Skip to content

How African refugees can obtain German citizenship after 6 years

work changes in Germany
How African refugees can get German citizenship

Germany ranks first in the world in terms of the strength of its passport, as a person holding a German passport can travel to 99 countries, without the need to obtain a visa. But how can you attain German Citizenship for African refugees and immigrants?

The method of obtaining German citizenship for African refugees and immigrants in general varies according to the type of residence that the applicant holds. It may require first obtaining permanent residency, and then obtaining citizenship.
Read also: New visa & passport centre in Berlin for Ghanaian citizens and visitors

The following are the conditions and documents required to obtain German citizenship for African refugees and immigrants:

  • Duration: In principle, the applicant must have resided in Germany for a period of eight years, but this period can be reduced to seven or six years for a person who holds an asylum residence, if they proves that they have integrated with German society, or have worked in the field of special services. Refugees, and the estimation of this case is up to the employee in charge of the file.

It is worth noting that the authority of the employee is a very large authority, as it may happen that two people apply for citizenship at the same time and have the same conditions, and one of them obtains citizenship while the second does not.
Read also: Kenyan actor Lupita Nyong’o to head Berlin Film Festival jury

Individuals must have a German language certificate level B1
Applicant must have a German language certificate level B1

Types of residency permits the holder to apply for citizenship:

  1. Permanent residence, whether through asylum or work.
  2. Temporary residency, if it is one of the residency that can justify obtaining permanent residency (such as the residency that most Africans have obtained).
    Articles 23 and beyond of the Asylum Law cover the rest of the residency, including prevention of deportation (Duldung), academic residence, and residence for humanitarian reasons, but they are not sufficient to apply for citizenship.
  • Self-spending: The citizenship applicant must not receive aid from the state and be able to support themselves and their family, with the exception of aid related to scholarships (BAföG). Unemployment benefit arising from loss of previous work (Arbeitslosengeld I), home rent assistance (Wohngeld), and sponsorship amount Supportive children (Erziehungsgeld), it does not affect the citizenship application.
  • German language: The applicant must have a German language certificate level B1, and the following are excluded from the language requirement:
    Illness: If the person is ill, a disease prevents him from learning, he/she is exempt from this condition.
    Disability: Every person who has a disability rate that prevents him/her from studying is also exempt from this condition.
    Age: if the person applied for citizenship when he/she was old (the matter is discretionary, and most likely the person is exempt, if he/she is close to retirement age)
  • Pass the naturalisation test.( find more information HERE.)

The test contains 33 questions out of 310, which talk about public and political life in Germany. To succeed in the exam, one must answer at least 17 questions.
(<<We covered how to how to prove adequate knowledge of the German language HERE>>)

This examination exempts:

If they have not been sentenced for a criminal offence for a period of more than three months and more, with the following exceptions:

  • Educational measures or methods of education in accordance with the Juvenile Court Law.
  • Conviction with a fine equivalent to a penalty of up to 90 days of social work, and no more.  
  • Conviction for up to three months, suspended imprisonment.
    A person with a sentence exceeding three months requires five years to expunge this judgment from their criminal record.
  1. He/she must understand and accept the principles of democracy prevailing in the country, according to a written commitment with the submission of the request.
  • Fee: For each adult family member, the applicant is required to pay an amount of 255 euros, and if there are underage children whose applications were submitted with the parents, the fee for each child is only 51 euros.

If the competent authority rejects the citizenship application, it does not refund these sums, and the citizenship applicant can submit a fee payment request.
Read also: Why are there few African businesses in Germany?

One must answer at least 17 questions to succeed in the exam
To succeed in the exam, one must answer at least 17 questions

Loss of German citizenship for African refugees and other immigrants/refugees:

You can lose German citizenship when an individual acquires another nationality or voluntarily renounces it. There are exceptional cases, under which a naturalisation applicant can retain his/her first citizenship – Infomigrants.

Where can you submit the citizenship application?

The applicant submits the application to the municipality of their residence, along with a written request and all the previously mentioned documents. It is noteworthy that obtaining German citizenship is not difficult for African refugees who meet the specified conditions.