Refugees as new citizens – Challenges and opportunities for the policy and practice of naturalisation in Germany (July 2021 – June 2022)

A large proportion of the foreigners who entered Germany seeking protection in 2015 and 2016 will soon have fulfilled the minimum period of residency required by law as a major criterion for naturalisation in Germany. In this context it is important to note that those seeking protection are more inclined than EU citizens or other third-country nationals to seek citizenship. Excluding the impact of special factors, such as Brexit or a processing backlog due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual number of applications for naturalisation has remained largely unchanged at around 110,000 for a number of years. It can therefore be assumed that the number of applications for naturalisation will pick up in the next few years. This is likely to be the case regardless of the reform of citizenship law planned by the new German government, which has the potential in the short term to greatly increase the number of people eligible for naturalisation.

The project includes an assessment of the number of applications for naturalisation that may be anticipated in the near future based on overall refugee numbers, those with recognition status and the periods of residence of people from different countries of origin. The results of the project were published in a policy brief in the first half of 2022.


Policy Brief (Summary)

Refugees as new citizens – the potential in the coming years

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