The number of Syrian nationals granted citizenship in Germany tripled last year to nearly 20,000, as 20 percent more foreign nationals were naturalized in the country than in the previous year, government data revealed.
“In 2021, around 131,600 foreigners were naturalized in Germany,” the German Federal Statistical Office (Destatis) reported on Friday. About half of the increase is due to the high number of naturalizations of Syrians, many of whom entered the country during the 2015/16 migrant wave.
The statistical office reported that 19,100 Syrian citizens were naturalized in 2021, “almost three times as many as in 2020.” In addition to Syrians, a large number of Turks (12,200) and Romanians (6,900) were also naturalized. A quarter of those granted German citizenship already held citizenship in another EU member state before they were naturalized.
The high number of Syrians naturalized is due to the high levels of immigration from the Middle Eastern country seen in 2015 and 2016.
“Increasing numbers of naturalizations of Syrian nationals can also be expected in 2022,” the demographers reported.
Most immigrants require eight years to gain citizenship in Germany; however, most of the Syrians who gained citizenship qualified earlier with an average of only six and a half years. These migrants were granted citizenship early due to strong language skills and for displaying civic commitment, according to the government.
At the beginning of 2022, more than four times as many Syrians living in the country fulfilled the required length of stay compared to 2021.
Last year, naturalized citizens in Germany were predominantly from other EU member states with Italy, Poland, and Romania among the leaders.
Germany’s far-left government is working to make obtaining citizenship easier in the future and wants an increase of up to 500,000 immigrants per year. It is even working on amnesty plans to allow migrants whose asylum requests were rejected to obtain permanent residency permits, which could apply to over 100,000 “tolerated” migrants.