Legislation makes people eligible for citizenship after five years and allows for dual nationality.
German lawmakers have adopted proposals to relax citizenship requirements and lift a restriction on multiple citizenship.
The bill, introduced by centre-left Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s socially liberal coalition, passed parliament 382-234 on Friday, with 23 legislators abstaining.
The law will make persons eligible for citizenship after five years in Germany, or three in the event of “exceptional integration accomplishments,” rather than the current eight or six years.
Children born in Germany will immediately become citizens if one of their parents has been a legal resident for five years, rather than eight.
Dual nationality, which was previously only allowed for citizens of other European Union countries, would be legalised, allowing tens of thousands of German-born Turks to vote.
Scholz stated in a video announcing the citizenship bill that it was intended for those who had lived and worked in Germany for “decades.”
“With the new citizenship law, we are saying to all those who have frequently lived and worked in Germany for decades, who follow our rules, and who feel at home here: You belong to Germany,” Scholz explained.
The main centre-right opposition bloc slammed the initiative, claiming it would devalue German citizenship.
People who have moved to Germany wait to be naturalised as German citizens during a ceremony at a town hall in Berlin [File: Thomas Peter/Reuters].
“Two passports is the most common thing in the world in 2024, and it has long been a reality in most nations,” said Social Democratic senator Reem Alabali-Radovan.
“We, the 20 million migrants, will stay here. “This country belongs to all of us, and we will not allow it to be taken away,” she said of the measure, which needs be signed by President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before it becomes law.