Step-by-step guide how to become a German citizen

How to Become a German Citizen? Step-by-step guide

Germany is one of the most popular destinations for immigrants and expats from all around the world. A great deal of people move there each year in search of education, economic, and living opportunities.

One question will eventually be on their minds: How can I become a German citizen? Is the pathway to citizenship easy? What can I do to speed the process up? Is knowledge of the German language necessary? In this blog post, we'll answer all these questions and more.

German Citizenship: Do You Automatically Qualify for One?

Before you take the long and arduous path to obtaining citizenship, it is good to check if you automatically qualify for one. German law sets out a few ways by which ethnic Germans can obtain citizenship:

If any of these apply to you, your process will be much faster and easier than the regular pathway to citizenship.

Getting Neutralized in Germany: The Steps You Need to Take

If you are an expat/immigrant to Germany with no prior ties to the country, and you want to become a citizen, it is possible, but the process is complex. Here are some of the key requirements you need to fulfil:

These are the most prominent requirements, and for most people, if you intend to continue living in Germany, meeting them isn't hard. However, you'll still face some difficulties even if you meet all the requirements:

Though complex and fraught with difficulties, a pathway to citizenship exists in Germany, and in recent decades, Germany has only relaxed its laws surrounding this issue. So, if you are adamant about becoming a German citizen, you can certainly achieve it this way as many have done in recent years.

Exceptions and Special Circumstances

Though the outlined method is ostensibly the primary way for immigrants/expats to obtain German citizenship, there are exceptions, and we'll go over the most prominent and important ones below.


There are multiple pathways to citizenship for those seeking to move to Germany. Though the process is hard, has many requirements, and will take time, it isn't impossible. Many expats and immigrants have successfully become German citizens and have gotten access to a German passport.

In this article, we went over some of the most prominent ways to obtain citizenship, be it through defence from a German mother or German father, prolonged legal residence in Germany, and marriage. Knowing the law, the requirements and your options are key to making the goal of obtaining German citizenship a reality.

Obtaining German Citizenship FAQ

Is Germany Easy to Get Citizenship?

Whether it is easy or not to go through naturalization for German citizenship is a complex question that will largely depend on your frame of reference. Contrary to most of the Western hemisphere, it doesn't have unrestricted Jus Soli, which means automatically conferring citizenship to anyone born on the country's soil. If compared to these nations, the German citizenship process will appear difficult by comparison.

Compared to most of the old world however, whether it is its fellow European countries, Asia, Middle East or Africa, Germany has some of the most lax and accommodating naturalization laws. In some countries, unless you're born to citizens of that nation, there are no legal pathways to obtain citizenship. Suffice it to say that's not the case with Germany. If you are curious about the process and how to get German citizenship, read our detailed blog post above!

Does Germany Allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, Germany has recently changed its laws to allow dual citizenship in particular circumstances, particularly allowing children who are born with two citizenships to keep both. However, if you so choose to retain your citizenship, it will impact the country's considerations regarding giving you citizenship or not. So, you have to be careful and get in touch with German authorities before you make your final decision.

How Can I Get PR in Germany?

If you are a citizen of non-EU countries, you can only get permanent residency in Germany after staying as a temporary resident for a period of time, having a stable income, a clean police record, and prove German language proficiency. After you meet all these criteria, you can apply for permanent residency and German citizenship down the line.

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