Immigration. Travel. Living.

Germany: citizenship through marriage

Therefore, every year the number of those wishing to obtain German citizenship increases, although the procedure for obtaining German citizenship is very complicated and lengthy. But there is a very effective way to obtain German citizenship. It is the marriage of a German citizen. This method facilitates the entire process of obtaining citizenship most of all the timing: German citizenship can be obtained after 3 years of residence in Germany.

Conditions for obtaining German citizenship for spouses of Germans

Prerequisites for obtaining citizenship by a spouse or registered partner of a German citizen:

  • The marriage must be officially recognized in Germany;
  • Be sure to be married at the time of application and citizenship, and not just to be married, but not to be in the process of divorce and run a joint household;
  • The marriage must be at least two years old at the time of application. At the same time, the German spouse must already have German citizenship during this entire time;
  • Proof of sufficient knowledge of the German language. It is required to present a certificate of knowledge of German at level B1;
  • Proof of knowledge of German legal and social order and social relations. It is proved by a successful Einbürgerungstest or education received in Germany;
  • It is usually required to prove legal residence in Germany for at least three years. They can count this period even in case of interruptions, but at the same time, there must be a two-year period of continuous residence in the country;
  • At the time of application, Niederlassungserlaubnis – permanent residence must be valid. Spouses of German citizens can receive it after three years of living in a joint marriage in Germany. It is allowed to apply with a residence permit – Aufenthaltserlaubnis if all the conditions for obtaining Niederlassungserlaubnis have already been met. The conditions for permanent residence practically coincide with the conditions for obtaining German citizenship, so there should be no problems with this point if everything else is in order;
  • Availability of housing – rented or own. Be sure to live with your spouse and run a joint household at the specified address. At the same time, you must remain a resident of Germany, which means staying in the country for at least six months a year;
  • Having sufficient funds to live without government assistance;
  • No convictions for committing a crime. The same exceptions apply to other naturalizations. Further exceptions are only possible in special cases;
  • Renunciation of the previous citizenship. The same exceptions apply here for obtaining German citizenship according to the usual rules.

two bronze-colored rings

Possible exceptions to requirements

A three-year stay is not always necessary. A shorter period of stay is possible for persons who reside abroad if the foreign activity takes place in the interests of Germany (for example, for employees of embassies, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or the German army (Bundeswehr).

Requirements for language proficiency and knowledge of legal and public order may be mitigated in the event of chronic illnesses or disabilities that prevent passing exams. Also, these conditions can be canceled simply because of extreme old age.

Required documents

The application for German citizenship at the Einbürgerungsamt must be accompanied by:

  • international passport;
  • photographs of 3.5×4.5 cm;
  • passport or another certificate of obtaining German citizenship of the spouse;
  • Marriage certificate;
  • birth certificate;
  • certificates of dissolution of previous marriages;
  • proof of sufficient income and retirement benefits;
  • short biography – Lebenslauf.


The Citizenship Office can also request other documents on a case-by-case basis if they need them to ascertain whether all the conditions for the Einbürgerung have been fulfilled. Therefore, the list of required documents must be checked directly with the Einbürgerungsamt.

The process

First, you need to apply, the form for which can be obtained directly from the Einbürgerungsamt or downloaded from the agency’s website. After applying, the officer will check the fulfillment of all the listed conditions. Further, requests will be made to various government agencies – the labor exchange, social department, police, and other structures, which will confirm the information specified in the statement.

It can take a lot of time; you need to count on six months. You should take care of the expiration date of your passport in advance. It is better to get a new one before starting the process. If the checks are completed successfully, then the applicant is issued a guarantee of obtaining German citizenship after presenting a certificate of renunciation of citizenship of other non-EU countries.

This paper should be applied to the embassy of your country. The cost of obtaining citizenship is 255 euros for an adult and 51 euros for a child. Underage children from other marriages can also be included in the process of obtaining citizenship on preferential terms.

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