Comprehensive Guide to German Naturalization Process

Table of Contents


What is it?

Naturalization is the process of acquiring citizenship in a country other than the one the person has originally been a citizen of. This guide particularly focuses on naturalization in Germany.

Who needs it?

Ideal for foreigners living in Germany who are intending to obtain German citizenship.


  1. Residency requirement: Before you apply, ensure you have lived at least 8 years in Germany. You should also possess a permanent residence permit (Niederlassungserlaubnis )

  2. Check eligibility: Fully understand the rules for applying for citizenship in order to know if you qualify. Visit the German Missions in the United States page on Naturalization to learn more.

  3. ** Preparing documentation:** Collect and make copies of all documents that you may need. This includes having official translations if your documents are not in German.

  4. Applying for Citizenship: Contact your local city’s naturalization office (Einbürgerungsamt ) to apply for citizenship. You should expect to meet with a case worker who will guide you through the process.

  5. Interview: Prepare and attend a compulsory citizenship interview, where your application, background information and German knowledge will be reviewed.

  6. Citizenship test: Pass the naturalization test. You can find a guide and a selection of test questions on the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees’ Website

  7. Receiving citizenship: Finally, after submitting the documentation, taking the interview and passing the examination, you will receive a citizenship certificate.

Required Documents

  • Proof of identity (ID card or passport)
  • Birth certificate
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Proof of German language proficiency
  • Proof of residency
  • Payment slip of naturalization fees
  • Certificate of naturalization test

For detailed information, visit Required Documents for Applying for German Citizenship

Providers that can do it for you

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Additional details

  • Knowledge of German is an integrative part of the process for acquisition of German citizenship.
  • Individuals with a criminal record or who are deemed a threat to public safety will generally not be eligible.
  • Applicants may also need to renounce their original citizenship depending on their home country’s laws on dual citizenship.
  • The whole process may take a few months to more than a year, depending on individual circumstances.
  • It is advisable to engage a legal expert conversant in German immigration law to help with the process.


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