Germany offers many different citizenship programs - find out which one is right for you

Germany offers a variety of citizenship programs through which foreigners can become German citizens. For people who have resided in Germany, these are time-sensitive programs that must be applied within a certain time period after immigrating to Germany.

Germany offers many different citizenship programs - find out which one is right for you

Citizenship programs that allow you to become a German citizen are available to candidates from all over the world. But there are some conditions attached to each program, so it’s important to know exactly what the requirements are before you apply! That’s why we’ve prepared this handy guide about citizenship programs for Germany read on to find out how you can apply and when you’ll be able to enjoy your newfound rights as a German citizen.

About German Citizenship Programs

German citizenship is divided into three main types: citizenship by birth, naturalization, and dual citizenship. Citizenship by birth has nothing to do with how long your parents have lived in Germany or where they were born.

A child born in Germany to a German parent automatically receives German citizenship at birth. It doesn’t matter if his or her parents are still living in another country; as long as a child was born on German soil he or she will be a citizen of Germany.

Children who are not born to German citizens but whose father or mother is a German citizen receive citizenship through their parents. Citizenship can also be obtained through naturalization an application process that requires residency in Germany for at least eight years (for adults) or 16 years (for children).

The third type of citizenship is called dual citizenship and allows applicants to keep their original citizenship while receiving a second passport from Germany. This option is usually only available to those who are married to a German citizen.

Ways to Get  Germany Citizenship programs

There are ways one can get to be German citizenship apart from getting this through naturalization, and birth. However, let's take a look at those similar ways to acquire your Garman citizenship. 

Dual citizenship through marriage

If you are married to a German citizen and have lived together with them in Germany for at least 3 years, it may be possible to get German citizenship. This type of naturalization process is referred to as Ehegattennachzug. However, there are certain requirements that must be met both partners must have reached age 18; neither partner can be legally divorced or separated, and both partners must apply for citizenship within 2 years of marriage. In addition, your spouse’s income level cannot exceed 60% of Germany’s average income (currently about €3,200 per month). Citizenship through family reunification: In order to obtain citizenship through family reunification, you will need to apply for a residence permit (Aufenthaltserlaubnis) from your local immigration office.

Dual citizenship through residence

To obtain a German passport through the residence, you’ll need to have lived in Germany for eight years. And yes, that does include time spent serving in the German military. Once you’ve completed your eight years, head down to your local Ausländerbehörde and apply for citizenship; just be sure to bring your Deutsche Pass along with other required documents.

Become a naturalized citizen after 10 years

If you can prove that Germany is your primary residence, speak German without an accent, and have your sights set on a long-term stay in Germany, it’s possible to apply for naturalization after 10 years. As part of the naturalization process, you’ll be asked about your intentions for staying in Germany and how much of its laws and customs are familiar to you. You’ll also need to pass a citizenship test. For example: What are local elections called? What does Bundesrepublik Deutschland mean? What does Bundestag refer to? (The correct answers are Gemeindeversammlung, Bundesrepublik Deutschland, and Bundestag.)

German ancestry or descent

If you have German ancestors or a direct link to Germany, then you may be eligible for citizenship. If your family name was changed at some point in history, it’s possible that previous generations of your family were actually German; even if your surname has been Americanized, citizenship may still be an option. To apply for citizenship based on ancestry, you must prove that your ancestor held German citizenship before January 1st, 1914. For those who can trace their lineage back to 1871 and earlier, citizenship will be granted automatically without any application necessary. All other applicants must fill out paperwork and provide proof of their heritage through birth certificates and/or genealogical records (such as old passports).

Live in Germany for at least 8 years

If you already live in Germany and have been a permanent resident for at least 8 years, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship. All legal residents of Germany can become citizens at some point it’s just a matter of how long it takes and what kind of commitment to Germany you’re willing to make in return.

To get citizenship after living in Germany for eight years, you must pass a German language test and prove that you are integrated into German society. You also need to take an oath of loyalty to Germany during your citizenship ceremony.

If you don’t meet these requirements or aren’t interested in becoming a citizen after living here for eight years, there are other options available: dual citizenship (citizenship from another country as well as German citizenship) or naturalization (the process of applying for citizenship).

Refugees and asylum seekers

Germany has a long history of accepting refugees, and today welcomes those who are fleeing persecution. Those who are granted asylum status are able to stay in Germany for up to three years and apply for citizenship after six. However, there are a number of other citizenship options that can be pursued by individuals from outside of Europe if they meet certain criteria. For example, after just two years in Germany, non-European investors can apply for naturalization under Article 116(1) of Germany’s constitution.

More reasons why you should consider becoming a German citizen

If you've lived in Germany for 8 years and speak German at a C1 level, apply to become a naturalized citizen. The process takes between 6 and 12 months. If you're married to a German citizen or partner and have lived in Germany with them for 3 years (or 5 years if it's a registered partnership), start your citizenship process immediately.

You'll need to pass a citizenship test and live in Germany for another 2 years before applying. There are also special rules if you have children who were born here while living together as a family.

It’s possible to obtain citizenship after just 3 years of living here if you were born in Germany and can prove that both of your parents were also born here. In that case, too, there are some special rules about having children who were born here while living together as a family.

German Naturalization Requirements

  • Prove German language proficiency of at least B1. ...
  • Be financially independent, and capable of supporting themselves and their family without using state welfare benefits.
  • Be a law-abiding citizen that had no criminal records.
  • Pass the naturalization test.

Meanwhile here is the major information about getting your German citizenship permit you should know

Does Germany give citizenship to students?

If you have lived in Germany for as long as (6) six years you can as well apply for German citizenship in special integration circumstances, However, you must prove German language proficiency of at least B1. This also requires you to live in Germany and also give the residence permit which may cost you almost eight years.

Can international students get German citizenship?

You can apply for citizenship after living in Germany legally (and uninterruptedly) for eight years, but there are additional requirements if you don’t have a German passport: If your application is based on marriage to a German citizen, it may be possible to get citizenship after four years of living in Germany. For more information on how to apply, contact your local immigration office.

Can you buy citizenship in Germany?

This is not allowed in the country of Germany, this country doesn't have direct citizenship by investment or a Golden Visa program. But if you start a qualifying business in the country, you can be eligible for German residency. After three years, you might get a permanent residence.

Can I get permanent residency in Germany if I buy any property?

Germany does not grant visas or residence permits based on real estate investment alone. So this option is NOT available to foreign investors. Residence permit holders may freely purchase real estate in Germany as business investors.

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Final Conclusions 

Germany offers a wide range of citizenship opportunities for foreign investors and their families, depending on your individual circumstances. The permit process itself isn’t easy, but it can be worth it if you are committed to immigrating to Germany and want a new passport or visa. Contact us today with any questions about these citizenship programs for Germany.