Germany witnessed a notable surge in naturalizations during 2022, with a remarkable 28 percent increase compared to the previous year. Approximately 168,500 individuals were granted citizenship, marking the highest number of naturalizations within a single year since 2002.
The largest group of naturalized individuals in 2022 were Syrians, making up 29 percent of the total. The number of Syrian nationals obtaining citizenship more than doubled from the previous year, reaching 48,300. On average, these new citizens were 24.8 years old, with around two-thirds being male. They had been residing in Germany for an average of 6.4 years before being naturalized.
Among the nationalities experiencing significant increases in naturalizations, Syrians topped the list, followed by Ukrainians (up 3,700), Iraqis (up 2,400), and Turks (up 2,000).
The eligibility requirements for naturalization include demonstrating sufficient language skills, having a stable source of income, and typically residing in Germany for at least eight years. However, spouses and underage children can be naturalized without meeting the minimum length of stay criteria.
Furthermore, individuals who exhibit outstanding integration achievements can become eligible for early naturalization after just six years of residence. Such achievements encompass exceptional language proficiency, academic or professional accomplishments, as well as civic engagement. Notably, the number of individuals granted early naturalization nearly doubled in the past year, reaching a record high. Among them, 13,900 Syrians (comprising 60 percent) were the most common nationality benefiting from this provision.
These statistics highlight a growing trend of individuals from diverse backgrounds choosing to become German citizens, underscoring the country's commitment to promoting integration and embracing its multicultural society.