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The government of Germany has recently passed new citizenship law reforms that are going to bring significant changes in German immigration practices and the way they affect the The government of Germany has recently passed new citizenship law reforms that are going to bring significant changes in German immigration practices and the way they affect the country. From relaxing the rules on obtaining citizenship to enabling dual citizenship and more, these changes aim to enhance immigrant integration and expedite the recruitment of skilled worker.

Breakdown of the Citizenship Laws

  • Reduced residency requirement

Previous Requirement

New Requirement

Impact

8 years of residency in Germany

Reduced to 5 years

Revamping the path to citizenship for those remarkably contributing to German society

Special Case: Individuals with ‘special integration accomplishments’ may qualify in just three years.

  • Automatic citizenship for children born in Germany

Previous Rule

New Rule

Impact

It requires one parent to be a legal resident for at least 8 years.

Reduced to 5 years

Acquiring German citizenship for children born to immigrant parents in Germany is now easier.

  • Dual citizenship approval

Previous Rule

New Rule

Impact

Most non-EU citizens had to renounce their previous citizenship.

There are no more restrictions on holding dual citizenships like in a lot of other European countries.

This will now allow individuals to hold citizenship in Germany and another country simultaneously.

  • Government Emphasis on Integration and Skilled Workers

Objective

Supporting Statement

Government Perspective

Enhance immigrant integration and attract more skilled workers.

Approximately 23% of the German population lacks German citizenship.

Aligns Germany with its European neighbours and addresses the need to compete for global talent.

Three phases of the changes

First phase: On November 18, 2023, the initial phase of Germany’s updated skilled worker law came into operation, bringing changes to the regulations related to EU Blue Cards. These adjustments aim to enhance opportunities for skilled workers seeking entry into Germany.
 
Second phase: Anticipating change will start on March 1, 2024, including flexible pathways for education and certification under the revised Skilled Immigration Act. This will allow individuals pursuing qualifications in Germany to align with their foreign training to engage in part-time employment for a maximum of three years at twenty hours per week.
Skilled workers seeking recognition for their foreign qualifications can commence work immediately with the consent of their German employers, provided they possess a minimum A2 level of proficiency in German and hold a professional certification of at least two years.
 
Third phase: The Talented Immigration Act, benefiting skilled workers, will streamline family reunification processes, specifically for spouses, minor children, and, crucially, parents or parents-in-law.
While the requirement for adequate living space is reduced, proving the ability to support livelihoods remains necessary. Skilled workers with valid residency permits post-March 2024 can bring their parents or parents-in-law to Germany, emphasising the importance of family ties and enhancing the welcoming environment for qualified workers settling in the country.

Conclusion

The recent easing of German citizenship rules reflects a strategic move by the government to foster integration and attract skilled workers. The reduction in residency requirements, approval of dual citizenship, and streamlined family reunification processes demonstrate a progressive approach. The three-phase changes, including flexible education pathways and expedited family reunification, highlight Germany’s commitment to competitiveness and inclusivity. These reforms mark a significant evolution in immigration practices, providing a welcoming environment for both skilled workers and their families and contributing to the nation’s growth and diversity.
 
If you also want to move to Germany, now is the best time to plan this! Consult a qualified immigration lawyer who can help you build a strong profile that will carve an easy path to success for you.

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