Greener BeeGreen LivingBritons living in Germany ‘should have citizenship fast-tracked’, say Germany’s Green Party

The German Green Party has asked Angela Merkel’s government to consider fast-tracking the citizenship applications of British immigrants living in the country.

Members of the Greens have written to their Christian Democrat opponents in the Bundestag in a letter which calls for an end to uncertainty for the 100,000 Britons living and working in Germany.

A spokesperson for the Green Party told The Independent they were calling for the German government to reduce the length of time Britons had to live in the country before being eligible for citizenship.

“In Germany, 107,000 well-integrated British live with their families, as researchers, students, entrepreneurs and as important professionals of numerous companies,” said Katrin Göring-Eckhardt, chair of the Greens, in a statement.

“They need a clear perspective following Brexit in order not to endanger their residence permit with us. The federal government should direct the states’ work towards this more actively, so that Britons living in in Germany can be naturalised easily and quickly.”

At present, the German government recommends a resident period of eight years, with six for someone who has made a special contribution to German life and three for those married to Germans.

The Green Party are calling for that eight-year period to be reduced, although it has not specified a particular amount of time. Applicants must provide paperwork with proof of their tax returns, a clear criminal record and that they are no burden on the state, as well as demonstrate intermediate-level German and answer a multiple choice test of 33 questions.

Bundestag Letter on Britons and Citizenship by JessicaStaufenberg on Scribd

But the German government has said the country’s federal system means its 16 states hold the authority to decide applications on a case-by-case basis, and as such there is flexiblity over citizenship applications already.

It added there was no legal minimum time that somebody had to live in Germany before they were eligible for citizenship.

The question has arisen with urgency because of the uncertainty being experienced by many Britons living abroad in the EU over their resident status.

And once the UK has left the European Union – a date which remains unclear after Prime Minister Theresa May said Article 50 will not be triggered this year – it will no longer be possible to hold dual citizenship of both Britain and another EU country.

As such, many Britons in Germany are using the current window of time to apply to become citizens of Germany without also having to renounce their UK citizenship.

Numbers doing so have risen continuously since 2010, with 620 Britons having their applications to Germany accepted just last year.

  • More about:
  • Germany
  • Green Party
  • Immigration
  • Citizenship
  • Angela Merkel
  • European Union
  • Brexit
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