After the recent liberalization of citizenship law, it has become apparent that immigrant children with a German passport have better educational opportunities. This also increases their career opportunities, as the IFO explains. Because these children make it to high school much more often.

According to the IFO Institute, faster naturalization of migrants leads to better integration – especially in the labor market. “From the past liberalization of citizenship law in Germany, we can see that easier and faster access to citizenship has a positive effect on wages and employment,” said Helmut Rainer, head of the IFO Center for Labor and Demographic Economics. This applies in particular to women and children with a migration background.

Studies have shown that citizenship from birth increases educational opportunities for migrant children. For example, they bring better school success. It encourages immigrant parents to enroll their children in pre-school. “All immigrant children who were born in Germany after the reform of citizenship law in 2000 attended preschool,” said Rainer. “By the end of pre-school, the children performed significantly better in terms of German language skills and socio-emotional maturity than children without automatic citizenship.”

The probability of attending high school also increases, and significantly so: according to the IFO Institute, citizenship from birth reduces the existing gap between children with and without a migration background when attending high school by almost half. This has further positive consequences for the job and career opportunities of children with a migration background, says Rainer.

The government and opposition are currently arguing about granting German citizenship to foreigners. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser wants to speed up naturalizations. It should be possible to acquire German citizenship after five years of residence instead of the current eight, and in certain cases after just three years. In addition, naturalized persons should no longer be forced to give up their previous citizenship.