Naturalisation is the main form of obtaining German citizenship. It outweighs other forms that justify acquiring the German citizenship – e.g. citizenship by adoption or the recognition of immigrated late repatriates – by far, quantitatively. The provided figures are based on data of the naturalisation statistics of the Federal Statistical Office.
Already since the 1990s, naturalisation of foreigners has played a major part in the discussion of integration in Germany, especially considering that political rights like the right to vote are bound to the German citizenship. The requirements for the acquisition of the German citizenship were changed several times in recent years: In 2000, the new German nationality law became applicable, followed by a new immigration law in 2005 and the EU Directive Transposition Act of 28 August 2007.
Since 2007, the number of naturalisations amounts to 100,000 per annum. In the middle of the 1990s, the number reached its peak with more than 300,000 annual registered naturalisations.