The Germany Citizenship Program: How to Apply for Germany Citizenship

The Germany Citizenship Program is open to foreigners who have lived in Germany for at least 8 years and who meet other requirements such as being fluent in German and renouncing their previous citizenship. Find out what it takes to apply for Germany citizenship through the German Citizenship Program, including how to submit your application, what documents you will need, where you can get help with the application process, and much more!

The Germany Citizenship Program: How to Apply for Germany Citizenship

The process of becoming a German citizen can seem daunting, especially if you’re not fluent in German and don’t know where to begin, but the Germany Citizenship Program makes the process much easier by allowing you to apply in your native language, streamline paperwork, and speed up the application process overall. In this guide to applying for German citizenship, we’ll cover what the Germany Citizenship Program is, how it works and how you can apply so that you can become a German citizen and live in Germany soon!

Obtaining German citizenship opens up many opportunities for ex-pats who plan to stay in Germany long-term. If you have been a resident of Germany for at least eight years and meet certain criteria, you could apply to become an official citizen of Germany as part of the Staatsbürgerschaft - or State Citizenship - program. Here’s how to do it step by step, including the application requirements and the potential costs involved.

About Germany Citizenship Program

Germany offers several ways to become a citizen. If you’re married to a German citizen, have children with a German citizen, are the parent of a child with German citizenship, or have resided in Germany for more than 15 years (even if you don’t have German citizenship), you might be eligible. But the most common path is naturalization. For that, candidates must apply and attend an interview at the Ausländerbehörde before applying online. The entire process can take up to six months—so it’s best not to leave it until your last year in Germany.

It is also possible to take a German test to become a citizen. The government offers an integration course and tests in some major cities, such as Berlin, Cologne, and Munich. However, if you live far from one of these locations it can be difficult—and expensive—to attend. On the upside, most parts of the language exam are now computer-based and cost only €60 (around $75). For non-EU citizens who do not have the necessary language skills, however, it is recommended that you take at least six years of intensive German classes before taking the test; otherwise, your application will likely be rejected.

Becoming a citizen by Naturalization

To be eligible for naturalization, a person has to have lived legally in Germany for at least eight years and possess the appropriate residence permit. Foreigners who have successfully completed an integration course are eligible for naturalization after seven years. Persons wishing to become naturalized citizens must also declare their allegiance to our constitution and have a sufficient command of the German language. Knowledge of German is an essential prerequisite for integration into our society.

Candidates for naturalization must be familiar with the legal system, society, and living conditions in the Federal Republic of Germany (naturalization test) and be able to support themselves without recourse to social assistance unless this is due to circumstances beyond their control; nor can they have committed any serious criminal offenses. In addition, they must give up their previous citizenship. In certain cases or for certain groups of persons, however, multiple nationalities may be considered.

Becoming a citizen by investment

So, let’s take a look at the most popular way of getting German citizenship: by investment. The law that allows people with a certain amount of money to become German citizens is called the law on investment promotion and conditions for obtaining German citizenship. According to it, you need € 10 million in assets and have lived in Germany long enough—this means 8 years if you are married to a German citizen, or 6 years if you invest more than € 2 million in a business.

Becoming a citizen Through Family

Becoming a citizen of Germany through the family is possible. You can apply if you have a spouse who is a German citizen or has the right to be naturalized and if you have children who are also citizens of Germany. In most cases, your application is approved by the citizenship authority in your local city hall.

You will not need to take any written or oral tests, but you will have to fill out forms and provide several documents that prove your marital status and the identity of all family members (children included). Your foreign passport must also be valid for at least 12 months from the date on which your application is submitted.

Becoming a Citizen Through Birth

If you were born in Germany, you may be eligible for citizenship based on the citizenship of your parents. If your parents are both German citizens, or if one parent is a German citizen and the other parent has another citizenship but also has permanent residency status in Germany, you may qualify.

You’ll also be eligible if one of your parents is German and has permanent residency status while the other parent is a foreign national with legal residence in Germany. Of course, children don’t have any say over their parents’ decisions – which means that birthright doesn't come with any guarantees.

