Germany’s Federal Statistical Office Destatis revealed that a total of 109,880 foreigners became German citizens in 2020, despite all the challenges that emerged amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Destatis, a federal authority in Germany responsible for collecting, processing, presenting and analyzing statistical information related to the economy, society and the environment, a large proportion of “new” Germans are Europeans, half of whom are citizens of other EU countries.
The data shows that a total of 28,305 citizens of other EU countries acquired German citizenship in 2020. These countries and the number of their citizens who acquired German citizenship are as follows:
Romania – 5930 Poland – 5000 Italy – 4075 Greece – 2650 Bulgaria – 2040
According to European countries outside the European Union, 30,385 citizens of these countries have acquired German citizenship.
Turkey tops the list with 11,630 German nationals becoming its nationals, the highest number among all other countries. Turkey is followed by a former member of the European Union – the United Kingdom (4,930), Kosovo (3440), Serbia (2765), Ukraine (2260) and Russia (1950).
Apart from being among the largest recipients of German citizenship, Europeans from non-EU countries also top the list of recipients of visas issued under the German Skilled Migration Act.
Back in March of this year, TheSchengen.com reported that highly skilled workers from four Western Balkan countries were among the countries that benefited the most from the law, namely Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Albania.
For non-Europeans who became German citizens in 2020, the number of new German citizens who were former Africans was 11,090, including 2,320 Moroccans.
33,685 native Asians also became German citizens, with the list of first recipients as follows:
Syria – 6700 Iraq – 4770 Iran – 3965 Afghanistan – 2880 India – 2235
Other new recipients of German citizenship in 2020 include 85 former citizens of Australia and Oceania, as well as 1,335 stateless, unstable or unknown persons.
According to World Bank data, in 2020, the population of Germany was 83.24 million. While only 109,880 of them became German citizens in 2020, more than 128,000 foreigners became German citizens in 2019, which is at the same time the largest number of naturalizations since 2003.
In order to obtain German citizenship through naturalization, the same person must have lived in Germany for at least eight years, under an appropriate residence permit. Successful completion of the integration course reduces this period to seven years.
A person who wishes to obtain German citizenship must have sufficient proficiency in the German language, as well as integrate into German society.
Usually, anyone who becomes a German citizen must renounce their previous citizenship, although there are efforts for certain groups.