German dual citizenship law could pass in January, say coalition

German dual citizenship law could pass in January, say coalition

Germany’s dual citizenship law has seen two legislative delays in recent weeks. Now, the coalition says that they have settled their disagreements about benefit recipients’ eligibility, and the law could be passed in January 2024.

German dual citizenship law back on track

Germany’s coalition government have settled disagreements about certain elements of the country’s new dual citizenship law.

It was announced last week that the law had been paused during the legislative process thanks to disagreements between the FDP and both of its fellow governing parties, the SPD and Greens.

According to the dpa, the main point of contention between the FDP and Greens was about an amendment related to withholding citizenship from non-EU residents in Germany who have previously claimed unemployment benefits such as Arbeitslosengeld or Bürgergeld. According to Tagesschau, the Greens and SPD wanted to ensure that disabled people who claim unemployment benefits would still be eligible for citizenship. It has not been agreed that they will be eligible. 

There were also disagreements about Germany’s new immigration legislation, the “Repatriation Improvement Act”, which will make it easier for the German government to deport people by increasing the powers that the police have, such as removing the requirement of German authorities to inform asylum seekers that there is a plan to deport them.

In the recent disagreements, parties were fighting over whether deportees should automatically be given a lawyer for free. This will now be the case, but only once the person has been detained.

Announcing that the coalition had come to an agreement, faction leaders Britta Haßelmann und Katharina Dröge (Greens), Rolf Mützenich (SPD) and Christian Dürr (FDP) said that the new laws “[do] justice to a modern immigration society and the principles of humanity and order.” 

German citizenship law should be voted on in January

Facing a first, heated debate in the Bundestag at the end of November, an agreement between the coalition parties means that the law will now progress to a second debate, also known as a reading.

Finally, there will be a vote held at the end of the third reading. According to the announcement from Haßelmann, Dröge, Mützenich and Dürr, this could happen in January already. When it does, the current German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will ask the elected politicians for their votes or abstentions.

If all this goes to plan, people in Germany can expect the new citizenship law to be enforced from April 2024. However, processing times to apply for German citizenship can be years long in some German cities, so it might still be a while until you hold your very own passport.

The new deportation legislation, which has been criticised by Amnesty International due to concerns over whether the legislation breaches fundamental rights, and European and international law, will likely follow the same timeline.

Thumb image credit: Philipp B. Klees /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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