Becoming a citizen Through the Military Service

To become a German citizen through military service, you must be at least 17 years old, hold a work permit, and have completed the 10th grade of school or its equivalent. You can also apply if you have passed an apprenticeship course or completed a vocational training program lasting at least three years and have worked as a qualified employee in Germany for at least 18 months.

Additionally, you must have no criminal record. In your application, you must indicate that you want to serve in the German army on an ongoing basis; once accepted into the army, there are specific conditions under which your citizenship may be revoked.

Becoming a Citizen Through Marriage

There are three ways of becoming a German citizen through marriage. You can apply for citizenship after three years if you are married to a German citizen and have been living in the country (the spouse must be able to provide proof that they’ve paid their taxes in full).

After five years, you can apply if you’re married to a German citizen but don’t share the same nationality, as long as the other spouse is over 21. Finally, after eight years of marriage, both partners can become citizens.

Understanding the PR

In order to become a citizen of Germany, one must first obtain the status of a permanent resident (Niederlassungserlaubnis). This means that an applicant must be able and willing to live in Germany and make the country his or her permanent home. First, an individual needs to apply for a visa from the German embassy or consulate in his or her home country. Upon arrival in Germany, he or she receives six months’ time to find suitable employment and residence.

The PR is granted on a three-year basis, after which the individual needs to renew it. However, in order to be eligible for permanent residency, an applicant must have spent no less than 18 months out of the past three years in Germany; furthermore, he or she must have had a valid permit at all times.

The person also needs to be gainfully employed in his or her field and should have met all financial obligations – including taxes and insurance premiums – without resorting to public welfare programs. An applicant can apply for citizenship (Einbürgerung) once he or she has been living in Germany as a PR for at least six years.

Types of Germany PR Card

  • Visa for Germany.
  • German Student Visa.
  • German Job Seeker Visa.
  • German Language Course Visa.
  • German Permanent Residence Permit.

General Demands for immigrating to Germany

Germany has actually been considered as the 5th most favorable country to relocate to. This favorability is due to its well-performing economic situation, education and learning system, and also job opportunity. Individuals from around the globe intend to have an opportunity to relocate to Germany. This write-up will certainly concentrate on details concerning exactly how to relocate to Germany as well as a basic guide for immigrating to Germany.

Despite the fact that there are several means to immigrate to Germany, and also each has some certain requirements, there are still resemblances between them. To be qualified to relocate to Germany, you need to meet the following standards:

Prove Financial Security

Each immigration objective has an economic limit that candidates require to meet, yet despite intent, candidates need to confirm that they can fund themselves in Germany. Even if you will certainly be working in Germany, you should have the first funds to cover your expenditures till you obtain your income.

Have Medical insurance

You will not have the ability to come to Germany without appropriate medical insurance protection. The suggested method is to obtain German health insurance considering that you can not be certain whether German authorities will approve international medical insurance. Locate a lot more details concerning medical insurance for Consultants, Workers as well as Migrants in Germany.

Obtain a German Visa

People of these |nations are called to apply as well as obtain a visa prior to going into Germany. All other nationals do not require a visa to get into Germany. They might make an application for a residence license after entering Germany without a visa.

Germany Visa kinds:

  • Business/Organization Visa
  • Visas to Research Study in Germany
  • Work Seeker/Hunter/Applicant Visa
  • Functioning Employment Visa
  • Visitor Researcher Visa
  • Training/Internship Visa
  • Family Get-together Visa to Join a Family Member or Companion

For specialized suggestions on all German visas as well as expert administration of your application, think about collaborating with the attorneys at the Schlun & Eleven immigration law practice team. They offer professional guidance on all issues {relating to German visas, immigration law as well as German residence permits.

Have Basic Efficiency in German

To be able to reside in Germany, you will certainly require to understand German. The Usual European Structure of Recommendation for Languages has 3 degrees of language efficiency, A, B as well as C. Everyone has 2 Categories. Language efficiency is separated right into A1/A2 or fundamental, B1/B2 or proficient in the language, and also C1/C2 or advanced language skills. To arrive in Germany, you will certainly require to go into the tests as well as pass them as much as either A1 or B1. If you intend to obtain an irreversible residence, you will certainly require greater effectiveness of the C1 or C2 level.

