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Source: BUS Sachsen-Anhalt (Linie6PLus)

Apply for German citizenship (for foreigners entitled to naturalisation)

Description

With naturalization, you receive German citizenship and become an equal citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany with all rights and obligations.

With German citizenship, you can, among other things,

  • exercise your right to vote in the federal states and to the German Bundestag,
  • enjoy freedom of movement within the European Union as a citizen of the Union,
  • travel outside of Europe without a visa to many countries.

If you meet the requirements, you are entitled to acquire German citizenship:

  • You must have been legally resident in Germany for 8 years.
  • Their identity and nationality have been clarified.
  • They are capable of acting or legally represented.
  • You have a residence permit based on permanent residence or a right of permanent residence.
  • You are able to provide for your own livelihood and that of your dependent family members without receiving certain public benefits.
  • You are not convicted of a crime.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of the German language (level B1).
  • They have civic knowledge, in principle to be proven by a naturalization test.
  • You give up or lose your foreign citizenship.
  • Your classification in the German living conditions is guaranteed, i.e. in particular, you are not married to several spouses at the same time.
  • You are committed to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law, i.e. you do not support or have supported any anti-constitutional or extremist activities, unless you have credibly turned away from previous persecution or support.

Naturalization takes effect upon delivery of the naturalization certificate.

The competent authority is the nationality authority of your place of residence.

An application is possible online or by written application:

  • First of all, a first interview is required, among other things to submit the commitment to the free democratic basic order, identity verification and clarification, verification of the authenticity of foreign documents.
  • The naturalisation authority checks the requirements and decides on your application.

The further procedure is now decided according to whether you are allowed to keep your previous nationality or whether you have to give it up:

  • If you are unable to give up your previous nationality or only under particularly difficult conditions, you will be naturalised with the acceptance of multiple nationality.
  • In all other cases, the surrender of the previous nationality is required for naturalization.
  • If the previous citizenship can be given up before naturalization, you will receive a so-called naturalization assurance from the naturalization authority. This guarantees naturalisation in the event that you prove your dismissal from your previous nationality. You must then seek release from your previous nationality.
  • If the previous nationality can only be abandoned after naturalisation under the law of the foreign state or if this is only possible when you reach a certain age, you will be naturalised subject to conditions. You are obliged to give up your foreign citizenship as soon as possible.
  • For the application for dismissal, please contact the responsible diplomatic mission in your country of origin.
  • Please prove the loss of foreign citizenship to your naturalisation authority.
  • If the requirements are still met, you will be given a certificate of naturalization. You are then a German citizen or a German citizen.
  • Before handing over, you must make the following solemn confession: "I solemnly declare that I will respect the Basic Law and the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany and refrain from anything that could harm it."

The competent authority is the nationality authority of your place of residence.

The naturalisation of entitlement in accordance with § 10 of the Nationality Act (StAG) requires an application.

  • You must have been legally resident in Germany for 8 years.
    • Shortening to 7 years: if you successfully attend an integration course with written proof
    • Possibility of shortening to 6 years: for special integration services
  • Their identity and nationality have been clarified.
  • They are capable of acting or legally represented.
    • Anyone who has reached the age of 16 is capable of acting.
  • You own at the time of naturalization
    • a permanent right of residence
      • for example, settlement permit; Union citizens entitled to freedom of movement and nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and their family members; Turkish workers or members of their families who have a right of residence under the EU's right of association with Turkey
    • or a residence permit based on permanent residence
      • for example, a residence permit for the purpose of studying is not suitable for naturalization.
  • You are able to provide for your own livelihood and that of your dependent family members without receiving certain public benefits,
    • i.e. without benefits from the basic security for jobseekers or social assistance, unless you do not have to represent the use of social benefits.
  • You are not convicted of a crime.
    • This means that you have not been sentenced to a penalty or a measure of improvement and security has been ordered against you for incapacity for guilt.
    • The following are not taken into account:
      • Educational measures or breeding products according to the Juvenile Court Act,
      • sentences to fines of up to 90 daily rates,
      • Sentences of imprisonment of up to 3 months suspended and issued after the probation period has expired.
    • These exceptions do not apply if you have been sentenced to imprisonment, fines or juvenile punishment for an unlawful anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic or other inhuman act and such a motive has been established in the context of the judgment.
    • If an investigation is currently being carried out on suspicion of a criminal offence, the naturalisation procedure must be suspended until the conclusion of the proceedings.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of the German language (level B1).
    • Exception: This is not the case if you are unable to meet this requirement due to a physical, mental or emotional illness or disability or due to age.
  • They have civic knowledge, in principle to be proven by a naturalization test.
    • Exception: This is not the case if you are unable to meet this requirement due to a physical, mental or emotional illness or disability or due to age.
  • You give up or lose your foreign citizenship.
    • Exception: Nationals of Member States of the European Union and Switzerland, refugees and persons from countries in which it is not possible to give up foreign citizenship or only under particularly difficult conditions.
  • Your classification in the German living conditions is guaranteed, which means in particular that you are not married to several spouses at the same time.
  • They are committed to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law and make a declaration of loyalty (from the age of 16).
    • That is, you do not support or have supported anti-constitutional or extremist activities unless you have credibly turned away from previous persecution or support.
  • Valid national passport or official identity document with photo
  • Valid residence permit
  • Civil status documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree or death certificate of the spouse, if applicable), if necessary with translation, legalisation or apostille
  • School, vocational, training and/or study qualifications obtained in Germany
  • if you are a student: current school certificate
  • if you are a student: current certificate of enrolment
  • if you are employed: employment contract and proof of income
  • if you receive a pension: Pension notice / pension insurance history (issued by the German Pension Insurance)
  • if you are self-employed: business registration, current income tax assessment and proof of the profit made (for example, by informal certificate from the tax consultant about the net income or business evaluation)
  • Lease
  • Proof of health insurance coverage
  • Proof of old-age provision (e.g. real estate ownership, private life insurance / pension insurance)
  • Proof of abandonment or loss of previous nationality
  • Proof of sufficient German language skills (e.g. certificate B1); in children under 16 years of age, age-appropriate language development is sufficient
  • Proof of civic knowledge (e.g. by means of a certificate "Living in Germany/naturalisation test") from the age of 16
  • for minors: proof of custody (for example, in the case of divorced or unmarried parents by custody order)
  • in the case of joint parental authority: declaration of consent of the other parent with custody
  • The commitment to the free democratic basic order and the declaration of loyalty are made from the age of 16 years at the personal interview.

Further documents may be added depending on the individual case. Please note the following:

  • When presenting foreign documents, please refer to the information on the homepage of the Federal Foreign Office (www.auswaertiges-amt.de) under the term "International Document Traffic".
  • You must present foreign documents with a translation by a licensed translator. You can find out which translator is admitted to the following website: www.justiz-dolmetscher.de/suche.jsp
  • The translation must be firmly attached and sealed with a copy of the document.
  • The regular fee is EUR 255.00.
  • Forco-naturalized minor children who do not have their own income within the meaning of the Income Tax Act, the fee is EUR 51.00.

If an assurance of naturalisation is given, this is usually limited to 2 years; it may be extended. During this period, the release from the previous nationality must be brought about.

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Federal Ministry of the Interior and Home Affairs (BMI)

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