Source: Schengen Visa Info
The number of foreigners on the wait to become German citizens through naturalization has overpassed 100,000, and many of them have been waiting for as long as three years now to obtain their status.
A new report published by the German newspaper “Welt am Sonntag” based on a survey carried out in Germany’s 25 most popular cities claims that such high numbers have been achieved due to the increase in the number of foreigners applying and a lack of staff to process the applications.
“Around 26,000 applications are pending in Berlin, 10,000 of them from 2021,” the report claims.
Moreover, in Hamburg, which is Germany’s second biggest city, there are around 18,000 applications for naturalization still being processed, while another approximately 10,000 applications have still not been concluded in the city of Munich.
“In all of the other major cities asked, four-digit applications piled up,” the report points out.
It further highlights the fact that though in a large share of the larger municipalities, applications for naturalization take between a year to a year and a half, in some others, the waiting time is as long as three years.
The Federal Immigration and Integration Council, Memet Kilic, has been blamed and criticized for the delays, for not tackling one of the two reasons behind the piling up of the applications, that of insufficient staff to process the files on time.
The Federal Government’s recent changes in the migration laws will further affect the delays if the authorities fail to tackle the understaffing problem, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Amongst the most recent immigration changes in Germany is the new residence law, which became effective on the very first day of 2023. The law grants almost 140,000 foreigners who have been in Germany under a tolerated status the opportunity to meet the necessary criteria, like securing a livelihood, to remain in Germany through an 18-month residence permit.
The new regulation on residence will also give well-integrated young people who are 27 years old and younger the chance to stay in Germany for three years instead of four. Skilled workers, on the other hand, will be permitted to bring their family members over to Germany without the family members having to obtain a German language knowledge certificate.
Only last week, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that the German authorities intend to further simplify the procedures for moving to Germany, in particular for skilled workers.
During a visit to the new Federal Office for Foreign Affairs in Brandenburg on January 17, 2023, the German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock, have announced more visa reforms in order to bring over more foreign workers and fill in labor shortages in key sectors in Germany, saying that “procedures will be turned upside down,” in order to achieve this goal.