Naturalisation; application for the granting of German citizenship to foreigners with a claim to naturalisation (entitlement to naturalisation)

A foreigner living in Germany is entitled to become a naturalised citizen under certain conditions.


Naturalisation is the granting of German citizenship to a foreigner. It must be applied for and is carried out by issuing a special naturalisation certificate.

A foreigner whose identity and nationality have been clarified and who has been legally resident in Germany for eight years must in principle be naturalised on his or her application. Residence is lawful if the foreigner is a citizen of the Union entitled to freedom of movement or another foreigner residing in Germany with the approval of the foreigners authority (e.g. with a settlement permit). Habitual or permanent residence is when the foreigner has both the will to live permanently in Germany and the legal possibility of remaining in Germany forever (e.g. possession of a settlement permit).

There is no entitlement to naturalisation if the foreigner

  • is not committed to the free democratic basic order of the Federal Republic of Germany;
  • does not have sufficient knowledge of the German language;
  • has no knowledge of the legal and social order or of living conditions in Germany;
  • receives benefits according to the Second or Twelfth Book of the Social Security Code and is responsible for the receipt of such benefits;
  • does not wish to give up his or her previous nationality and there are no justified reasons for doing so; this does not apply to nationals of Member States of the European Union and Switzerland;
  • has been convicted of a criminal offence
  • is engaged in anti-constitutional activities;
  • his or her integration into German life is not guaranteed.

The district offices and the municipal administrations of the independent cities decide on naturalization applications.


You are entitled to naturalisation if the following conditions are met:

  • unlimited right of residence at the time of naturalisation
  • proof of knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in Germany
  • legal habitual residence in Germany for eight years (this period is reduced to seven years after successful attendance of an integration course; in the case of special integration achievements, it can even be reduced to six years)
  • Independent means of subsistence (also for dependent family members) without social assistance and unemployment benefit II
  • Proof of sufficient oral and written German language skills: List of recognised language certificates
  • no conviction for a criminal offence
  • Commitment to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • in principle, the loss or renunciation of the old nationality, insofar as this is possible and reasonable

If one of these conditions is not met, you are not entitled to naturalisation. In certain cases, however, so-called discretionary naturalisation is possible (see "Related topics").

Required documents

  • Citizenship application

    Pre-printed forms are available from the district administration authority.

  • Valid passport
  • Current photo
  • Supporting documents proving the foreign national's civil and marital status (e. g. birth certificate, or marriage certificate, or divorce decree)
  • Demonstration of knowledge of the legal and social order and the living conditions in Germany through presentation of a certificate of successful citizenship test completion or a certificate of graduation from a German academic secondary school
  • Supporting documents proving adequate oral and written proficiency in the German language (school graduation diplomas, certificates, etc.)
  • Supporting documents proving the foreign national's income, retirement provisions, medical insurance and long-term care insurance, also for his or her dependents, where applicable
  • If necessary, you may be required to present the following. Foreign official deeds and documents need to be translated.

Online procedures

  • Einbürgerung - Quick-Check

    With a quick check, which you can find under the following link, you can carry out a non-binding check of the naturalisation requirements. However, the naturalisation procedure is only initiated with the effective submission of the application and all required documents. The final decision will be made after the competent authority has checked the requirements.


  • In principle: 255,00 Euro

    Minor children without own income, who are naturalized together with their parents: 51,00 Euro

    Additional costs can arise

    • for the presentation of civil status certificates
    • for proof of civic knowledge and/or language skills
    • due to the renunciation of the previous nationality
    • for translations of foreign documents by sworn translators and certification fees


Administrative court proceedings; information

An appeal against a negative decision by the authority may be brought before the competent administrative court.

Status: 07.10.2021

Responsible for editing: Bayerisches Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration

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  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, locally limited
  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited
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