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How to get German citizenship

Sometimes, a quick trip to Berlin is not enough, so you decide to revisit the city for a longer stay. Maybe you decide to relocate there on a more permanent basis, like so many expats are doing these days (Brexit, anyone?), Or for work or just for personal reasons: this is the time when you should consider getting German citizenship .

Realizing that this place is in your life and you can not imagine living somewhere else, sometimes just coming in as a natural next step. From our offices in Berlin we have so many people coming to the city for an internship, or for a summer experience and never leaving again. We get it, Berlin is a great place, full of amazing opportunities for both students and young professionals. So, what do you need to do in your country ? For People That are studying or working in Germany and want to feel fully integrated into German society, getting citizenship status May make things Easier, whether you opt for the hustle and bustle of cities like Munich and Berlin, gold quieter countryside towns Such As Cochem gold Miltenberg.

In the rest of this article, we’ll explore the options available for living in Germany on a permanent basis and how to understand the bureaucratic process of getting German citizenship .

Getting German Citizenship

If you have been a German resident for a certain period of time, then you may be eligible to apply for German citizenship. The standard amount of time in the country is limited to eight years before you can apply for citizenship.

Other criteria for applying for citizenship

Not just anyone will be granted citizenship in Germany. There are certain sets of criteria that you must first meet in your country. These are:

    • Speaking German – You must be able to speak German to a satisfactory standard, including both oral and written communication. This ensures that you are able to fully integrate into the country and the community you are living in.
    • Clean criminal record – Your criminal record must be clear of any serious offense.
    • Financially stable – You must be able to completely support yourself financially and prove that this is the case.
    • Pass the naturalization test – Anyone applying for German citizenship must take a naturalization test which is written in German. The test consists of questions about the history, laws, and people of Germany. To pass, you must answer at least 17 out of 33 questions correctly.
  • Pay the fee – To complete your application, you must pay a fee of € 255.

With understanding the German language being an important part of being a citizen, the 8-year period can be reduced to 7 years of prior to residency if you complete a German language integration course .

It should be noted that some residents will not need to take the test of citizenship. These include anyone under the age of 16 and graduates of German universities in certain subjects, such as law or social sciences.

Do you need to renounce your current citizenship?

For people from outside the EU, gaining citizenship in Germany will help you to improve your citizenship . Any EU citizen can keep their original citizenship and hold dual citizenship with that and Germany.

What if you marry a German citizen?

If you live with your German spouse in Germany, then the process of gaining citizenship can be sped up. You must have lived in Germany with your spouse for at least three years and you must be married or at least in one of these two years.

Even so, you will still need to meet certain requirements of German citizenship, such as a criminal record and a good understanding of German language.

Citizenship through birth or descent

If one or both of your biological parents is a German citizen when you were born, then you will be considered a natural citizen of the country, regardless of where you were born. Generally, the child will become a citizen of their parents’ countries until the age of 18, at which point they may choose between their multiple nationalities. This decision must be made within 5 years of the child turning 18.

Babies born in Germany after 1st January 2000 to parents who are not citizens of their country of origin. If one of the parents has been a permanent resident of Germany for at least 8 years, then their child can automatically be a citizen.

How to apply for German citizenship

You can apply for German citizenship by acquiring an application form from your local immigration office, the town council, or a similar authority. Adults can submit your application yourself, but anyone under the age of 16 will need to submit your application.

As mentioned already, a fee of around € 255 will be paid to complete each application. Taking the naturalization test will cost an additional € 25. Visit your local naturalization office to register for your test and locate your nearest test center. Make sure you have a valid form of identification.

Getting permanent residency in Germany

If you want to live in Germany, we can not wait for a permanent resident instead. To do this, you will still need to meet the requirements of the German language, no criminal record, and the ability to support yourself financially.

There are two main options for permanent gaining residency in Germany: Permanent EC Residence or Settlement Permit.

Photo credits: Sam Howzit

Permanent EC Residence

You can apply for a permanent residence permit if you have lived in Germany for five consecutive years, or another similar limited permit. Other provisions for the purpose of applying for health insurance and a form of identification, such as a passport. You must have sufficient living space in your possession and supplies for your retirement in the country.

Once you have been granted a permanent EC residence permit, it allows you to live in any EU country. This means that you already have this kind of permit granted by another country, then you may be authorized to live in Germany on a permanent basis.

Settlement Permit

Another permanent residence is a settlement permit . This does not apply to other EU countries like the EC residence permit does. However, it is often quicker than permanent EC Residence.

Generally, a Settlement Permit has the same application as a permanent residence, but certain special exemptions apply.

    • Students in Germany – If you have studied and graduated from a German university, then you can apply for a second year after graduation.
    • EU Blue Card Holders – You may be granted an EU Blue Card if your income exceeds a certain threshold, depending on the profession. Holders of this card may be granted after 33 months. Gaining a B1 german language certificate reduces this length of time to 21 months.
    • Self-employed people – A self-employed person residing in Germany can gain permanent residence through a Settlement Permit within three years of living in the country with a successful established business.
  • Highly qualified immigrants – Immigrants in certain desirable occupations, such as scientists and researchers, who have a firm job to work in the country can be granted immediate permanent residence via a settlement permit.

The difference between citizenship and permanent residency

Gaining or citizenship or permanent residency allows you to reside in Germany for the rest of your life if you choose to. The main difference between these two methods is that citizenship grants you a natural German citizen, standing permanent residency does not.

This means that you will gain residency, you will be allowed to vote in German elections and gain other benefits such as the right to free movement and consular protection. As a member of the EU, EU member states. A similar benefit comes from a permanent residence permit.

Although, with the rights of German citizenship also comes the same responsibilities . This means that becoming a permanent citizen also gives you the potential tasks of a jury.

Applying for citizenship in another country

After gaining the status of a German citizen , applying for citizenship in another country Applying for citizenship for another EU country or Switzerland will result in dual citizenship.

For other countries, you may be able to keep your German citizenship at your disposal. German citizenship at the same time . You may be penalized if you fail to inform them of your new citizenship.

If you do not know how to do it, then you may want to read it again.

Gaining permanent citizenship or residency in Germany may not be an overnight process, but here you will need to help yourself through the process. Moving to and living in Germany is one of the most important things you can do.

Photo credits header picture:  fdecomite

2 thoughts on “How to get German citizenship

  1. When I applied for German citizenship in 2016, I had some difficulties with sexual questions even though I had reviewed the nationality examination well.

    But I have answered the questions poorly understood, but now I have German physiology, and that’s just what matters, in the end I thank you for the information, and excuse me for my bad English.

  2. I am a naturalized US Citizen. I am currently working as an Occupational Therapist and hold licenses to practice Therapy in the State of Nevada and in Connecticut. . I have read therapy magazines and feel that I would succeed quite well in
    Germany in a skilled Nursing facility or a Rehab clinic. I plan to retire this June, 2019, and wish to spend time learning German, as well as practice therapy, and take care of the senior citizens! I am financially stable and have Medicare part
    A and B. I have met quite a few German patients, who have encouraged me to get some work experience in Germany! My life long ambition is to work in a setting specializing in Rheumatology and Neurology. Any suggestions you may have, would be greatly appreciated!
    I await your response.
    Sincerely,
    Zarine D. Sachinvala

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