February 14, 2024
Reading Time: 3 min

3 major changes to German citizenship law

In January 2024, Germany adopted a new citizenship law. The new rules will come into effect as soon as the Chancellor and the President of Germany sign the document.

One of the main changes is the "green light" for multiple citizenships. Previously, renouncing the first passport was mandatory to become a German citizen.

Learn what else has changed and who can obtain German citizenship through an accelerated procedure.

Vladlena Baranova
Vladlena Baranova

Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

Dual citizenship in Germany

3 major changes to German citizenship law

The Bundestag has voted to allow dual citizenship. German citizenship can now be obtained without renouncing the first passport.

According to Nancy Fezer, the Minister of Interior of Germany, such measures will help attract qualified professionals to the country. Over the past 5 years, Germany has faced a shortage of skilled workers. The new law on second citizenship in Germany will help foreign workers obtain a passport and social guarantees more quickly.

Individuals can now apply for a German passport after 5 years of residence. Previously, one could apply for citizenship after 8 years.

Children of foreigners will receive citizenship if one of their parents has resided in Germany for 5 years. Children no longer need to renounce their first citizenship.

If a child is born in Germany to foreign parents, they will automatically be granted German citizenship.

Some foreigners may be eligible for citizenship in just 3 years. They must demonstrate proficiency in German at the C1 level and achieve notable professional or academic success within Germany.

German dual citizenship in 2024

One of the conditions for acquiring a German passport through an accelerated procedure is exceptional achievements in integration into the local community. These may include sporting, professional, or other successes in Germany

Who are not eligible for German citizenship

There are certain requirements that foreign nationals must meet to apply for a German passport:

  • applicants cannot live entirely on state support;

  • foreigners must have no criminal records;

  • an individual cannot be married to more than one partner;

  • one must not have committed any antisemitic, racist, or xenophobic offences.

5 benefits of German dual citizenship

1. European Union citizenship. Germany is one of the most developed countries in the European Union. Major cities in the country, such as Munich and Düsseldorf, consistently rank among the best cities in the world for work and living.

With a German passport, moving to any European Union country without a residence permit is possible. All you need to do is register in the country after living there for 3 months.

2. Visa-free travel to 189 countries. Germany issues one of the most powerful passports in the world. It grants access to Schengen Agreement countries, the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, the United States, and other countries without a visa.

3. European education and healthcare. Children of German citizens can study for free in schools and obtain bachelor’s degrees from local universities. German nationals also receive benefits when applying to European universities. The cost of education for them is lower than for third-country citizens.

Germany is one of the global leaders in medical tourism. German clinics are known for the quality of their services, usually equipped with the most modern technology, and their doctors undergo training at the best medical universities in the world.

4. Work and business in the European Union. With a German passport, you can open a company within the country or in another European Union state. You do not need to obtain a residence permit or work permit for this.

5. Comfort and safety. Germany ranks 15th in the World Peace Index 2023. Qualified professionals often choose Germany for relocation due to its high standard of living. The average salary in IT, management, and administration is €4,500 per month.

Germany multiple citizenship in 2024

In 2022, about 13.38 million foreigners lived in Germany. This number has been growing consistently since 2010

Does the new law allow German citizenship to be obtained by investment?

Investors are still unable to obtain German citizenship by investments. However, moving to a European Union country is possible by acquiring Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment.

As of November 20th, 2020, one can become a Maltese citizen within 1 or 3 years after obtaining permanent residence. Investors have the opportunity to acquire Malta citizenship by naturalisation for exceptional services by direct investment. The minimum investment amount is €690,000.

Investors can also obtain citizenship of a European Union country by naturalisation, for example, after a Golden Visa. Residence permits by investment are issued in the following countries: