On 22nd August 2023, the German government drafted a groundbreaking change in the law which will revolutionize the country’s citizenship regulations. The approved amendments mark a significant departure from the existing framework, with key changes set to enhance the citizenship process for existing residents and newcomers alike.

According to the current Naturalization law, it is only possible to apply for German Citizenship following eight years of full-time residency in Germany. The new law sets to significantly reduce this time period from eight years to five years, which is comparable to many other EU countries, such as Portugal and Malta. Another notable alteration is the approval of multiple citizenships for all individuals, regardless of their current citizenship. Currently, only German Citizens from birth are entitled to hold dual citizenship, but this rule will soon apply to all naturalized citizens, regardless of the age and avenue they took to obtain citizenship. This move is anticipated to foster inclusivity and reflect Germany’s commitment to embracing a diverse global community.

Furthermore, the new legislation extends its benefits to spouses and minor children of applicants. Under the approved amendments, spouses and minor children can now be naturalized alongside the main applicant, provided the main applicant has legally resided in Germany for a minimum of five years.

These sweeping changes are scheduled to take effect in the first half of 2024, signifying a progressive step towards a more inclusive and efficient German citizenship system. Whilst Germany does not offer a direct Citizenship by Investment programme, it is possible to obtain residency in Germany through investment in a regional development fund. This avenue will enable the investor to obtain temporary residency, which can be converted into permanent residency after three years. It is then possible to later apply for German citizenship providing the regulations set out in Germany’s naturalization law are met.

Germany’s Passport is one of the strongest in the world and ranks 20th in La Vida’s comprehensive Global Passport Ranking. German passport holders enjoy visa-free access to 199 countries worldwide, which equates to a staggering 80.7% of the world’s global wealth (measured by GDP).

For more details on this programme or alternatives, please contact La Vida’s expert advisors.

Tags: citizenship by investment 2023, europe, germany

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