Last year, 131,600 foreigners took on German citizenship – a significant increase compared to 2020. People from two countries in particular were naturalized.

In Germany, 20 percent more people were naturalized last year than in the previous year – most of them came from Syria.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, 131,600 foreigners were naturalized in Germany in 2021. “A good half of this increase is due to the high number of naturalizations by Syrians,” the office reported on Friday in Wiesbaden. 19,100 Syrian nationals were naturalized in 2021 – almost triple the number in 2020.

The second most common people naturalized were people from Turkey (12,200 people). This was followed by Romanian (6900), Polish (5500) and Italian (5000) nationals. In total, people of 173 different nationalities accepted German citizenship. Every fourth person previously had the passport of an EU member state. Sufficient language skills, a secure livelihood and, as a rule, a minimum stay of eight years are required for naturalization.

Newly naturalized people live in Germany for an average of 6.5 years

“The high number of naturalizations by Syrians is related to the immigration of Syrians seeking protection in the years 2014 to 2016, who are now increasingly meeting the requirements for naturalization,” the statisticians explained. However, the vast majority of newly naturalized Syrians had not been in the country for eight years, the average was 6.5 years.

According to the Citizenship Act, anyone who wants to be naturalized after just six years can do so by means of “special integration services”. These include particularly good language skills, school or professional achievements, but also civic commitment. In these cases, family members can also be naturalized without a minimum length of stay.