceptions to this rule in clearly defined cases. So can you have another citizenship in addition to your German one? Let’s have a good look at this question. Multiple citizenship on the territory of Germany is allowed in the following cases:
- If one parent is German and the other is the citizen of another country, their child automatically acquires both nationalities at birth.
- Ethnic German returnees have the right to retain their former citizenship after receiving the appropriate certificate. In this case, their children born in Germany receive both German and their parents‘ citizenship at birth.
- If a German citizen applies for double citizenship, he or she can acquire the foreign citizenship without giving up his or her own.
- In view of increasing European integration, EU citizens may not have to renounce their citizenship by obtaining German citizenship, and Germans may retain theirs by obtaining a second one as well.