How To Get A German Citizenship?

How To Get A German Citizenship?

Germany is a country many people want to live, work, and study in, that is why the demand for German citizenship is high. Germany is a country that is full of bureaucratic procedures, so normally, even the German Federal Foreign Office says that citizenship law is immensely complicated.

If you are like me that do not have any family ties to Germany like none of my parents or grandparents were German citizens, then your only hope to German citizenship is through the naturalization process. The main way of becoming a naturalized citizen of Germany is through marriage or employment, both of which take a long period of time or years to achieve.

Why Become a German Citizen?

Having a German citizenship gives you rights and freedoms to a lot of things that non-citizens do not have at all. If you are already living in Germany, and you are not planning to leave Germany any time soon, then you will know that there are a lot of benefits getting German citizenship, By getting German citizenship, You will have these opportunities as a German citizen:

  • You can vote for the German government.
  • Your future children will automatically be recognize as German citizens.
  • You have the ability to become a civil servant in Germany.
  • The right of free movement in Germany.
  • You will be able to go out of the country and enter the country as you wish (Anytime).
  • You will also be given a German passport, which is one of the strongest passport in the world in terms of mobility.
  • The will have the right of assembly and associations in Germany.
  • The right of consular protection in Germany.
  • You will have unrestricted access to the German job opportunities, this is another good reason for you to become a German Citizen.

How to Become a German Citizen?

For you become a German citizen is not is not that easy or simple and possible. But, You can have a German citizenship by naturalization, but before then, you must have to live in Germany legally for about 8 years. Which simply mean you first have to:

  • You Have to apply for a German visa and temporary residence permit. These permits are valid for one to four years, issued based on the nature of your immigration for work, freelancing, marriage. And you have to apply for the temporary residence permit renewal before it expires.
  • Apply to become a permanent resident of Germany. After about 4 years of living in Germany with your temporary residence permit, you can now apply for a permanent residency.
  • Apply for German citizenship. You can apply for German citizenship at least 8 years after you have received your permanent residence permit, provided that you meet all the requirements, as listed below:

The Requirements for German Citizenship by Naturalization

  • You must have stayed in Germany on a residence permit for at least 8 years
  • You must have stayed in Germany on a residence permit for up to 7 years and attended an integration course (this becomes 6 years in special integration circumstances)
  • You must prove German language proficiency of B1. The B1 level means you are an independent user, so you do not have to be much much fluent, you must be able to use German language enough to communicate independently without getting an interpreter to interpret something for you.
  • You must not have been a victim of any criminal offence in anyway.
  • At the time of your application, you must have a Permanent Residence Permit or have Freedom of Movement as an European Union national.
  • You must be employed which means you must have make enough to support yourself and your dependent family members, without relying on the country welfare or unemployment benefits.
  • You must have to pass the German Citizenship Exam.
  • You have to give up your previous nationality/citizenship, unless:
    • You are from an European Union Member State or Switzerland.
    • If your current country of nationality does not allow you to renounce your citizenship.
  • You must accept the German Basic Law, which is German Constitutional law. To do this, you must state that you accept it in both orally and in writing to the Naturalization Authorities.

How to Apply for German Citizenship Naturalization?

If you can prove that you meet all the naturalization requirements to become a German citizen then, you can begin your application processes. Arranging your application for German citizenship by naturalization can be a serious and not a day task. There are a lot of steps of the procedure. But, by having professionals by your side to be overseeing your application will ensures that you have the best chance of success in your application. 

The steps to applying for German citizenship by naturalization are as follows:

Get an Application Form

In Germany each state and area have its own immigration office for you to apply for naturalization. To begin the application process, you must get a naturalization application form from one of the following places:

  • The local immigration office.
  • If you are living in an urban area, you can go to the city council for the application form.
  • If you are living in a German district, you can go to the regional district office to get the application form.
  • The town council or any other local authorities you know.

Fill out the application form and start compiling a your file with all the required documents, which prove you meet the requirements.

Pass the German Citizenship Test

This test includes about 33 multiple choices questions on German living, rules, society, and laws, as well as questions specific to the place you live. The test usually takes about one hour, and you have to answer at least 17 questions correctly to pass the test. After passing the test, you will be issued a naturalization certificate, which you can add to your documents file.

Can I Apply at the Same Time for My Spouse?

