The application will be accepted subject to the following conditions:
- The period of residence in Germany is at least 8 years.
- The migrant lives in Germany in his own or rented housing.
- The foreigner has a residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis – permanent or Aufenthaltstitel – temporary).
- A migrant can provide for himself and his family, has not previously been declared bankrupt, does not receive social benefits.
- Knows German at a sufficient level (B1 and higher).
- Renounces previous citizenship.
- The foreigner has not committed crimes, has no previous convictions, and has no criminal record.
- Successfully passed the test of knowledge of German culture, tradition, and history.
- The legislation provides for many additions and clarifications to the above basic conditions.
German language proficiency
To qualify for German citizenship, you must have a B1 or higher knowledge of German. To prove that you have the required level of knowledge of the language, you must present documentary evidence, for example, a certificate from the Goethe Institute, where you can take an exam in German, is suitable.
Other supporting documents are also suitable:
- Telc, TestDaf, ÖSD certificates.
- German translator diploma.
- Graduation document from a German school.
- Proof of the fact of studying in the 10th grade of a German school.
- A continuous four-year study at a German school.
- Receiving secondary specialized education in Germany.
- Graduated from a German institute.
- Certificate of completion of integration courses.
- Obvious ability to speak German fluently.
- Persons with disabilities, elderly foreigners aged 60 and over, as well as people with chronic diseases who, due to their health condition, cannot learn the language or undergo testing, are exempted from passing the language test (you must present the corresponding medical document).
Also, migrant children under the age of 16 do not take the test. Knowledge of the language will be determined by an official for an interview. Preschool children are not tested at all, and schoolchildren usually know the language on a par with their parents (and sometimes even better).
Test for knowledge of German culture
A prerequisite for obtaining the status of a German citizen is passing the citizenship test Einbürgerungstest. The test contains questions about history, German law, political system, social relations. In total, a foreigner will have to prepare 310 questions, 300 of which are general, and 10 correspond to the specifics of a particular federal state. There is no need to give detailed answers – for each question, there are 4 answer options, of which only one is correct.
An applicant for citizenship receives a ticket with 33 questions. To pass the test successfully, it is enough to answer correctly to 17.
You do not have to undergo any special training to take the Einbürgerungstest citizenship test. For people who have lived in Germany for so many years, questions usually do not present any particular difficulties.
The same categories of people are exempted from passing the test as to when passing the German language proficiency test.
Term of residence in Germany
When considering a citizenship application, only uninterrupted residence in German territories is considered. That is, the foreigner did not leave Germany for more than six months. Otherwise, only the five-year term is valid.
You must live in Germany legally. Refugee or asylum seeker status does not count. Also, the time spent in Germany on student visas is not taken into account, the duration of the internship is counted two times less than the real-time stay.
You should live in Germany for eight years, but this time can be shortened by taking an integration course (minus one year). Also reduces the term of knowledge of the German language at the B2 level or higher by one year.
You can reduce the required term by 6 years by fulfilling both conditions. Minor children and legal spouses of a migrant can obtain a citizen’s passport, even if they have lived in Germany for less than 8 years. Such situations are considered by officials on an individual basis.
Spouses of German citizens must have been married for at least three years, moreover, two years in Germany, after which they have the right to apply for citizenship. For children of foreigners who were born in Germany, there are separate rules for obtaining citizenship.
Late settlers (migrants who arrived in Germany after 1992) receive a German passport immediately upon arrival.