Germany to loosen dual citizenship Laws
Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas and Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière have announced that they are hatching a plan to make dual citizenship more accessible to the public by creating a draft law. This plan is significant as Germany aims to become a ‘modern immigrant society.’
At present, children of immigrants who hit the age of 23 are asked to choose between getting a German passport or that of their parent’s country of origin. In the draft law, those who are born in Germany or who were not born in Germany but have finished at least six years of schooling or lived at least eight years in the country are permitted to apply for dual citizenship once they are over 21.
Exceptions are also available for those who have spent less than six years of schooling in the country but have nevertheless graduated or completed a vocational programme.
Around 30,000 Germans are affected by the current citizenship policy annually.
Despite plans to loosen restrictions, the three million-strong Turkish community is still unhappy with citizenship law in Germany. They said everyone of foreign origin must also have the option to take dual citizenship.
Turkish Community in Germany President Kenan Kolat said ‘legal insecurity and inequality remain’ and that ‘Those affected will have to go through a complicated process in the future that threatens them with the loss or withdrawal of German citizenship.’
The draft law is part of the deal Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives agreed to as it paired up with the Social Democrats (SPD) in a grand coalition. Justice Minister Maas said the draft will be submitted to the cabinet for approval ‘as soon as possible’ so that it can be passed by parliament before the year ends.