German citizenship law scheduled for Bundestag reading in November

German citizenship law scheduled for Bundestag reading in November

Germany’s new citizenship law, which should significantly liberalise eligibility criteria for non-natives to apply for a passport, is scheduled to have its first reading in the Bundestag in early November.

Bundestag prepare for German citizenship law reading

Germany is preparing for a major upheaval of its citizenship law, one which will see non-Germans be able to apply for citizenship after five years of residence instead of eight and allow them to retain the citizenship of their country of origin.

Now, according to a Bundestag floor question recently answered by SPD politician Hakan Demir, either November 9 or 10 is likely to be the day that the Bundestag does its first reading of the law.

A draft of the law was accepted by German cabinet members in August and early predictions claimed that the law would make it to a Bundestag vote before the summer was up but the timeline was slowed.

The reading now scheduled for early November will be one of three. “Reading” in this context means debated. In Germany, bills are debated three times on the floor of the Bundestag. During the first reading, a special committee will be designated to the bill, which will then be in charge of organising public hearings to further discuss the law and make any recommendations.

Finally, the law will be voted on at the end of the third reading. On this occasion, the current German President, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, will ask the elected politicians for their votes or abstentions. 

Will the dual citizenship law go to the Bundesrat?

Before then, the new citizenship law is slated to head to a vote in the Bundesrat on October 20. Even though this is scheduled before the first Bundestag reading, the October date is not as important when it comes to the passage of legislation.

This is because the responsibility of the Bundesrat is to represent the governments of Germany’s 16 states. However, since the new citizenship law will be applied at the federal level and does not concern the budget or amendments to the German constitution, the Bundesrat cannot stop the new legislation from being passed into law.

For this reason, it may be the case that the Bundesrat doesn’t even vote on the law, which means that the bill would likely be signed into law as soon as it has been put to a vote after the third reading in the Bundestag.

If all this goes to plan, according to Demir, people in Germany can expect the new citizenship law to be enforced from April 2024.

Thumb image credit: Wirestock Creators /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan



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