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How to: Naturalization in Germany

Naturalization is the process in which a citizen of another country seeks to become a full-fledged citizen of Germany by giving up their passport of origin to receive a German passport and identification.


What are the requirements to be eligible?


To be eligible for the naturalization process in Germany one who seeks to go through with it has to fulfill a series of requirements:


  • permanently worked and lived in Germany for at least 8 years

  • right of permanent residence at the time of naturalization

  • renunciation of previous citizenship

  • understanding of the legal system, society, and living conditions in the Federal Republic of Germany - naturalization test (proof of civic knowledge)

  • financial means to support oneself without social assistance

  • sufficient German language skills equivalent to B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference of Language

  • no previous or current criminal convictions

  • commitment to the constitutional principles of freedom and democracy

If you fulfill all these requirements then there is little to stand in your way of a successful application for naturalization in Germany.


What are the costs of this process?


The fee for naturalization is 255 euros per person. If parents intend to naturalize their children at the same time as themselves then the fee per child is 51 euros.


In some cases, the fees for naturalization can be waived or reduced. This is not a given thing and always applies to the individual case.

Costs of naturalization in Germany
Naturalization costs

What is the naturalization test?


The naturalization test is a process to determine the applicant's necessary familiarity with the legal system, society, and living conditions in Germany.


It consists of:

  • 33 of 310 potential questions

  • three of which only apply to the German state where the applicant lives

  • subjects include areas such as "Living in a democracy", "History and responsibility" and "People and society"

You will have 60 minutes to answer the questions and turn in your paper. To pass the tests you must answer at least 17 of the 33 questions correctly.


Statistics show that in recent years more than 90% of applicants have successfully passed the test.


After successfully passing the test, you will receive the certificate "proof of civic knowledge" which will be used in the neutralization process.


Good to know:

The necessity of the naturalization tests is dropped if the applicant is/has:

  • 16 years of age or younger

  • a constant medical condition (illness)

  • a disability

  • graduated from a German school

  • graduated from a German higher education in law or social, political, or administrative sciences

Naturalization test Germany
Naturalization test

How can I prepare for the naturalization test?


As for every test, there are always two options to take.


Work with freely available material such as the interactive list of questions from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees’ online test center or sign-up with one of the many institutions that offer preparation courses for this kind of test.


Though we do not speak against these kinds of institutions we highly recommend first trying the free solution from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.


When can my spouse or registered partner apply for naturalization?


If you are married to or in a registered same-sex partnership with a German citizen (spouse / registered partner) for at least 2 years at the time of application and have been legally living in Germany for at least 3 years, then you are eligible for the naturalization process.


The same requirements still apply as in the normal naturalization process.

spouse partner same-sex marriage
Partner naturalization

 

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