Germany moves to ease citizenship rules

BERLIN: The German government on Friday said it was working on plans to “simplify” the path to citizenship, by speeding up the naturalization process of immigrants and allowing dual citizenship.
A spokesman for the Interior Ministry said it would soon publish a draft law that would be submitted to the cabinet for approval.
Under the proposed new rules, naturalization will be possible after five years of residency instead of eight, and even just three years for those deemed particularly well-integrated.
Children born in Germany automatically become citizens if their immigrant parent has lived legally in the country for at least 5 years.
The Home Office also plans to relax some language requirements for older immigrants and make it easier for people with multiple nationalities.
The review of Germany’s citizenship law is a key pledge made by the centre-left coalition government led by Chancellor Olaf Scholz when it came to power a year ago.
It comes as Germany, an aging country of more than 80 million people, is facing severe labor shortages in many industries.
The labor ministry has predicted a shortage of about 240,000 skilled workers by 2026 in Europe’s largest economy.
“We will create a modern citizenship law,” Scholz’s tripartite government said in its coalition agreement.
“To this end, we will make multiple citizenships possible and simplify the path to German citizenship.”


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