April 8, 2024

New German Citizenship Law Effective June 2024


Entering into force on 26 June 2024; the new law introduces significant changes aimed at reducing the residency requirement for naturalization and allowing multiple citizenships. 



What has changed?

Amongst other changes:

    • The new citizenship law in Germany reduces the minimum period of residence required for naturalization to five years, with exceptions allowing for naturalization in three years for exceptionally well-integrated individuals.
    • German citizens will now be permitted to hold multiple citizenships, a departure from the previous restriction on dual citizenship except in rare cases.
    • Foreign national children born in Germany will automatically receive German citizenship at birth if one parent has resided in Germany for at least five years and holds permanent residency.

Who is affected?

    • Individuals seeking German citizenship.
    • Foreign talent considering employment opportunities in Germany.
    • Government agencies responsible for processing citizenship applications

What to expect/impact:

    • Increased uptake of German citizenship is anticipated, particularly among individuals holding citizenship in other countries who were previously deterred by restrictions on dual citizenship.
    • Germany is likely to become a more attractive labour market for foreign talent due to easier access to German citizenship.
    • Government processing times for naturalization applications may be extended due to the anticipated surge in citizenship applications.

What you need to do:

    • Individuals interested in obtaining German citizenship should familiarise themselves with the new requirements and prepare necessary documentation.
    • Employers in Germany seeking to attract foreign talent may benefit from the expanded pool of potential candidates with access to German citizenship.
    • Monitor updates from German authorities regarding implementation and any subsequent changes to the citizenship process.

For further information on these developments, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at immigration@sterlinglexicon.com.

Sterling Lexicon will continue to monitor developments related to the implementation of the new German citizenship law and provide updates as necessary.


Claire Edgerton

Claire Edgerton

Claire is a Global Immigration Strategy Manager and brings over 10 years experience to the Sterling Lexicon team. Claire is experienced in managing the delivery of global immigration services as well as managing the integration of global immigration vendors.

Claire is Sterling Lexicon’s dedicated immigration specialist within our Global Network Integration team.

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