Germany plans tougher citizenship path for migrants with fake papers

Migrants to Germany who lied about their identity or used false documents to enter the country will have a tougher path to citizenship under legislation being prepared by the interior ministry, according to a press report published Friday.

The draft calls for years spent in Germany under a false identity not to be used to meet the requirements for citizenship, the conservative daily die Welt reported.

Foreigners must have lived in Germany for eight years before they can apply for a passport.

The draft law further stipulates that so-called identity fraudsters should be denied first a temporary and then a permanent residence permit. Both are usually granted, and are necessary steps on the path towards naturalized German citizenship.

An additional hurdle foreseen in the draft legislation concerns the children of people who entered the country using bogus paperwork.

Until now, children born in Germany to two foreign parents have generally received a German passport from birth if one parent has already lived in the country for eight years.

In future, the parents’ identity and nationality will need to be verified as a prerequisite for their German-born children to also be granted German citizenship, according to the draft legislation outlined in the report.

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