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Aliens Act (Ausländergesetz, AuslG) – Excerpt

Long title: Gesetz über die Einreise und den Aufenthalt von Ausländern im Bundesgebiet

In the version published on 9 July 1990 (Federal Law Gazette I pp. 1354, 1356), as last amended by Article 2 of the Act of 23 July 1999 (Federal Law Gazette I pp. 1620 ff.)

Translation provided by Inter Nationes and reproduced with kind permission.


Table of Contents

Chapter VII Simplified naturalisation

Section 85 Claim to naturalisation held by foreigners with a long period of residence; simultaneous naturalisation of foreign spouses and of children who are minors
Section 86 Grounds for exclusion
Section 87 Naturalisation where multiple nationality is accepted
Section 88 Decision where there is a criminal conviction
Section 89 Interruptions of the period of lawful residence
Section 90 Naturalisation fee
Section 91 Procedural regulations
Section 102a Transitional provision for applicants for naturalisation


Chapter VII Simplified naturalisation

Section 85 Claim to naturalisation held by foreigners with a long period of residence; simultaneous naturalisation of foreign spouses and of children who are minors

(1) A foreigner who has legally been normally resident in the domestic territory for eight years shall be naturalised upon application where he

  1. professes his commitment to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany and makes a declaration that he neither pursues or supports, nor has pursued or supported, endeavours which are directed against the free democratic basic order, the existence or security of the Federation or of a Land, or which have as their objective an unlawful interference with the functioning of the constitutional organs of the Federation or of a Land or of their members, or which by the use of violence or preparatory acts aimed at this endanger external interests of the Federal Republic of Germany, or where he offers convincing proof that he has turned aside from an earlier pursuit of or support for such endeavours;
  2. possesses a residence permit or an entitlement to residence;
  3. can provide for himself and his relatives who are entitled to such provision without claiming social security or unemployment benefit;
  4. gives up or loses his previous citizenship and
  5. has not been convicted of a criminal offence.

The requirement set out under no. 3 above shall be dispensed with where the foreigner for a reason beyond his control cannot provide support without claiming social security or unemployment benefit.

(2) The spouse of the foreigner and his children who are still minors may also be naturalised at the same time even where they have not yet legally been resident in the domestic territory for eight years. Subsection 1 no. 1 shall not be applied where a child who is a minor has not yet attained his 16th birthday at the time of naturalisation.

(3) In the case of a foreigner who has not yet attained his 23rd birthday subsection 1 no. 3 shall not be applied.

Section 86 Grounds for exclusion

A claim to naturalisation pursuant to section 85 shall not exist where

  1. the applicant for naturalisation does not have sufficient knowledge of the German language or
  2. there are factual indicators justifying the assumption that the applicant for naturalisation pursues or supports, or has pursued or supported, endeavours which are directed against the free democratic basic order, the existence or security of the Federation or of a Land, or which have as their objective an unlawful interference with the functioning of the constitutional organs of the Federation or of a Land or of their members, or which by the use of violence or preparatory acts aimed at this endanger external interests of the Federal Republic of Germany, unless the applicant for naturalisation offers convincing proof that he has turned aside from an earlier pursuit of or support for such endeavours, or
  3. there is a ground for expulsion pursuant to section 46 no. 1.

Section 87 Naturalisation where multiple nationality is accepted

(1) The requirement set out in section 85 subsection 1 no. 4 shall be dispensed with where the foreigner cannot give up his previous citizenship or can only do so under particularly difficult conditions. This shall be presumed where

  1. the law of the foreign state does not make provision for giving up its citizenship;
  2. the foreign state regularly refuses release and the foreigner has given the competent authority an application for release for forwarding to the foreign state;
  3. the foreign state has refused release from citizenship for reasons beyond the control of the foreigner or has attached unreasonable conditions to it or has not decided within an appropriate period on a complete and formally correct application for release;
  4. the naturalisation of older persons is barred by the sole obstacle of resulting multiple nationality, release is meeting with disproportionate difficulties and refusal of naturalisation would create a particular hardship;
  5. giving up the foreign citizenship would bring considerable disadvantages to the foreigner, in particular of an economic or financial kind, going beyond the loss of his rights as a citizen, or
  6. the foreigner is suffering political persecution within the meaning of section 51 or is being treated as a refugee under the Act to regulate measures for refugees admitted as part of humanitarian aid.

