With the citizenship claim, also known as “naturalization”, you become an equal citizen of the country where you moved and you therefore have all rights and obligations of your State of residence as a citizen.
Those who come from countries belonging to the European union have free movement in Europe, including in Germany, and can travel to many countries outside it without a visa, but when you are neutralized in Germany you acquire additional rights. It offers you political participation, legal equality and more opportunities to participate in society, this means that you can even run for political offices.
How can you become neutralized? There are many exceptions that allow you to speed this process, but we have decided to talk about a standard case.
The competent authority to refer to depends on your place of residence, it can be the city or district administration office or the immigration office.
After living legally and permanently in Germany for at least eight years you can apply for the citizenship, making sure the following conditions, among others, are true for your case:
• proof of knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in Germany via a test (Einbürgerungstest)
• an oral and written German language test, which proves that your level is at least intermediate (B1 language level) and you are able to communicate with other people
• no conviction for a crime.
The fee is 255 Euros per person, in the cases where underage children are neutralized together with their parents, the fee is, instead, 51 Euros per minor. To this amount you also have to add 25 Euros for the Einbürgerungstest and 25 for the language test (generally these tests are taken at a Volkshochschule upon request by the body or office in charge).
What happens to your old citizenship? Your birth citizenship should not be retained upon neutralization in Germany, so you need to decide whether to lose it or give it up. There are exceptions, however, where multiple nationalities are accepted. Citizens who come from the states of the EU and Switzerland need to get informed about the agreements between their country of origin and Germany.