More About Immigration to Germany:

  • German immigration for entrepreneurs,
  • Immigrating to Germany for employment,
  • Immigrating to Germany for a family reunion,
  • German immigration residence permits,
  •  Immigrating to Germany for education and learning.

1). Germany Immigration for Entrepreneurs| Business Owners

If you are an investor with an interest in Germany, then you are in luck. Business owners, as well as capitalists that develop economic chances in Germany, are permitted to immigrate there. There is, however, a particular limit of financial investment that you require to make. As of the writing of this post, that amount is 250,000 Euros. Furthermore, you will certainly need to obtain a Self Work Visa, which falls under the classification of a Germany Working Visa.

To obtain the Visa, you need to prove the following:

  • That you have the required funds to invest,
  • That your financial investment will certainly profit the German economy,
  • Also, your financial investment is required in Germany.

If you keep your status as a business owner in Germany, you will likewise be permitted limitless extensions of your residence permit after 3 years. Limitless extensions of your residence authorization mean that you can enter as well as leave the country whenever you desire. Entrepreneurs or business owners from all over the world bring their concepts to the financially rewarding German market. However, it is a good idea for entrepreneurs to work with business immigration attorneys that can supervise their applications as well as business strategies.

2). Immigrating to Germany for Employment

Germany has actually reported a scarcity of skilled workers as well as highly qualified individuals. They are consistently searching for engineers, IT experts, medical employees, and various other certified experts. In order to urge such individuals to emigrate to Germany, international immigration authorities have actually loosened up the strict requirements to visit Germany as well as work.

The steps to relocating to Germany for work are the following:

  • Find a job in Germany, which approves foreign nationals,
  • Apply for the Germany Working (employment) Visa,
  • Relocate to Germany as well as obtain a functioning residence permit or authorization.

Besides this, to get the residence authorization for working in Germany, the employer or company and  employee must prove that:

  • There was a scarcity of workers that are from Germany or the EU, so they could not fill up the position,
  • That the foreign employee will certainly have the very same conditions as any other German worker in terms of wage and also the workplace,
  • Moreover, the foreign employee fulfills all educational and also work experience needs for the work position,
  • That the company employing} the foreign worker fulfills all requirements of the German authorities (registration papers and qualification).

If you experience lawful difficulties during the procedure, you might not come forward without legal assistance. The widely known German administration can be complicated as well as time-consuming. We, therefore, recommend getting in touch with Schlun & Eleven Attorneys when you experience legal issues during your stay in Germany.

3). Immigrating to Germany for Family Reunions

There are circumstances when individuals relocate to Germany for different reasons but need to leave their family members behind in their home countries. All spouses, as well as children under 16 years of age, can make an application for immigration to Germany to join their spouses or parents.

Moreover, to be eligible for the family reunion or get-together immigration, spouses need to prove that they are married, and also the children should have birth certifications. For children under 16 years of age, it is not required to have German language skills considering that they are presumed to be able to learn it promptly. Nonetheless, children over 16 years old, need to suffice evidence of German language proficiency and also the capability to adjust as well as incorporate.

When it comes to spouses, they will certainly require to have at the very least an A1 German proficiency to qualify. If the spouse currently in Germany can work, the exact same would apply to the joining spouse. The visas for spouses are bound by the very same conditions.

4). German immigration residence permits

When you obtain one of the visas for immigration, you will certainly likewise obtain a residence authorization. The residence permits can be temporary or short-term and also permanent or long-term. Short-term residence permits allow foreign nationals to remain in Germany for a specific duration and afterward go back to their home countries. Nonetheless, a long-term residence authorization does not mean that you obtain German citizenship. That is an additional procedure completely. Generally, Germany has 2 temporary residence authorizations and one permanent one.

Standard german Residence Authorization

This kind of residence authorization is used for all aforementioned immigration purposes and also for others, such as completing training programs, for previous Germans that wish to go back to Germany as well as those that go to Germany for political and humanitarian factors. The basic residence authorization is valid for a long time and also can be extended.

