Six unexpected requirements for German citizenship law

Six unexpected requirements for German citizenship law

It’s not always easy to get and occasionally even maintain German citizenship. Here are six intriguing facts about German culture you may not know. Suppose you are a foreign national residing in Germany with aspirations of one day becoming a German citizen. In that case, you have done your research on all the citizenship regulations, from residency and language requirements to application fees. But even if you are familiar with the requirements for obtaining German citizenship, you might be unprepared for some of the laws and guidelines that are in place.
Keep in mind that later this year, the rule on dual citizenship is set to change, making it simpler for foreigners living in Germany to obtain German passports without renunciating their original nationality. In this article, you will get to know about Six unexpected requirements for German citizenship law.

Being born a dual citizen – and later having to choose a nationality

After January 1, 2000, any child born in Germany to two foreigners is eligible for German citizenship if at least one parent has been a permanent resident of the Bundesrepublik for at least eight years.
All of these kids used to have to decide between having German or foreign citizenship when they turned 21. However, Germany no longer mandates this decision for those who spent most of their childhood living outside of Germany.

You don’t need to speak any German to become German (in some cases)

Typically, to naturalise, one must speak German at an intermediate level (B1 in the European Framework of Languages). However, even if you don’t know a word of German and have never visited Germany, you immediately qualify for a German passport if you already have a German parent or, in some cases, German relatives.
Even if the new dual citizenship reform will make this possible for nearly all naturalised citizens, those born to German citizens and foreigners can automatically carry two or more passports if the other country permits it.

Wedlock no longer matters 

The majority of people are aware that obtaining a German passport simply by having a German parent was not always the case. Those who were born out of wedlock to a foreign mother and a German father between January 1 and December 31, 1974, could not automatically qualify for German citizenship; they could only obtain it if they were in danger of losing their nationality. However, anyone born within this period may retrospectively apply for German citizenship by identifying their father (using, for instance, a birth certificate). Additionally, before 1970, foreign spouses were automatically granted German citizenship if they married a German, but since that time, specific conditions had to be met.

There is no guarantee that someone who loves social sciences will pass the German citizenship test

    • Germany’s citizenship test has 33 questions drawn randomly from a pool of 330 questions.
    • Questions cover political, historical, artistic, and cultural topics.
    • Art and culture questions include references to German musicians and painters.
    • One example of an art-related question involves identifying the creator of the “9th Symphony.”
    • Another example involves recognizing the person depicted in Caspar David Friedrich’s painting of the Baltic Sea island of Rügen.
    • The test aims for a passing score of 17 correct answers out of the 33 questions.
    • Germany’s cultural heritage as “Dichter und Denker” (poets and thinkers) contributes to the expectation of diverse questions on the test.
    • The test includes a mix of simpler and more challenging art and culture questions.
    • Comprehensive knowledge of every art and cultural aspect is not necessary to pass the test.
    • Test takers have one hour to complete the 33-question test.

A type of citizenship that sounds like a maths equation

Although the term “derivative citizenship” may sound difficult, it simply refers to receiving citizenship from someone else who has already met the prerequisites for it. In other words, you and your spouse can apply for citizenship together at the same time, or minors can apply with their parents.

Being stateless can expedite the process of gaining German citizenship

    • Stateless individuals can obtain German citizenship more quickly than most other foreign individuals.
    • “Stateless” refers to lacking nationality or citizenship.
    • Statelessness can occur when parents are unable to pass down nationality to their children, such as when born in a nation with such restrictions.
    • According to Statista’s data from the end of 2022, Germany had 97,150 individuals with “unclear nationality” and 29,455 stateless individuals.
    • More than half of the stateless individuals in Germany, approximately 50%, are of Syrian origin.
    • Germany offers a faster path to citizenship for stateless individuals, with a specific timeline depending on the local foreigner’s authority.
    • Generally, stateless children born in Germany can qualify for citizenship after five years.

In conclusion, Germany’s citizenship process recognizes the unique circumstances of stateless individuals, offering an expedited path compared to other foreign nationals. With a focus on inclusivity, the country’s approach acknowledges the challenges of statelessness and provides a route to citizenship, particularly benefiting stateless children born within its borders.

Read more at How To Abroad:

German officials plan to vote on citizenship Law “in August.”

Ruhr West University of Applied Sciences

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