In this post, I will explain the steps that I did to process my Einbürgerung / German citizenship.
Again, the process will be different from state to state, so you might experience something shorter/easier than what happened to me. I heard from a few members of the Pinay in Deutschland Facebook Group that in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, for example, the process does not take so long, and the requirements are not as many as in Bayern.
Again, this will be quite a long post…
THE EINBÜRGERUNG PROCESS IN 10 EASY STEPS
STEP 1 – Schedule a consultation with the responsible department at the Bürgerbüro.
The officer-in-charge will ask you a few questions and evaluate your case based on the prerequisites of Einbürgerung that I discussed here.
If the officer-in-charge decides that you are now eligible to apply for citizenship, he or she will then give you a list of the required documents that you need to submit. See a sample list of the requirements and brief explanations of each in this post.
STEP 2 – Gather and organize the required documents.
Most likely, you already have a lot of the documents in the requirements list (for example, your Birth Certificate with translation, the Einbürgerungstest, Deutsch B1 certificate, etc.). Some of the other documents are simply forms from the Bürgerbüro that you need to fill up and sign (like the Einbürgerungsantrag, Entlassungserklärung, Loyalitätserklärung, and so on).
For some documents, you will need to ask for your German spouse’s support. Some documents might be needed from him or her also (like his payslips, and a copy of his passport/Personalausweis). You will also need his or her signature for the Erklärung eheliche Lebensgemeinschaft.
Remember that any document that is not in the German language will need to be translated.
The documents that you submit will be returned back to you, but you might want to make copies for future reference.
STEP 3 – Set an appointment at the Bürgerbüro to submit your documents.
Call your case officer to set an appointment. Do not just go to the Bürgerbüro without an appointment because the checking of documents will take some time.
STEP 4 – Submit all required documents in ORIGINAL.
Once your case officer sees the documents, he or she will determine if any additional requirements are called for in your case. He or she will also explain the next steps to you, and give you an estimated timeline of how long the process will take.
This is also your chance to ask any questions.
STEP 5 – WAIT PATIENTLY.
At this point, the only thing you can do is wait patiently.
In Step 4, your case officer also probably explained to you that a comprehensive background check will be done to see if you have any criminal offenses, if you have fully paid all of your due taxes, if you have ever received financial support from the government, and so on. Depending on which Bundestaat you live in, this process can take a lot of time.
STEP 6 – Receive the EINBÜRGERUNGSZUSICHERUNG
If your background check turns out clean and no other requirements are pending, you will receive the Einbürgerungszusicherung via post from either the city (Stadt) or the government (Regierung).
In the Einbürgerung process, this document can be considered as your first milestone. It marks the halfway point, which means success is near 😉
The Einbürgerungszusicherung certifies that you will acquire the German citizenship once you can prove that you have given up your Philippine citizenship. This is valid for 2 years, so you will definitely have enough time to continue with the next steps…
STEP 7 – Submit required documents for Renunciation of your Philippine Citizenship
As stated in your Einbürgerungszusicherung, you can only be a German citizen if you are no longer a Filipino citizen.
You will need to renounce your Philippine citizenship either in person at the Philippine Embassy in Berlin, or via post. At the PH Embassy’s website, you can view the requirements and process for renunciation in this page.
STEP 8 – YOU ARE NOW A STATELESS PERSON. Submit proof to either the Stadt or the Regierung.
You will receive a certification from the Philippine Embassy once your Philippine Citizenship has been renounced. It looks like this:
You should also have received your canceled Philippine passport, with this stamped on the first page:
At this point, you are now a stateless person — neither Filipino nor German. It may sound strange, but consider this as the 2nd big milestone in the Einbürgerung process.
Submit both of these documents to either the Stadt (Bürgerbüro) or the Regierung, depending on which office sent you the Einbürgerungszusicherung.
STEP 9 – Receive notification that your EINBÜRGERUNGSURKUNDE has now been forwarded to the Bürgerbüro for processing. Pay the 255 € fee.
You will receive notification via post that the Einbürgerungsurkunde (your certification of the German citizenship) is almost ready.
You will also be asked to pay the processing fee of 255 € via bank transfer.
STEP 10 – Receive notification that your EINBÜRGERUNGSURKUNDE is now ready for pick up! 😀 Submit the last requirements and be ready to party!
This is it, the moment you’ve been waiting for!
In the notification, you will be instructed to call the officer in charge so you can set an appointment for pick up. You will also be asked to bring proof of payment of the 255 € fee, along with your canceled Philippine passport, your Aufenthaltstitel, and biometric passport photos.
Bring all of these to your appointment and claim your Einbürgerungsurkunde. There is no real ceremony with much funfare. You will simply be asked to read a declaration out loud and sign a few documents.
Congratulations, you are now a German citizen! 😀
There you have it — The Einbürgerung Process in 10 Easy Steps! The process is simple if your documents are complete, and if your records in Germany are clean (i.e., police, tax, employment, etc.).
Until next time…