Germany to allow dual citizenship from June 2024

A new German citizenship law will come into force on 26 June 2024 allowing dual citizenship. Until now, Germany has only allowed dual citizenship in exceptional circumstances.

This is a welcome change in the rules which will benefit many German nationals living in the UK who wish to naturalise as British citizens and get a British passport, but who do not want to lose their German citizenship.

Until now, German citizens living in the UK have not been able to become British citizens. Similarly, non-German citizens including British nationals living in Germany have been barred from obtaining a German passport.

Germany is introducing other changes including a shorter residence requirement for naturalisation. The required residency period will reduce from eight years to five years.

What are the benefits of British citizenship?

One of the main benefits of British citizenship is gaining the right to vote (and stand) in parliamentary elections. Currently, EU nationals can only vote in local elections, even with settled status or indefinite leave to remain. Other benefits include the ability to pass British citizenship to children.

What are the requirements?

In brief, the requirements are that:

  • You have lived in the UK for five years (or three years if married to a British citizen)
  • You are settled in the UK
  • You were in the UK five years before the date of application
  • You have not been absent for more than 450 days in the previous five years
  • You have not been absent for more than 90 days in the previous 12 months
  • You meet the English language requirement at Level B1 either by passing an approved test or by having a qualifying degree or by coming from an English-speaking country
  • You have passed the Life in the UK test
  • You intend to live in the UK permanently
  • You are of ‘good character’ i.e. there are no reasons to refuse your application based on criminality or conduct

How do I apply?

The British citizenship application process requires an online application form, attending an appointment to provide your biometrics (photograph, fingerprints and e-signature) and attending a citizenship ceremony if your application is successful where you will receive your ‘certificate of naturalisation’.

You may also need to pass an English test and Life in the UK test if you do not already meet these requirements.

How long will it take?

It can take up to six months to receive a decision. While your application is processing, you will keep your passport and can travel outside the UK.

Once you have your certificate of naturalisation, you can use this to apply for a first British passport which usually takes 4-5 weeks from inside the UK.

How much does it cost?

The current Home Office application fee to naturalise as a British citizen is £1,630, including the £130 fee to attend a citizenship ceremony. The fee to apply for a British passport will be £88.50 from 11 April 2024.

If you are a German citizen interested in naturalising as British and obtaining a British passport, contact our friendly team for advice and assistance.

We provide ‘full representation’, where we prepare and submit the application for you, or an ‘application checking service’, where we provide feedback on an application and any supporting evidence you have already prepared.