Germany to Fast-track Citizenship and Welcome More Foreign Workers
The new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stood in front of the parliament on the 15th of December 2021 as he gave his inaugural address to the Bundestag. He took over Angela Merkel after the latter’s historic 16 years as leader of the German nation.
On what was his first speech after taking office, he discussed a few issues that included the impact of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the country’s foreign policy. He called Germany a nation of immigration and true to this, he promised that very soon it will become easier for immigrants to become German citizens and be able to practice their rights to suffrage. Among the changes to look forward to are immigrants being able to obtain German citizenship after staying in Germany for 5 years.
Currently, for immigrants to be eligible for naturalization, they have to live in Germany legally for at least 8 years and have the appropriate residence permit. Foreign nationals who have completed an integration course will be eligible for naturalization after 7 years.
Individuals who wish to become naturalized citizens are also required to have a good command of the German language; be familiar with the German legal system, as well as the living conditions and society in the country; and be able to support themselves without the need for social assistance, except in cases beyond their control. They must not have any criminal record and must give up their previous citizenship except in certain rare cases.
Another possibility for people to look forward to is multiple citizenship, as according to the new Chancellor, it’s a reality for several people and a need that must be served because a lot of immigrants want to retain their original citizenship even after obtaining a second one. He also highlighted better and more efforts for immigrants to be properly represented in Parliament.
The Chancellor is well aware of Germany’s need for more workers and to make the country more attractive to foreign workers, he spoke about modernizing the immigration law. There is a plan to implement a point system to make it easier for foreign talent to seek employment in the country and for the government to control the labor market. Because of this, educational and professional qualifications obtained from abroad will be more quickly and easily recognized too.
He is committed to breaking down barriers in migration and his government will be taking various actions to demonstrate such commitment, including but not limited to immediate asylum procedures, as well as the swift return of asylum seekers who are classified as risky.
With these changes in migration policy, he is confident that it will pave the way for legal migration to the country, better integration of immigrants into German society, a more competitive and diverse workforce, as well as better prospects for people living in the country.