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German Law/German Citizenship - use of previous stays in Germany


I was born in India and lived around 3 years as a child in germany and studied again for 3 years between my 5th and 8th class.My parents have been in germany for over 15 years and they are citizens including my brother(They all held indian passports before).I will be finishing my Master's in the US by december 2014 and I am planing on working in Germany.With my previous years of residence and ties to germany through my family,can my duration for residence for  applying for citizenship ie. 8 years be reduced?


12 b II StAG states that up to 5 years of a previous stay in Germany may be counted towards the required residence time when you apply for German citizenship IF these times had been spent in a way that they helped to integrate you in Germany.
I think you could argue that if you still speak German from that time (or if you refresh your German now but claim that this is the knowledge from the past years spent in Germany as a child).

You will get another reduction (to 7 years) if you pass the integration course and a language exam at B1 level. If you manage the B2 level, the required time can be reduced to 6 years.

Thus, if you can get 5 years of your childhood recognized, you would only need to live in Germany for one more year.

As the recognition of the time spent in Germany previously is up to the discretion of the immigration authorities, it helps to present a solid case all around. This pertains in particular to the language requirement. Even if you have already reached the levels indicated above, don't stop there. The higher certificate you get, the better it will be.

Andreas Moser

German Law

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Andreas Moser


Extensive experience in international family law, especially international child abductions and child custody cases. All other areas of German law as well: constitutional law, criminal law, business and contract law, immigration law, inheritance law, and so on.


Lawyer in Germany from 2002 to 2009. Lawyer for US Army JAG Corps before. Bar-certified specialisation in family law and in administrative law. Articles and lectures about international and domestic family law.


2000 Law Degree from University of Regensburg, Germany 2002 admitted to the bar (until 2009) 2013 MA Philosophy at the Open University, UK

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