Germany reduces tenure required for citizenship

MUMBAI: On January 19, Germany’s parliament passed a law that significantly relaxes naturalization (citizenship) pathways. It reduces the minimum period of German-residence necessary for naturalization to five years (from the existing period of eight years). Fragomen, a global immigration firm in its communique points out that in special cases of an ‘exceptionally well-integrated’ individual, the minimum period of Germany residency that is required, will be reduced to three years.
Further, foreign national children born in Germany will be granted German citizenship by birth if at least one of their parents has habitually resided in Germany for at least five years and holds permanent residency. Currently, this is only possible if the habitually-resident parent had resided in Germany for eight years.
According to latest available statistics of India’s Ministry of External Affairs, there are 1.85 lakh Indians in Germany, of which a major chunk viz: 1.43 lakh are ‘Non-resident Indians’ and the balance are ‘Persons of Indian origin’.
Another policy change is that German citizens will be able to hold multiple citizenships. However, India does not permit dual citizenship. Thus, if an Indian wishes to acquire German citizenship he or she will have to give up his Indian passport.

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