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    The way to the German passport should be easier – DW – 23.08.2023

    With the reform of nationality law, the federal government wants to shorten the waiting time before naturalization. In the future, this should be possible after five years instead of the previous eight years. Dual citizenship will also be possible in the future. Until now, the original citizenship had to be given up prior to naturalization.

    Naturalization is expressly excluded for people who have committed crimes with anti-Semitic or racist motives. For people who came to Germany as guest workers up to the 1970s or to the GDR as contract workers up to 1990, there should be lower language requirements. They should also not have to take a naturalization test.

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    Faeser: Contribution to competitiveness

    Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) sees the planned simplification of rules on naturalization as a contribution to Germany’s competitiveness. “We are in the middle of a global competition for the best minds,” Faeser told the “RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland”. “But we will only attract the best minds if they can become a full part of our society in the foreseeable future,” she added.

    Germany Bundestag Nancy Faeser
    Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser: So far, the German naturalization rate has been below average (archive image)Image: Bernd von Jutrczenka/dpa/picture alliance

    According to her ministry, about 14 percent of the population does not have a German passport – just over twelve million people. Around 5.3 million of them have been living in Germany for at least ten years. This also shows that citizenship law needs to be modernized, explained Faeser. In 2022, 168,545 people applied for a German passport, which is just 3.1 percent of foreign nationals who have lived here for at least ten years. In an EU comparison, the German naturalization rate is below average.

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    Fewer hurdles when changing gender in passport

    The federal cabinet also wants to get the so-called Self-Determination Act off the ground. In the future, everyone in Germany should be able to determine their gender and first name themselves and change them in a simple procedure at the registry office. According to the Ministry of Family Affairs and Justice, the law is aimed at transgender, intersex and non-binary people. Criticism of the self-determination law comes mainly from the Union and the AfD.

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    Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann (FDP) saw the draft law as a success for the traffic light coalition and defended it against concerns. He told the Berlin newspaper “Tagesspiegel” that the reform is about the freedom and dignity of transgender people. The state should no longer treat them like “sick people”.

    bri/se (dpa, epd, kna, afp)

    Source: DW

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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