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New Nationality Law
On January 1, 2000 a new nationality law came into force in Germany.
This law will help foreigners living in Germany to become German citizens.
According to the new
law, "At the heart of the reform is the supplementing of the
traditional principle of descent (jus sanguinis) by the acquisition of
nationality by birth. For children born in Germany of foreign parents,
this makes it easier for them to identify with their home country of Germany.
They are given the chance to grow up as Germans among Germans." Until
now citizenship was identified according to the principle of descent.
From now on the only thing that matters is the place of birth, like in
many other European countries.
The German government estimates around half of the foreigners living
in Germany will become eligible for citizenship under the new law. All
children born in Germany will now automatically receive citizenship, if
at least one of their parents has lived in Germany for eight years. The
children of foreign parents will be entitled to dual citizenship until
they are 23, at which point they must choose. Also, a person must fulfill
certain conditions - be loyal to Germany and its people, and have a good
command of the German language.
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Conditions for Applicants to Fulfill