town hall
Procedure descriptions

Apply for naturalisation as a foreigner without naturalisation entitlement

Naturalisation as a German citizen without a specific claim can be considered if there is a public interest in naturalisation.

You can apply for this "discretionary naturalisation" if you do not meet the requirements for naturalisation with a claim to naturalisation or for co-naturalisation.

You can use the quick check available under the heading "Online application" to check your chances of success for naturalisation in advance. During the quick check you will be redirected to the online portal "Bayernportal".

Responsible department

the naturalisation authority

Is the naturalisation authority,

  • if you live in an urban district: the city administration
  • if you live in a rural district: the district administration office



  • You have been legally resident in Germany for at least eight years without interruption.
    Your stay must be permanent. The period is reduced to seven years if you have successfully completed an integration course. You must prove this with a certificate from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.
    The period can be shortened to six years in the case of special integration achievements.
  • Your identity and nationality have been clarified.
  • You and your family members run a household independently in Germany. Your living conditions are centred in Germany.
  • If you are 16 years or older at the time of naturalisation: You are committed to the free democratic basic order of the Basic Law. This also includes a declaration against anti-constitutional or extremist endeavours.
  • You finance the living expenses for yourself and your dependants without being entitled to public funds (e.g. social welfare, basic income support for jobseekers). The receipt of child benefit or a pension from a German institution does not prevent naturalisation. If you receive other benefits to which you are currently entitled for less than a year, e.g. unemployment benefit I, parental allowance, maintenance payments, sickness benefit, housing benefit, education grant, a decision on your future prospects is required. This decision relates to whether you will be able to secure your livelihood in the future without receiving such benefits.
  • You give up your previous nationality. If you are a national of another member state of the European Union or Switzerland, you can retain this nationality. The Nationality Act permits multiple nationality in exceptional cases if certain conditions are met.
  • You have sufficient knowledge of the German language. You fulfil the requirements of the language test for the German B1 certificate of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages or have acquired sufficient knowledge of German by attending school or obtaining a school-leaving certificate.
  • They have knowledge of the legal and social order and living conditions in Germany. You can prove this either by successfully completing a naturalisation test or by submitting a certificate from a German general school (at least Hauptschule). The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees provides further information on the naturalisation test. Addresses and dates of adult education centres in Baden-Württemberg where you can take the naturalisation test can be found on the websites of the adult education centres.
  • You have assimilated into the German way of life, i.e. you accept the basic principles of the social and legal order that applies in Germany.
  • You are exempt from prosecution.
    Not taken into consideration: Educational measures or disciplinary measures under the Juvenile Courts Act, fines of up to 90 daily rates, prison sentences of up to three months that have been suspended and remitted after the probation period has expired.
    Convictions for unlawful anti-Semitic, racist, xenophobic or other inhuman offences are never disregarded.

Naturalisation is excluded if there arethere are factual indications that you pursue or support anti-constitutional or extremist endeavours or have done so in the past and cannot credibly demonstrate that you have refrained from pursuing or supporting such endeavours in the past.


Note on the Quick-Check: You can use the Quick-Check to check your chances of success for naturalisation in advance. All you have to do is answer a few questions. The quick check is a non-binding check to see whether you fulfil the requirements for naturalisation. The final decision is made by the relevant naturalisation authority after you have submitted your application and all the necessary documents.

You must submit a written application for naturalisation. You can obtain the application form from the relevant office.

You are obliged to co-operate in the further procedure. If criminal proceedings are currently underway against you, the competent office will await their conclusion.

It will carry out the necessary investigations and involve

  • the State Office for the Protection of the Constitution
  • the police
  • the social welfare office
  • the Federal Employment Agency and
  • other authorities.

If all naturalisation requirements are met except for the necessary renunciation of your previous citizenship, you will receive a temporary assurance of naturalisation.

You must then apply for the release of your previous citizenship. As soon as you provide proof of this, the naturalisation authority will issue you with the naturalisation certificate.



Required documents

  • valid identification document (passport, travel document or similar)
  • Proof of marital status
  • Photograph
  • Proof of income, assets, health and long-term care insurance and sufficient pension provision

The naturalisation authority responsible for you may request further documents.

Ask the naturalisation authority for advice on the naturalisation procedure at an early stage.


  • per naturalised person: EUR 255.00
  • for minors to be naturalised without their own income: EUR 51.00

Note: If you withdraw your application or if the competent authority rejects it, the fee will be reduced.

Additional costs may be incurred

  • for the submission of civil status documents
  • for proof of civic knowledge or language skills
  • due to the renunciation of the previous nationality

may be incurred.


Special regulations for certain groups of people

Relief may be granted to the following groups of persons under certain conditions:

  • for stateless persons who have not brought about their statelessness themselves
  • for homeless foreigners in accordance with Section 1 of the Act on the Legal Status of Homeless Foreigners in the Federal Territory
  • for holders of a travel document for refugees
  • in the case of restitution for National Socialist injustice against affected persons if they are not entitled to naturalisation
  • for former German nationals, descendants of German nationals or former German nationals
  • for German-speaking applicants from Austria, Liechtenstein and other German-speaking territories (e.g. Switzerland).

Note: There are many exceptions and special features to these basic naturalisation requirements that cannot be described here.
The naturalisation authority responsible for your place of residence will advise you on this.

Release note

machine generated, based on the German release by: Innenministerium Baden-Württemberg, 13.05.2024


Bürger- und Standesamt (Bürgeramt)
Grabenstraße 15
89522 Heidenheim an der Brenz
Fax (0 73 21) 3 23-33 32