June 2024: 10 changes affecting expats in Germany

June 2024: 10 changes affecting expats in Germany

It’s all kicking off in June! Elections, citizenship, fair and football fever: the summer is only just beginning, but next month will be jam-packed for Germany.

1. The IamExpat Fair comes to Berlin for the first time

Exciting news, June 2024 is bringing with it the first ever IamExpat Fair in Germany, taking place at the Estrel Congress Center in Berlin on June 8.

At this one-day fair, visitors can browse stands covering every aspect of expat life, from career, housing and education to family, health and leisure. For those truly wanting to make the most of the day, we offer a series of workshops presented by experts in their fields - which you can also attend at the fair for free! 

Whether you want to connect with local recruiters, sign up for a German course, finally get the ball rolling on that mortgage, or just pick up a few freebies, the IamExpat Fair promises to be a fun (and informative!) day for all. 

We look forward to meeting you all!

2. German dual citizenship law comes into effect

The Bundestag passed Germany’s monumental dual citizenship law in January and on June 27, it will finally come into effect! 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.

However, processing times to apply for citizenship can be years long in some cities, so it might still be a while until you hold your very own German 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.

3. New citizenship information website will launch

Another thing which should make your citizenship application easier is Germany’s new citizenship information website, which will also launch on June 27.

Alongside the information website, the German government is expected to open new, official social media accounts sharing personal stories about the application process and eventual naturalisation. These will spotlight the experience of successful applicants and be used as an advertising campaign to encourage residents to apply for citizenship.

Until now, citizenship applicants in Germany have been reliant on unofficial channels, such as Facebook groups or forums, to share stories about successful or unsuccessful citizenship applications.

4. Germany launches Chancenkarte visa

Moving to Germany as a non-EU citizen is also about to get easier. On June 1, the German government will introduce the second phase of its new skilled worker immigration law, which includes the points-based Chancenkarte (Opportunity Card).

The new Chancenkarte visa will allow people from “third countries” to move to Germany for one year and carry out part-time work while they look for long-term employment or vocational training.

Applicants must meet three basic requirements and gather at least six points in the Chancenkarte points-based system to be considered. You can find out more about the points system and application procedure here.

5. Bahncard 25 and 50 go digital

From June 6, Deutsche Bahn’s subscription cards, Bahncard 25 and Bahncard 50, will no longer be available in physical form.

Instead, Bahncard 25 or 50 holders will need to make a profile on the DB app or website, so that they can show a digital version of their card to conductors. If you would prefer to keep a physical version too, you can print out a copy from the app or website.

Anyone who already has a physical Bahncard 25 or 50 can continue to use it until it expires and Bahn 100 cards will still be available in physical form.

6. Wero payment system will launch across Europe

Towards the end of the month, a new online payment system will launch across Europe, “Wero”.

Wero was created by the European Payments Initiative (EPI), an organisation comprising 20 European central banks. It was founded in 2020 to create a pan-European online payment system.

With German banks such as Deutsche Bank and Sparkasse taking part, the long-term goal is that Wero will rival competition posed by Apple Pay, Pay Pal, Mastercard and Visa. The EPI hopes that the continent-wide payment system will eventually replace national banking networks such as Germany’s girocard.

7. EU citizens head to the polls

On June 9, voters in Germany will head to the polls to cast their ballots in the European election. Of the 705 seats in the European Parliament, the federal republic will elect 96 MEPs in what is set to be the first European election in which Germans aged 16 and 17 can vote.

If you have a passport from another EU country or are newly eingebürgert and voting in your first European election in Germany, you can head over to the Wahl-O-Mat website and answer questions to find out with which German parties your views are most aligned.

The social-democratic Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and the centre-right European People's Party Group are currently the two biggest political alliances in the European Parliament.

While the far right is expected to see big wins in the June election, Germany’s largest populist party Alternative for Germany (AfD) is facing its fair share of scandal in the lead-up to polling day, namely the party’s expulsion from the European Parliament’s far-right Identity and Democracy (ID) alliance.

The AfD expulsion followed after candidate Maximillian Krah told journalists that Nazi SS members were not necessarily “criminals”. German police are also investigating Krah for allegedly having received payments from Russia and China, while one of his aides is being investigated for spying links to China.

8. School summer holidays begin in 5 German states

In June, schoolchildren in five German states can look forward to heading out of the school gates for a long, well-deserved summer holiday.

Pupils in Bremen, Lower Saxony, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia will be off from the end of June until early August.

7. LGBTQ+ Pride Month across Germany

Summer is here and oh baby, it’s queer! June 1 marks the beginning of International LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

Throughout the month many events are held to demonstrate against the international oppression of queer people, commemorate those who have died as a result of homophobic crime or government policy and celebrate advances in queer liberation.

Check out our guide to Christopher Street Day celebrations and demonstrations in Germany throughout the month. Cheers queers!

8. Germany hosts UEFA European Football Championships

It’s all kicking off in June! Between June 14 and July 14, millions of football fans will flock to the federal republic to watch Europe’s favourite game in Germany’s 10 host cities.

Germany and Scotland will get the ball rolling in Berlin on June 14. If you want to feel the buzz but don’t have tickets you can head to Brandenburger Tor’s Fanmeile, where every match of the tournament will be screened throughout the month.

Anyone lucky enough to get tickets should also be aware of Deutsche Bahn’s transport deal with UEFA, which allows people with a ticket to watch a Euros 2024 match in a host city to purchase DB train tickets for just 30 euros. The ticket will also be valid on public transport once fans arrive in the host city.

Thumb image credit: Mo Photography Berlin /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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