Naturalization in Germany 11: “Tolerance stay” is not considered as residence time

People who want German citizenship must meet several basic requirements. To do this, you must have been in Germany for 6, 7 or 8 years “legally and continuously”. Matthias Regenbrecht, who is responsible for naturalizations in the Tübingen district office, explains that “tolerance stay” (Duldung) does not in principle count as time of stay. A “tolerated” person would actually have to leave Germany. They are only allowed to stay because, for example, they face “danger to life and limb” if deported. That is why it is clearly started in toleration documents that those concerned are required to leave the country. According to the Naturalization Act, this is not a “legal” stay. Anyone who has been granted a tolerance stay in Germany for at least 18 months may obtain a residence permit. If this is the case, the “legal residence” begins after the permit is received, which is necessary for naturalization. Anyone who sues and wins in court for their right to asylum may also count the previous months of toleration as their “lawful” stay.


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