Germany introduces citizenship and migration reform easing process

Germany introduces citizenship and migration reform easing process

German cabinet members passed reforms on Wednesday to the nation’s citizenship regulations.

The new bill will facilitate dual nationality for a larger segment of the population and make it easier for people seeking nationality to obtain it.

The new measure makes it feasible for non-Germans who live and work in Germany to get German nationality in 5 years as opposed to the previous 8 years.

Migrants who have successfully assimilated into society and are fluent in German can apply for citizenship after only three years.

In 2018, the Federal Statistical Office of Germany recorded 76,200 Moroccan residents who do not hold German citizenship living in Germany.

The regulations are a component of the German government’s objectives to support migrant integration and stimulate the economy by filling the labor force gap. 

The German government is currently starting a large recruitment campaign in Morocco as part of its preparations to address labor shortage. 

A 240,000-person labor gap is predicted in Germany by 2026, which would appear to point to a pressing need for labor migration, according to official data. 

400,000 new migrants are required annually to fill the gap left by domestic resources for skilled labor, according to the Federal Employment Agency. 

The new bill will also attract non-German workers to live and work in Germany, increasing the country’s labor force. Accordingly, Faeser said that “the best minds will only come if they are granted all democratic rights within the foreseeable future of their arrival in Germany.”

The German interior minister stated that this “modern immigration bill would better serve a German modern and diverse country.”

The citizenship change will also allow migrants to possess several nationalities in addition to German citizenship. Only citizens of the EU are currently permitted to maintain both their original passport and German passport.

The new legislation stipulates that applicants for German citizenship must demonstrate their independence from state assistance, albeit there will be some exceptions to this rule.

The adoption of the reform is still pending the German Parliament’s approval. The new bill will simplify the citizenship process and make it easier for migrants to integrate, according to German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser during a press conference in Berlin on August 23. 

Reform of the German citizenship legislation was a key component of the coalition agreement, when the Social Democrats, the Greens, and the liberal Free Democrats formed a three-way coalition government two years ago. 

14% of Germans, or more than 12 million people, do not hold German citizenship, according to data from the German government. Germany’s naturalization rate is significantly lower than the EU average.

About 168,500 people received German citizenship last year. The figure was the highest since 2002.


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