On May 19, the Ministry of the Interior of Germany published a draft law that should simplify the process of submitting an application for citizenship. Thus, Berlin strives to stimulate migration and open the labor market in Europe’s largest economy.
The project offers the option of obtaining multiple citizenships and reduces the number of required years of residence before naturalization to five or three years from the previous eight.
Requirements for knowledge of the German language for obtaining citizenship will also be eased.
“We want people who have become part of our society to be able to help shape our country democratically,” Interior Minister Nancy Feiser said in a statement, adding that examples from countries such as Canada show that this prospect was crucial to attracting qualified workers, which Germany needs.
Last year, the German government agreed on plans to reform immigration legislation. Erlyn aims to open up the labor market to badly needed workers from outside the European Union to fill hundreds of thousands of vacancies in sectors ranging from gastronomy and childcare to IT and renewable energy.
By the end of 2021, about 72.4 million people with German citizenship and about 10.7 million with foreign citizenship lived in Germany, of which about 5.7 million had been in Germany for at least 10 years.
The draft law was appealed by the government coalition and the conservative opposition party, which said that the legislation could encourage illegal migration, eliminating incentives for migrants to fully integrate.
The project states that everyone who wants to naturalize in Germany must adhere to the values of a free society, which includes the dignity and equality of all people.
“Anyone who does not share these values or even acts against them cannot become a German citizen,” the document says.