Yes, you can apply for naturalization in Germany together with that of your spouse even if you are not yet eligible yourself. This is usually called “derivative naturalization”, and it applies to the children of the applicants as well as the spouse, so that the entire family members may apply to become German citizens at the same time.

With the derivative naturalization, only the period of residence requirement is waived at that time, you must still meet all other requirements, such as passing the Naturalization Test that will be given to you, lack of criminal charges and language proficiency.

You can be exempted from the naturalization test, if you belong to any of these groups:

  • You cannot take the test due to illness, old age, or disability.
  • You are under 16 years old.
  • If you have a higher education degree from a German university in social sciences, politics or law,.

How Much Is the Naturalization Fee in Germany?

There are certain fees associated with applying for German citizenship through naturalization it’s not free. These are the fees you must have to pay:

  • The fee for processing the naturalization citizenship application for each adult is : €255.
  • The fee for each minor applicant: €51.
  • The Naturalization Test fee: €25.
  • The Naturalization Certificate cost: €25.

German Citizenship by Marriage

Applicants who are qualified for naturalization are not only those who have had permanent residence in Germany for a specific period of time. If you marry a German citizen, one can also get citizenship by applying for naturalization.

Foreign nationals who are already married to a German citizen must still meet some if not all naturalization requirements and must pass the test. However, they have to also meet the marriage requirements before they apply. The marriage requirements means that the foreign national spouse cannot apply for naturalization unless the couple has been married for at least 2 to 3 years and have lived in Germany for at least 3 to 4 years.

German Citizenship by Descent

If one or two of your parents, grandparents, or your great grandparents were German citizens, Then, you have a chance to be recognize as a German citizen, even if you have never for once stepped your foot in Germany. Technically, you are considered a German citizen and can claim your German citizenship if:

  • You were born to married German parents.
  • If you were born on or after 1 January 1975 to married parents and one of your parents was a German citizen.
  • If you were born to unmarried parents on or after 1 July 1993, and your father was a German citizen.
  • If one of your ancestors was a German citizen, whose citizenship was revoked under Nazi rule due to political, racial or religious reasons in 1938.

German Citizenship by Birth

This is when you do not have German parents but you are born within the borders of Germany, you can be qualify for citizenship by birth or by right of soil. This is usually referred to as Jus Soli citizenship. One can get this type of citizenship under the following conditions:

  • If and only if one of your parents has lived in Germany for at least 8 years before they give birth to you.
  • If and only if at the time the child was born, one of the parents had a permanent residence permit.

For this type of citizenship, the child will again have to choose the parents’ citizenship or the citizenship of Germany between the ages of 18 and 23 years old. The child must give up the parents nationality to get the German citizenship or apply for dual citizenships.

The German Citizenship Test

If you are applying to become a citizen of Germany you must pass the Naturalization Test. This test is usually taken to measures how much you know about the legal and social systems in Germany and as well as the German way of life. It is usually administered by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and you must register to take it at the local test centre, after starting your naturalization application procedures.

What is included in the German Citizenship Test?

The test consist 33 questions, which are divided into 3 sections:

  1. Living in a democracy
  2. History and responsibility
  3. People and society

When do you pass?

You will be considered to have pass the Naturalization Test if you answer at least 17 questions out of 33 questions correctly.

Where and how do I prepare for the German Citizenship Test?

You can always practice for the Naturalization test via the questionnaire offered by the German Federal Office for Migration.

Common Reasons for Citizenship Denial in Germany

Most common reasons why your application for citizenship in Germany might be denied include the following but not limited to:

  • If You did not pay enough state contributions during your residency in Germany.
  • You have committed a felony (minor crimes such as fines are not considered an obstacle to your naturalization).
  • You did not give up your previous nationality since Germany allows dual citizenship in only exceptional cases.
  • If you are considered a nationality risk to Germany and its citizens.
  • You did not fulfil the eight residency requirements for citizenship, seven years if you complete an integrated course.
  • You do not have enough financial resources to support yourself or your family members unless exemptions apply.
  • You provided false information in your application.

If your citizenship application was denied or rejected, you will receive a letter from the citizenship authorities stating the reasons for your application rejection. In some cases, you can re-apply, but you may also apply for an appeal for the rejection decision if you want and think they are not right for the reasons they stated. In this case, you are encouraged to hire a professional legal representative to help you with the appealing process. Please you contact your local immigration office so they can assist you in this case.

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