Acquiring German citizenship will be a significant benefit to your work in Europe. You would automatically gain access to one of the largest markets in the world, but it will also allow you entry into the broader European Union markets. Pursuing citizenship in Germany is a complicated matter, but it is possible.
Three paths to German citizenship
As with most countries, there are limited ways to become a citizen. In Germany, those paths are:
- Citizenship by descent: To qualify for this, you must be the child of a German citizen who was born in Germany.
- Citizenship by birth: Regardless of your parent’s citizenship, if you are born in Germany, you have the right to be a German citizen.
- Citizenship by naturalization: Anyone who undertakes and completes the naturalization process can become a citizen.
Citizenship by descent and birth are primarily out of your control. Therefore, naturalization is the possibility most likely available to you.
What are the requirements for German naturalization?
Germany requires those who wish to naturalize as German citizens to meet the following requirements:
- You must live in Germany with a residence permit for eight years or seven years with proof of attendance to an integration program.
- You must be proficient in German and prove as such with a specific certificate.
- You must have the ability to support yourself and have a clean criminal record.
- You must renounce any other citizenship.
- You must pass the German citizenship test.
You may also qualify for naturalization if you marry a German citizen, but that only decreases the residence requirements to three years in Germany if your marriage is older than two years.
What you get from being a German citizen
All German citizens have the right to vote, the right to move where they wish, the right to work for the German government and many other opportunities. This could be significantly lucrative to you and your work, but it can be a costly, time-consuming endeavor. Ultimately, the choice is up to you.