Germany introduces dual citizenship reform
The coalition government in Germany formed by the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Free Democratic Party (FDP) and the Greens is preparing to undertake a comprehensive reform of the citizenship law to facilitate the transition to German citizenship and remove the barrier to dual citizenship, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported. Preparations for the new law are expected to be completed before the end of the year.
With the amendment of the citizenship law, people who have resided five years in Germany will be able to apply for citizenship. Currently they have to wait for five years.
Immigrants who have "special success" in social and economical adaption to Germany will be able to become naturalized at "turbo speed", that is, in three years.
One of the most important changes that the reform will bring, especially for Turkish citizens, is the right to dual citizenship. Anyone who will acquire German citizenship after the reform will not be required to renounce the citizenship of the country of origin.
The naturalization of the first generation immigrants who came to Germany since the 1960s will also be facilitated with lowering the German language level required.
According to Hakan Demir, an SPD deputy and a member of the Federal Parliament's Internal Affairs Committee, the amendment to the citizenship law constitutes one of the most important reforms of the coalition government.
Demir reminded that the right to secure residence, diplomatic protection abroad, transferring citizenship to their own children and especially the right to vote depend on citizenship, and said that "Citizenship is the most important way to live in a country on truly equal terms."
Germany's current regulations on naturalization have been criticized for years, especially by Turks, who constitute the largest immigrant group in the country.
German authorities can also exercise their discretion. They can exceptionally grant dual citizenship to those who are at risk of being economically disadvantaged, or in special cases such as professional reasons.
In 2021, about 70 percent of immigrants who acquired German citizenship were those who did not have to renounce the citizenship of their country of origin. In addition, 99.2 percent of US citizens who became German citizens and 95.2 percent of Canadian citizens were granted dual citizenship.
On the other hand, the percentage of Turks who demanded the right to dual citizenship and whose demands were accepted was limited to only 9.8 percent.
The SPD, the Free Democratic Party and the Greens promised to reform the citizenship law when signing the coalition government contract last year.
However, the main opposition Christian Unity Parties (CDU/CSU) are objecting to the government's reform of German citizenship law.
The CDU/CSU had in the past turned down requests for dual citizenship and blocked attempts to change the law. In fact, in 1998-1999, they organized a campaign "Yes to integration, no to dual citizenship" and prevented the reform step of the citizenship law of the coalition government consisting of the SPD and the Greens.
But the ruling parties are confident that a sufficient majority will be obtained for the amendment to be passed in the federal parliament this time.
It is also considered that the current regulation does not fall within the scope of a draft law subject to the approval of the Federal Council, even if it does, a possible objection may be rejected by the Bundestag, and the regulations may thus enter into force