Germany Eases Path to Citizenship
In a significant move to modernise nationality laws, the German Bundestag approved a draft law today, on January 19, that makes it easier for individuals to gain German citizenship. The draft, received the needed support with 382 votes in favour, 234 against, and only 23 abstentions.
The legislation, which has been a hot topic throughout Germany last year, introduces several key changes to the existing laws, including here permitting German citizens to acquire new nationalities without having to renounce their current, as well as permitting foreigners to become German nationals, without having to give up on their other one(s).
The opposition mainly came from the Social Democratic Party (SPD), Alliance 90/The Greens, and the Free Democratic Party (FDP). According to reports, the new law will also streamline the citizenship process for children born to foreign parents in Germany, shortening the period of residence for a parent from eight to five years.
The law also stipulates that individuals employed full-time for at least 20 months in the past two years, those living in a family with a full-time worker and a child, and guest workers and contract workers who were in the Federal Republic or the former GDR until 1990 may be granted exceptions to the requirement of self-sufficiency during the naturalisation process.
However, the law faced opposition from the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, who presented a motion called “Preserve the value of German citizenship”, insisting that the proposed changes to nationality law are “fundamentally wrong”, which was ultimately rejected. On the same day, the Parliament approved another law called the Return Improvement Act, which makes possible the continuation and ordering of detention pending deportation regardless of any asylum applications.
Overall, the new law marks a significant shift in Germany’s approach to citizenship and is likely to have a positive impact on individuals seeking to become German nationals.
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