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Waiting for citizenship: 200,000 naturalization applications pending

Waiting for citizenship: 200,000 naturalization applications pending
Waiting for citizenship: 200,000 naturalization applications pending

At the end of the month, citizenship law will be reformed. Then more people will be able to become naturalized. However, those waiting for this will need strong nerves and a lot of patience.

More than 204,000 naturalization applications are currently pending in Germany’s most populous cities. This was the result of a survey published on Friday by the Integration Media Service, in which 42 cities provided precise data. In addition, there are people interested in naturalization who are waiting for an appointment with the relevant authorities and who are not yet included in the application figures.

In 2023, a total of around 200,100 people were naturalized in Germany, more than ever since the turn of the millennium.

Waiting for German citizenship: Processing can take years

According to the survey, the length of time it takes to review a naturalization application varies greatly. It is between three and 36 months. The cities surveyed cited increasing backlogs, incompleteness of the submitted documents and the involvement of other authorities as reasons for the long processing times.

The reform of citizenship law comes into force on June 27. Naturalization is now possible after five years instead of the previous eight, and after three years if “special integration efforts” are made. Multiple citizenship is also permitted. Former guest workers or contract workers in the GDR only have to prove that they have spoken German in order to be naturalized and no longer have to take a naturalization test. The Integration Media Service is therefore expecting a sharp increase in the number of applications and naturalizations.

Source: Stern

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