On Wednesday, the German government approved the long-awaited law on the modernization of the citizenship law, reports Anadolu.
At a news conference in Berlin, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said the proposed law would streamline the naturalization process and allow for dual or multiple citizenships for immigrants.
“We are introducing a modern immigration law that would better serve our modern and diverse country. The new citizenship law is one of the most important reforms of our coalition government. I am very pleased that we are implementing it now,” she said.
According to the proposed law, immigrants will be entitled to German citizenship after five years of residence in the country, instead of the current eight years.
For immigrants who have demonstrated exceptional academic or professional achievements and speak the language well, this period will be reduced to three years.
The law will allow immigrants to have dual or multiple citizenships, which is currently not possible for most immigrants.
Children of foreign parents born in Germany will be able to acquire German citizenship if at least one parent has lived legally in the country for at least five years. These children will be able to keep their parents’ citizenship.
Currently, more than 12 million people in Germany, about 14 percent of the total population, do not have German citizenship. According to official data, about 5.3 million of them have been living in the country for at least 10 years.
The reform of the law on German citizenship was a central part of the coalition agreement, when the Social Democrats, the Greens and the liberal Free Democrats formed a coalition government two years ago.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly said that speeding up the naturalization process, enabling multiple citizenships for immigrants, would improve integration, social and political participation.
The proposed law needs parliamentary approval and is expected to be debated in the Bundestag after the summer break.
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