Dual citizenship law effective from June after German President signs bill

Dual citizenship law effective from June after German President signs bill

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has signed the country’s new dual citizenship rules into law, meaning that it will come into effect within the next three months.

President Steinmeier signs off on dual citizenship law

Marking the next legislative stage, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has now signed off on the country’s dual citizenship law. 

The Bundestag passed the monumental law in January. Among other changes, the new law will allow non-EU citizens with a German residence permit to naturalise after just five years in the country and after three years in special cases, without having to surrender their original citizenship.

After the German parliament passes a law, it must be signed off by the president before it can come into effect. This signing normally happens within two weeks of the law being passed, but in this case, it took seven weeks.

According to the Bundesgesetzblatt (Federal Law Gazette), in which the government publishes information about new laws, the bill was signed by the president, Chancellor Olaf Scholz and senior ministers on March 22, 2024.

When will the dual German citizenship law come into effect?

Since the German government announced that its coalition agreement would commit to introducing dual citizenship, the law has been subject to great scrutiny and was delayed at several legislative stages.

So how has Steinmeier’s still wet ink re-adjusted the legislative timeline once more? From which date can foreign residents be sure that they won’t have to surrender their original citizenship if their application for German citizenship is successful?

Once a law is signed by the German President it automatically comes into effect 14 days later. However, since the new citizenship law will require administrative bodies to make adjustments, it will be longer before the law comes into effect. No concrete date has been set, but authorities have been given a three-month preparation period, meaning that it should come into effect around June 22, 2024.

However, processing times to apply for citizenship can be years long in some German cities, so it might still be a while until you hold your very own passport. Making sure that you are eligible for citizenship and that your application is complete is the best way to ensure a speedier processing time.

Thumb image credit: MP_Foto /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



Leave a comment