(2) The requirement set out in section 85 subsection 1 no. 4 shall also be dispensed with where the foreigner possesses the citizenship of another member state of the European Union and there is a reciprocal agreement.

(3) The requirement set out in section 85 subsection 1 no. 4 may be dispensed with where the foreign state makes release from the previous citizenship conditional upon the performing of military service and the foreigner has received the major part of his schooling in German schools and the personal growth and development which has familiarised him with the German way of life and brought him to the age where he is liable for military service has taken place in the federal territory.

(4) Further exceptions to the requirement set out in section 85 subsection 1 no. 4 can be provided for in keeping with international agreements.

(5) Where release from the foreign nationality demands that the foreigner should have attained the age of majority and the requirements of subsections 1 to 4 are also not met, a foreigner who under the law of his state of origin is still a minor shall receive in derogation of subsection 1 no. 1 an assurance of naturalisation.

Section 88 Decision where there is a criminal conviction

(1) Under section 85 subsection 1 no. 5 no consideration shall be had to

  1. the imposition of special measures of education and training or disciplinary measures with educative intent under the Juvenile Courts Act;
  2. convictions requiring the payment of a fine up to 180 per diem fines and
  3. convictions requiring the serving of a custodial sentence of up to six months which was suspended on probation and quashed upon expiry of the probationary period.

Where the foreigner has been sentenced to a more severe penalty, there shall be a decision in each individual case as to whether the offence can be left out of consideration.

(2) Where youth custody for up to one year has been imposed and suspended on probation, the foreigner shall receive an assurance of naturalisation for the event that the sentence is quashed upon expiry of the probationary period.

(3) Where a foreigner who has applied for naturalisation is the subject of investigations on suspicion of an offence, the decision on naturalisation shall be deferred till the close of proceedings, in the case of a conviction till the judgment becomes final and binding. The same shall apply where the imposition of youth custody under section 27 of the Juvenile Courts Act has been deferred.

Section 89 Interruptions of the period of lawful residence

(1) The period of normal residence in the federal territory shall not be deemed to be interrupted by stays of up to six months outside of the federal territory. Where the foreigner has stayed outside of the federal territory for longer than six months for a reason which by its nature is temporary, this time shall also be credited up to a maximum of one year to the residence period necessary for naturalisation.

(2) Where the foreigner has stayed outside of the federal territory for longer than six months for a reason which by its nature is not temporary, the earlier period of residence in the federal territory may be credited up to a maximum of five years to the residence period necessary for naturalisation.

(3) Interruptions in the lawfulness of residence shall remain out of consideration where they are attributable to the fact that the foreigner failed to apply in time for the initial granting or extension of entitlement to residence or was not in possession of a valid passport.

Section 90 Naturalisation fee

The fee for naturalisation under this Act shall be 500 Deutschmark. It shall be reduced to 100 Deutschmark for a child that is a minor, is naturalised at the same time, and does not have an independent income for the purposes of the Income Tax Act. Where there are grounds suggesting that it would be reasonable or in the public interest, the fee may be reduced or waived.

Section 91 Procedural regulations

For naturalisation proceedings section 68 subsection 1 and 3, section 70 subsections 1, 2 and 4 (first sentence) shall apply mutatis mutandis. In general naturalisation proceedings including the determination of geographical jurisdiction shall be governed by the provisions of nationality law.

Section 102a Transitional provision for applicants for naturalisation

To applications for naturalisation made up to 16 March 1999 sections 85 to 91 in the version in force before 1 January 2000 shall be applied with the proviso that the acceptance of multiple

The above translation was published by Inter Nationes. Reproduced with kind permission. This HTML edition by Christoph König and © 2000 Gerhard Dannemann. The contents of this page may be downloaded and printed out in single copies for individual use only. Making multiple copies without permission is prohibited.