In an interesting development, the German Cabinet approved a new draft law to facilitate the naturalization process by reducing the required bureaucratic procedures, and finally allowing dual citizenship. The law still needs Parliament’s approval to enter into force.
Under the law, which was approved by the federal government on Wednesday, August 23, foreign persons who have lived legally in Germany for only five years, instead of eight, will be able to apply for a German passport, and the period will be reduced to three years for individuals who have integrated well into society or are proficient in the German language.
But the law, which was proposed by Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, a leader from the Social Democratic Party, stipulates that the applicant for citizenship must adhere to the “values of a free society,” as it explicitly stipulates the exclusion of naturalization for people who have committed crimes with anti-Semitic or racist motives.
The law also requires the applicant to be able to earn a living in general without relying on social benefits, according to the InfoMigrants website.
“We will only be able to attract the best minds if these minds can become a full part of society in the foreseeable future,” Faeser said.
She added that the draft law also aims to achieve participation. “We want people who have been part of our society for a long time to be able to participate in shaping our country democratically, because our democracy lives on everyone’s participation. Our democracy needs people to work for it and strengthen it.”
The draft law is scheduled to be referred to Parliament, and if approved by Parliament, it will enter into force.
According to data from the Ministry of the Interior, about 14% of the country’s population do not hold German passports, or approximately 12 million people, out of which about 5.3 million people have lived in Germany for at least ten years.
The number of applicants for a German passport reached about 168,500 people last year.
It should be noted that these amendments are part of a broad reform of immigration and integration policies in Germany, pursued by the German government consisting of a coalition among the Social Democratic Party, the Green Party, and the Free Democratic Party.