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Current Law Students / Re: practicing law as a non-U.S. citizen
« on: September 23, 2006, 09:46:06 PM »
Go to Germany.

Reform of the Law on Nationality
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The Act reforming the law on nationality entered into force on 1 January 2000.

The key points of the reform are:

- Children born in Germany of foreign parents will, provided certain prerequisites are fulfilled, acquire German nationality from birth. They must however decide between the ages of 18 and 23 years, whether they want to retain their German nationality or the nationality of their parents.

- Children under the age of ten at the time of entry into force of the reform have a similar claim to naturalization.

- Provided that certain other prerequisites are fulfilled, foreigners in general will have the right to become naturalized after only 8 years of habitual residence in the Federal Republic of Germany, instead of 15 as was the case before.

- For naturalization it is necessary to prove adequate knowledge of German. A clean record and a commitment to the tenets of the Basic Law (Constitution) are further criteria. The person to be naturalized must also be in a position to maintain himself/ herself.
- The principle of the avoidance of multiple nationality still marks the law on nationality. Those applying for naturalization must in principle give up their foreign nationality. However in contrast to previous legislation, there are generous exceptional rules which allow the previous nationality to be retained. This applies for example to elderly persons and victims of political persecution. If release from the foreign nationality is legally impossible or unacceptable for such persons, for example due to high release fees or degrading methods of release, they can retain their previous nationality. This is also the case if the release from the foreign nationality would bring considerable disadvantages, especially economic disadvantages or problems with property and assets.

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