town hall
Procedure descriptions

Apply for naturalisation for foreigners 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

Is the naturalisation authority,

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



  • You have been legally resident in Germany for at least five years without interruption. Your residence must be permanent.
  • Your identity and nationality have been established.
  • You have legal capacity or legal representation.
  • You have an unlimited right of residence or a qualified residence permit.
  • You and your family members run a household independently in Germany. Your living conditions are centred in Germany.
  • If you are at least 16 years old 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, Germany's special historical responsibility for the National Socialist reign of injustice and its consequences, in particular for the protection of Jewish life, for the peaceful coexistence of peoples and for the prohibition of waging a war of aggression.
  • You finance the livelihood of yourself and your dependants sustainably and permanently without recourse to public funds. In principle, the receipt of child benefit does not prevent naturalisation. Benefits to secure your livelihood in accordance with the Second or Twelfth Book of the German Social Security Code (citizens' allowance, basic income support for jobseekers, social assistance) are generally not an obstacle to naturalisation. If you receive other benefits such as unemployment benefit, parental allowance, maintenance allowance, housing benefit or education support, your naturalisation authority will check whether you will be able to finance your livelihood in the future without receiving such benefits.
  • You are exempt from punishment. This does not apply : 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 an unlawful anti-Semitic, racist or other inhuman offence are never disregarded.
  • 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 providing a certificate of completion 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 the adult education centres in Baden-Württemberg where you can take the naturalisation test can be found on the pages of the adult education centres.
  • You accept the basic principles of the social and legal order applicable in Germany. Acts motivated by anti-Semitism, racism or other misanthropic behaviour are incompatible with the guarantee of human dignity in the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany and violate the free democratic basic order within the meaning of this law.

Note: There are many exceptions and special features to these basic naturalisation requirements that cannot be described here.

Naturalisation is excluded

  • if there are factual indications that you are pursuing or supporting anti-constitutional or extremist endeavours or have done so in the past and cannot credibly demonstrate that you have turned away from pursuing or supporting such endeavours in the past,
  • if there are factual indications that justify the assumption that the content of your commitment to the free democratic basic order or the extended commitment is incorrect,
  • in the case of an existing polygamous marriage,
  • if your behaviour shows that you disregard the equal rights of men and women laid down in the Basic Law.


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 naturalisation authority after you have submitted your application and all the necessary documents.

You can apply online or in writing.

You are obliged to co-operate in the further procedure. If criminal proceedings are currently underway against you, the competent authority 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 agencies.



Required documents

  • valid identity document (national passport or other recognised identity document with photograph such as identity card or ID card)
  • Proof of marital status
  • Proof of income, assets, health and long-term care insurance and pension provision
  • For minors: Proof of custody or, in the case of joint parental custody, a declaration of consent from the other parent.

The naturalisation authority may request further documents.


  • 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 and expenses may be incurred, for example

  • for the submission of civil status documents or
  • for proof of civic knowledge or language skills

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 areas (e.g. Switzerland).

Release note

machine generated, based on the German release by: Innenministerium Baden-Württemberg, 24.06.2024


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