How to apply for a German passport

The legislation requires international citizens to renounce their citizenship in order to apply for one in Germany. Exceptions are made for citizens of the EU and Switzerland. Children born to a national and an international parent automatically receive German citizenship. After citizenship is granted, the person is eligible to receive a German passport. Another way of obtaining citizenship is to live in Germany for a minimum of 8 years. In addition, children of internationals who have lived in the country for a minimum of 8 years are automatically granted citizenship and may apply for a German Passport.

Our German legal experts can assist you with the procedure for citizenship application and help you to set up a business in Germany.

Conditions for obtaining a German passport

Most internationals apply for citizenship in Germany after having lived and worked there for 8 years. In order to obtain a national passport, the person needs to apply for a work permit or residence. Additionally, there are several other requirements for obtaining German citizenship:

  • regular income ensuring that the person is self-sufficient and does not need to appeal for social benefits;
  • fluency in German;
  • taking an oath to respect the country’s Constitution.

If an international citizen is married to a German one, he/she may obtain citizenship within 2 years of the date of marriage and after having lived in Germany for 3 years

How to obtain German citizenship through naturalization

Naturalization is another way to obtain citizenship. An international citizen needs to fulfil several conditions to take advantage of this procedure:

  • Working/living in Germany for a minimum of 8 years;
  • having legal representation;
  • having a residence permit;
  • having knowledge of the legal system in Germany;
  • clean criminal dossier.

Internationals who have gone through a course in integration are eligible for citizenship after 7 years. Together with citizenship, applicants also receive special certificates and can apply for German passports.

If you need more information on how to obtain German citizenship and set up a company in Germany, our local experts in business incorporation are available to help you.

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