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Should you apply for German citizenship before or after the new law comes in?

Should you apply for German citizenship before or after the new law comes in?

Germany is on the brink of implementing a new law that promises to ease citizenship requirements and permit dual nationality. As an aspiring German citizen, the question arises: Should you apply for German citizenship before or after the new law comes in? Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding the Current Scenario

Foreigners aiming for German citizenship currently face stringent conditions, including eight years of residence and B1 German language proficiency. The stakes are even higher for those seeking citizenship after just six years, requiring B2 German or higher skills. Additionally, non-EU citizens typically must renounce their existing citizenship upon naturalization, a hurdle that will soon be lifted with the upcoming changes in the law.

The Anticipated Changes

The proposed amendments aim to make the path to German citizenship more accessible. By April next year, the government plans to reduce residency requirements to five years with B1 German or three years with C1. Moreover, the long-standing restriction on dual nationality is set to be lifted, allowing applicants to retain their original citizenship.

Choosing the Right Timing: Options and Considerations

Option 1: Wait until the Law Passes

Many prospective applicants may prefer to delay their submissions until the new citizenship law is officially enacted. This option provides clarity on criteria and the assurance of dual nationality. However, potential drawbacks include prolonged processing times, with reports of significant backlogs in citizenship offices across the country.

Option 2: Book an Initial Consultation but Wait to Apply

For those eager to start the process but wary of potential delays, booking an initial consultation is a strategic move. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the requirements and gather necessary documents ahead of time, providing a head start once the law is in effect.

Option 3: Send off Your Application as Soon as Possible

Taking a proactive approach, some may choose to submit their applications promptly, anticipating that the new law will be applied retroactively. While this approach offers the benefits of expedited processing and retaining current nationality, uncertainties regarding law implementation timelines and processing speeds must be considered.

Making an Informed Decision

Considering the substantial processing times for citizenship applications, initiating the process sooner rather than later appears prudent. Booking an initial consultation, understanding the necessary documentation, and assessing local waiting times are essential steps. Additionally, staying informed about potential law delays and consulting with legal professionals or local authorities can contribute to a well-informed decision.

As you embark on your journey towards German citizenship, remember to prioritize meeting the language requirements and staying updated on the evolving legal landscape. Whether you choose to wait or start now, careful planning will be key to navigating this significant transition in citizenship laws.

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