This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.

Our Articles

Citizenship in Germany

Citizenship in Germany

There are several ways in which a foreigner can obtain citizenship in Germany. In some cases, the applicant must live in the country for a certain period of time, while in others, a German passport is easier to secure.

Our immigration lawyers in Germany are at the service of those who want to move to this country and remain here until they can become citizens. You can read below about the main ways to secure German nationality.

Ways in which foreigners can obtain German citizenship

There are different ways to become a German citizen, and they all imply specific qualifications.

Here are the main ways in which one can obtain citizenship in Germany:

  • naturalization which implies securing a German residence permit first;
  • marriage is another way to obtain citizenship;
  • descent or ancestry which implies having family connections in Germany;
  • citizenship by birth.
 Quick Facts  
 Residency options   There are various ways to obtain residency in Germany, among which temporary and permanent ones are the most common

 Ways to acquire citizenship

– Naturalization;

– descent;

– birth;

– marriage.

 Living requirement for citizenship by naturalization

 Citizenship by naturalization is available after 8 years of living here, or 7 if an integration course is followed

 Living requirement for citizenship by marriage  Citizenship by marriage is available after 3 years for the foreign spouse
 Conditions for citizenship by ancestry

Ancestry based on the relation with a parent or grandparent is a way to obtain German citizenship 

 Citizenship by investment availability (YES/NO)

No, Germany does not have a citizenship by investment scheme 

 Special requirements for EU citizens (if any)


 Special citizenship requirements for non-EU citizens (if any)

 No, non-EU citizens are subject to the same criteria as EU nationals

 Documents to obtain citizenship by naturalization

– Proof of residency or ancestry;

– proof of proficiency in German language;

– clean criminal record;

– proof of self-sustenance.

 Timeframe for obtaining citizenship A few weeks 
 Access to dual citizenship (YES/NO)

A new law allows dual citizenship 

 Benefits after obtaining German citizenship

– Voting rights;

– work, study, and open a business without restrictions;

– become the holder of one of the strongest passports in the world 

 Fastest way to secure citizenship

Ancestry is the fastest way to German citizenship as it does not require living here 

 Best way to obtain citizenship in Germany

 Marriage is the best way to acquire citizenship in Germany

 Support in filing for citizenship (YES/NO) Yes, we offer support in applying for German citizenship.

The criteria and procedures for obtaining German citizenship through each of the channels can be explained in detail by our immigration law firm.

How to obtain citizenship by naturalization in Germany

Naturalization implies living in Germany for a legal period of time to obtain citizenship, as well as getting accustomed to the language, culture, and lifestyle of the German people. Subsequently, you must have lived in Germany for a minimum of 8 years in order to be eligible for citizenship by naturalization. However, you just need 7 years of German residency if you completed an integration course.

In addition to meeting the eligibility requirements, you must also meet one of the following conditions in order to obtain a German passport:

  • demonstrate a B1-level proficiency in the German language;
  • file a certificate attesting to your completion of secondary school or a letter of acceptance to an upper secondary school in Germany;
  • submit a document attesting that you successfully finished at least 4 years of education in Germany;
  • file proof of not being convicted of any prior convictions;
  • pass the citizenship test.

Citizenship by naturalization is one of the safest ways to secure a passport for this country, and if you need assistance with the application, do not hesitate to get in touch with our German immigration lawyer.

Requirements for citizenship by marriage in Germany

Marriage is another route to German citizenship. However, this also implies going through the naturalization process. The main distinction is that you are exempt from meeting the German residency requirements for naturalization. Also, additional requirements imply to:

  • pass the naturalization exam;
  • file proof of oral and written German proficiency.

Moreover, the couple must also submit proof that:

  • they have been married for a minimum period of 2 years.
  • they have resided together at least three 3 in Germany.

This is one of the simplest ways to obtain citizenship in Germany. Our specialists in immigration can help you apply for a passport this way.

If you need information about the other ways through which you can obtain a German passport, you can set up a meeting with our immigration lawyers in one of our offices.

Comparison between Austria and Germany

We present you a short comparison between obtaining citizenship in Austria and Germany:

  • Ancestry is the fastest way to obtain German citizenship as it does not require living here. In Austria, children receive citizenship by birth if their mother is an Austrian citizen or if only the father is an Austrian citizen and the parents are married.
  • Dual citizenship is not permitted in Austria, but it is accepted in Germany.
  • Germany does not have a citizenship by investment scheme. In Austria, citizenship by investment can be obtained with the help of significant investments by either opening a business, investing in real estate, or both options.

Demographics of foreign citizens living in Germany

Germany is one of the most if not the most appealing EU countries to move to. This is also reflected in the increasing numbers of foreigners established here in recent years. In numbers:

  • at the level of 2020, the number of foreigners living in Germany was 11.43 million;
  • in the following year, their number increased to 11.82 million;
  • the latest data for 2022 indicates 13.38 million foreign inhabitants.

If you meet the eligibility criteria for citizenship in Germany, contact us for assistance with the application!