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Wednesday, May 22

How long does it take to turn German in Berlin? 11 years

Last year, 9,041 people were naturalised as German citizens in Berlin, with an average time of residence of 11.6 years.

Photo: IMAGO / Sven Simon

Wednesday, May 22

How long does it take to turn German in Berlin? 11 years

Next month, on June 27, a new citizenship law will come into effect allowing a significant relaxation of Germany’s citizenship laws. Naturalisation will then be possible after five years (three if you meet some criteria) and multiple nationalities will also be permitted. For many, this change is overdue: Berlin has long waiting times for people trying to gain German citizenship, even if things are headed, slowly, in the right direction.

Last year, 9,041 people were naturalised as German citizens in Berlin. This was an increase of 166 people (or 1.9%) on the year before. The largest group of new German citizens were migrants from Syria (2,486 people, or 27.3%) followed by people from Turkey (618) and from Iran (353).

Based on the 2023 statistics for Berlin, it took on average 11.6 years of residence in the country to become a German citizen. This was a slightly shorter waiting time than the same figure for 2022, which stood at 12.6 years.