European Union (EU) Blue Card

The EU Blue Card for Germany is offered to foreign national employees (that are not residents of EU nations) that have high certifications and wish to work in Germany as well as use those skills. High credentials imply that the individual has an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in any given area. To qualify for the EU Blue Card, you will certainly require to have already found work in Germany, and the minimum yearly salary needs to be 56,800 Euros.

Settlement Authorization or Permanent Residence Permit

The long-term residence authorization in Germany is called the Settlement Permit. The Settlement Authorization is offered to those that have actually had either a basic residence authorization or an EU Blue Card for a minimum of 5 years and also fulfills certain language demands.

5). Immigrating to Germany for Education And Learning

Lots of people are not familiar with this, yet Germany provides totally free education and learning. Unlike countries like the United States, which has massive tuition fees, universities in Germany either have extremely low costs or do not charge anything at all.  As a result of this, Germany is a prominent place to immigrate for education and learning purposes.

However, to immigrate to Germany for completing a college degree, you need to get a visa to study Germany. The article details the requirements that you need to satisfy as well as the process of applying to obtain such a visa.

Moreover, if you obtain your education visa for immigrating to Germany as well as completing your degree, you can continue to be in Germany to look for a job for a limited time. If you can discover a job during that time, you are permitted to remain in Germany. Records suggest that approximately 54% of students that finish a degree in Germany remain and also find work there.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is German citizenship easy to get?

Considering that Germany is a country many people want to live, work, and study in, the demand for German citizenship is high. Germany is a country full of bureaucratic procedures and red tape, so naturally, even the German Federal Foreign Office states that citizenship law is immensely complicated.

How much does it cost to become a citizen of Germany?

255 euros

How much does German citizenship cost? An application for German citizenship by naturalization costs 255 euros. If you are also submitting an application for dependent children, the fee is 51 euros for each child under 16.

How long does the German citizenship application take?

If the application is successful you will be issued a certificate of citizenship which is proof of your German citizenship. The certificate will be handed out to you for a fee of EUR 25.00. The processing time may take between two and three years.

Is Germany allow dual citizenship?

Germany's citizenship policy is unusual among major Western countries. With some exceptions, the country does not allow dual citizenship, the major exception being for those from other European Union countries.

Who is eligible for German citizenship?

To be eligible for naturalization, a person has to have lived legally in Germany for at least eight years and possess the appropriate residence permit. Foreigners who have successfully completed an integration course are eligible for naturalization after seven years.

How can I move to Germany permanently?

To qualify for permanent settlement, the person must show enough German proficiency, meet specific financial requirements, and have worked in Germany for more than 33 months in their place of employment which requires the skills gained with the highest qualifications.

How do I apply to work in Germany?

  • Applying for the German Work and Residence Permit
  • Apply for an Employment Visa or Job-Seeker Visa at the German Embassy.
  • Register your living address at the local Citizens' Registration Office (Bürgeramt).
  • Get health insurance.
  • Make an appointment at the Ausländerbehörde.
  • Gather the required documents.

Is it easy to apply in Germany?

That said, taking the decision to apply for a Master's degree in Germany is easy. But for many international students who have no prior knowledge about the German education system carrying on an application for a master's course is a bit intimidating.

How can I study in Germany for free?

In Germany, you can generally study for free at public universities. There are almost 300 public universities in Germany, and there are more than 1,000 study programs in total - so you have lots of options! Some of the largest public universities include the University of Cologne.

Which country is no1 in education?

The United States

Which is the cheapest country to study in?

8 of the Most Affordable Places to Study Abroad:

  1. Norway.
  2. Taiwan.
  3. Germany.
  4. France.
  5. Mexico.
  6. India.
  7. Argentina.
  8. Poland.


You’re about to complete a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to apply for German citizenship. We hope it’s helpful as you embark on your adventure in Germany. A big thanks go out to all of the contributors (past and present) who have helped make The Expat Guide such a valuable resource over the years.

Now it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. You can apply for German citizenship after you have lived in the country for eight years, but the steps below outline the process if you’re under that time requirement. Once you finish, your name will appear on the German civil registry and you'll be a proud new citizen of Germany!

Happy travels!