Naturalisation (Einbürgerung) through prolonged residence
Naturalisation through adoption by Germans
Aliens have a right to naturalisation (Anspruchseinbürgerung) through prolonged residence (usually fifteen years), notwithstanding fulfilment of judicial preconditions. For persons without residence permission or a right of residence, a right to naturalisation does not exist. Naturalisation may be refused if a serious offence has been committed or if the authorities have reasonable grounds to consider deportation of the applicant.
Aliens are dependent on the discretion of the authorities if they have no rights to naturalisation and if they nevertheless apply for naturalisation. A sustained residence of a minimum of ten years in Germany is usually required. For stateless persons and those with rights to asylum, seven (or, for those married to a German, five) years may be considered as sufficient.
Exceptions for instance exist in such cases as former-Germans and people from ethnic groups of Germanic origin without rights to naturalisation, as well as for example for famous sports stars.
Along with a sustained period of residence, a 'voluntary and continual inclination and disposition towards Germany', a basic knowledge of federal German civil policy and a 'recognition of free democratic established order' is expected. Active participation in a political emigrants organisation may for example, be considered as contrary to a 'voluntary and continual inclination and disposition towards Germany'. Proficiency in written and spoken German must be achieved. Additionally, 'adequate and suitable economic circumstances' are expected, which basically means sufficient income as well as having a life assurance/pension fund.
Generally, naturalisation will only occur after the previous citizenship has been annulled. A dual citizenship should be avoided.
The adoption of under-age children by Germans leads automatically to naturalisation. In the case of adoption of a child who has subsequently attained adulthood, naturalisation is still automatic if the application for adoption took place when the 'child' was still a minor.
The adoption of an adult does not lead to his/her naturalisation. An exception may only then be made if a situation of mutual dependency exists. Such a situation is evident if the adopted person or one adult is in need of or is needed to provide care.
A stateless person is permitted to reside only if (s)he fulfils the general preconditions. That is, for example, a person with rights to asylum or a foreign worker (Gastarbeiter). Rights to residence will not be granted simply due to the fact of statelessness. In such a case where a person is denied citizenship by his/her country of origin (whereby the country of origin refuses to receive the person), then statelessness may well lead to prolonged residence in Germany. The FRG will however usually attempt all that is possible to bring about the departure of a stateless person. Usually this means simply the granting of nothing more than 'toleration' in such cases for many years. In addition this usually means a work ban, but also exclusion from social assistance (because sufficiently acceptable papers do not exist).
Only if deportation after years of trial is not accomplished by the state, may it be possible to receive an authorisation of residence (Aufenthaltsbefugnis) and with it a stateless persons passport.
© unlimited - Stadtratte, 99-07-22 - www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/migration/