The German Senate approves a bill to ease citizenship rules Demographics News
Lawmakers in Parliament’s Senate passed legislation that would streamline the naturalization process.
German lawmakers passed a bill that would make the process of obtaining citizenship easier, and moved to simplify repatriation processes.
The naturalization reform, approved by parliament’s upper house on Friday, allows people to become German citizens while retaining their original citizenship.
People will be able to apply for citizenship after living in Germany for five years instead of eight years. Children of parents from abroad will also be granted German citizenship at birth if one parent has legally resided in Germany for five years instead of eight years.
If applicants demonstrate “special integration achievements” by performing particularly well in school, work or civic engagement, they may be able to obtain citizenship after just three years.
An important aspect of the new law is that people who obtain their German citizenship will not have to give up the citizenship of their country of origin, which was previously only available to residents from other EU countries in Germany.
This will allow tens of thousands of German-born Turks to become voters.
Likewise, Germans who wish to become citizens of another country will not need special permission from the German authorities.
The bill was introduced by the social liberal coalition led by center-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The main centre-right opposition bloc criticized the project and said it would reduce the cost of German citizenship.
It was the bill consent By the German House of Representatives two weeks ago. At the time, Schulz praised the legislation and said it was intended for those who had lived and worked in Germany for “decades.”
“With the new citizenship law, we say to all those who have lived and worked in Germany for decades, who abide by our laws, and who make their home here: You belong in Germany,” Schulz said.
Feliz Polat, an immigration expert for the Green Party, welcomed the prospect of dual citizenship and criticized parties that oppose the law as failing to understand “the modern immigration society that has long existed in Germany.”
Al Jazeera’s Dominic Kane, reporting from Berlin, said there were “rhetorics for and speeches against” the bill in the state parliament.
“But in the end, the council decided not to vote in favor of the resolution, but also not to vote against it,” Kane said. This means that the law passes because of the German Constitution.
“The elected House of Representatives has already voted in favor of it,” he explained.
It still must be approved by the German parliament’s upper house, and by the president as a formality, before it becomes law.
Kane said the decision would take effect by mid-May at the earliest.
Our correspondent added that hundreds of thousands of people are already in the system, meaning there will likely be a massive backlog before new applications are processed.
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