You Must Now Answer Questions About Israel and Jewish Faith to Get German Citizenship

In a forward-thinking move aimed at identifying and excluding anti-Semites from the applicant pool, future tests for German citizenship will incorporate questions related to the Jewish faith and the nation of Israel.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser conveyed to Spiegel weekly that “Anti-Semitism, racism, and other forms of contempt for humanity preclude naturalization,” underscoring the government’s commitment to upholding values of tolerance and inclusivity.

Nancy Faeser Federal Minister of the Interior and Community of Germany


Candidates vying for German nationality will now encounter queries regarding aspects of Jewish religious practice and the historical ties between Germany and Israel. Possible questions may include identifying Jewish places of worship, the founding year of Israel, and Germany’s specific historical responsibilities to the nation.

According to Spiegel, topics such as punishments for Holocaust denial and membership criteria for Jewish sports clubs may also feature in the citizenship test.

Recent adjustments to Germany’s citizenship laws signal a broader effort to streamline the naturalization process and expand opportunities for dual nationality. This initiative, a cornerstone pledge of Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s coalition government upon assuming power in late 2021, was proposed in August of the same year.

However, the proposed changes faced scrutiny, particularly following an attack on Israel by Hamas on October 7, and amidst a concerning surge in anti-Semitic incidents within Germany.

In addition to swearing allegiance to the constitution, applicants must now commit to protecting Jewish life within Germany, further emphasizing the nation’s dedication to fostering a diverse and inclusive society.

Under typical circumstances, candidates will become eligible for citizenship after residing in Germany for five years, a reduction from the previous requirement of eight years. Those who demonstrate exceptional integration and proficiency in the German language may obtain citizenship in as little as three years.

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